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single mom, homeschooling, going back to college, what states? questions

773 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  SnakeWoman
To be simple, I find myself in a predicament to be a single mom to three great kids. My husband may or may not return, and in the mean time I'm moving forward!

So in my efforts to move ahead, I have many questions for you here!

First, what are your homeschool laws for your state? Do you have issues finding homeschool groups in your area, and if you don't mind what is your area.

I'm considering leaving the state of Iowa, and homeschool is very important for me to continue.

I need to go back to college, otherwise I don't think I'll be able to support three kids well, I do have my own cottage based web design biz, but it's not steady enough for single parenthood.

I have no idea what to go back to school for, any ideas? I want a career that has possible flexible hours, promotions without further school when possible, and is a career that is in need, so I can have stability.

I'm planning to go back to college full time, preferably a 2 year degree, and homeschool opposite. More than likely I'll do night time classes, but if I leave Iowa, then I need to find a state that has good homeschool laws, a good town that is affordable... just a lot of stuff!

I realize you may not be able to answer everything that is above, but any words of wisdom, insight, advice would all be greatly appreciated. I'm trying to keep this brief, so it may seem choppy.
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Hugs to you. What a tough situation! Your kids are lucky to have such a strong mama.

We are in AK and they are always in need of teachers it seems (dh is a music teacher). There seem to always be openings for

Occupational Therapist
School Psychologist
Speach/Langauge Pathologist
Special Ed

Those positions seem to be open ALL over...not just in Alaska. They are also always positions of demand in any state it seems. Alaska also has many other openings as well.

If the idea appeals to you keep checking this website, which tells of openings all over Alaska.

Some pluses are:
Teachers make enough here to have one income families (we are- I am SAHM)
You would have shorter work days- home by 4pm
Holidays off with kids
Summers off
Pretty decent health benefits...only in AK (Kenai Peninsula school district) do we pay only $150 for family health insurance. Everywhere else it's near $4-500 a month.

Oh, and if you're not unschooling or anything you may want to be part of the IDEA program in Alaska. They give you $1,000-$2,000 per child (depending on age) to spend on curriculum, classes, lessons etc. It's really pretty flexible. You do have to do standardized testing and keep in touch with a certified teacher though. We haven't used it (and won't b/c we're unschooling) but I know TONS of people who are so happy with it.

Awesome homeschooling laws (none!) That would take some pressure off an already busy record keeping testing etc.

OH, and if you live in AK you get a dividend check every year. It has to do with the oil. Every person usually gets about $1,500-2,000 a year just for living here. That would mean that your family of four would get close to $8,000 a year just for being in AK. You don't have to do anything but apply for it. Add that on to a starting teacher wage of $38,000 and you're already making $46,000 a year as a teacher. Also, teachers get a $1,500 raise every year so the pay scale goes up quite a bit.

It's strange that dh is such a homeschool/unschooling advacate and yet he's a teacher
But it allows him to spend more time with us, which we like.

Good luck to you on all your decisions!
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I'm a single mom of three, and am in college as well.

I'm in south central Colorado. I founded an awesome homeschool group more than 2 years ago and it's the perfect fit. CO is an orange state, and its not bad at all.

We need nurses and teachers here.
just wanted to say that I added to my post....remembered some other benefits!
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This is great, thank you for taking the time to respond!
I'm in Lanc.Co. PA. I realize that PA is not favored by HSLDA at all, but we are very alternative homeschoolers and don't feel the least bit threatened by homeschooling here. There is a HUGE amount of homeschoolers here for one, so districts are very homeschooling friendly. Plus, while the majority of homeschoolers here are religious homeschoolers - there is a strong alternative homeschooling network, complete with alternative-friendly evaluators/testers.

It's a decent place to live, COL-wise, and because there are so many homeschoolers - there is an unbelievable amount of support for homeschoolers. Free programs, low-cost programs, co-ops, homeschool supply stores, used homeschool supplies, etc.

PA also has a high compulsory age - so no reporting until the school year after a child turns 8. (Most times that ends up being 3rd grade.)

As for the college degree thing... If you are considering a teaching degree - check out Western Governor's University.

I'm working through there for my teaching degree (BA in Interdisciplinary Studies leading to pre-k-8th certification). It's entirely online (except for occasional proctored tests a few times a year), and it's competency-based so you have the potential to either get your degree much more quickly, spend less time working on your school work each week, or both.

I am just about done with my degree (wrapping up my classes this term, then I just have student teaching). So I have around 100 credits that I've gotten in the last 3 years. During those 3 years, I've also homeschooled, had a baby, and had a brain tumor removed. That should give you an idea about how much you can do besides their programs!

(Disclaimer: I have some experience and knowledge in the education field, so the competency-based approach works well for me because I don't want to waste time "learning" things I already know. If you don't have this knowledge/experience, you may spend just as much time on the program as a traditional college since you'll still need to learn the objectives of the courses.)
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