When we first started homeschooling, Ty (that’s my husband) was deployed. When he returned, he took a new job in a new city that allowed him to work from home – HUGE blessing considering he had been away for nearly 2 years!
While I was thrilled to have him right there all day long, I also quickly discovered how distracting it was to have daddy right there all. day. long. Those of you who have met my husband know he’s not a quiet, sit-in-the-corner with-nose-to-the-grindstone kind of guy. Add to that the fact that the only spare room in our tiny home had to be a multi-purpose room – Ty’s office, the homeschool, my sewing stuff, and the television all lived in that room! It was just short of insane!
It took a lot of getting used to – this homeschooling with dad working in the same room – but we managed to get it done, and now, I look back on those years fondly.
Why is Dad working from home so distracting?
No homeschooling mama wants to say out loud that her husband working from home is causing her homeschool schedule to fall apart because frankly, plenty of women wish their husbands could work from home and it seems terribly ungrateful to feel stressed by it. But, I’ll say it for you.
Having dad working from home is a blessing and a huge distraction all at the same time.
There are several reasons dad’s presence is so distracting.
- When dad works from home, his hours are more flexible, and he tends to float in and out of your day causing your schedule to be interrupted – often multiple times.
- Dad may need help with certain aspects of his job that require you to set aside your homeschooling throughout the day.
- Dad may be working near where you do school, and whatever it is he is doing is distracting the children from their work – or the mom from hers.
- Dad is fidgety or makes a lot of phone calls or talks a lot or anything else that tends to distract from school lessons.
I’m sure those of you with husbands working from home could think up a few more reasons, but these are the ones that first came to mind when thinking about why my husband working from home was sometimes distracting.
How to make dad’s presence less distracting.
Looking back, I should have homeschooled the children at the dining room table and not tried to work in the same room as daddy, but that’s where I had put my homeschooling books, so that’s where I had to homeschool…says the mom with no experience under her belt. *insert eye rolling here*
So, THAT is my first suggestion for making dad’s presence less distracting – don’t homeschool where he’s working! If your home can accommodate a home office or workspace for dad, that is ideal, but not everyone has that luxury. You have to make do with what you have and get creative. I know some dads who have an “office” in the bedroom or garage. Maybe you have a camper dad could work in or a desk in the corner of the living room.
(One thing you do need to consider is the fact that when dad works from home, it is VERY difficult for him to STOP working, so seriously consider this when trying to find a place for dad’s office.)
Another idea for making daddy less distracting is to include him in the school lessons! If you put him in charge of math or science, it will give him a break from his day and you a break from yours, and allow him to spend time with everyone while still getting school done.
Setting up a homeschool schedule when dad works from home.
One of the biggest issues when dad works from home is time management. You will need to have a heart to heart with him about when he plans to have his “office hours,” and how to schedule your homeschool hours to mesh well with his schedule. Work with him, not against him. Everyone will be much happier!
So, some ideas to help you create a workable schedule:
1 – Let Dad take the lead. More than likely, your homeschool can be flexible, so let dad set his schedule and you work around what he comes up with. So, for instance, if he decides to work from 8-11 in the morning and then take a long lunch break, don’t try to homeschool from 9-12. That last hour will be fruitless.
2 – School in the gaps. If you find dad is needing help here and there throughout the day and isn’t able to set a schedule that has you or the kids helping at a particular time, then school in the gaps. But, do try to get this next point…
3 – Try to find a 2 hour block. You can get so much done with 2 hours non-stop. I can homeschool my little ones in about 30 minutes, and my bigger kids are usually finished in 2-3 hours. Don’t try to multi-task (no laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc) – just homeschool. Make sure your husband knows when that 2 hour block is and ask that he avoid interrupting during that time. It is perfectly acceptable for you to remind him you are unavailable if he comes in wanting something during that time, but be sure you aren’t being wishy-washy about when you are schooling. Set the 2 hours block and stick with it.
Don’t forget to count your blessings.
I know you know this, but please remember to truly see the blessing of where you are right now. God has your husband home for a reason. He may not always be in the position to work from home. Embrace this season, and ask the Lord to give you some grace and the flexibility to school a little differently.
Wish your husband worked from home? You might want to read THIS!