“Is it possible to work and successfully homeschool?” I came across this question on our local homeschool group this morning. The short answer is “yes“. The question then becomes “how can I work and still successfully homeschool?” Here are a few suggestions. They may not work for every family or every situation but there are families out there who are successfully homeschooling and working.
Work from home. There are many careers that make it possible to work from home. The possibilities are endless and include things such as freelance writer, dayhome provider, salesperson, hairdresser, graphic designer, consultant, or photographer. It takes planning and practise to work out a schedule and strike the right balance but it is possible.
Work evenings and weekends. Changing your work hours to evenings and weekends frees up your days to homeschool. There are even some paid sleep shift jobs that would allow you to get adequate sleep and be home during the day to homeschool.
Trade with another mom. There may be another mom who also works part-time and homeschools. She may be able to homeschool your kids along with hers on the days that she is home and then alternate with you on the days that you are home. This can work especially well if you each teach the subjects you are most passionate about or that are your strengths. If one of you has a more relaxed approach to teaching, the different styles can be a nice change for the kids as well.
Have Both Parents Teach. If you are a dual parent household, split the teaching either by subject or by day so that you are each only teaching about half of the curriculum. Again, focus on areas that fall within your strengths to get optimal results for everyone.
Online Courses. If you have an older child who is a self-motivated learner, online courses can be a great way to be able to continue to homeschool while working outside the home.
Think Outside the Box. Traditionally, homeschooling takes place on weekdays but there is no rule against homeschooling on the weekends or in the evenings. You might also want to try homeschooling early in the mornings before work begins.
Ask for Help. There may be people in your community or in your support network who can teach one subject area so that you have less to take on. It might actually be a blessing for them to be able to pass on their skills or passion in something. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Hire Help. Hire a homeschooled teenager to help. Hire a tutor. Hire a dayhome provider or nanny willing to help your child work on the schoolwork you have planned out for them. Hire a housekeeper so that more of your time at home can be devoted to homeschooling.
Balancing work and homeschooling is not an easy task and is certainly not the ideal. These suggestions are for those who need to work and still want to homeschool. Keep in mind that homeschooling does not take as many hours as kids would typically be in school.
Though I have never had to work full time while homeschooling, there have been seasons where I have worked part time to bring in some extra income including making and selling crafts, babysitting, selling items on eBay, writing, bookkeeping (wasn’t good at that!), being an assistant, and doing foster parent training and mentoring. It was challenging juggling work, home and homeschooling but I was able to do both. If you need to work but have a real desire or calling to homeschool, I have confidence that you can find a way.
To note: There are some States that do not allow for anyone other than a parent to be the primary homeschool teacher. Be sure to check the regulations where you live.