{Self Care} Naptime for Busy Homeschool Parents: It's Not Just for the Kids, You Know

Speech by Author Sara Mednick on the topic of napping.

You may be surprised to hear me say this, but if I could wish anything for every homeschool parents, it'd be the gift of a nap. If you doubt that you need a nap, then you need to read Sara Mednick's Take a Nap! Change Your Life: The Scientific Plan to Make You Smarter, Healthier, More Productive (Workman Publishing, 2006).

This book changed my perception of napping for the better. I don't do it every day, but I do try to "honor" the sleep pressure that hits during "siesta" time in some way. I've been known to nap in the car while our kid takes a class--provided the weather is cool enough and I'm caught up on my paid work.

When I respect and honor the wakefulness rhythms in our lives, I find that everyone is happier and more focused. It doesn't work for every family, granted, in our hyper-scheduled lives, but it's worth attempting some dedicated "recharge time"--be it a nap, mindfulness meditation, prayer, or some other sort of relaxing activity to nourish body and soul--every day.

{Organization} Make the Most of Your Space by Converting Dining Room to an Office

I've found in my research that many homeschool parents are willing to reconsider how they want to use existing spaces in their homes. This is especially true of work-at-home parents who find they need to carve out space to keep their work materials.

We moved our farmhouse-style table to the breakfast nook a few years ago, laid down some hardwood in the former dining room, purchased bookshelves and a desk, and voila! I had an at-home office for my freelance work. Recently I added two low wooden filing cabinets behind the couch. The rest of the furniture is inherited and showcases collections of stemware and other items. I love it!

Given the small size of our family, this was a practical solution. We seldom used the dining room anyway and the small table that was in the breakfast space has a new home in the playroom.

I'd love to hear from other homeschool parents who have made similar decisions to adjust their homes to fit their lives.

{Review} Colleen Pence of San Antonio Mom Blogs talks about "How to Work and Homeschool"

From today's post:

How to Work and Homeschool is completely relevant to work-from-home parents who may not be homeschoolers. Through Pamela’s research, practical tips, advice, sample schedules, and frank discussions on the issue of creating a work/life balance, entrepreneurial parents will find the resource they’ve been looking for to help them, and their children, thrive.  {Read More}

Facebook Chat with the Author

Tuesday, July 23
8:00 PM to 8:30 PM CDT

If you've read "How to Work and Homeschool: Practical Advice, Tips, and Strategies from Parents" (GHF Press, 2013)--or you are contemplating doing so, come chat with author Pamela Price at Facebook.com/HowtoWorkandHomeschool.

More events can be found on the Calendar page.

{Reader Survey} Share Your Experience as a Working Homeschool Parent

At the end of How to Work and Homeschool, I invite readers to share their experiences as working homeschool parents.

I am serious about that invitation because I want to hear diverse perspectives and experiences on the topic. 

Along those lines, I have three options for you to share your story:

• You can leave a comment here on the site. (You may choose to be anonymous.)
• Leave a comment on my Facebook page.
Take the survey that I used to research the book. (Again, you may choose to remain anonymous.)

Keep in mind that your responses may (or may not) appear in my future writings on the topic.

{GHF Blog Hop} What Successful Single Homeschool Parents Have to Teach Us

Today's post is my contribution to the June 2013 Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Blog Hop. This month's topic is "Homeschooling With/Without a Partner." More links are at the bottom of the post.

When I began my research for my  book about working homeschool parents, I made a special commitment to spotlight the "unsung heroes" of home education: single parents.


For starters, I was struck by the fact that their demographic is given so little attention in "how to homeschool" manuals. This type of marginalization is unfortunate because as more and more families choose to homeschool, we inevitably will attract more single parents to the home education sphere.
As more and more single-parent homeschool families appear at our play groups and homeschool co-ops, how can we--as a community--help them succeed if we don't know what works for their particular family structure?

Second, and anecdotally speaking, single homeschool parents (mostly women) are more likely to work outside the home and therefore have a unique perspective on the homeschool lifestyle.  In other words, I think that they can teach the rest of us a thing or two about the work/live/play/learn balance.

In my experience and research, I've learned that single homeschool parents succeed by:
  • Putting education first. Not only do they prioritize education on the weekly calendar, they make it a priority in their own intellectual lives. Several of the single parents that I encountered while researching the book pursued their own degrees or professional development in tandem with homeschooling.
  • Building communities of support. Be it through online groups or within their communities (and ideally both), these folks know that to succeed with home education, kids and parents alike need a steady flow of encouragement and nurturing in order to flourish. 
  • Practicing excellent time management. Since most single homeschool parents are also working homeschool parents, the successful ones keep a watchful eye not only the calendar but also energy levels. They look to create a balanced schedule and work to evade burnout on extracurricular activities.
  •  Embracing innovation. Technology is a boon to home educators, be it through access to online courses or through the use of iPhones to monitor what's happening at home from one's desk at work. For single parents working outside of the home, technology--used wisely--can be a useful tool.
  •  Keeping a level head about homeschooling in general. Successful single homeschool parents tend to approach home education one day and one year at a time. They tend to resist "all or nothing thinking" and are open to other alternatives, including traditional public or private schools. This mindset is less stressful and more realistic. After all, one just never knows when change in life might require a change in schooling, and it's wise to have back-up plans in mind--even if one never uses them.
Is it any accident that these descriptions fit successful homeschoolers in two-parent households? No. A resilient, determined spirit is a resilient, determined spirit, whatever a person's current relationship status.

Are there particular challenges to being a single homeschool parent? Absolutely, which is why I dedicate time to discussing this demographic in the book, if you're interested.

Right now, however, I'd love to hear your perspective on this topic.

So, tell us:
  • Are you a single homeschool parent? 
  • Do you know someone who is? 
  • What have you learned from your/their experiences?

Leave response in comments or over on my Facebook page.

 A sample of participating blogs follows:
A complete list of June 2013 blog participants can be found here later today.

Coming Soon! The "How to Work and Homeschool" Book Tour

The "official" release date for How to Work and Homeschool is still a few days off, but I'm pleased to announce some upcoming events which I've added to the site calendar. Stay tuned to my Facebook page for additions/changes.

August 12, 2013
Blog Book Tour Stop: Jimmie's Collage

August 5, 2013:
Blog Book Tour Stop: Laughing at Chaos

July 29, 2013:
Blog Book Tour Stop: Slow Family Online 

July 22, 2013
WOAI San Antonio Living (television appearance)

July 19, 2013: 
Blog Book Tour Stop: San Antonio Mom Blogs
#GTCHAT on Twitter @ 6PM CDT with @GTCHATMOD  (Find and follow me at @RedWhiteandGrew )

July 15, 2013:
Official book release date (subject to change)

July 8, 2013:
Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Blog Hop