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What does your life look like?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

 

I am most likely going to homeschool my three children (12, 10, 8) next year.  This would not be my first time homeschooling.  I homeschooled my 12 year old for a year in first grade.  I am excited to homeschool them and looking forward to the opportunity. This was a kind of unexpected decision, but we are homeschooling due to the public school not meeting my son's needs (it never really has, but starting middle school has been particularly tough).  My girls are fine in school, but they will want to come home so, unless they tell me otherwise, I'll bring them home, too (they ask to homeschool at least monthly, so... heh).  I am finishing up my BA online and had planned on taking a year off, then applying for a Master's program in my area.  I also work part time online (between 8-15 hours a week).  I had thought I would abandon getting my Master's but lately I really feel like I don't want to do that.  I found a local program that is a mix of online and in person classes and is offered part time.  This makes my desire to earn a master's reasonable again.  But is it really?  What kind of moms are homeschooling?  I have this vision of mostly stay at home moms schooling their children.  I'm not asking about what your children do or what your schooling philosophy is as much as what do YOU, as a mom, do?  Are there other moms who homeschool their children and work or are students themselves?  How much time does it take out of your day?  I'd love to hear about your experiences and what you do. Thanks!!! 

post #2 of 20

Interesting question. Here's how I allocate my time.

 

3 hours a week providing transportation to the two of my children who attend school.

14 hours a week getting my homeschooler and my other kids to activities in a nearby town (we're very rural) for choir, dance classes and gymnastics. 

2+ hours a week teaching/playing violin (a few weeks a year this is more like 20 hours a week, but normally 2)

6 hours a week working as a family physician, plus 2 hours a week on medical education activities.

4 hours a week on volunteer work (though this varies a lot, from almost nothing to 20+ hours)

7 hours a week running/exercising

3 hours a week dedicated to directly supporting my homeschooler's academic and project-oriented learning needs

 

The remainder is "all the rest..." Housekeeping, cooking, reading, writing, going to community meetings, living life alongside my homeschooler, hanging out with all my kids and dh or engaging in family recreational activities, occasional intensive weeks doing professional violin gigs, staying in touch with my eldest (who lives away from home) and with extended family, practicing violin, arranging music, etc.

 

I feel like I have a decent balance with enough down time. For a number of years I had four kids all homeschooling and all busy with away-from-home activities, several needing my direct help to practice various musical instruments each day and I was doing a fair bit more violin teaching (10-12 hours a week). Back then I didn't have that balance and suffered from lack of time to pursue my own interests.

 

Miranda

post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowmix View Post
 

 What kind of moms are homeschooling?  

I think there are ALL KINDs of moms (and dads) homeschooling.  

 

I was the "stay at home" mom who homeschooled.  2012 was rough, financially and we needed to find a viable way for me to bring in a bit of income.  I learned to do taxes, recently passed all three parts to the EA exam, and am now working 15-20 hpw during tax season.  My kids are 14, 11, and 8.  None of them have needs that prevent me from taking on a part time job.  They are all pretty good with independent work.  We have done some of the part time programs before, but this year we are "just homeschooling" and I have got to say, I love it this way the best.  My homeschooling style is eclectic.  I use some curriculum and then we also have an unschooly approach for other subjects.  I have episodes of self-doubt, but I do really think that homeschooling is the best choice for our family.  I can't speak for everyone, but I really think that homeschooling has made the "teen" years go smoothly--of course, I am still on the beginning of that road, but this is comparing my dd with her public school friends.  

 

Remember, the decision can be reversed.  I think you can do it (and get your master's as well).  Good luck. 

 

Amy

post #4 of 20

For me it's pretty easy going. I AM a homeschool mom, I run the house hold, and eventually I would like to do photography and I am teaching myself so I am not taking classes. I don't work or earn any sort of income. 

post #5 of 20
I've been surprised so far at how little time it takes! I really think it adds up to less time than some of the time my public schooling friends spend at school related tasks. Since our oldest was born dh has run his own business during the day (so pretty flexible hours) and I work part time outside the home at night (8-1am) three or four times a week.
Dd12 (8th grade) spends about 2-3 hours a day on her work but other than the occasional question is entirely independent. She usually chooses to do most of it while I engage dd5 elsewhere because she likes quiet. wink1.gif
Our outside activities vary widely so that can range from one to twenty hours per week of DH or I transporting kids to various activities.
Getting your Masters with a part time program would totally be feasible IMO. Most of the homeschooling parents I know either work and/or go to school themselves.
post #6 of 20

I work very part time.  Both dh and I are self-employed and we've worked out no childcare options, so we are with them full time.  I have been interested in restarting college, but have decided "not now" for the time management aspect of it.  I am not very skilled at making use of the time during my days, and if on some day I have to leave in the middle of the day I can't seem to function very effectively doing short snippets of tasks and making the most of my time at home.  Similarly, if I've been out most of the morning, I get home and feel discombobulated (such a relief someone thinks that's a real word and my spellchecker had no issue with it, but it describes perfectly how I feel) and I can barely get my head together to get dinner on the table.

 

So I've chosen to wait on the schooling.  My girls are 7 and 9 and I'm anticipating a greater involvement and more in depth projects and needs and I really want to be there for it.  I like being able to take the whole week off to join the girls in the poultry barn at the county fair with answering to anybody.  I like scheduling camping trips for whenever works for our family. 

 

That's the personal decision I've made.  I know myself and my challenges and I'm not ready to add more to the mix.  I'm *enjoying* myself.  I have plenty that I can learn for myself and I'm not really concerned with finishing a degree by a certain time.  I'm also not seeking a degree for any other reason than it's the way I can go deeper into what I'm interested in.

 

For now, for now, I choose to wait and just focus on the homeschooling.  But that's a personal decision, based on my life and myself and my priorities.

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone!  I'm really digging everyone's answers.  It's nice to see how many different types of homeschooling parents there are out there and a good many do do something on the side.  mooninmamma, I loved how you broke down your time!  It was really interesting.  I hadn't really thought about time transporting kids to activities!  

 

I am taking a year off anyway, so it will give me a chance to explore things, deschool my son (I don't know that my daughters will necessarily need it, but my son does) and find our path.  Then I'll weigh my options and see how I feel at the end of that year.  

 

If anyone else wants to chime in, I'd love to hear!  :)

post #8 of 20

We just started our hs journey after Christmas, previously we've never done it before.  Kids are 10, 8, 5 and a 6 mo old.  Previously I was doing daycare parttime and working parttime at the kids school.  I stopped both when we started hs'ing, thinking temporarily I'll get my feet wet with hs'ing until we found a routine/rhythm, and then go back to doing daycare parttime again (was watching 2 kids 2 days/week).  Right now, I am SO glad I stopped working, and my advice would be that its good you will also be taking a year off.  I am overwhelmed, but NOT in a bad way, I/we LOVE homeschooling so far, I'm just overwhelmed in a never-have-done-this-before way.  My life looks like me, trying to figure out our rhythm every day...some days we stay in pajamas doing science experiments until 2 pm.  Some days school seems like its 4 hrs.  Other days the older kids get taken to an all day outdoor program, and I have 1:1 time with my kindergartener and baby.  Still other days we don't do any book work, and our lives are very unschooly.  I also (along with dh) drive the kids to sports and karate, we have playdates, friends sleepover, etc.  I have *just* figured out how to successfully get alone time every day, by getting up when dh gets up (at 530), having coffee with him before he goes to work, and enjoying a quiet house while I either exercise, email, look ahead at the limited curriculum we do, etc until the kids start getting up at 7.  

 

I am an optimist and a true believer of the notion that we can create and live exactly the life we want.  So, I think you can do whatever you want, and furthermore you will probably end up choosing curriculum (or not choosing any!), or choosing classes, or co-ops, based on what you figure you want the flow of your life to look like.  Things to consider would be, what support do you have, are there good friends or family or neighbors who can help carpool to the kids events (this includes anything from hs classes to sports to playdates).  Do you have a reliable babysitter for when you are working, maybe one who can help with schoolwork if you go a more curriculum heavy hs?  IME, the more support you have, the easier it will be to juggle multiple balls, giving yourself plain free time to time for you to work, study or be in class.  

post #9 of 20
I work 45-60 hrs per week outside of the home-graveyard, and homeschool my 7th and 9th grader, and chase after a toddler. In my spare time, I do the housework. Lol. Luckily, my husband is a stay at home dad, so he pays all the bills and grocery shops and runs all the errands, and watches the kids when I have to sleep, so that helps tremendously. Its like having two full time jobs, and never easy, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.
post #10 of 20

Hi,

 

This is a great question! I currently homeschool both my kids; one is my daughter, who's aged 11 and the other is my son, aged 7. Fortunately, homeschooling doesn't take up too much time for me. With my son, I focus on teaching him the basics (math and English, with science and social studies offered on alternate days). With him it takes me between 45 minutes to an hour to teach. My daughter pretty much is an independent learner, so she does her work by herself and all I have to do is check it and go over whatever new concepts she learned for the day. She also takes between 45 minutes to an hour to study. As for myself, I'm a part-time freelance writer working from home. I write for the website Examiner.com and here's my Examiner page: Examiner

 

Writing for them doesn't take up too much time, since I only try to write one article per week. Hope this helps and good luck with your studies and with homeschooling!

post #11 of 20

I'm a single mom and work from home full-time, mostly at night, but a couple of hours during the day most days as well.  I'm homeschooling dd, who is in first grade and ds, who is almost 4.  We were doing a cyber charter, which wanted about 5 hours a day, but now stopped that and will be aiming for closer to 2 hours of "direct" instruction (though hopefully dd won't realize that is what it is!) and the rest just life experience.  She also does a few activities a week.

post #12 of 20

I'm not a student but I do work at home while also home schooling our 16 yo son.  We started his home school journey with 6th grade (beginning of middle school here) because middle school would have eaten him alive.  My schedule (roughly) breaks down like this: 

 

Monday and Wednesday: take Dylan to classes (Chemistry and Humanities at the charter school, 8:45-3:10); work at home; after his classes run errands and dinner; work if needed (I work 30 hours a week at home and 6-7 hours one day a week at the shop).

 

Tuesday: work at the shop.  Evening spent with the family.

 

Thursday, Friday, Saturday:  Algebra with Dylan in the morning; work in the afternoon and evening.  Thursday evening is Bible study.  Saturday is library day for Dylan and dh.  Dh also takes Dylan to archery class on Saturday and Wednesday evening practice.

 

Sunday: church and family time

 

And then there are the changes/interruptions:  watching grandchildren; helping out with my dad (85 and not in good health); field trips with Dylan, etc.  Dylan is home schooled through a local charter school. The school follows the traditional school year but we do school year round.  To fit in with the school calendar, we start our home school year in July and end in June with the charter school.

post #13 of 20

It would drive me batty if I "just" homeschooled.  But I have a huge help in that my husband stays at home so I don't need to worry about leaving the kids unsupervised.  He doesn't do homeschooling himself, but he's at home overseeing them more or less.  So, with that said.. here is roughly how I set up the day.

 

Get up, breakfast, chores.  I get fully dressed, make sure the house is good to go, etc.

Quick "meetup" with the kids and hand out what they're going to be working on.

I go to "work" - ie drop the baby off at the Y childcare and write on my laptop.  It's only two hours a day, but I get a LOT done in that time, and there's no Internet to distract me.  On the days that someone is sick, or I can't go, I get pretty stir crazy.

I come home, go over morning work, worksheets, etc.  Kids go play while I make lunch.  (Or they help.)

We have lunch, we all have "quiet rest time" (the baby naps, the kids do their silent reading, I catch up on bills/phone calls or do some reading of my own.

Afternoon - we either do some homeschool group thing, library trip, "main lesson" (where we learn about a topic together), art project, nature walk, sport lesson... etc.

Dinner

After dinner, I QUIT.  The kids can basically do whatever.  ;)  They usually play or unwind with a movie.  I either do some more writing or I unwind with a computer game.  The baby plays in the playroom (where my computer is) and we interact on and off - she likes independent play already, and every few minutes we check in, but otherwise we just relax.  Sometimes DH and I will watch a movie together and order a pizza as our "date night."  Basically, this is the time when if I WAH or was a student, this is when I'd do it.

 

We do this six days a week.  Realistically at least once or twice a week we'll do it looser and run errands or something.  Around here the village goes crazy on the weekends with everyone shopping at once, so if we need to go to the grocery store or general store or whatever we'll do it sometime midweek.  Or if we just want to take a day off here or there, we will.

 

Anyway, my biggest time sink is finding appropriate curriculum / workbooks / etc. for the kids.  I try to find stuff they can mostly do on their own.

 

My biggest saving grace is that I don't have the pressure a working mom / student would have, with deadlines.  If we're sick, I don't stress, I just take the day off.  Some days I have a lot of free time, other days less so.  If I was on a strict deadline I might get way stressed on the days when all three kids are sick and I just can't make it to do my work for a week or so.  But if you're better than me and can manage your deadlines better, I see that as do-able.

post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

I think I would be restless if I didn't do anything else, too, though I also have hobbies I would like to pursue.  The deadlines I have are not set in stone.  They are more guidelines and I try to meet them as best I can.  My job is fairly brainless, but it pays for some lessons for the kids and for me to get my hair done (LOL!).  aim4balance, I agree with you about that year off being valuable.  I think it will be essential for us to find out rhythm and routine.  It also helps that my husband is very much on board and will be happy to help.  He already helps out a lot with housework, or dinner, etc, if I am busy.  I have a good network of school parents, but no network of homeschoolers.  I will need to look at building that up.  

 

Thanks yall!  :joy

post #15 of 20

I left my job as a research scientist when I had my kids. When DS (my youngest) was about 2 I started a consulting business, working mostly from home. Did that until last year. It was very part time, but paid well. But I realized that if I ever wanted my business to grow I would have to do some serious self-marketing and self-promotion and that is just not who I am. So last year to bring in some extra income I got a job as an academic editor and I work online, set my own hours and I love the work. So much that I closed down my consulting business and now do this exclusively. 

 

We are very relaxed homeschoolers and it takes very little of my time. My daughter is very self-directed and spends most of her time drawing (both on paper and digital art), creating animations (digital though she has experimented with stop-motion and claymation), creating websites, writing short stories, planning out her next comic/book/movie (she actually spends way more time planning these things than finishing them but it's still work, lol). She has started experimenting with online courses like ModCraft from Youth Digital and has puttered around doing math on Khan Academy.

 

My son is involved in a few therapies for his autism, attends an after-school program twice a week, etc. He needs a lot of down time due to sensory issues, so at home he spends a lot of time in his room watching videos (he loves anything related to video games, like reviews, let's-plays, walkthroughs, etc), but he goes outside to play regularly, has friends over, and goes to a drop-in gym program twice a week.

 

I do math with my son twice a week for about 30 minutes a session (we use Dreambox Learning). And I do Project-Based Homeschooling with the kids, devoting 1 or 2 hours a week to sitting down with them and acting as a "mentor" for whatever project they choose to work on. 

 

I've recently upped my work hours and am now working a lot, which has cut into my homeschooling time more than i'd like. But DH is currently out of work and we need the extra income. He's been very helpful in driving the kids around to their various activities and making meals, etc. but doing stuff like PBH is not really his thing. I'm trying to give myself a break and not stress over my lack of attention to them recently. I've learned from experience that they can survive such things quite well. ;-)

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
 

 

3 hours a week dedicated to directly supporting my homeschooler's academic and project-oriented learning needs

 

Miranda

Miranda,

 

I'm probably completely misunderstanding this, but if I'm not, how do you manage to only spend 3 hours a WEEK helping your homeschooler with learning? I'm spending more than that much EACH DAY with my son! Now this includes helping him with his cello practice (or at least portions of it), but still. If I'm not there, he doesn't even get dressed in the morning or brush his teeth! 

How do you get your kid(s) to do most of their stuff this independently? Or does my son really have ADHD and is he not the norm? I'm pretty much spending my entire day with him, so it seems like something is off with our schedule. I'm constantly yearning some time for myself, for practicing my violin, but that hardly ever happens except either early in the morning before he wakes up (which is often quite late these days, around 8 am or so), or after he goes to bed (at 8:30, but he has trouble going to sleep and most nights doesn't fall asleep until 10 or 10:30 pm).

 

For me, something has to change, I just can't figure out what, or how...

post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ewink View Post
 

I'm probably completely misunderstanding this, but if I'm not, how do you manage to only spend 3 hours a WEEK helping your homeschooler with learning?

 

Hmm, well, we're unschoolers, and she's older, I suppose those two factors form the crux of it. She's pretty mature for being newly 11, and the academic work and other learning-related stuff she does is driven by her interests so it tends to be pretty efficient and self-motivated. Her learning often looks more like leisure than like schooling, although she can sometimes be very focused and school-like too. There are a few areas where she likes a nudge now and then, or appreciates my involvement, so that's where the 3 hours comes in. This past week I've helped give her feedback on a poem she wrote, read her a bit of ancient history, helped her explore some science (optics, due to her current passion for photography) and spent an hour or so helping her with photography and photo-editing.

 

She's been practicing violin independently for a couple of years. She reads a ton, both fiction and non-fiction. She likes documentaries. She often sits down with a non-fiction book, or a series of videos on-line, in order to learn about something that has piqued her interest. She enjoys doing math bookwork, and keeps at it regularly even without reminders. She listens to podcasts about all sorts of topics while we travel to and from the city for dance and gymnastics and during those drives we have huge wide-ranging discussions about politics, science, behavioural psychology, medicine, economics, anything really. She enjoys challenging herself with educational apps on her iPod. She likes taking interest-based courses and classes that are offered around our community (these days violin, ballet, jazz dance, gymnastics, snowboarding and a recent intensive babysitting certification course). Taken altogether it's a lot of learning, so I don't feel any need to impose a school-like regimen on her.

 

Miranda

post #18 of 20

I am a midwife and a homeschooling mom. Four of my children are school-aged. Lately, I've been assigning the kids' schoolwork a month at a time, adding things that come up as we go. That takes me about four hours a month (for the big planning session) and another 20-30 min once a week (ish).

 

I generally have two full days a week of prenatal and postpartum appointments, plus 2-4 births a month and a midwifery workshop/class once or twice a month. I put in another hour or two a week on marketing, not counting events. On the days that I'm working, we have a babysitter here with the kids who oversees the schoolwork.

 

On the days that I'm home, I spend about 4-5 hours overseeing and helping with kids' schoolwork. This is our second year participating in a home/charter school, so we have to do "attendance" online every "school" day. We do a field trip every 4-6 weeks. We have a weekly trip to the library.

 

My husband does a lot of the housework and cooking, along with our older children. I probably spend about 20-30 minutes a day on housework. I make 1-3 trips to the grocery store a week. 

post #19 of 20

It's been 30 years since our family started our home schooling adventure.  I didn't start out with the schedule that I have now.  When we were home schooling our girls, most of the school work occurred in the morning,  They did their thing and I did mine in the afternoons.  We could be in the same room but doing separate things--reading, playing with play dough, using the art stuff, playing with the Legos, sewing, playing outside with the neighbor kids when they got home from school.  Your time will look different from the rest of us.  I have always included personal time for what was important to me--sewing, reading, doing puzzles--even when my first was born.  In the early years, I would have to carve that time out between nursing, changing diapers, and being interrupted by the needs of the baby and toddler.  So most of that personal time came in the evenings and on the weekends when dh was home.  Now. there is only Dylan at home and he is 16 so doesn't require the same level of parenting as when he was a baby/toddler.  So I have more time during the day for me.  And, other than the one day a week I'm at the shop, when and how much I work on a given day is totally up to me.

post #20 of 20

I'm not Miranda, but I would say that I, too, devote maybe 3 or 4 hours per week to homeschooling. In a good week, lol.

 

Part of it is that I don't have a big list of things I think they are "supposed" to learn. They both started reading at a very early age, so really after that point they could find information on their own. They have their interests and they know an awful lot about those interests, then they have general knowledge about basic things that you really can't help learning about as you go through life. They know less about a wider range of topics than school kids, but they know more about specific topics than school kids, so it sort of evens out. And because the things they are most interested in, and learn deeply about, change every few months, in the end they tend to cover a lot of ground.

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