There are a lot of misconceptions about homeschooling. One misconception that probably results in a lot of people writing off homeschool as an impossibility is the idea that it’s something that only stay-at-home moms can do or moms that stay home and do not work.
While it is true that a lot of homeschool moms are stay-at-home-moms, that’s not true for all of us. We run the gamut! Most of us work from home as a virtual assistant, blogger, web designer, or an internet based company or company requiring us to utilize our skills online. Others have jobs outside the home. And, yes, some have full-time jobs or work weird hours.
However, due to the flexible nature of homeschooling, it is possible to homeschool even if you work full-time or have a crazy schedule. It may require some experimentation and creative scheduling, but it can be done. Here are a few tips on how to homeschool when you have a full-time job.
Plan Homeschool Around Your Work Schedule
Look at your work schedule and deduce what times outside of that would be good to devote to homeschool. For example, if you work a 9-5 job Monday through Friday, then that leaves nights and weekends as homeschool times. If you work the graveyard shift, then perhaps you could set aside a couple of hours during the day for schooling. If your schedule is all over the place, then just embrace the flexibility of homeschooling to plan out your lessons when you get your new schedule. I recommend investing in a planner to list your work hours and your homeschool hours so that you can see at a glance what you need to do on any given day.
Another reason to look at your calendar is to figure out when you will need childcare. If you have a partner that also works, see if there is any way that you can work opposite shifts. It’s a stretch because we need that time together to continue and grow our relationships with our spouses. However, many couples who work varying shifts often choose to do so for their children who happen to be public schooled. One parent is working during the day, while the other parent is working a swing shift or graveyard shift to ensure someone is home to see the kids off to school. Homeschool is no different. If your partner is onboard with homeschooling, that is even better. Whoever is home with the kids during the day can take over homeschooling. You can also trade off teacher duties. It all comes down to what works best for your family.
Make the Most of Your Free Time
When you have free time in your schedule, make sure you fit in some schooling. Keep in mind that quality trumps quantity. The number of hours you spend homeschooling your kids isn’t as important as what they are learning, how they are learning, or how well they are able to apply what they learn. So don’t fret if you’re only able to fit in a few hours here and there. Focus on making the most of those hours.
Choose a Done-For-You Curriculum
One way to make the most of the time that you have to dedicate to homeschool is to spend as little of that time as possible on planning your lessons. You can do this by choosing a curriculum with a completed lesson plan. Of course, you can always supplement where needed, but supplementing lessons takes a lot less time (and mental energy) than creating all of the lessons from scratch. It also helps to choose a curriculum that includes a significant amount of independent work. That way they can do some work even when you’re not teaching lessons.
Consider Hiring a Tutor
If you have the funds, hiring a tutor to teach certain subjects while you are at work or resting can be a huge help. You can rest assured that they are getting a quality education even if you are away. Then you can take over teaching when you have free time. This can also be a wonderful option when you have multiple children who are either in multiple grades or at different levels. Having a tutor working with one child while you work with another is a smart use of time. (By the way, don’t feel bad for needing outside help. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to do everything on your own.)
Join a Homeschool Co-op
Another way to make the most of your free time is to join a homeschool co-op that meets when you and/or your partner are available. Many co-ops meet on a weekly basis and offer a variety of classes that range from practical to fun. This can be a wonderful way to introduce your kids to subjects you may not be able to teach or to get extra practice with any they struggle with or really enjoy. Plus, getting together with other homeschool parents can help you stay motivated and encouraged on this path. It’s not a bad idea to connect with homeschool parents who have full-time jobs and be able to gain additional advice from them.
Consider Finding a New Job
The main thing, though, is to be creative and resourceful. Those skills are often the backbone of achieving any goal. However, if you find that your work schedule will not allow you to homeschool even though you think it is best for your family, consider working on an exit strategy so you can find a job that will be more accommodating. Perhaps working from home would be a great option for you. Either way, I wish you much luck! This is why I love blogging so much! I am able to homeschool and work. If you want more info on blogging too, visit my Blog Camp group on facebook.