For some families thinking of homeschooling, something holds them back: work. When both parents need to work…is it still possible to homeschool?
Yes, it is!
The image of homeschooling is often presented as a stay-at-home mom quietly reading to her kids in the living room. And, while that is a wonderful and beautiful image, homeschooling looks different for every family and every situation.
If you think your family would thrive homeschooling, but neither you nor your spouse can stop working, try picturing homeschooling in a different way. You can homeschool around your work schedule, creatively using the time you do have to teach your kids.
Maybe homeschooling just needs to look a little unique for you!
First…be flexible. One of the beauties of homeschooling is that it allows for a flexible schedule that you can tailor to fit your needs. This could mean something different for every family. Work a 9-to-5 job? You could homeschool at night or on the weekends. Work two or three days a week? Homeschool on the days you don’t work and throw a Saturday in the mix. You can also do school year-round to make up for those lost days! Be creative and flexible. Sometimes all you need to make it work is a little outside-the-box thinking.
Can’t do it all yourself? Enlist the help of others! Don’t feel like you have to be the only teacher for your children. If there are others invested in their lives–a spouse, a grandparent, an aunt or uncle–enlist their help. They can watch your kids while you’re at work and help them with their schoolwork. Your spouse could split the school load with you, possibly teaching the arts while you focus on the sciences. Your kids’ education doesn’t have to fall solely on your shoulders; let someone else who you trust have a part in it!
Consider choosing a curriculum option that’s customized for you and your children. Academies like Bridgeway and other curriculum companies can help you plan your homeschool year. Some, Bridgeway included, provide advisors who help grade assignments and papers, and keep records. They do all the time-consuming work so you just have to focus on what’s important: your children. For the working homeschooler, ensuring they are using the time they have in a productive way not only paves the way for success but also lets them spend more quality time with their kids.
Don’t overlook online classes! They allow your kids to learn from a teacher online even if you’re not available!
Be open to changing jobs. It’s a simple fact…some jobs are easier to work around a homeschool schedule than others. If you’re struggling to make it work, you may need to start looking for a different job. Working from home is another wonderful option as it allows you to be at home with your kids and simultaneously work a full-time job.
Working and homeschooling isn’t easy and it’s not for those afraid of a challenge. It will take a lot of determination, creativity, and a willingness to mess up, laugh over mistakes, and try again.
Don’t rule out homeschooling because you need to be working. Remember: you want your kids to be thriving, so don’t be afraid to try new things to get them there.
Have you ever worked and homeschooled? What worked/didn’t work for you?