Thursday, June 2, 2016

Reflections of a Working and Homeschooling Parent


Yes, I feel like Wonder Woman! Loved the show, and now as a Working, Homeschooling Parent of Four, I think I have earned my cape.

HOW I WORK and PARENT

My mother was a working, single mom. Not once, did I feel like something was wrong, or that she didn't love me, or care about me when I was living with her.

However, she had lots of help. My Aunts all pooled together to watch each others kids because they ALL worked. Even my Aunt that had 8 kids with one who was Special Needs.

Now I look back and I am amazed at how they pulled it off - while realizing, that I took some of the lessons they taught me.

1) Get Help and Barter or Exchange with other parents

In my case, my husband and I traded off a lot. My mom and mother in law chipped in also. Then when our older set of kids got bigger, they pitched in with babysitting their siblings, cooking, cleaning and even running errands to drop off a sibling.

2) Be Flexible

There were times my husband worked nights, I worked early mornings, he worked part time, ran a business from home.

3) Find careers that allow flexibility and pays as well as possible with benefits.

That means - educate yourself on how to get specific jobs that allow the flex time, part-time, job share, night work, evening work or for you to work from home.

4) Have a plan and a Backup Plan

Always have a schedule and plan, back up sitters, emergency pick up partners and trade offs.

5) Take time to goof off 

I always take at least a 30 min lunch and two 15 min breaks at work. I go out with work buddies, walk around the building, go read a book. All things that help me get in some 'me' time before I head home from work to do my 2nd, 3rd and 4th jobs as teacher, cook, chauffeur and more.

6) Work together with your Spouse or Support team to administer school

7) Create a System to Make Your Kid An Independent learner and give them accountability. I used the Workbox System by Sue Patrick, utilized online or computer based learning methods.


SCHEDULING IT ALL?
This is where you have to be PLIABLE! That means, if you have a rigid work schedule consider the following:

1) Focus your limited hands on instruction time on the core subjects: MATH, READING, WRITING, LANGUAGE ARTS

2) Do alternative types of curriculum like: Movie Based, Project Based, Game Based, Copywork, Computer Based for SCIENCE, HISTORY, LITERATURE, TECHNOLOGY

3) Send kid to summer camps that focus on the above subjects for reinforcement.

4) Don't be afraid of late evening or weekend homeschooling.

5) Center family time around the more fun and interactive items in #2
Note: I didn't say Unschool because I personally feel as though kids should have a curriculum that at least spells out what the expectations learned are. And as the parent/teacher, we should do research to develop a method that effectively does that for our child. As well as, to verify that the experience is retained.

However, there are some unschoolers out there that have made the experience of learning work for their kids, so don't rule it out, just make sure you get out of it what your expectations are.

WHY I WORK and HOMESCHOOL

Well, let me just say, I love my career. It's flexible, pays well and gives me a 'break' from all the things that have to be done at home. Yeah, I said it, I get to take a break from home.

Also, me having a job has benefited my family by (1) Bringing in another income taking some of the financial pressure off my hubs (2) Allowed me to help hubs get a job, my kids get a job by allowing me the opportunity and location to 'network' (3) Give me more to talk to my husband about than just our kids (4) Gives me an opening to meet new friends. I have met some amazing women where I work. (5) Increased health insurance and life insurance and gained scholarship opportunities for my kids only given to employees

Lastly, I work because my mom worked. That's all I know. And she taught me that a single mom can work and be a good parent. Can parent a child that has made her proud and that has given back.

DON'T LET A JOB hold you back from doing what you desire to do for your child

2 comments:

  1. I think, and have always thought, you were amazing to pull off all you do. I don't know if you have read http://www.practicalbydefault.com/ It is written by a lovely, encouraging working home school mum. She interviews other working homeschool mums and posts about ways she saves time and energy.

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  2. Hi, thanks to Claire for leaving me a comment to come visit you. I loved this post. Working and homeschooling is certainly a juggle! You seemed to find some systems that work for you. I can't wait to come back after work and read some more. I signed up to follow you :)

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