Dear Durenda typography with an image of a hand, writing
How do you balance everything?
I am struggling to balance time.

I feel like I am cooking and cleaning all day and haven’t even started homeschooling yet. We will start in the fall. How do you balance everything? My boys are six, three, and one and do help with some chores.

Katie typography
Dear Katie,
Balancing time is every mom’s struggle, so please know you are not alone! We can find a great rhythm that works for a while, and then we find ourselves needing to make adjustments for yet another new season.

It sounds like that is exactly where you are as you anticipate adding homeschooling to your already busy days.

Because I don’t know everything about your family or situation, I can’t give more specific advice, but there are a few general things that come to mind:

Please remember that your children are still very young, and you are in a particularly busy season. Two out of three of your kids still need you most of the time! It’s wonderful that you have the six and three-year-old helping with some chores! You have headed in the right direction!

I think my first word of encouragement to you would be what I say to every mom with young school-age children: young children don’t need to do a massive amount of bookwork in order to be learning.

In both of my books, The Unhurried Homeschooler and The Four Hour School Day, I continually remind moms that easing into bookwork slowly tends to be a far more beneficial approach. Young children aren’t ready for the kind of academics that older children are. However, make no mistake, they are learning all the time! So much of that learning happens naturally through chores, play, reading out loud, and living real life together.

This is also the time when you are laying a foundation of good character which will lend itself to a smoother homeschooling journey down the road, so it’s important to be diligent and consistent in that area.

Although you may be adding a few activities in the fall, there’s no reason to completely upset the rhythm that you find works best right now for your family. That being said, if you feel like you are overwhelmed with your current routine and want to work toward a more sustainable rhythm, I’d like you to ask yourself a couple of questions:

  1. Are you consistent in your daily routine? In order to find a good rhythm, we have to be disciplined. It’s important for both you and your kids to know what is expected each day even if those expectations are very basic—which they should be in this season.
  2. Are there distractions that can possibly be eliminated? Countless small things compete for our time and attention each day, from our phones to tasks that don’t need to be done right at that moment. When there are too many distractions in our routine, we lose our rhythm and often find ourselves in crisis mode feeling like we are going in circles. I don’t consider the children to be a distraction but rather the main mission. However, if we find ourselves with children who are out of sorts because of a lack of discipline or our failure to be consistent, that is something we need to consider correcting.
  3. Are you praying for wisdom? James 1:5–6 says: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” Simply ask and He will give generously. God knows you and your children better than anyone and I can testify that He is faithful to give us wisdom as moms in stewarding our time well!
Enjoy your precious little ones as you continue on this adventure of learning together!
Durenda typography