How to Homeschool and Work
Many people wonder how to homeschool and work. Whether it be working from home, fulltime, or part-time, you can work while homeschooling. It is possible and your child will thrive.
How to Homeschool and Work from Home
Many people think homeschooling and working from home is a piece of cake. I’m here to tell you it is not, but it’s successfully doable.
I’ve homeschooled my crew for nearly 10 years now all while working from home.
My secret? Well, while I’d like to tell you of a master plan that’s carried me through all 10 years like a beautiful maiden riding on the back of a majestic white pegasus with the wind blowing through her hair, I can’t. It’s looked more like regular old me riding on the back of a three-legged camel. (Disclaimer – I’ve never ridden a camel, just heard it’s horribly bumpy even with four legs.)
However, I have discovered some ways to make the adventure less painful.
If you can’t be flexible with your work time, then be flexible with your school time. There’s no rule that says you can’t school in the evening or at night.
Let the kids sleep late while you’re working and start school after lunch. If your kids are older, you could let them work on some things they can do independently while you’re working, and do your instructional teaching later in the day.
You could break up their school day into different segments based on your breaks or energy levels.
During your lunch break, teach a lesson while you’re eating. Then, send your student off to do practice problems on their own when you go back to work. Have them skip over any problems they’re having trouble with and you can help them later. It might not be the most ideal situation, but it’s definitely doable. (I’m usually teaching math during my breakfast while feeding myself and an infant.)
After your work time is over, pick back up where you left off and work for another couple of hours. Stop for supper and resume for a little bit of school work just before bed. This may be a good time for a reading lesson.
Yes, you can be flexible and still set boundaries. Boundaries should be set around your work schedule and times you allot for schooling your children.
By this, I mean don’t let playing on your smartphone or favorite Netflix series episode interfere with the time you should be working or schooling with the kids.
By the same token, don’t let work or homeschooling horn in on time with your friends or family time. Lines can be easily blurred when you work from home.
You can read more about our older homeschool routine here.
We changed up our routine for our 2018-2019 homeschool year and began more of a time block system.
How to Homeschool and Work Part-time
Anytime the primary homeschool teaching parent works outside the home, there can be challenges.
Along with implementing the same tips mentioned above for work at home parents, here are a couple of additional helpful tips.
Many communities have homeschool co-ops. These are groups that meet and the parents take on teaching some of the classes. This is done in a group setting with other homeschooling families. This is a great option for students that crave regular interaction with other kids. Find homeschool co-ops and classes in your area here.
Because your schedule requires you to be away from home some of the time, you’ll have less time to prepare lessons. For this reason, you may choose to shop for a homeschool curriculum that requires less planning on your part.
There are some curriculums that are ready right out of the box. Just open the book and get started. That’s easy, right? Yes! I use one of these curriculums with my older boys for a couple of subjects. It helps to take some of the load off of my shoulders and allows me to spend more time teaching my little people.
You need to have a schedule in place to see when you’ll have time to homeschool each week, have family time, spend time with friends, and just do the regular homekeeping stuff.
If your work schedule varies, you’ll need to be really strategic about when you’re doing your homeschooling and it would be a great idea to plan it all out at the beginning of your workweek.
The Large Family Homeschooling Mom’s Planner is a place to record all of your homeschooling info and do all of your weekly and monthly planning. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s great for smaller families too. You can find it in the Educating Campbells Shop.
Helping your kids maintain their focus is important for your planning. You can read more about that and find a freebie in the post Homeschool Weekly Assignment Sheets for Focus.
How to Homeschool and Work Full-time
Working full-time will drastically cut down the time you have to homeschool your kids, but it doesn’t mean their education will be compromised.
Again, keep the above tips and info in mind and add-on the following…
Unless you can take your kids with you to your place of employment, you’ll need to secure good, reliable childcare. Sometimes, a family member or a close friend can help fill in in this area. Your childcare provider may even be willing to help with your child’s lessons or see that they get some of their work done while you’re at work. Keep in mind, anytime your kiddo spends learning can be considered school time.
There are some great online curriculums that can be a lifesaver for full-time working parents. These curriculums require only that the parent ensures the student does the lessons. They’re fully graded online and scores are recorded and saved.
Don’t be afraid to hire a tutor to help out with teaching your children. You may be able to hire a local public school teacher for this. I hired my high school math teacher to tutor me during my early college days when I just couldn’t remember all the things. I was surprised when she told me at our first session her tutoring schedule was booked. The demand was high. Your local board of education may be able to give you a list of local teachers moonlighting as tutors.
Finding More Support
With the number of homeschooling families on the rise, you should be able to find local groups within your area.
Not sure where to find them? Try Facebook, your local library, or the local newspaper’s coming events section.
There are a lot of parents that homeschool and work. The key is finding systems and routines that work for you and your family.
I Just Don’t Have Time to Homeschool
Think you just don’t have the time to homeschool your kids? Taking a look at your daily and weekly schedules can help you figure it all out. You can use this daily scheduling guide to help you decide.