Family, routine, home management and work-life balance are all things many of us struggle with every single day. In my opinion, the hardest part in keeping it all together is the ability to create and adhere to habits that allow us to be more effective and efficient in our everyday lives.
Mayra, the author of Estilo Familiar shares with us her methods for managing her home, her homeschooling adventures and just how she makes time for what truly matters to her; family.
Where did the concept of Estilo Familiar come from?
I am a very family-oriented person and everything in my life revolves around my family. My family is my mission in life. Estilo Familiar intends to communicate how to enjoy the family life while educating our children, cooking, planning, solving problems or having fun. As parents we are able to reach our professional and personal goals while enjoying and protecting our family.
- What made you create a blog and document your family’s adventures?
Writing is a passion of mine since I was a child. I found that creating a blog was the perfect medium to capture and convey my thoughts. My main goal is to show that a Latino homeschooler family is as normal and as weird as any other family. There are many misconceptions about homeschooling, especially in the Hispanic community where homeschooling is a new thing. I want all the readers—homeschoolers or not—to experience how we view the world, how we take educational advantage and enrich our lives with every single experience. In this way I encourage all families to find new and creative ways to grow as a family and help their children to learn, to get educated and to enrich their minds with every simple aspect of their daily life.
- As the CEO of your household, homeschooler and blogger how do you make time for it all?
You have no idea of how I have struggled with this issue since I started blogging two years ago! I have to confess that sometimes it is not easy to balance all my responsibilities, but planning my daily schedule has helped me a lot.
The things that have worked for me are:
Wake up very early in the morning—5:00 am—when the rest of the family is still asleep to start working on the priorities of the day right away. Those first two hours of the day are the most productive and the ones that I use to do my morning devotions, write the blog posts and work with the social media.
I try to squeeze 30 minutes of jogging or walking two or three times a week while listening to podcasts or to Juan Luis Guerra. The exercises keep me with a good mood and stamina for the rest of the day.
I have taught my sons (10 and 8) to do their schoolwork on their own following the schedule that I prepare for them weekly. They follow it and come to me whenever they have doubts about the material or when it is my time to teach them a specific subject. This has given them independence, order and discipline. At the same time this gives me additional minutes here and there to send emails, make the house chores and start working on drafts and ideas.
Usually my time is very compromised, but I enjoy what I am doing as a homeschooler mom and as a blogger. As long as my blog does not sacrifice my time with my family–and I am not on the screen or social media 24/7–it is OK with me.
- How important is it for you to share with the community those good days and bad?
Reading other blogs and books about other homeschoolers families have encouraged me to keep going. The experience of others helps you realize that you are not alone on this, that there are other ways to do things and that every family have their own style. I want to encourage the Hispanic families in the same way.
- In Estilo Familiar you chronicle your journey with your family, how has sharing your story changed how you parent?
As I write I realize how well or how bad I am doing. My mistakes and failures come to the surface and I have to deal with them. It is a constant conversation with myself. I think that it is healthy because I am more aware of my actions, examine myself, and decide how to handle it now.