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Do any HSing mamas work? - Page 2

post #21 of 36

i teach 2 classes at the local community college. i would like to pick up a third, adn if they offered me a full time position, i would have a hard time turning them down. we "school" year round, because some days we just hang out with friends or i am tired from teaching. i teach 2 nights a week. if i got the full time position, we would figure it out. at this point i am so philosophically for homeschooling that it would break my heart to send my girls to school. i am also lucky because i only teach 8 months out of the year. and once i have my lectures and assignments created, it isn't that much outside work.

post #22 of 36

I work about 10 hours a week at a very flexible WAH job, and also take minutes for several local school boards and other groups, which means going to about 8 evening meetings a month and then typing up the minutes some time in the week following the meeting.  Even that small amount of work definitely makes homeschooling harder.  Or maybe I should say it makes me more likely to neglect housework, since doing stuff with the kids tends to win out over housework.  Anyway, there are always things I'd like to be doing that aren't getting done.

post #23 of 36

Yes, I do! I am a quilter and blogger, so I do some of these things on homeschooling days (during rest time or after they go to bed, mainly) and also have dedicated work days on Monday and Thursday.  With only a first grader and preschooler, 3 days a week is plenty of time for dedicated school.  She is doing really well!

post #24 of 36

I homeschool my 5 year old and have a 3 year old at home. I'm also pregnant. I've been working about 12-15 hours a week for the last 8 months, usually 5pm-8pm in the evenings.  It works really well for me.  I like having the extra money of course, and I also need the "adult" time after being with the kids all day.  I wouldn't be able to work these hours if the kids were in school, because I would have so little time with them on weekdays. I also think it's good for my kids and their dad to have that bonding time. My boys have always been very 'mama's boys' (in a good way) but it's just so much easier for him to handle bedtime in his own way without me there.  I think it's totally worth giving a try to see if it works for you.

post #25 of 36

I work 40 hours a week (work 3.5 days a week).  I have an almost 6 yo in kinder and a 3 year old.  Our school days are Sun, Mon, Tues, and a half day weds (since I start at 1 pm that day).  The rest of that day and my work days of thurs- Sat are spent at a sitter's or with my parents.  My daughter generally goes to preschool 5 days a week so I can focus on my son, however the last two weeks I haven't been able to afford that so I have just been including her.  It works for now but....as he gets older (and if we're still homeschooling) he'll have more work to do on his own.  It works for now but I can easily see bumps in the road...aka where he'll go during the day when he gets older.  I'm a single mother so it's not like there's too many options.

post #26 of 36

I was looking for the most recent hs + wohm thread, and this seemed to be it. I wanted to bump it to see if there are others who can chime in or just share their experiences.

 

I work a technically FT job. But half those hours are flexible. (I teach mornings, do prep/admin/paperwork in the afternoons). DD1 went from 3rd grade last year to homeschooling this year. She's 10, and so I wanted to share that at least for me, hsing is a really different thing with an older kid - for us, in a good way.

She went to a great small private school, and learned a lot there. Mostly we switched to home because she & I both wanted to, and it suits the way she learns much better. She happens to be really independent, though, and by this year is a totally independent (and avid) reader. Also writes and uses a computer independently.

 

For me, it works to hs an older kid while working. She can understand my schedule and work needs and we can help each other out, honestly.

We also started the year with a 3 year old, however, (now 4) and we decided to keep her in school. It's a great preschool and she loves it, so that helped the decision. But I am also POSITIVE I could never have made it work with both home.

 

Here's what works for us:

1. DH has a different schedule from me (12-8), so he's home when I work - though not homeschooling, only sleeping, lol. Still it gives some flexibility.

2. DD wants to be independent for a lot of her learning. We use a ton of books for reading and computers.

3. She can come to work with me in the afternoons, and I have a teaching-related work environment, full of resources.

4. As someone else said, I LOVE my job and it pays well for what it is. It is a field I'd like to stay in.

 

Here's what doesn't:

1. I feel stretched and divided ALL OF THE TIME. A day when I do well at work is a day I neglect homeschooling. And vice versa. Sometimes I play hooky to do a cool field trip or activity or homeschool group and I pay for it majorly with work.

2. Nothing seems to get my full attention ever - including DD1, DD2, marriage, and the housework (what housework?)

3. Trying to connect with other hsing families is reall hard. They are free more than we are - and while I'd love dd to have playdates, I can't reciprocate much, because life is so packed, and she gets lonely. If I weren't working the social part would be a bigger focus.

4. My feeling stressed from juggling things changes how I parent. When dd1 was little, I was home. Now dd2 gets no where near as much of my full attention and I am much less creative and patient.

 

 So that's my experience, for what it's worth. Would love to hear from others!

 

- mb

 

post #27 of 36

My dh and I are both now self-employed--we run a business together, and both of us freelance in different fields as well.  We both work about full-time hours when you add it up.  We are aiming to hire help within a month, though.  Our time is flexible, our kids can be at our bookstore any time, and we are totally responsible for dividing our schedule as needed.  But we have to work a lot of hours and it's really hard. 

 

Employment for moms is a difficult aspect of homeschooling.  It is hard to commit to being a SAHM long-term, or to the precarious balance of having to divide your attention and time so many ways. 

 

There are no simple answers.  It's hard to work and homeschool, whether working at home or not, even "only" part-time.  But it can be done if it is really important to you.  A lot of homeschool moms work part time in some way.  But employment and financial pressures are a top reason some families quit homeschooling too. 

post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlest birds View Post

 But employment and financial pressures are a top reason some families quit homeschooling too. 

 

Thanks for your thoughts. I think this makes sense. It's a lot to juggle, and hard to feel like you aren't doing a great job for your kids. I feel so committed to homeschooling philosophically, and can see how hard it would be for my DD to go back (into middle school no less!).

 

So mostly I find myself thinking about quitting work rather than enrolling her in school. Where we live public school isn't an option we consider, so it's a cost to put her back into a small Quaker school or similar lovely but pricey environment.

I don't think I can sustain work and hsling personally, so something's got to give.

 

I'd love to hear other experiences or thoughts too.

 



 

 

post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabutterfly View Post

 

Thanks for your thoughts. I think this makes sense. It's a lot to juggle, and hard to feel like you aren't doing a great job for your kids. I feel so committed to homeschooling philosophically, and can see how hard it would be for my DD to go back (into middle school no less!).

 

So mostly I find myself thinking about quitting work rather than enrolling her in school. Where we live public school isn't an option we consider, so it's a cost to put her back into a small Quaker school or similar lovely but pricey environment.

I don't think I can sustain work and hsling personally, so something's got to give.

 

I'd love to hear other experiences or thoughts too.

 

 



 

Life has seasons.  You may find it easier to work while homeschooling later.  



 

post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlest birds View Post

 

 

There are no simple answers.  It's hard to work and homeschool, whether working at home or not, even "only" part-time.  But it can be done if it is really important to you.  A lot of homeschool moms work part time in some way.  But employment and financial pressures are a top reason some families quit homeschooling too. 

I work part time at my own housecleaning business.  My husband is a self-employed gardener.   I make good wages doing this, per hour anyway.  We are absolutely committed to homeschooling.  But here's our recent hard knock: after being kicked off our state-subsidized health insurance due to an inheritance, we made the hard decision of dropping dh's and my insurance (the girls are still covered by Medicaid).  As much as I could research, there was just nothing we could afford, not even catastrophic insurance, in part because the benefits were so bad on top of an already unsustainable premium.  This is the kind of thing that sends some parents into the school system, I am sure.  Right now we are rock bottom, in part because the girls are still young and require so much supervision still.  I look forward to the day that I can add more work, and hopefully we won't have a stroke before the 3-5 year waiting list reaches our name to reenroll!  (I am also hopeful that *something* attainable can be devised before then.  I have my fingers crossed anyhow!)
 

 

post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabutterfly View Post

 

Thanks for your thoughts. I think this makes sense. It's a lot to juggle, and hard to feel like you aren't doing a great job for your kids. I feel so committed to homeschooling philosophically, and can see how hard it would be for my DD to go back (into middle school no less!).

 

So mostly I find myself thinking about quitting work rather than enrolling her in school. Where we live public school isn't an option we consider, so it's a cost to put her back into a small Quaker school or similar lovely but pricey environment.

I don't think I can sustain work and hsling personally, so something's got to give.

 

I'd love to hear other experiences or thoughts too.

 



 

 



It's just a different cost/benefit breakdown for everyone.  I find the mandatory attendance schedule personally devastating because it controls our lives too much, but some of that has to do with how I am about doing things according to others' plans and timetable.  Our family is also involved in community music and dance activities locally (and dh does some of his freelance work at these dances and is trying to build toward more) and to participate means being able to be up late many evenings.  Even if it's just weekends those evenings really mess with kids who need to be up at 6:00 AM Monday morning.  My kids do learn folk dance and play music and things like that and we would lose the ability to do at least half of those activities we now do as a family if they were in school. 

 

There are no alternative options besides public school here but I think our public schools are pretty good.  However, I have a special needs child who was not being served well in school.  I believe that no matter what they did, it was a bad environment for him.  I also felt very unhappy with our teen's previous school experiences.    

 

So my kids have been in school before, a few times in and out for my oldest.  Some of that had to do with work pressures and some with thinking they would be better off.  But ultimately, if I am able, I would prefer to change the work rather than stop homeschooling.  That would include quitting if I could afford it.  We've already tried various approaches and I feel our family loses something precious when kids are in school.  It wouldn't be the end of the world to have them in school if it was necessary but as long as it isn't we'll stick with homeschooling.  Like you I would be thinking of quitting if I could. 

 

Would your family ultimately, including yourself, be more happy if your lives included school?  I cannot even begin to guess the answer for you.  But I really sympathize with feeling overextended and that you are not giving enough attention to the children.  I understand.  It sounds like you would miss your work if you left?  How much will you miss it?  Is this major personal fulfillment, is it essential survival income?  I think you will feel divided and impatient with your little one compared to when your older one was little if they are in school too, but perhaps a little bit less so.  There will still seem to be very little time at the end of the day for togetherness, attention for each will be in smaller portions than in the old days, and they will be gone a lot.  But a Quaker school would also attract my interest if it were me...  I wish I could help but I just want to wish you success in finding the best arrangement for your family.

post #32 of 36

I work part time, from home. I'm a writer and also teach writing. Usually I teach one evening a week and write a couple of mornings when my seven year old is with his grandparents... plus I try to squeeze in writing time here and there. It works well for me, mostly. I have less time to write than I would like (and less than I expected-- we hadn't planned to homeschool, and after a year and a half, although I love having my son and home and think it absolutely the best option for him, I feel like I am still adjusting to the shift in expectations). I figure it is all temporary-- at seven, he still wants and needs a lot of my time and attention but this will not always be the case. So I am trying to slow down on the writing and be okay with that, and really be present with him. I have to say though, that although it sometimes feels busy juggling both, I do like my work.

post #33 of 36

When we home schooled our 3 girls, I worked very part time answering the phone for a self-employed contractor.  In the morning he would transfer the calls to my phone and I had an answering machine for when I couldn't answer.  If the call was important, I'd page/call him and give him the message.  This was back in the mid 80s so probably isn't as relevant now with cell phones.  I did alterations and dressmaking at home.

 

Now we are home schooling our son (14, in 8th grade).  Dylan has school 4 days a week.  I have a full-time dressmaking business in our home.  He has a school desk in my sewing room.  We do math and la (spelling and grammar, discussing the literature book--currently Huck Finn) in the morning when he needs my help the most.  Afternoons he is on his own for history, science and reading.  I am available for help and to answer questions.  Science experiments are done under my supervision; occasionally with my active participation--they are fun to do.  I sew about 6-7 hours a day. Mon.-Wed. and Fri. with dinner dividing the time.  Thursday I spend at the business that I have a sewing contract with; Dylan has no assignments on that day outside reading his literature selection.  Saturdays I sew all day.  Sunday is family time unless I have a deadline which happens several times a year and I can plan on them.

post #34 of 36
I work part time, about 20 hours a week with our church. Two afternoons a week, about 8 hours total, the kids, dd4.5 and ds 6 mo's stay with a friend, then DH picks them up so I can work another hour or so. My other hours are flexible, evenings, naps, weekends, some from home, some as DH cares for the kids. During the week, we try to do chores, a little intentional learning in the mornings, then play, outings, etc., in the afternoons.

It's early in the homeschooling journey for us, but I'm hoping that as DD needs more learning time, she'll also have more capacity for independent work. I really love my work, getting to use some different gifts and passions, modeling that for my kids, helping to bring in a little income... I involve them in work when I can. And I love and trust the friend they stay with 2x a week, similar parenting styles, but also great differences for the kids to be blessed by, so even that feels like a win.

The downside: the prep for the afternoons they stay at my friend's. Days I feel distracted by something I really want to do in one sphere when I'm supposed to be working on another. Tiredness. We can't do fun things only available on the days I work.

But really, I love working part-time. It feels like the best of both worlds. I'm very grateful for my job.
post #35 of 36

I work 1-2 days a week and homeschool.  It works out well when I work 1 and it feels overwhelming when I work 2.  I have worked more and DH had to pick up the slack and I did not feel very positive about the whole situation.  If you can do 4-7pm that might just have to work.  Maybe DH can even pick up extra work or find a second job.  My DH has been working overtime so I can work less and that has been a huge help financially and emotionally for me.  Good luck with your journey.

post #36 of 36

Oops - I didn't realize I wasn't subscribed to get automatic notification of responses! Thanks to each of you for sharing about your experiences. It is really helpful to me to hear about what different families have been doing to try to strike a balance.

 

As I read about some of your experiences (sewing and Huck Finn sounds delightful! love.gif) I realize that it isn't quite the juggling but the sheer amount that I am trying to hold together that isn't working. It really would be ideal to just be home 100% for my kids right now, but there are some good reasons to work, and I wonder if I could make it part-time instead of full-time.

 

It's is conceivable that I could try to make that shift happen with my employer... I work for a small non-profit, and I love my work (running adult literacy classes, both teaching myself and training tutors). It's a few blocks from my house, when I need to I can just bring my kids in a pinch. There's some time flexibility. And I don't want to "lose" it because it would be hard to find a spot like it say in a few years.

But they are talking about hiring a p/t teacher next fall and I could think about offering to be the p/t and having them hire a f/t instead. I'd lose income but stop paying daycare (and I tell myself I would save money on the meals I don't have time to prepare, the person who helps clean the house, etc etc etc - It's expensive to be so overstretched, lol!!)

 

The later it gets into the spring the more I realize that by not having enrolling either of my girls somewhere else for the fall I am sort of making a decision to have both home (maybe a little preschool for dd2 who is 4 if I was to be part time, just not f/t daycare).

 

I feel like I find so few families around here who homeschool and work -- or if they do that have no time to socialize, lol! So it's really good to chat with other moms about how they make it work.

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