Tell me about how you unschooled with working fulltime? I have planned on unschooling for some time, but am having doubts now that I can/will do a good job while working fulltime.
DD is 6, would be in kindergarten this year with public school and I'm trying to make the decision on public school or unschooling or more formal homeschooling next year. The plan had been made to unschool when I was still married and had more free time to devote to it. This last year I haven't spent as much time facilitating learning as I would have liked. I was dealing with severe depression and had 4 foster children (who were public schooled) who had very high needs. Now I am no longer fostering and am about to move to Chicago to live with my boyfriend and his 11yo daughter. I will be sharing custody with her father. He will have her 4 nights out of every two weeks if I'm homeschooling, or every other weekend if not. I very quickly found jobs as a nanny. Two days a week (21 hours) I nanny for 4 month old twins. 3 days a week (15 hours) I will be nannying for a family with mostly a 2yo, occasionally a 5 year old as well. I am able to bring her with to both jobs.
My mom is a proponent of homeschooling, but not of unschooling. She is really pushing me to put DD in school next year bc she doesn't feel like I'm facilitating learning enough. Her father is willing to support me in either decision, as is my boyfriend. She previously was begging to go to school, but now is saying homeschooling. She would be open to either. I am worried I'm not doing enough. I'm wondering if I should go ahead with some form of curriculum, mostly to keep me accountable. or if I should just put her in school. The district we are in is pretty good, and I'm hoping to set up a visit this week or next to see it. We won't be able to participate in homeschool coops probably with my work schedule. My depression, which was a bit part of my struggles last year, has stabilized right now, but has been a recurring problem in my life.
Any advice? Thanks!
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I'm not working but the two tricky bits are childcare while you work, which is covered since you can bring her, and socialization, getting her places where she can be with peers and make friends. I wouldn't worry as much about her learning or a curriculum if she seems happy and engaged with things (anything, really) and if you are available, in general, to answer questions and interact with her. You don't have to be able to drop what you are doing to facilitate her learning. Families with more than one child need to do the same sort of juggling of childcare and addressing needs of older kids as you will be doing while nannying.
It's possible once you get to know other homeschoolers that you might be able to have others take your dd to activities. Some things you could go to with your 2 yo charge along. The hard part is going to be getting to know other homeschoolers while working weekdays. Around here, most networking happens on yahoo groups so do a search and see if there are some near you. I know there is a Chicago area unschool yahoo group but they might not meet near you since it's such a big city. Chances are there is someone near you, though, and you can propose meeting at parks that are convenient for you. I'd just focus on making friends and finding your place in the community for the time being.
Will you have internet access? Maybe you could sign up for www.time4learning.com or www.cosmeo.com or other internet sites. (Plus the free stuff like www.starfall.com and youtube--my son loves 'how it's made' episodes.)
At her will, your daughter could access the internet and you'd feel like she's learning something. If she doesn't want to get on the internet, that would be fine. Then, of course, there's books.
The more I've learned about delayed academics, the less I've worried about what my unschooled 5 year old is and isn't learning. When he's 6 or 7 we'll subscribe to sites like I mentioned above. In the meantime I just let him play and take him on outings. He'll let me know when he's ready for more than that.
Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing and living as gluten, dairy, and cane sugar free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.
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