Working from home can already be challenging at times, and working from home while homeschooling your child? I have so much admiration for you.
I chatted with my friend Courtney Opalko, Owner of Courtney Opalko Etiquette and Certified Etiquette Coach, about the challenges of homeschooling and some effective ways to find the balance between homeschooling and working from home.
Xi: Hi Courtney, tell us why do you do what you do, and how did you get started?
Courtney: I am a certified etiquette coach and I teach etiquette and communication skills to children, teens and adults! I combine the best of modern etiquette with positive psychology and communication skills to help instill confidence in my clients at any age.
Courtney: Good Coffee, Airpods playing Pandora 'The Killers' radio and functioning internet!
Courtney working from home // Photo: @livinthemomentphoto
Xi: That's a lot of things to manage in a day! So let's talk about homeschooling. What struggles or mistakes have you seen with homeschooling, especially when the mom works from home herself?
Another common struggle I see is the decision exhaustion we all face. When we are constantly making a million micro-decisions throughout the day, we become fatigued. One way I work with my clients is to help them organize their time so there is less decision making! Whether that's through weekly meal planning, a capsule wardrobe, or simply working through their day to find more time for joy, a mindful approach helps to elevate the everyday and creates more time to savor the details of life.
Xi: That's so so insightful. These principles work not just for homeschooling, but pretty much everything else. Do you have any other advice to share?
Courtney: Here are my top tips for balancing homeschooling and working from home:
1. Embrace rhythm over routine; What makes the good days good? What can you remove or let go of to make space?
2. Focus on life skills; children will model your behavior (eventually!) and life skills like manners, communication, and mindset will set them up for future academic and personal achievement.
3. Carve out cornerstones in the day for connection: for us, that's 2-3 meals together at the table each day and reading books before bedtime.
4. Schedule "Me" time: set aside at least 15 minutes for a walk around the block or a cup of tea to recharge and reconnect.
5. Plan ahead: weekly meal plans save time (& money) and themes for school will keep your mind on-track when it comes to thinking up activities and lessons. A capsule wardrobe and efficient beauty routine will help you feel polished and confident!
Xi: I love that so much. And I totally agree that clothing decisions are part of the stress, so building a wardrobe that minimizes decision making but still make you look and feel good is so key. Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Courtney: Many people associate etiquette with a narrow definition. Etiquette is actually a broad term for the life skills that help us to connect and create long-lasting relationships. As an etiquette coach, I help my clients find ways to increase their confidence and elevate their every day with a positive, mindful approach.