Homeschooling for Working Parents

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,508
    Homeschool expert Celeste Land discusses homeschooling for two-income families and single parents.

    Celeste Land: Hi! I'm Celeste Land with the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers, and I'm showing you how to begin homeschooling your child. Right now, we're going to take a look at a subject of great interest to many families; how to combine homeschooling with paid employment? A lot of parents contact us every year at Virginia Homeschoolers, who want to homeschool their children, but don't think it is possible because they're working full-time. This includes both two-income families and single parents. Combining homeschooling with working full-time can be challenging. It involves a lot of planning, but it definitely is possible and many parents have done it successfully.

    Veteran parents say that the secret to combining homeschooling with full time employment is lots of planning, flexibility and communication with your friends and family. Organization and scheduling are essential to making this type of homeschooling work for your family. Schooling does not necessarily have to occur between certain hours of the day, and you may be able to fit school work or educational activities into late afternoons, evenings or weekends. It can be very helpful to talk with other working parents about how they have organized their lives to balance work, school and family.

    Reliable child care is a major issue for most homeschooling working parents, and there are many different successful strategies for dealing with this. None of this will work for every family, but one or more of them may work for you. One popular strategy is to work from home through telecommuting, flextime or running a home business. This is becoming easier every year with new technology which makes it easier to communicate with your office off-site.

    Another strategy is to work opposite shifts from your spouse or caregiver. One parent caregiver stays with the kids by day, then works at night and vice-versa. Some parents bring their kids to the workplace, where they do their school work in a quiet place during the work day. Some parents have teens, are comfortable leaving their teenage homeschoolers alone at home to do their school work. You may be able to find family members or friends who are willing to watch your children during the day while you are working.

    Sometimes the family members or friends will also homeschool the children. The legality of having someone other than yourself doing the actual homeschooling varies greatly from state to state. So do check with your state homeschool organization before committing to this arrangement. Whichever options you choose, will need to make sure that your child has the opportunity to participate in exercise, social and extracurricular activities outside the home.

    This may involve creative scheduling on your part, or coordination with other parents or caregivers. For instance, perhaps your student could spend part of a day volunteering in the community or spend the morning going skating with another homeschooling family. As with any other homeschooling experience, there are supportive people. There are number of online support groups and newsletters for parents who are combining working with homeschooling. Your state homeschool organization may be able to direct you to other families in your community who can help you with child care and other logistical issues. So that's how you can continue paid employment with homeschooling. Now we'll be ready to close our series by exploring how you can learn more about homeschooling.