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can you homeschool but not be at home all the time?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I suppose I need to ask some local HS'ers, but I wanted to get a range of answers.

DH and I believe that homeschooling is the best way to educate our children. Unfortunately, we don't see a future where one of us is at home full time. At the preschool age there are still many options for places our kids could go for a couple hours a day, maybe 2 or 3 days a week, where they can be creative but not "schooled". But as the kids get past the age of four or five, those options disappear. Ideally, I'd love to have my kids involved in activities that continue to foster creativity and self-motivated learning, and we really want a mixed-age "one room schoolhouse" sort of group for that, and then do HS between us two parents the rest of the time.

Does anybody do this? Do HS organizations provide for giving parents "day's off" or even half days off during the week?

post #2 of 9
I know very few homeschoolers who are home most of the time!

When Rain was early school-age, it was more like lots of playdates with other homeschoolers. By 6 or 7, she was happy to spend long periods of time at a friend's house, and then another day a friend or two would come over here, and they would literally spend hours doing things together without needing any adult intervention. Some moms liked to do more project-type things, so they'd invite Rain and a few other kids over to make cheese or go tidepooling or whatever... I never got that fancy, so I would take groups to the park and push them on swings.

As she got older, she developed stronger interests, so she'd spend a couple of hours a time at rehearsal, or soccer practice... there were various class-type things aimed at homeschoolers, some of which were too schooly for us, but some of which she really enjoyed, like at a science center or nature center. She also started volunteering at a historic farm at age 8, without me... I think most of the options for bigger kids are aimed only at homeschoolers, because it's assumed that other kids that age will be in school most of the day. So until you're active in that community, you may not know they even exist...

post #3 of 9
Our homeschool group is forming a "Mother's Morning Out" type of program in which, once a week, one of the members will host the children of other members for some sort of informal learning activity while the other mothers go about their own business. Even though this is a group for young homeschoolers, we plan to continue as a group as our children age, and we plan to continue this co-op type of get-together.

Also, our parks and rec department has a lot of homeschooler activities during the day.

Also, you could take advantage of reciprocal playdates with like-minded families.

post #4 of 9
Around here, once they hit 3 or so the daycare centers all seem to think they're preschools. You can certainly direct your child's education yourself while still needing to use childcare in several ways.

You might find a high-school aged homeschooler willing to babysit your DD in your home or hers (where presumably she would also have a parent to fall back on for advice).

You could find someone who does in-home childcare. I can certainly see, if DD hits "school" age while I'm still in school myself (and therefore in need of childcare), feeling out if R, her current childcare provider, is willing to continue watching her. With the in-home setting I have no expectation that she's "teaching" DD or the other preschooler/babies. She goes there and plays, gets fed, etc. In other words, it's childcare, not "preschool", which is what I prefer. After a while she might get bored with all younger kids around, but I'm sure it could be managed.
post #5 of 9
When I was around 15 I was homeschooled and did daytime babysitting for other homeschoolers... maybe you could look into that? I am in the same boat as you, though. Wanting to homeschool, but not forseeing a time when one of us will be home full time with the kids.
post #6 of 9
As my kids have gotten older, homeschool classes have taken the place of playgroups and playschools during the daytime hours as a place for the kids to be without me. Of course the types of classes and their structure is going to vary greatly.

I am a home daycare provider and would jump at the chance to have another homeschooled child in my care during the day. Home daycare seems to be a booming business for homeschoolers in my area, as I personally know of 5 families who do this! It might be something to look into.

Another option would be to take advantage of afterschool activities at childcare centers, YMCA, and other community organizations. You might be able to find a program that fits your needs and provides the type of environment you want, if you can make these hours work.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
thanks,everyone! dar, what you did sounds great! i know there is a large homeschooling community here...i'll have to get in touch with them.
post #8 of 9
I homeschool my 9 yr old dd and am quite busy otherwise as well. Sometimes I feel badly about how many other things I have going on (I'm taking 2 classes, I work from home, and spend a fair bit of afternoon time playing taxi to 2 kids), but my dd is much happier being home even if I am busy myself than she would be in school. She stays home for shortish periods of time by herself and also spends quite a bit of time with the homeschooling family around the corner.

Next year I will be in school full time and don't know what I'll do with her. She refuses to go back to school. I thinking/hoping she can homeschool with our neighbor family. I really wouldn't see her during the day, but at least she wouldn't be in a school type environment all day -they are more or less "unschoolers" like us.
post #9 of 9
I am a full time pre-med student, my husband works full time and is also a full time student and we have been homeschooling our girls going on 3 years now, so it certainly can be done, and be done sucessfully.

I was homeschooled for middle-> high school and my mom certainly had a life and did lots of part time and volunteer work, me and my brother and sister were perfectly capable to take care of ourselves. My bro and sister we homeschooled from elementary school on.

For me, I have a lot of family support (my mom watches my girls when I am in class) but the older my oldest dd has gotten we also utilize classes at the science museam, etc...homeschooling should all fall on one person, one person can't do it all, there are many people in this world for our children to learn from so utilize those resources (classes around town, hiring an older homeschooler to help watch the kids when you need to get work or school work done, etc).

Homeschooling is a way of life, it's not seperate from any other aspect of my life so we just kinda don't stress about it but find ways to make it work no matter what is going on. Hope that makes sense. I think if you have good support from family or friends it can be done. I know a lot of homeschooling moms who work part time, go to school, it is not set in stone that anyone person has to be at home full for it to work.
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