Dear friends, I want to share my raw and honest journey as I navigate the challenges of balancing grad school, homeschooling, and working from home. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m grateful for how God continues to use me to encourage homeschool families in this season.
Taking a leap of faith, I decided to pursue a Masters of Arts in Bible Studies at South Florida Bible College. With a background in Theology from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a Bachelors in Biblical and Jewish Studies from Israel College of the Bible, I love creating Bible studies and teaching Hebrew. This new degree will open doors for me to create and publish more courses.
Though this season is exciting, it has tested my limits, leaving me exhausted and overwhelmed. Yet, I eagerly anticipate how God will draw me closer, reveal His purpose, and use me to impact lives. I trust that His plans for me are good (Jeremiah 29:11).
If you’re considering going back to school or need help with balance, this blog post is for you! I’ll delve into the challenges I’ve faced, offer practical ideas to prevent burnout, emphasize the importance of rest and keeping Shabbat, explore how this demanding season catalyzes spiritual growth, and discuss setting aside time for connection with family. Let’s embark on this adventure together, seeking God’s strength and guidance along the way.
New Season With New Challenges
Returning to grad school while juggling homeschooling, work, and other responsibilities has been undeniably difficult, exhausting, and demanding. It is crucial to acknowledge the immense weight of these responsibilities and the toll they can take on our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Despite the challenges, I choose to view this season as an opportunity for growth and divine purpose in balancing grad school, homeschooling, and working from home.
In the Bible, we discover a rich tapestry of stories that inspire perseverance, offering us hope and encouragement in our unique journeys. Scripture assures us that God works all things together for good (Romans 8:28), providing comfort as we navigate the challenges of balancing life. In moments of weariness, Jesus invites us to find rest in Him, assuring us that He carries our burdens and refreshes our souls (Matthew 11:28). By fixing our eyes on the Lord and trusting in His unfailing guidance, we can find renewed strength and purpose as we navigate a stressful and demanding season of life.
Practical Ideas to Prevent Burnout:
I burned out entirely at the beginning of my homeschool journey. So, I know how stressful seasons demand a careful plan to avoid burnout. Balancing grad school, homeschooling, and working from home is overwhelming, but there are practical strategies we can implement to prevent burnout.
a. Prioritize Self-Care:
Carve out intentional time for self-care amid your busy schedule. Engage in activities that replenish your spirit, such as reading God’s Word, journaling, or pursuing a hobby such as water coloring or cross stitching while listening to some worship music. Take care of your physical health through regular exercise, nutritious meals, and sufficient sleep. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to make sure you have enough rest! Sleep as much as you can!
b. Delegate and Seek Support:
Remember, you do not have to bear the weight of all responsibilities alone. Enlist the help of your spouse, family members, or trusted friends in homeschooling tasks or household chores. If you are feeling overwhelmed, there is no shame in crying out for help! Please just lean on your support network and be open to receiving assistance.
c. Set Realistic Expectations:
Be kind to yourself and set realistic expectations for what you can accomplish. Understand that you are navigating multiple demanding roles, and it’s okay to prioritize and adjust accordingly. Focus on quality over quantity and celebrate even the smallest victories.
d. Practice Time Blocking:
Implement time-blocking techniques to manage your tasks and responsibilities better. Allocate specific time slots for different activities, allowing you to stay focused and make the most of each dedicated block. Download my Ideal Week Schedule template and tutorial here.
e. Stay Connected:
In a season of a busy schedule, it’s essential to maintain social connections. God created us for fellowship and fellowship is important to us! Make plans to connect with like-minded friends and homeschooling parents. I am so thankful for The Homeschool Sisterhood, our online community. These moms always encourage, pray, and jump on to help me when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Sharing experiences and receiving support from others who understand the challenges can provide tremendous encouragement!
The Importance of Rest and Keeping Shabbat:
Amidst the busyness of balancing grad school, homeschooling, and working from home, it’s important to prioritize rest and intentionally carve out time for rejuvenation.
a. Carve Out Time for Rest:
Amidst the busyness, intentionally schedule regular moments of rest. Create time blocks dedicated solely to rest, whether a quiet walk in nature, spending time in prayer, or engaging in a creative outlet such a Bible journaling. Friend, rest is not a luxury but a necessity for maintaining balance and preventing burnout. Shabbat is a God-given blessing for our limited bodies to rest and be recharged.
b. Embrace the Gift of Shabbat:
If you don’t yet, consider embracing the blessing of keeping Shabbat. Set aside Shabbat each week to rest, reflect, and draw closer to God. Disconnect from work, school, and other distractions, and prioritize time with family, prayer, worship, and studying Scripture. Allow Shabbat to be a time of refreshing and recentering your focus on God’s goodness.
Connecting with Your Husband and Children:
Between the demands of returning to grad school, homeschooling, and working from home, it’s crucial to prioritize and nurture the relationships with your husband and children. Here are some practical ideas to ensure that you don’t neglect these precious connections:
a. Schedule Quality Time:
Set aside dedicated blocks of time each week for one-on-one activities with your spouse and each of your children. While the kids are at Awana, Mondays have been our date nights. Date nights can be as simple as going for walks together, playing a board game, or engaging in a shared hobby. These intentional moments foster deeper bonds and create lasting memories. It provides time for intentional communication, connection, and romance.
b. Mealtime Rituals:
Make mealtime a sacred space for connection and conversation. Gather as a family for meals whenever possible, and use this time to catch up on each other’s lives, share highlights of the day, and discuss meaningful topics. Create an atmosphere of warmth and openness where everyone feels heard and valued. As moms, we must be fully present in those moments with undivided attention, so leave the smartphone in another room.
c. Family Devotions:
Incorporate family devotions into your routine. Morning time, evening devotions, or both, choose a time that works for your family and gather to read Scripture, pray, and discuss spiritual truths. Encourage your children to ask questions, share their thoughts, and participate actively in the discussion. This not only deepens your spiritual connection but also cultivates a strong foundation of faith within your family.
d. Special Traditions:
Create special traditions or rituals unique to your family. It could be a weekly movie night, a weekly outing, or a games night. These simple weekly traditions provide anchor points amidst the busyness; they will help you to relax and create a sense of family unity.
Simplifying Homeschooling While Balancing Grad School and Working from Home
a. Set Clear Priorities:
When juggling multiple responsibilities, it’s essential to establish clear priorities for your homeschooling journey. Identify the core subjects or learning goals most important to you and your children’s education. By focusing on these key areas, you can streamline your homeschooling efforts and allocate your time and energy more efficiently, but don’t neglect enrichment studies and some fun learning too!
b. Embrace Flexibility:
Recognize that flexibility is crucial when homeschooling, pursuing a new degree, and working from home. Embrace the freedom homeschooling provides by adapting your schedule to focus on your academic assigments. Consider outsourcing your homeschool, by using online courses, educational apps, or online co-op programs like The Homeschool Sisterhood to provide additional support and reduce your workload.
c. Utilize Resources and Curricula:
Leverage the abundance of educational resources and curricula available to simplify your homeschooling experience. I purposely chose Without Doors Curriculum, a minimalist Charlotte Mason inspired homeschool curriculum for this year. Research and choose materials that align with your children’s learning styles and your desired outcomes. Opt for curricula that offer clear instructions, lesson plans, and assessment tools to minimize the time spent on lesson preparation and planning.
d. Delegate and Outsource:
As I mentioned before, don’t hesitate to delegate certain tasks or outsource specific subjects or activities to lighten your homeschooling load. Consider partnering with friends, joining homeschooling co-ops, or enrolling your children in virtual classes or extracurricular programs. By sharing the teaching responsibilities, you can free up time for your own studies and work commitments.
e. Emphasize Independent Learning:
Foster independent learning skills in your children to promote self-sufficiency and empower them to take ownership of their education. Charlotte Mason said that “self-education is the only education.” Encourage them to complete assignments or projects independently, search for topics of interest, and develop problem-solving abilities. By nurturing independence, you can gradually reduce your direct involvement, allowing you to focus on your own academic pursuits.
“Self-education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child’s nature.”
― Charlotte Mason
f. Create a Flexible Routine:
Flexibility is key! Establishing a flexible routine can provide structure and stability to your homeschooling journey. Designate specific time blocks for focused learning, breaks, and other activities. However, remain open to adjusting the routine to accommodate your grad school commitments and work responsibilities. Flexibility within a framework can help you balance homeschooling, work, and academic pursuits.
g. Collaborate with Other Homeschooling Families:
Seek support and collaboration from other homeschooling families also navigating similar challenges. Join local homeschooling groups, online communities, or forums where you can share ideas, resources, and experiences. By connecting with like-minded individuals, you can gain valuable insights, find encouragement, and discover additional strategies for simplifying your homeschooling journey. Again, the support I receive from The Homeschool Sisterhood has been invaluable in my life and my kids learn so much from all the classes offered there.
Remember, the key to simplifying homeschooling while balancing grad school and working from home is finding a balance for your unique situation. It may require trial and error, adjustments, and constant communication with your family. Above all, be flexible, patient, and willing to adapt your approach to create a harmonious and manageable routine for everyone involved.
Balancing Grad School While Homeschooling and Working from Home
Dear friends, I want to acknowledge the immense challenges and exhaustion you may face as you navigate the demanding responsibilities of returning to grad school while homeschooling and working from home. However, I urge you to embrace this season with faith and hope. Trust that God has a purpose for you in this journey, and He will equip you with the strength and wisdom to fulfill it. Seek His guidance, rely on His provision, and take comfort in knowing that you are not alone.
As you implement practical strategies to prevent burnout, prioritize rest, keep Shabbat, remember to prioritize and nurture your relationships with your family. These connections are precious and should not be neglected amidst the busyness. Set aside time for quality interactions, foster open communication, and create meaningful traditions that strengthen the bonds within your family. In doing so, you will find joy and fulfillment in these relationships and experience the transformative power of God’s love working through them.
May this season be a testament to our resilience, unwavering faith, and reliance on the Lord. Keep pressing forward, knowing that through Him, you can overcome any challenge that comes your way. Let’s embrace the blessings within this busy season and trust that God will use them to shape you, draw you closer to Him, and impact the lives of those around us.