Working full time & homeschooling? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 01-19-2009, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anybody with any experience? I'm seriously considering pulling my 6 year old from public school but we're not at a place where I can quit my job. Right now I work 7-3:30 and could probably find care for him while I'm at work. But I have no idea if it would work, if I could actually teach him after working a full day.
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#2 of 12 Old 01-19-2009, 05:40 PM
 
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I know of a family that, rather than sending their kids to school, decided to keep their nanny as a caregiver during the day. The nanny is sort of a modern-day governess, I believe she comes up with fun activities to do during the day, takes the kids to homeschool groups, and supervises the bookwork that the parents have asked their kids to do. While the nanny helps the kids during the day, the parents are ultimately responsible for their kids' education.

Homeschoolers come in all sorts of different packages, there are some that do a lot of bookwork, others who do very little. I think that if you were to try and cram a day's worth of public-school style 'learning' into an evening after work, it would be exhausting. But if you would be more comfortable with a more laid-back approach to homeschooling, it could work.

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#3 of 12 Old 01-19-2009, 08:40 PM
 
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I work ft as an RN and my husband works ft as a police officer and we have always homeschooled.

Most of the hs'ing moms I know work part time and I know quite a few who work ft like me.

Marilyn,psych RN. Homeschooling mom to Taylor (12) and Lauryn (8)
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#4 of 12 Old 01-19-2009, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by annethcz View Post
I think that if you were to try and cram a day's worth of public-school style 'learning' into an evening after work, it would be exhausting. But if you would be more comfortable with a more laid-back approach to homeschooling, it could work.
This. We've been homeschooling for ten years, and I've only been able to stay at home for 1.5 of them.

Also, Saturdays and Sundays can be included as school days, so as to make the week less hectic. If you do a little on the weekend and a little during the week, it all adds up. It doesn't take 180 X 6-hour-days to learn what is taught in first grade.
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#5 of 12 Old 01-19-2009, 10:56 PM
 
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I work ft as an RN and my husband works ft as a police officer and we have always homeschooled.
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Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
This. We've been homeschooling for ten years, and I've only been able to stay at home for 1.5 of them.
What do your kids do during the day? Do you work opposite shifts from your DP or do you hire a nanny, etc?

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#6 of 12 Old 01-20-2009, 03:23 AM
 
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I think it could be done, especially with a more relaxed approach and with an enriching daytime environment.
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#7 of 12 Old 01-20-2009, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thanks!

So besides the nanny option, do you work opposite shifts from your dh's or how exactly do you handle that?
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#8 of 12 Old 01-20-2009, 01:44 PM
 
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I would love to get more specifics from those of you who are making this work! We have just moved out of NY city to a small town that we love, but the school sytem here is the pits. We could afford private school but there aren't any of those around, either (well, I think there's a Catholic school, but we're not Catholic and not interested in a religious approach). DS is 3.5 and a very bright, inquisitive child so we've been leaning towards homeschooling. I work more than full-time (I am in sr. management at a large consulting firm) and have to travel 2 - 4 days/week. The flip side of that is that I get terrific benefits and a very flexible schedule (I work from home when I am not on the road), so it works for us. DH is a freelance photographer and works PT from home, but his schedule is erratic (as in, he may work 12-hour days for 4 days running but then work only 2 - 3 hours a day for the next 2 weeks -- it's all project-based).

Clearly, we would still need backup childcare on some level - it's just not possible for us to guarantee that one or both of us can be here all day every day - but we're both interested in being actively involved in homeschooling DS. For those of you who are doing this when two parents WOH, how have you managed it?

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#9 of 12 Old 01-20-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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I agree that homeschooling can be done on weekends. That's two days out of the way and leaves only 3 during the week. We don't even always do the whole 5 days each week anyway. As long as we get 180 days in for the year then it doesn't matter to me. We would be finished in early Feb if I did 5 days a week every single week from August to February. I like to make it spread out for at least 9-10 months for the school year, which means we have a few extra months to get even more learning in. No rush.

I don't really know any homeschooling moms that work and I'm part of a few groups. If they do work they either don't discuss it or they do online or work from home jobs maybe part-time. I work from home and always feel like I'm the only one who works.

Have you considered finding another homeschooling family to watch your child while you work? In our state, I believe up to 2 families can combine and do homeschooling together. Plus, you'd be helping that other family since you could pay them and the mom would be earning a little extra for her family.

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#10 of 12 Old 01-20-2009, 03:39 PM
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Wow, thanks!

So besides the nanny option, do you work opposite shifts from your dh's or how exactly do you handle that?
When my boys were younger, their dad and I worked opposite shifts. He basically was getting home right as I was walking out the door.

Presently, DH and I sometimes work opposite shifts and sometimes we don't. We're both restaurant people, so that's just the nature of the business. But the boys are now capable of staying by themselves if we're both at work, and have been for a few years now.
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#11 of 12 Old 01-20-2009, 06:02 PM
 
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It’s true that, even with a pretty rigorous/traditional approach, the homeschool “day” is usually much, much, much shorter than the public school “day.” So it could, in theory, be accomplished in the hours you aren’t working, or on weekends. Especially since so much “learning” often occurs without any obvious “teaching” at all.

However. I do think that it probably takes a particular type of person to make this schedule work. Even if you’re going for a very flexible, unschooling type of model, you still need time to devote exclusively to your child, to help them with new skills they want to acquire, research, explanation, just listening/bouncing back ideas.

I don’t know what your job is, but I’m not sure I would be able to do that with the kind of active engagement, interest, and patience that it would require after working a full 8 hour day.

I always hated it when we did homeschooling on the weekends—I feel like a family needs unstructured “free time” together to play and relax. Again, maybe if you used a very relaxed, unschooling method, it would work out.

May depend a lot on the age of the children, too.

Mama to DD : 09/08
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#12 of 12 Old 01-21-2009, 02:23 AM
 
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What do your kids do during the day? Do you work opposite shifts from your DP or do you hire a nanny, etc?
Right now we work opposite schedules (I work nights and he works days), but sometimes we work the same times and my dd's go to my dads house.

I work 8 hours a night and that leaves like 7-8 hours a day to be with my kids and then I usually sleep for 6-8 hours just depending (about the same amount as before I had kids). Because of my late schedule I have my kids on a later schedule--there is no getting up at 7am around here! LOL! We are all night owls.

We have time before I leave for work (I work 11pm to 7am---sleep from about 8am until 2 or 3pm, sometimes take a nap before work) to do just about anything together--4H in the evening, karate and ballet classes, YMCA, community garden, library, etc. On my days off I just come home from work, maybe sleep a couple hours (4?) but generally stay up all day and sleep my nights off.

It works well for us. As I said before I know a lot of working moms who homeschool, it's not that unusual with the people I know, but every family situation is different so only you know what can work for your kids and your family.

In an ideal world I would love to be a SAH hs'ing mom! I was able to stay home for a couple of years when they were babies and that was really nice.

Marilyn,psych RN. Homeschooling mom to Taylor (12) and Lauryn (8)
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