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How to Work While Homeschooling

Updated on April 28, 2012

Deciding to Homeschool

Homeschooling is a lifestyle choice and should be a mutual family decision. Before deciding to home educate your children, there are many things to consider, one of these is affordability.

The Financial Impact of Homeschooling

Depending on your financial situation, committing to home education, does have its costs. While there are many free homeschooling resources to take advantage of, homeschooling can have a financial impact on your lifestyle. Luckily there are many options to support your family, the challenge is finding the best solution that fits your individual families' needs.

Homeschooling Offers a Flexible Schedule

One of the most valuable benefits to home educating your children is the freedom in time management. There are certain time requirements, that vary by state, but the "school day" does not need to be restricted to the time when other children are in school. Since home education is a life learning commitment, most homeschoolers often greatly exceed any time requirements set by their state.

Homeschooling is not about spending 6-8 hours a day in a room of your home with textbooks, children at desks, a chalkboard, and a teacher. A home education is the freedom to explore the curiosities of your child's mind and support their innate desire to learn. Giving your child the resources and tools needed to grow into creative-thinking and intellectual adults capable of following their passions and supporting their dreams.

Making it Work

Many homeschoolers enjoy finding thrifty ways of gaining curricular resources, such as books and supplies, or inexpensive/free outings for both education and entertainment purposes.

Here are a few hubs to help out:

Family Dynamics

No matter what your family situation is, if you have the desire to home educate your kids, you can make it work. I've put together some ideas for helping out families with a variety of setups in mind. I hope that you will find them helpful in supporting your family's financial and educational needs.

Single Income Family

While most homeschool families are made up of one parent that works full-time and one parent that stays home to educate the kids, there are many other families who find alternative solutions.

When Both Parents Work Full-Time

Some families may decide that both parents would like or need to work and still choose to homeschool their children. Some ways this may be accomplished are the following:

  • Day/Night Shifts
    If you and your spouse work at opposite times during the day, you may be able to share the responsibilities of home education.
  • Working From Home
    Thanks to modern technology the rate of telecommuting and work at home job opportunities has increased tremendously. Who wouldn't love to work in pajamas once in a while?
  • Hiring Help
    Local college students can be hired as tutors and responsible high schooler's may be interested in earning a few extra dollars being a "mother's" helper or nanny to help care for the children a few hours a day, so you can help take care of life's other necessities (work, groceries, exercise, etc.)

Single Parents Can Homeschool Too

You might have to have heroic powers and if you do, I would love to hear from you...In addition to working from home and hiring help, which I included above, here are the some other ideas I discovered:

  • Help from family & friends or daycare exchange
    Someone always needs something just as much as you do. Making a connection with a friend or family member in exchange for reliable childcare could save you money, as well as, give you time to earn some of your own.
  • Homeschool Co-op
    Sharing with and learning from other homeschoolers in your community can be a great way to connect with others for both you and your child(ren).

Some of Our Photo Highlights

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My bookworm at the librarySuperheroes at local book storeChemistry kits from the libraryPracticing penmanshipHistory workbookBuilding with LEGO MindstormPicking strawberries at CSA farmLearning basketballFuture engineerDrawing
My bookworm at the library
My bookworm at the library | Source
Superheroes at local book store
Superheroes at local book store | Source
Chemistry kits from the library
Chemistry kits from the library | Source
Practicing penmanship
Practicing penmanship | Source
History workbook
History workbook | Source
Building with LEGO Mindstorm
Building with LEGO Mindstorm | Source
Picking strawberries at CSA farm
Picking strawberries at CSA farm | Source
Learning basketball
Learning basketball | Source
Future engineer
Future engineer | Source
Drawing
Drawing | Source

Our Story

The lifestyle that my family has chosen is a bit different. I have a full-time job and am the sole income provider, while my husband is a stay at home dad. In addition, he homeschools our two boys, currently ages 6 & 9. While it does break the mold of the average American lifestyle, it fits our lives perfectly well.

My husband is a truly amazing home educator and our children adore him as both a father and a teacher. They enjoy following a diverse, but well organized schedule to keep them all engaged and interested in learning.

As I mentioned earlier, one of the many benefits to homeschooling is the freedom it brings to your schedule. Homeschooled kids do not have to be learning at the same time as their school-attending peers. Although my kid's do the majority of their learning while I am at work during "normal business hours" I still enjoy actively participating in their home education.

Tips for Working Parents to Stay Engaged in Your Child's Learning

Some of the ways I engage in my children's homeschooling are the following

  • Ask Lots of Questions
    I love to hear them talk over dinner about what they learned and often ask lots of questions. For example, if they said, "George Washington", I would say "Who's he?", and after they explain the subject a bit more, I would continue with, "Why did he do/say/believe that?". I'm always so happy to see how much their faces light up teaching me in return.
  • Plan Educational Activities You Both Enjoy
    I enjoy modern technology, as do my children. So spending some time showing my boys how to use a computer, find fun apps, take photos, or build with LEGO Mindstorm are all ways that we enjoy learning together. These educational opportunities I also include when writing our annual homeschooling progress report.
  • Cooking With Kids
    If you enjoy cooking or even if you don't, cooking with your kids can be lots of fun and offers involving skills that enhance reading, math, chemistry, and physics. It is very much possible to also integrate other subjects, such as history or geography. Try some of our favorite recipes to make together:

Family Dynamic Poll

What is your homeschooling/work arrangement?

See results

Share Your Solution

I'd would be very interested to hear from others what setup works for your family in terms of working arrangements and homeschooling. Please share in the comments below.

Comments

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    • Better Living profile image

      Better Living 4 years ago

      I'm proud to say I'm a homeschool mom. Great hub. ;)

    • teachermum1967 profile image

      teachermum1967 5 years ago

      I'd love to home school our youngest two children; there's lots of great advice here. I am a qualified teacher so that part doesn't worry me, it's organising the finances and family stuff around this, the information here has shown me that it can be done successfully. Thanks for the advice.

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      I seriously considered home-schooling as my elder daughter wasn’t happy in school to begin with, but in the end she chose to stay on. She’s had her challenges but has a good set of friends and is happy now. Her sister was always adamant she wanted to go to school.

      I have several friends who homeschool and like Media Magnate Mom, I am in awe as I don’t think I’d have got any work done if I had - but maybe if I’d had your hub it would have been easier! Most of my friends who do it are self-employed and both parents share the schooling.

      A very interesting hub, and hats off to you!

    • Media Magnate Mom profile image

      Media Magnate Mom 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Wow, I am in awe of you. I find it difficult enough to fit in work between the hours my son is away at preschool. I applaud all parents who choose to take this on! Awesome and voted up.

    • alliemacb profile image

      alliemacb 5 years ago from Scotland

      Home schooling isn't something that's done as much in Scotland as it is in the U.S but I wish it had been an option for me. Your hub is really useful for those who need to work and home school. Voted up.

    • adjkp25 profile image

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      We have home schooled both of our kids for the last six years. Our son is now in high school so he doesn't get the same attention as our daughter (7th grade) but he still does some of his work at home and not all on campus.

      We absolutely love the flexibility that this gives us. We can take some time away anytime we want to which is great when planning around busy amusement parks.

      I work full time but my wife works online and teaches a couple of classes at some local colleges. We really enjoy our arrangement.

      Thanks for putting this together so others can understand why some of us do this. Voted up and useful.