Home is where the school is.

Homeschooling: Working and Home Schooling

Home is where the school is.The one thing I have been asked numerous times since making the decision to home school my daughter has been “how do you work and home school, too?” so I thought it would be a great subject to post about.

(Disclaimer: What works for my family may not work for your family.  We all have different schedules and factors that contribute to what works best. )

I admit it.  One of the big questions in my head when trying to decide if home schooling was right for us was whether or not we could actually accomplish it.  Being a single parent brings its own set of challenges that add a level of complexity that a two parent home may not have.  BUT!  I have NEVER let the fact that I am a single parent ever be used as an excuse to not do something and this was no different.  Where there is a will, there is a way!

We have now been doing home schooling for about a month.  It is going wonderfully!  So let me share with you what is working for us.  How about a look at what a “typical” day looks like for us?

  • Mom wakes up and gets ready for the day
  • Mom wakes daughter up to review what the plan for the day is – often time this is accompanied by lots of eye rubbing and yawning, but it works for us!
  • Mom leaves for work.  
  • Daughter grabs breakfast and gets a little time watching tv while waking up.
  • Daughter logs into school and typically begins her math for the day.
  • Daughter attends online, web conference type of classes where she interacts with teachers and other kids.  If there are none for the day, she works on the next subject on the list.
  • Daughter texts with her lunch demands. hahaha  This is the time she typically also lets me know how she is doing and if she will need help from me over lunch.
  • Mom leaves work for lunch at home with daughter.  We eat lunch together and review what is going on with her work.  This is the time we talk about anything that she may need clarity on.  If things are going smooth, we just spend the time together “hanging out” for lunch.
  • Mom heads back to work.
  • Daughter begins working on Language Arts, Science and History if she hasn’t worked on them yet.  Daughter texts with updates on school.
  • Daughter takes a break.  
  • Mom logs into online school to check on the progress for the day
  • Daughter finishes up anything additional that she may not have finished.
  • Mom wraps up the work day.
  • Mom heads for home. 
  • Daughter begins free time.
  • Dinner time!
  • We work on any activities that needed both of us or we work on the fun stuff – like science or art projects.
  • Daughter’s bed time.  
  • Mom logs in to the website to review what the work is for the next day and prepare anything that needs to be done in advance for those lessons.

The nice things about home schooling though is that there is no schedule.  If we decide that we want to have a light day, we do!  Then, we spend the few extra hours on a Saturday working through things together.  If she finishes her school work quickly, she gains more free time in the day.  If there were no activities that we needed to do together, then that gives us more free time to do other things together.

This is what works for us, but there are a few things to keep in mind when considering your options based on what works for us.

  1. My daughter is 13 years old.  She works very well independently.  This will not be the case for every child (obviously).  If she weren’t able to work well independently, this approach definitely would not work.  That doesn’t mean home schooling wouldn’t work.  It just means that it will require more time from an adult interacting with the child.
  2. The parent doesn’t have to be the teacher.  In my case, I choose to take this approach.  I like being involved in what she is doing and it gives us some great time together.  However, the teacher can be any adult you know that works for your family.  When my oldest son was younger, my ex-husband’s girlfriend actually home schooled him for a year.  It could be a grandparent.  It could be a family friend.  It could be tag-teaming if you are a couple.  It is all about what works for your family.
  3. I am fortunately enough to live close to where I work.  I can leave for lunch and I can also interact with my daughter via texting throughout the whole work day.  This has been a very important piece of our puzzle.  It keeps us connected and helps her to feel like she isn’t doing this alone.  Engaging throughout the school day is important to keep them encouraged and focused.
  4. We rely on technology – A LOT!  In our situation, a computer with internet access and a cell phone are two things that we use throughout the day to get everything accomplished.  If something happened to either, we would really have to make adjustments to make things work.

The older I get, the more I have learned that putting a routine together really makes life a little easier as long as that routine includes periods of time that can be used for spontaneous activities.  In our case, we have the best of both worlds and we are getting to spend more time together than we ever did before! YAY for us!

8 thoughts on “Homeschooling: Working and Home Schooling

  1. thanks for sharing that! I do wonder however how it would work with 2 or 3 children. Thanks!

  2. Michelle Muckala says:

    Wow, that is really inspiring that you found a way to make it work for you!

  3. what website do you and your child use?

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  5. This post makes me feel NOT all alone. The only other working and homeschooling mom I know is my sister. Thank you for the company! I will be visiting again 🙂

  6. Marla Sumner says:

    I’m seriously, seriously considering homeschooling for my son starting in the summer. I’m wondering if there are any specific downtime activities your daughter has during the day. We don’t have cable and I don’t want video games at his free will during the day. Any ideas?

  7. Thank you for this!!! My husband and I are new homeschool parents to a 13yr old as well and we both work full time. Although our jobs are very flexible its good to know that we are not alone in this. What online program do you use? 🙂

  8. Mary L Smith says:

    How do you start if you have a little one, I’m looking into Home Schooling, but my baby is only one years old now, I figured I should start researching. Unfortunately, we can not afford me not working… and the schedule adjustment is something to consider…when is a good time to home school?

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