Parents often dismiss the idea of homeschooling because they both work outside the home. A parent may even work at home but doesn’t feel they can juggle the demands of being both an employee and a homeschooling parent. However, a little creative thinking and openness to new ideas can make your homeschooling aspirations a reality.
Our first challenge is to eliminate some of the school ideas we have that keep us locked in thinking we could never homeschool. Parents often believe there aren’t enough hours in the day to school for 8 and remain employed. But here’s the secret, it doesn’t take 8 hours to homeschool.
If we look for time savers and consider alternative schedules, we can surely find a way to homeschool while also financially providing for our family. So here are some practical tips to help you both work and homeschool successfully.
Adjust Schedules Where Possible
Adjusting schedules is the first place to consider when contemplating homeschooling. Alternative work schedules and locations are more common than ever, so think of ways that you can do both.
- Could you and your spouse work alternating shifts?
- Do you have the opportunity to telecommute?
- Can you do your work from home full-time?
These are just options to consider regarding homeschooling and scheduling, but there are certainly more. Some families even arrange care during the day and homeschool in the evening. Get creative and think of ways to accomplish both goals.
Enlist the Help of Family and Friends
If we’re trying to work and homeschool, it may be necessary to enlist the help of family or friends. Yes, we like to think we can do it all, but sometimes we need a little help.
Do you have family members that would be willing to lend a hand at times? Or perhaps there is another homeschool family that would be willing to care for your child while you attend to work duties?
Another option would be to find a homeschooled teenage or college student ready to babysit and help with lessons while you’re away.There are endless ways to pull together a childcare situation that will allow to homeschool.
Find a Homeschool Co-op or Class to Give You Some Time
Homeschooling co-ops or outside classes can be a great benefit to your schedule when you’re trying to both work and homeschool. Plus, you have the added benefit of meeting other homeschool families and providing a social outlet for your child.
The required involvement from parents varies by group, but many allow students to be dropped off, which would give the parent quiet time to work.
Hire Assistance for Other Areas of Life
Some of these ideas may seem an extravagance, but if you’re committed to homeschooling and working, they may be just the help you need. Think of other areas that monopolize your time that you could delegate to someone else.
- Have your groceries delivered or at least do a pick-up
- Find someone to clean the house or mow the lawn
- Set up your bills for automatic payment
- Have those household necessities on automatic delivery
Whatever the means, find ways to reduce the amount of time you spend on life tasks and use that time for work or homeschooling.
Use a Curriculum That Gives Your Child Independence
When possible, choose a curriculum that your child can complete independently. They will learn valuable life skills about time management and responsibility, and you will spend less of your time overseeing lessons.
Computer-based curriculum or online classes can often be completed by your child and frees you from the minute-by-minute demands of homeschooling. Use a curriculum that will help you accomplish your homeschool goals, not the one that will make you feel as if you can never do it all.
Working and Homeschooling is not an Either/Or Dilemma
The current way our society organizes school and work would lead you to believe that you must choose between homeschooling and employment. However, the flexibility of both work and school situations eliminates the need to choose one or the other.
It may take some creativity and challenge to prevailing thought, but it is possible to work and homeschool. We just need determination.