Homeschooling and working, too? What does that statement sound like to you? Chaos? Impossible? There are families who homeschool their children and work, too. With the Covid-19 shutdowns, this became all too real for many families who had never wanted to homeschool. They joined other homeschoolers who had already become professionals at pulling off this lifestyle. It really is possible.
As the reality of covid is still making everything feel chaotic, some of these forced homeschoolers are debating whether or not to continue keeping their children at home. Since it’s getting closer to the next school year, it’s time to make a decision. I would like to share some information that may make it easier for you to make your decision.
I homeschooled my children for over 20 years. Most of those years I also had a part-time job at home. I taught music lessons privately and had up to 50 students. Every year was a little different, but working from home worked pretty well with my plan to homeschool.
There were years when I taught close to 50 students and I found out the hard way that it was too much. I got burned out mentally, because I was not leaving any time for rest or self-care. But, the years when I limited the number of hours I was working things were good.
The most important thing about homeschooling and working is that you need to be brutally honest about how much you can do and to have a very organized schedule. Also, just because you can write out a schedule on paper, it doesn’t mean that it will work in real life.
There are many things that you need to evaluate in order to make the homeschool and working decision:
All Family Agree
Husband and wife will need to work together to make this work. They will both need to be on the same page with teaching duties, housework duties, schedule, and budget. If one of the parents is against this lifestyle, please don’t try it. It won’t work! Take the time to discuss everything before you get started and be as honest as possible.
Make A List
Before you can make a schedule or order curriculum, you need to look at everything that needs to be done every day in your home. This isn’t a bucket list, filled with things that sound wonderful. This is a list of the necessities. Things that have to be done may include: laundry, food, shopping, teaching, working, couple time, social time, etc.
When the couple writes their list, they can see what each one expects to be done each day or week. Then, pull out a planner page with a week displayed. Look at the pages with every 1/2 hour displayed. Began to place the necessary things on the planner page and see how things may fit on your calendar.
Realize that children at different ages will need different amounts of time to complete their homeschool assignments. A kindergarten student won’t need the same amount of time to learn that a high schooler will. It’s important to know that even if a child uses an online curriculum, mom or dad will need to be available to help.
A homeschool parent can be a facilitator rather than a one-on-one teacher. This will work more when students are older. A kindergarten student can’t be expected to learn without a lot of one-on-one time. There are also varying views on how much time a student should spend in front of a screen. I personally don’t think that students should learn all of their subjects on a screen.
There are almost unlimited ways to homeschool. There are religious and secular choices. Parents can select from: online curriculum, blend of online and personal curriculum, textbook/teacher curriculum, Un-schooling, unit study curriculum, and more. The best way to get started is to decide what interests your particular family and do some research. Families that want a more religious curriculum can begin to Google that choice and they can find tons of ideas.
Reviews of every type of curriculum are available online. Library books are available to help you make decisions. Parents can even search Free Homeschooling. There are online choices, such as Easy Peasy and some families homeschool with books from the library. Parents can decide what type of learning will work best for their families.
Here are some Facebook pages and groups that may help you with knowledge and encouragement: Work at Home Homeschool Moms, Working Homeschooler, The Working Homeschool Mom Club group, and Working While Homeschooling.
There may be local homeschool groups to join or Co-Ops that may allow you to have your children enrolled in select courses or extra-curricular activities. Online groups may work better for moms who just don’t have time to attend more meetings.
If you don’t schedule time for yourself, you won’t take care of yourself. Believe me, I learned this from experience. Moms typically put ourselves last, because we are so concerned on providing all the things for children. But, moms will run out of steam if they are not taking care of their physical and emotional needs. Self-care lists and ideas are everywhere, but make sure you actually place time for you on the calendar.
After you have made all the lists and chosen the curriculum then it’s time to start planning. Even if you want to UnSchool your children, a plan is still needed. First, decide how you want to plan. Do you want to have an entirely-digital plan or all on paper (or a combination)? Whatever works best for you is great, but if you’re working with older students it’s important to also help them set up a planner.
When you have your planner set up, you’ll want to have designations for every 15 or 30 minutes. I always used a 30 minute segment and wrote things in pencil vs pen. This was a little more flexible. Planning ahead of time is better than just writing down what was actually accomplished after the fact. I tried both and found that recording after the fact caused the children to get behind in their required work.
Many parents make their plans out on Sunday’s of each week. That worked great for our family. But, for the first six weeks of each school year, I had this much completed. This helped us to get a strong start for the new year. It helped me to have all of the supplies ready in advance and prevented a ton of stress.
To actually pull off a work at home and homeschooling lifestyle, it’s really helpful to have a Family Command Center. A Command Center is an entire home organization spot that will keep everyone on schedule and prepared in advance for activities and work requirements. I’ve written more about command center’s HERE.
Here are some nice paper planners:
- The Ultimate Homeschool Planner
- The Complete Homeschool Planner and Journal
- The Conquer Kit
- Bloom Daily Planner
- Homeschool Planner
For more posts about homeschooling, check out these posts: The Frugal Grandmom Homeschooling Posts
Our favorite Homeschool resources are HERE.
Other resources for homeschooling and working:
@2020, copyright Lisa Ehrman
- Lisa has been blogging since 2013, and loves sharing resources and ideas for living a simple life. To get free printables, bonus words, and more - sign up for the newsletter.