Homeschooling 101: Homeschooling and the Working Parent

Hi everyone! I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post.  Today we’re talking about homeschooling and the working parent.

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Homeschooling itself is a full time job, so carefully consider whether or not working and homeschooling is a realistic choice for your family.

While homeschooling doesn’t take the same amount of time as classroom teaching does, you will still need to follow your state requirements for attendance and annual hours. And regardless of your student’s ages, it will also require a certain amount of daily commitment on your part.

That said, “Yes! You can homeschool and work”. But make no mistake…it isn’t going to be easy.

There are a couple reasons why someone may need to homeschool and work. The most common occurrence is the single parent. Others may be concerned that they won’t be able to make it on one salary. Whatever your reason, there are several families who have found ways to both homeschool and work.

If you are in the camp of having two working parents, I encourage you to consider your budget priorities and see if there is a way to get by on one salary. As I said before homeschooling is a full time career choice, and you may find that you can get by on one salary by making some adjustments to your family’s budget, or even pairing down to part-time work as opposed to full-time.

Here are a few helpful tips to make homeschooling and working easier.

Pray

Most importantly pray for God to reveal His will for your family. If He is calling you to homeschool, He will also provide you with the means to do that. It will most likely mean making some changes, but with Christ all things are possible. He will make a way for your homeschooling journey if you allow Him to.

 

Look for a job that is flexible

As most of you know, I am author of the homeschooling blog www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com. While I didn’t originally intend this to become a career path, thanks to my readers, it has on some level become a “job”. Thankfully being “self-employed” as such, I can set my own hours. That means I am free to homeschool during the day, and then work in the evenings.

If you already have a job, talk to your boss and see if there is a way you can work from home part time, or if they will allow you to adjust your hours so it better fits your homeschooling needs. If possible, arrange your schedule and your spouse’s schedule, so parents can co-teach. That way they will both be involved in the homeschooling process.

If you are passionate about homeschooling, but find it isn’t feasible in your current job, consider finding a new job that will better fit your goals.

Create a realistic schedule

Keep in mind your unique situation and help create a schedule that fits both the needs of your work and your homeschool. The time of day which you do school is typically not mandated by most state regulations, so getting out of the traditional school schedule may go a long way in helping you successfully homeschool.

If your career requires you work during the day, consider doing school in the afternoons, evenings, or on weekends. When you’re a homeschooling and working parent flexibility is your best friend!

Use curriculum that matches your needs

If you need to work full time consider using an online homeschooling curriculum, or DVD curriculum. While this certainly works better for older students, it can greatly help the working and homeschooling parent. Another option is to choose curriculum that does not require a large amount of pre-planning on your part to make your schooling easier.

Plan ahead

It is essential for the working parent to plan ahead. Having your homeschooling day well planned and setup for your student will go a long way to getting school completed each day. This will require preparation on your part, but the more work you do ahead of time, the less chaos will ensue during school time.

Consider getting help

If your job requires you work during the day, you might want to consider hiring a helper to look after your children while you work. If you cannot work from home, you will need to arrange somewhere for your children to go during the day while you are away.

You’ll also want to consider basic house duties. Can you split them up between the members of your family, or will you need to get help with housework, laundry, and meals? One good way to help with meal time is to consider once-a-month cooking, and freezer meals. Having dinners prepared ahead of time is a great way to alleviate some of the stress of a working parent!

If possible enlist a friend or family member to help take your children to extracurricular activities.

 

Homeschool co-ops

Homeschool co-ops are a great way to give you some time off while also giving your children the opportunity to partake in classes you might not be able to do at home. Some co-ops require parent participation, while others allow you to drop off students.

Most co-ops offer social activities for students such as field trips, spelling bees, geography and science fairs, as well as homeschooling parent nights where you can develop friendships and support for your homeschooling journey.

 

For more information on homeschooling check out my Homeschooling 101: A guide to getting started!

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7 Comments

  • Raechelle September 23, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Darlene, I’d really like to share your post on my facebook page for other friends to see that working and homeschooling isn’t out of the question. I didn’t see a link here, and I didn’t see this article on your facebook page. Could you upload it there so I can share it and make sure anyone who is interested can link to your page? I think this is a really important message, and I think you’re absolutely right. Now that we’ve homeschooled a bit, we can see that actually, it is perfectly do-able. However, as a single mom or working parent, (I’ve been both – actually as a full time teacher, ironically – who didn’t think she was capable of schooling her own kids – lots of messed up thinking – but typical of what other families feel – “I’m not capable of teaching my own kids…)” And if you want to homeschool, the other unstated belief if often “You have to be a stay-at-home parent.” But you are right! This article is just so very much needed – it’s NOT necessary to be a stay home parent! There is such beautiful flexibility in education, and no, it doesn’t take nearly as long to teach as home, as it does for kids to go to school. SO MUCH wasted time at school! It’s so frustrating! Please post this to your facebook page, or direct me to a link. This article – just rocks. Thank you!!!!!

    Reply
  • Jess September 23, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Could you post some things that you are doing with your kids now? I feel like it’s all about your book and I find myself not checking as often to see what you are up to.

    Reply
    • erica September 23, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      Hi Jess,
      Yes, I’m trying to mix in Homeschooling 101 tips for people who haven’t bought it, and show what we’re still doing. But thank you for the request I’ll make sure to get pics in soon!

      Reply
  • Leigh September 23, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    This is such an important message. Thank you. We’re just doing preschool right now but will have a kindergartener soon and we both work. Our schedules allow one of us to be home at all times with our kids. We already know this will be tough but the benefits conquer the toughness!

    Reply
  • Carey September 27, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Hi Erica! I just want to say how much I appreciate your blog and appreciate all that you share! Your blog has offered me more encouragement and practical advice than I can tell you! I refer to it all the time and learn so much from you, thank you for all that you do and share. I just wanted to share that you with! Blessings to you and your family Erica!!!

    Reply
  • Janet Sedano January 17, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Great blog post. I’d love to share it on the Linkedin page for Homeschooling & Working Parents. You’ve shared some information that would be of great benefit to other homeschooling parents who are considering working or who are working. Thanks for this post, Erica.

    Since you’re a working homeschooling mom, you may want to check out this group. It’s called Homeschooling & Working Parents. Here’s the link: http://goo.gl/beJY0N

    Reply

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