After I started homeschooling, I began to get phone calls from moms who wanted to learn how to homeschool as well. One of the questions I would get is, “how do you homeschool while working.” I realized that there are 7 things I wish I would have known about homeschooling while working. So I decided I wanted to share them with you.
I would say that I’m a busy person. Very busy. I’m not a full time stay at home mom. I work 20+ hours a week and homeschool 4.5 days a week. Then I take care of household chores and scratch make most of our meals. Not to mention volunteer work and ministry work. In my downtime (I’m currently laughing) I write this blog. The reason that I’m saying all this is simply to say that it is possible to homeschool while working. So here are the 7 things I wish I would have known about homeschooling while working.
1.) Why Should You Homeschool?
Homeschool allows you the freedom to educate your child in the way you want. Not the way someone else wants. It also allows you the ability to modify your child’s education to their needs. If they are in need of extra assistance you can give it. If they are above grade level in a subject, you can move them up. You make the schedules and the rules.
2.) It Takes Proper Planning
It’s important to have a plan when you are homeschooling. It’s even more important to have a plan when you are working and homeschooling. Having a proper schedule setup makes your life much easier. You won’t be trying to come up with lessons on the fly. While you may not always stick to the schedule, having one eliminates stress. Trying to homeschool while working, without a plan, is the fastest way to failure.
3.) There Are Different Types of Homeschooling
The first thing you must choose when working is what type of homeschool you will use while working. There are online homeschools that will teach your child without the need for you to do anything. Hybrid curriculums that will do part of the lessons online and part at home are also available. You can also choose open and go curriculums that are “all in one” where you teach with minimal prep work.
Some choose to build their own curriculum, which is what I do. It is more work than some of the others, but it gives me the most freedom and it’s what works best for us.
You need to decide how many days you will teach. When I first started I did 5 full days of school. Now I only do 4.5 and I don’t feel so fatigued. It’s amazing the difference a half day can make! Some families only do three days and take 4 days off. Others only teach in the morning and not the afternoons. I teach a lot of Sundays because I work during the week. Remember though, it’s not about what others do. It’s about what works for you.
4.) There Are Different Types of Schoolwork
There are days I have to work and I need to send school work with my sitters. So, I have two types of school work in my home. I have homework that must be done with an educator and work that can be done independently. When I send work to the babysitters I make sure that most of the work can be done independently or that the lesson has been pre-taught by me. This allows my child to learn self sufficiency and how to work without me and allows the sitter to not be super stressed about schoolwork.
When lessons need to be taught I make sure to do it on days I’m home. I honestly prefer this. It keeps me up to date on what lessons are being learned.
5.) Having A Great Support Team is a Must
I am very blessed to have a husband who is supportive and picks up things when I feel exhausted. Whether that’s laundry, cooking or a half day of school. I also have the help of family and friends. So, I can’t say enough about having a great support team.
Having even one extra person can really help you to succeed. Whether that’s a spouse, a BFF, a co-op group, your neighbor or a relative, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You might be surprised at who is willing to help you when you run out of energy. If you don’t have any of these there are local homeschool co-ops and groups that you can join.
6.) Concessions Must Be Made
An important thing to realize when you are homeschooling is that things are not always going to go according to plan. This is especially true when you are working and others are checking in on your little ones. Lessons will be missed. Work may get skipped. It’s okay. It will all get done in the end. Remember that kids miss lessons even in public school due to sickness or vacations. Nothing bad will happen from a missed lesson or two.
The other important lesson I have learned is that if you’re working and teaching and a wife and mother, then sometimes things just aren’t going to get done. Sometimes the beds won’t get made and the laundry won’t get folded. It’s fine. Prioritize life in order of what’s most important. The rest will get done. Eventually.
7.) Know Your Limits
When I first started homeschooling, I did five full days of lessons and we didn’t take a lot of time off. I started to burn out as did my family. Burn out is bad for everyone. So, now we do a rotating schedule. We do 4.5 days of lessons for four weeks. Every 5th week we take a break. This allows me the ability to catch up on everything from cleaning to grading papers. It also lets us get some R & R which is absolutely a must in life.
If you’re worried about all those weeks off, don’t. The average kid is out of school for approximately 16 weeks a year. So even with the breaks we take, we still have six weeks left of vacation to take anytime we want. So take a break when you need it. Your sanity will thank you for it.
Every homeschool is different. Your family’s needs are most important. Just know that if homeschooling is in your heart, it is possible. Even while working. It takes some scheduling and research. But, you can do it! I hope this helps you on your journey. Happy homeschooling!
If you enjoyed this post be sure to check out a few of my others:
If you have any great tips for homeschooling while working, please be sure to share them in the comments section.