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#1 of 21 Old 05-25-2012, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Both my husband and I work full time and my kids age 6 and 9 are in public school. My son has really struggled in school this year. He had some stomach issues all year long and between missing lots of school, what I feel were unreasonable expectations for executive function skills for his age range, and him having weak executive function skills in general last year was a disaster. However, I cannot say that any of the last three years have been great.

 

This summer we've been doing a bit of school work just to have a platform to work on his week executive function skills.

 

I realized the other day that he's doing independent reading, writing (handwriting and grammar), math, a foreign language, and music. Between all of that and the natural learning we do by visiting parks, historic sites, museums and other interests he's practically homeschooling right now on his summer break. Though we are really only spending 30-60 minutes a day total on everything. He's doing it all with a fair bit of enthusiasm. Clearly more enthusiasm then he does his school work.

 

I really cannot see myself home school while working full time because that means that almost all our family time is school. It also restricts how many activities he's in and he likes to do a lot. So, with his current activities, he can't do any school work 3-4 days a week at all as we are off to Scouts, or baseball. Plus I'd have to arrange care during the day while I work. Nine is too young to be left home all day every day. And we wouldn't be able to do any of the home school activities our area has to offer because I would be at work, other than the occasional outing our neighbor would be able to take him on with her own homeschooling kids. 

 

However the idea of homeschooling does have a certain appeal. I think that a couple of years of homeschooling would be a great chance for us to work on strengthening his weak executive function skills with some concentrated attention to his needs.

 

I know there are families out there with either two working parents who home school or single working parents who home school.

 

What does that look like?

How does that work?


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#2 of 21 Old 05-25-2012, 11:08 AM
 
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Subbing. I'm curious too.

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#3 of 21 Old 05-25-2012, 11:40 AM
 
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Most of the situations I've seen work have only been temporary before reducing the parents' work commitments or sending the kids back to school.  Even self-employed folks with lots of flexibility have a pretty hard time. 


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#4 of 21 Old 05-25-2012, 12:10 PM
 
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I'm thinking the hardest part is finding day care for a school aged child. One possibility would be if you knew other families that homeschooled who would like to earn some extra cash by watching your kids and taking them along on outings/activities. Another scenario would be working different hours than your spouse or having relatives like grandparents who would be interested in helping out. Possibly there are college students who would be available and interested in that sort of thing.


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#5 of 21 Old 05-25-2012, 12:41 PM
 
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I was "homeschooled" with my single mother working full time from age 10 to 15, she left me with her college textbooks, educational magazines, and our literature collection, and made me catch up on anything I'd neglected every couple weeks when she checked in on my work. I was home alone and very lonely and skipped things I didn't like to instead watch daytime tv for the sound of voices though. I learned at least as well as anyone in public school but it stunk and I started college early to get out.

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#6 of 21 Old 05-25-2012, 04:35 PM
 
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#7 of 21 Old 05-25-2012, 04:35 PM
 
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The families I know who do this either have older siblings or adults around during the day, or have parents working opposite hours, or have at least one parent working from home. Any possibility of an arrangement like that? Not the older siblings, of course, but the other things ...

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#8 of 21 Old 05-25-2012, 09:26 PM
 
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I only work part time, but I agree with someone upthread who said the biggest issue is childcare during the day. Since DH and I work for his business and the office is hence laid-back about kids, 1/month DD goes to work with DH while I help in DS' coop program. He gets a little less work done while she's there, but she's pretty independent. I give her a list of stuff to work on, brain pop videos, online math, reading, writing. I've done the same when I've had to work during the day and the sitter is watching her, along with lots of art, which is one of the sitter's strengths.It's harder to give independent work when they can't read though.

 

Usually, though, I homeschool in the mornings and work in the afternoons when we have a sitter. The sitter takes them to their after school activities. Next year we have coop programs 2 days a week, so I'll work while they're in coop, and likely a few afternoons a week while they're with the sitter. 

 

For the single mom I know who works out of the home, the grandmother does most of the homeschooling.

 

You might be able to put together a curriculum for kids who are old enough to read where they do something more hands-on with the parents each night, more over the weekend; and homework-style stuff for while mom and dad are working and they're with a sitter. You could also use a program like K-12, and have a sitter who is in charge of making sure tech is set up, but where the online teacher does all the curriculum. Depending on the setting and the kid, I can even see that being possible in an office setting, actually. 

 

I can't see trying to do all the schooling during nights and weekends though. At least some would likely have to be done with whoever does childcare during the day, either coops, classes, homework-style, or K-12 style.


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#9 of 21 Old 05-26-2012, 04:56 AM
 
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I think a lot of it would depend on your job and hours.  I do think it would be extremely difficult if both parents work a typical 9-5 M-F job unless whomever was providing child care also did some schooling, took child to activities/classes, etc.   However, I think it could work if the parents work opposite hours or they both weren't working at exactly the some time so childcare needs would be less and one parent could maybe be home in the mornings to do schooling or take child to activities, etc.

 

I know several people who work part-time while homeschooling (typically, they seem to work afternoons and have a part-time nanny or use afterschool care) and I know 1 person who works 3 nights a week, 12-hour shifts (nurse) and has a nanny come for the mornings after she has worked all night.

 

OP are your a teacher or a professor?  From your post, it sounds as though you might have summers off.  If that is the case, then you could do a lot of schooling during the summer/breaks (as you are now), and possibly switch some of his activities to daytime or a homeschool activity that happens during the day (ie. if he normally does piano lessons at 4:30 PM on Tuesdays, try switching it to 1:30 PM and having whomever provides childcare take him).     That may free up some of the afternoons to do school as well.


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#10 of 21 Old 05-26-2012, 06:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by littlest birds View Post

Most of the situations I've seen work have only been temporary before reducing the parents' work commitments or sending the kids back to school.  Even self-employed folks with lots of flexibility have a pretty hard time. 

 

 

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Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post

I'm thinking the hardest part is finding day care for a school aged child. One possibility would be if you knew other families that homeschooled who would like to earn some extra cash by watching your kids and taking them along on outings/activities. Another scenario would be working different hours than your spouse or having relatives like grandparents who would be interested in helping out. Possibly there are college students who would be available and interested in that sort of thing.

 

 

I agree with both of the above.

 

If you cannot re-jig your hours, it still might make sense to HS, at least short term, to give everyone a break and see how things works .  It seems like you have tried fairly hard to make school work, and it just isn't working.  

 

I believe thinks like Scouts and trips to museums count as homeschooling.  They certainly do in our house, and often have far more educational value than worksheets.  

 

I am going to work on the suspicion that you are not planning to US.  

 

I suspect most 9 year olds can get whatever you deem need done in about 2 hours a day.  You could have the sitter do one hour a day (and really, it might be something as simple as sending in worksheets to do or a book to read from - do the complicated stuff at home), plus one hour of work per night.   An average of 1 hour per night is not much more than school kids get in homework.  It should not interfere with the rest of your life too much.

 

I would probably focus on the 3R's for HSing and allow life to take care of the rest.  They will learn history and science from trips, dvd's, you talking about them, library books…general life.  

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#11 of 21 Old 05-26-2012, 12:40 PM
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I want to get a part time job.  Dh works full time.  For me, I do have an older "babysitter aged" dd, but I really don't want her to become a parent.  I have decided that since our mornings are usually very lazy, that I would look for a job that could be early morning a few days a week.  

 

However, if I were to work full time and had younger kids, I would force myself to look at the cost of babysitters.  I know people pay it all the time, but still. . . subtract the cost from your paycheck?  What's left?  Does that ruin your budget?  If not, could you reduce your hours instead and be able to stagger them so that a paid sitter is eliminated?  For example, my mom has always been willing to help with babysitting.  She would be willing to do a day a week (no charge).  But she has made it clear that she isn't a full time sitter.  If you had someone that would cover a day, and maybe someone else who would swap a day with you. . . etc.  Be creative.

 

Oh, and lastly, school doesn't need to be M-F.  You could work on the weekends instead and a couple evenings.

 

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#12 of 21 Old 05-26-2012, 04:04 PM
 
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I do have an older "babysitter aged" dd, but I really don't want her to become a parent.  

 

This is a little off-topic, but I have left my kids home alone a lot since the eldest was "babysitter aged" and it never felt like that. Not to her, and not to her siblings. I never cast her in the role of caregiver to the other kids. I left them to stay alone together, meaning they all needed to use their various skills to cope safely and without conflict. My eldest was the one who made it kosher to do so in the eyes of society, but she wasn't expected to take the role of a parent. All my kids were expected to cope responsibly with the scenario. If problems arose, of course I would expect my eldest to show a greater level of maturity in finding solutions. But she wasn't responsible for the others. She was responsible with them.

 

I suppose it depends on your parenting style and on the flavour of inter-sibling relationships. If you tend to exercise top-down authority, or if naughtiness and serious confict are likely when you're out of the picture, this probably won't work. But in our case it was just fine. The kids enjoyed their special parent-less times and rose to the expectation of decent and safe behaviour. 

 

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#13 of 21 Old 05-26-2012, 05:39 PM
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This is a little off-topic, but I have left my kids home alone a lot since the eldest was "babysitter aged" and it never felt like that. Not to her, and not to her siblings. I never cast her in the role of caregiver to the other kids. I left them to stay alone together, meaning they all needed to use their various skills to cope safely and without conflict. My eldest was the one who made it kosher to do so in the eyes of society, but she wasn't expected to take the role of a parent. All my kids were expected to cope responsibly with the scenario. If problems arose, of course I would expect my eldest to show a greater level of maturity in finding solutions. But she wasn't responsible for the others. She was responsible with them.

 

I suppose it depends on your parenting style and on the flavour of inter-sibling relationships. If you tend to exercise top-down authority, or if naughtiness and serious confict are likely when you're out of the picture, this probably won't work. But in our case it was just fine. The kids enjoyed their special parent-less times and rose to the expectation of decent and safe behaviour. 

 

miranda

I love the way you worded this Miranda.  That is exactly how it works out now for us.  I just worry that if I were to work a 'regular' job, she might start to feel as though she were responsible for them. . . especially during the summer when she is used to quite a bit of freedom with her friends that live nearby.

 

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#14 of 21 Old 05-26-2012, 06:27 PM
 
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We are currently dealing with this problem. So far, the choices are: 

 

1. The Hybrid approach: Send them to school part time (3 days a week until 3 in the afternoon) and then two days a week, keep them home and school them in the subjects I want them to focus on. Mostly though, give them a break from the school environment and just let them hang out, de-stress and have unstructured, free play time. 

 

2. Keep them at home and hire someone to help take care of them. This person, we are hoping, will be one that will take them out on outings such as trips to the beach, to the park, play soccer with them, take them bike rides etc. Then when I come home at 3, I could do the school work with them. My kids are young so I am thinking just one hour work a day at this point. 

 

Of the these two choices, I am leaning towards partially sending them to school. For the second choice to work, I would have to find someone I really trust and so far, I have not found anyone. I have talked to the teachers and they do not mind us sending the kids in only 3 days a week. It is not exactly homeschooling but going to school part time just does not seem as overwhelming as going to school full time at this point. 

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#15 of 21 Old 05-26-2012, 09:39 PM
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Of the these two choices, I am leaning towards partially sending them to school. For the second choice to work, I would have to find someone I really trust and so far, I have not found anyone. I have talked to the teachers and they do not mind us sending the kids in only 3 days a week. It is not exactly homeschooling but going to school part time just does not seem as overwhelming as going to school full time at this point. 

That is cool that the teachers will allow 3 days.  The elementary schools here have a difficult time with part time enrollment.  The middle and high schools are fine with it though. 

 

Make sure that you are enrolled with a part time status; truancy laws can get annoying if you just have an "understanding" with the school.

 

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#16 of 21 Old 05-28-2012, 12:39 AM
 
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I am working almost full time 9:00 - 4:00pm and my hubby works long hours 9-9 most days. We unschool and it's working out great. But we are fortunate that I can bring my kids to work and my job is at a home business at my MIL's house.
Still, it's not easy because I have to answer phones so they need to stay relatively quiet and they would rather stay home, but overall they like their freedom to learn what they want than go to school. They have computer access and toys to play with. So for now until I have my own home business, this is what we need to do at the moment to make it work. I am looking into an Unschooling friendly charter school that they can attend classes a few days a week next year.

If public school is considered not an option, then you can make it work. There are many daycare providers who would love a school aged child they don't have to drop off and pick up and who could be a help to them. If possible, get a nanny to stay with them, or find another homeschool family that would watch your child. I knew a working homeschool mom who had a few homeschooled teens take turns watching her kids while she worked - they also helped with tutoring. Get plugged in with a few homeschool groups. Hope this helps.
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#17 of 21 Old 05-28-2012, 01:19 AM
 
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That is cool that the teachers will allow 3 days.  The elementary schools here have a difficult time with part time enrollment.  The middle and high schools are fine with it though. 

 

Make sure that you are enrolled with a part time status; truancy laws can get annoying if you just have an "understanding" with the school.

 

Amy

 

The school my kids will be attending is a private school, so they do not mind AT ALL. It is great! My issue with five days schooling is a lack of free, uninterrupted play. My kids get on with each other very well and they love to play. I also want them to spend at least two hours a day outside. With long school days, this seems impossible. I honestly feel instilling within them a sense of themselves in the physical outside world is one of the most important things I can do for my kids at this age. I believe it is as crucial as reading and writing.  It is through play and time spent with ones thoughts alone that we learn how to be and with ourselves IMHO. For the oldest one, in the afternoon, I also enforce a one hour quiet time with books or art supplies.  

 

Anyway, this is how we arrived at our homeschooling junction. We are now trying to figure out how to make it work with both parents working :) 

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#18 of 21 Old 05-31-2012, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't gone away. I've just been reading.

 

To answer some of the questions:

 

I work basically 8-5 as does my husband. It may seem like we've done more this summer but he's really only spending as much time as he would normally on homework 30-60 minutes a day. It's just without homework we've had the time to work on more what he needs the most help with in  more relaxed manner. So we can concentrate on the basics of writing for example instead of focusing on getting the assignment in on time. 

 

I really didn't think there was any way for us to make homeschooling work without making more compromises than we can right now. But was really curious how those who do make it work manage it.

 

I am planning on going to graduate school this fall. I'll do a year of the coursework on-line while still working full time (I'm grant funded and the grant is up in a year, so as projects end I won't be massively busy). Once the grant is up I'm tentatively planning to quit work and concentrate on the second year of graduate school while substitute teaching one or two days a week.

 

That year will also be my son's first year of middle school. I'm thinking of homeschooling for that year once I get a feel for the demands of my graduate program and see how this coming school year goes. If we can dredge up the money we'd like to allow my son to do an international exchange program that year and homeschooling is the best way to do that as the partner student could be home schooled along side him for the 1/2 a year they are here. Though finances without me working may  make that impossible.


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#19 of 21 Old 05-31-2012, 10:32 AM
 
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If we can dredge up the money we'd like to allow my son to do an international exchange program that year and homeschooling is the best way to do that as the partner student could be home schooled along side him for the 1/2 a year they are here. 

 

You may be tapping into a different program than those I've been aware of (or contemplating not using a program at all) but the homeschooling families I know have found it almost impossible to take part in international exchange programs. The organizational funding typically comes with the expectation that students will be in school in their host country. That's considered an essential component of the cultural immersion experience. Even if their parents would be cool with their kids being homeschooled in the US, your child would be expected to attend school in their country. And that's where big financial wrinkles develop: in a typical exchange student situation two schools are sharing the costs of educating two students for the year and there's a reciprocity of funding responsibilities -- that's the "exchange" part from an educational standpoint. If the two kids aren't in school at your end, that reciprocity breaks down. My dd had investigated doing an exchange in Scotland, but the school she would have attended there would only agree to have her as an exchange student if they could be partnered with a school who would receive their Scottish student here in North America. But that would have necessitated us paying out-of-country tuition for the Scottish kid on our end. Alternatively we could have homeschooled the Scottish student here, but would have had to pay out-of-country tuition for our kid while she was in Scotland, having her admitted as a foreign student rather than an exchange student. Some local friends of ours investigated a program based in Japan and ran into similar obstacles. The obvious way around this is to pair with a homeschooled student, but one would be hard-pressed to find a program or agency who provides this sort of matching. I heard of some such grass-roots network trying to get started 5 years or so ago but haven't heard anything since. 

 

But perhaps you have some word-of-mouth connections with a potential exchange student, and are not working with a program. Perhaps you've thought of all the schooling reciprocity stuff and that was the basis of your comment about finances. In which case ignore everything I wrote.

 

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#20 of 21 Old 05-31-2012, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You may be tapping into a different program than those I've been aware of (or contemplating not using a program at all) but the homeschooling families I know have found it almost impossible to take part in international exchange programs. The organizational funding typically comes with the expectation that students will be in school in their host country. That's considered an essential component of the cultural immersion experience. Even if their parents would be cool with their kids being home schooled in the US, your child would be expected to attend school in their country. And that's where big financial wrinkles develop: in a typical exchange student situation two schools are sharing the costs of educating two students for the year and there's a reciprocity of funding responsibilities -- that's the "exchange" part from an educational standpoint. If the two kids aren't in school at your end, that reciprocity breaks down. My dd had investigated doing an exchange in Scotland, but the school she would have attended there would only agree to have her as an exchange student if they could be partnered with a school who would receive their Scottish student here in North America. But that would have necessitated us paying out-of-country tuition for the Scottish kid on our end. Alternatively we could have home schooled the Scottish student here, but would have had to pay out-of-country tuition for our kid while she was in Scotland, having her admitted as a foreign student rather than an exchange student. Some local friends of ours investigated a program based in Japan and ran into similar obstacles. The obvious way around this is to pair with a home schooled student, but one would be hard-pressed to find a program or agency who provides this sort of matching. I heard of some such grass-roots network trying to get started 5 years or so ago but haven't heard anything since. 

 

But perhaps you have some word-of-mouth connections with a potential exchange student, and are not working with a program. Perhaps you've thought of all the schooling reciprocity stuff and that was the basis of your comment about finances. In which case ignore everything I wrote.

 

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For the age range my son is in 9-14 year olds it is difficult to get the kids into public school in the states at the elementary or middle school level. So the options are either homeschooling or private school. Whichever option I choose is on our dime. Both children spend 1/2 the year in each home and are in each home together. So in my son's case the exchange student would come live with us for 6 months.. Then both kids would, our son and the exchange student, would go to his family for 6 months.

 

The options at the high school level are very different and your experience is probably the norm. This particular program is the only one I've seen that works with this young an age range and that may explain the differences.

 

We are still considering the options. 10 years old sees so young. But we'd get a chance to host 1st so would have a good feel for the other student he'll be going home with and languages really are my son's passion and have been since he was 5, perhaps even before. Right now it's still in the thinking phase


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#21 of 21 Old 05-31-2012, 05:56 PM
 
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i teach part time at the community college and DH works a typical 9-5. we hs, lean towards US. Right now i teach two nights a week. I am hoping that in two years I can get a full time position. that will mean that i will work 2-3 half days and two nights. but, i only teach 9 months out of the year. So we "school" year round. If all goes as planned, we will hire a babysitter for the half days.  

I don't know how we could swing it if we both worked 9-5 jobs. babysitting would eat so much of the income. 

I think you can definitely do it the year you are in grad school. 

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