is it possible to homeschool AND work? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 04-19-2002, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi there,
I am seriously considering homeschooling my two children. I really love the idea and am excited about it. In fact, I'm not sure who will have more fun, me or the kids! However, I currently work six hours a week part time, and will probably have to work up to twenty hours a week within a few years, as we cannot keep going financially unless I start working more once the children are bigger.
My question is, will it be possible for me to homeschool once I have to go back to a half-time position? Right now, my husband watches the children for the six hours I am gone, and works a bit later at night to make up for it. But it will not be possible for him to stay home with them for twenty hours a week. And unfortunately my job dictates that I will have to work during the hours of 8 and 5, so I can't just work a night shift. I love my work, too, so I don't want to change careers.
We don't have any family nearby, and I do have great friends, but all of them plan to go back to work full time once their children are in school, so I can't turn to them for a babysitting/homeschooling swap.
Has anyone here successfully had a job and homeschooled, without having grandparents or friendss help in watching their children while they work? I really want to homeschool and keep my wonderful job!
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#2 of 8 Old 04-19-2002, 10:19 PM
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i havent done it myself, but i have read about the possibility. in TEACH YOUR OWN by john holt, he mentions some possible solutions to this dilemma. there is probably a legal limit where u live to how much time they can spend with a sitter compared to how much time is considered "school". good luck!
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#3 of 8 Old 04-19-2002, 10:28 PM
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I'm a hsing single mom, I work about 15-20 hours a week (service industry, so I live mostly on my tips.) I have no contact with ds's bio-dad, and my parents were immigrants, so I have virtually no family in this country, and I've managed so far. I do have a sister here that I can depend on, so I'm not totally on my own, but most of my childcare is with babysitters, and other hsing families.

How old are your kids? It does get easier to find childcare as they get older, they will start to connect with other kids at camp, classes, hsing park days, etc. Do you belong to a support group, or a park day group? That would be the best place to start asking around for anyone interested in doing childcare. You might be able to find someone who is looking to make a bit of extra money, or is willing to do some sort of exchange.

When I work late nights, ds is watched by a neighbor in my building (makes it really easy on him, he doesn't have to get dressed in snowsuit, etc, early Sunday morning), who watches my son, in exchange for me watching other kids she babysits, until she gets home from work. I'm also available a couple of days a week as a contact for her teenage daughter, when she gets home from school.

Is it possible for your dh to arrange his work hours around yours? You never really know what both of yours, and your childrens schedules will be like in a few years. You might find that it all works out on it's own.
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#4 of 8 Old 04-21-2002, 04:36 AM
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Here is a support group with quite a few members
who I am sure have great suggestions & info on Working
& homeschooling! It can be done- I have quite a few moms
in my local group that do so!

Vicky mommy to Madison

< >
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#5 of 8 Old 05-07-2002, 11:07 PM
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I work, homeschool, and am in colleg e myself. I can take the kids with me to work if its an emergency, but mostly my dh and I switch off. I do the sing though, and as they get older I find the college and homeschooling are interlinked. It can be done and is a lot of fun if you are good at managing a lot of things that are going on at once. Lots of our hs lessons are int eh car-- we also live about 30 mins from everyone else, which si such an advantage. MY oldest ds is taking singing lessons, so he practices in the car with the tape his teacher gave him. Also listen to books on tape, math suggestions for me (Growing without schooling had confrence tapes they put out), also American Girls have been great on tape, adn of course Harry Potter. The kids do busy work with dad-- workbooks and the like. We do lots of field trips for other things, and about three times a week we sit and do "serious" work. We school year round and take off weeks here and there when things get hectic. We moved to a smaller house, so there is less cleaning to do, etc, and that really helps. YOu can do it! I haven't worked a 40 hour week (on a regular basis) and tried to homeschool, but I do work about 15, and am enrolled full time in the local community college so that feels like a full time position! Lots of my classes are on the internet.
It all changes from semester to semester, but so far we are happy with the arrangement. Sometimes I think It would be simplier to be a stay at home mom exclusively, but I tried that a long time ago and wasn't happy without my work (I am a lactation consultant) so this is what works for us now.
GOod luck, it can be done!
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#6 of 8 Old 05-12-2002, 08:15 PM
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IMO, yes, it is.
That doesn't mean you might not need child care for some of your work hrs., or that you will have big blocks of time during each day to "do school" at home. But remember, studies(and experience) have repeatedly demonstrated that children in schools get, on average, about 2 hrs max. per weekday of "on task" work/"education". The rest is crowd control. ("Waiting" as one study termed it, makes up the bulk of the school day; moving from one place/activity/subject to another, in line, waiting for someone to be disciplined, etc)
Given that, there is no reason why an hr a day/night on weekdays plus a few on weekends of "school" shouldn't be more than equal to schooling away from home. And if you don't do any structured schooling, even better; even more time that "counts" as learning Don't discount the time they spend in care; if it is a good place , they will be unschoolong all that time. And then you can spend a few hrs one on one at some point in addition.
Right now, I do a paper route 6 days a wk(thankfully, I just got liberated from doing Sundays!, and it works out pretty well for us. 3 hrs or so a day, home by 6 am or so(DH leaves at 6:30-7), and it helps a lot, money-wise. I sleep a bit later to be fit for parenthood(10 am or so), but we still have the whole day to be and do. But even if I worked a more conventional schedule and needed to employ some sort of child care(I would guess it would have to be from an individual, as everything is so geared towards children of "schoolage" being in school during certain hrs it would still be do-able, easily.
It can be a challenge to meet financial needs and raise your children too, but with creativity, it can be done, even in this day and age I decided against the night shift option, as I really value that family time in the evenings and seeing my spouse once in a while other than in passing(tho' I have known couples for whom it worked for sev. yrs at a time). Many consider me nuts to work 3-6 am, but it works better for me/us than working, say, 6-11 pm, jmo. But even if I had to work ft, I would still unschool; I would just have to work it out so I/someone else could be with my kids work hrs. Best wishes! Kimberly, mom to Forest, 10 and Lily, 2.5
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#7 of 8 Old 05-13-2002, 09:55 PM
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The newest (MAy) issue of Home Education magazine has a great article on homeschooling and working full time, yu should check that out, all, I really liked it. I wish MOthering did more articles that were practical on homeschooling, like teaching ideas, how to get kids interested in science, etc- the nuts and bolts fo the whole process.

Take care
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#8 of 8 Old 05-20-2002, 07:41 PM
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I just recently quit both of my jobs, but before that I was working 7 days a week and homeschooling. It was VERY hard. It is possible, but I'm not going to lie to you, it wasn't a piece of cake. On the weekends I only worked 2 hours each day so I would try to catch up then, but during the week sometimes I had a pretty full schedule and it was hard to fit school in. I did the best I could, but I really would have liked to do more with the kids. My mother helped out while I was at work though and would do some school with them. I don't know what it would be like to homeschool with the children in daycare because I've never used it. : Could your husband help when he is home?
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