eta: Assume a 30-hour work week.
16. Or an advanced high schooler.
I think a 14, 12 and 10 year old would be fine for a few hours a day. But I wouldn't expect them to do their schooling while I was working a full day. Plus that would also put a LOT of stress on you to do all the grading/review in the evenings, while cooking/cleaning and prepping for the next day. DS1 is self motivated but no way could he stay on task and do a full day school by himself.
Could you work nights? Maybe leave in the evenings so they are sleeping during part of your shift? That depends on what your career is though...
I think that while they might be able to do their work while you are at work, i would also plan that that wont necesarily happen...i think you should expect to spedna maybe half of your non working hours still homeschooling them, helping them with stuff they didnt understand, checking over their work, talking, field trips, etc.
Have you prepared them for staying at home alone? can they fix simple meals, do they understand door/stranger/phone policies? Do you have specific limits about leaving the house, going outside to play, going to the library, etc?
With a 14 yo in the mix, i dont believe any state would have issues, from a legal standpoint that is certainly old enough to be a "babysitter".
My view is a tad jaded, due to a decade of working with teen moms, I see 14-15 yo's all the time who literally, are PARENTS. Most people can rise to the bar set for them, and the expectations required of them, most of the time.
I think it certainly can work
I would expect to do a fair amount of school with them in the evenings.
But like the PP said, kids can rise to an occasion and only you know your kids.
The dynamics between my three oldest would NOT allow for them to be home alone for very long. They have a very strong power struggle going on. I do leave my 12yo for an hour or so, but I don't see leaving him with his siblings until they're all MUCH, much older.
My second oldest would probably be fine with my youngest in a few more years, but I can't just make the others disappear.
Meanwhile, I was home (during the summer) at 13 with my 10 and 6yo siblings, plus 3 younger cousins, and that was fine.
You know your kids best!
Raising a full house- Kings (12, 3, new) over Queens (8, 7)
I would worry about them being stuck at home all day, though, if you were working 5 days a week... although 30 hours could be like 8-2, 5 days a week, which would give you a lot of time to go do stuff afterwards.
Single mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler
We are pretty unschooly, though. I didn't worry too much about getting paperwork done, because we have always done relatively little in the way of book work.
However, I have never been a truly single homeschooling mom. Between the time I divorced their dad and married DH, I always had a roommate of some sort to help with childcare and meals, even if haphazardly.
But a very important aspect of homeschooling to me is freedom... largely freedom to leave the house and go someplace interesting There's no way I would homeschool if that were not in the cards.
I edited the OP to reflect a 30-hr work week. Working nights is not an option.
Occupation: counselor, either community counseling or school counseling, to be determined.
If it's possible to have someone closer who could be an emergency number, that'd make me totally okay with the situation if I had kids like yours.
On a regular basis (like even 10 hours per week) I wouldn't want them without an adult that they trust and value.
For a few hours here or there, it would depend on the children, but when all are old enough that I trust them individually and together.
I am finishing up "Hold on to Your Kids" so I am feeling extra strong about the need for a supportive, guiding adult (to which your kids are attached!) to be nearby, especially for the 10 year old!
So for me--No way!
It would depend, if I really wanted my children away from the public schools (which I do) and I HAD to work outside of the home, then those ages would be ok I guess, just because I have no choice. But otherwise, no, I would not do it. I would be afraid someone would call CPS on us or something. Plus, virtual academies through the state require an adult to be on hand during the day. I don't know if you were planning on public academies or not. I would also be afraid of the scrutiny.
DS is 10 and we are starting to try this out together. He is capable of being home alone for about 4-5 hrs on his own before he gets 'bored'. He can do his school work and understand and comprehend it on his own. We are unschooling for somethings and online classes for science and math via CTY. We do field trips on the weekends and my days off (im a sub for the local school district).
If I work high school I'm gone 630-230, and if I work K-8 Im usually gone 730-345 (approx).
I would say with in the next year DS will be able to stay home alone for at least 3 days a week on his own.
Again each child is different and totally based on maturity, development and personality.
Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed
Seeking zen in 2014. Working on journaling and finding peace this year. Spending my free time taking J to swimteam
I have an aunt who's children are 14, 12 and 6 and all three are boys. During the summer they would commonly be home all day together while both parents worked, and they did alright. They are public schooled though, and I doubt any school work would have gotten done during that time if they had it, but your kids might be different.
Here a 14 year old is old enough to legally babysit and they even have classes at the high school. 12 is old enough to be a latchkey kid and most daycares don't take kids anymore in 6th grade. I seriously doubt anybody would legally be able to get you in trouble for your 10 year old being home with the older two if 14 is babysitting age in your neighborhood, but check your local laws. It doesn't mean no one might complain, but as long as you work with them to get through their classwork when you get home, I can't see how they'd actually get anywhere with it. (plus you probably don't want to advertise the fact that they are there alone anyway)
homeschooling mama to DD 10 & DS 7
I firmly believe that everyone (but especially children and adolescence) NEED a strong community on a daily basis and that it needs to include at least one adult that the kids are connected to and trust.
Like there is more to being truly healthy than just 'not being sick' there is more to well-being than just being physically 'safe'.
Depending on the children, and their behavior and maturity level, I would consider letting them try it for a few months and then reevaluating.
Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds 11yo dd 9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds
I will admit it was hard at times because it meant coming home to a lot of stuff to do with the kids but it was doable and worth it. We had clear rules and expectations. They knew what would happen if they didn't do it.
Each child is responsible for themselves. If the 10 year old misbehaves it is the 10 year old's fault. Clear rules. Easy to cook and share foods. If your 10 year old cannot cook, that needs to be something they learn to do.
If I was considering going back to work while HSing then these are the things I'd consider:
It would depend on state law on leaving children home alone ( I think some states have minimum ages that kids can be left alone) and also on the state HSing laws, plus a whole host of things about the children themselves. How well do they get along with each other without parental supervision, do they have the personal motivation to actually learn on their own ect?
In reality though, unless the kids were above the states age of compulsory education I probably wouldn't do it at all. What is your plan when the neighbors see that you are leaving the house every day and gone for hours at a time while your kids are supposed to be HS'd and they report you to CPS or the school district? Because it could happen and I doubt CPS is going to think it's all cool.
Sure, some kids are stuck doing that during the summer and school vacations while their parents work... but I think most parents would really rather do anything but.
I also agree that it might depend on the state, but I can't possibly imagine that the local school board and CPS's definition of "homeschooling" includes leaving the kids alone all day every day. Because 30 hours a week, not including commute time, is pretty much that.
1) Is there something about the OP that indicated she's capable of educational neglect? I mean...I realise I try to see the best in everybody, but I just assumed that if her children didn't get their work done in the 6 hours she was at work, that she would make sure they did during the 10 hours she was home and awake with them (and that's assuming 8 hours of sleep) as well as during the weekend if needed. My kids are both homeschooled now and some days we don't even do 2 hours of things I need to be fully participating in hands-on and I know for a fact that I meet all educational requirements for my state and that my kids are getting an excellent education. They are very loved and supported but they've never asked to be sitting on my lap while they play an alphabet game on the computer or draw a complicated diagram for a science project and my oldest isn't even 10.
2) Is there a homeschooling law that I am unaware of that requires "schooling" to take place during normal work or school hours? Maybe it's not that you think she's a negligent parent, maybe there's just some actual barrier to teaching in the afternoon instead of the early morning that I have overlooked that would actually get her in trouble with CPS?