How to Work While Homeschooling
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:
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.
Books to Help
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).
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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?
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.