There are many circumstances that may change in a parenting journey. There are those that start homeschooling due to a desire to give their children a unique learning experience, or those that due to their child’s challenges in traditional schools, decide to take the plunge into a new world of homeschooling their kids. As a career focused parent, the consideration of homeschooling had seemed off the table of possibilities in order to maintain the home and lifestyle desired. Trying to work and balance teaching your child takes a total change of mindset about a career, school, and your family dynamics.
You can survive making the transition to working and homeschooling no matter which direction you are approaching it from. If you were a stay at home parent that didn’t have to work, but now has to, you can survive this. Those working parents that can’t find the right fit for their child – you can do it. To survive first begins with the attitude that you and only you can ‘Own Your Flexibility,’ in homeschooling and working.
RESHAPING YOUR EXPECTATIONS
We have many expectations of what homeschooling is supposed to emulate. Sometimes, we forget that it doesn’t ‘have’ to be like traditional school or any other homeschool. It is a gift of learning in your own way, to shape to the needs of your family and your child. The one and only expectation one should have is that homeschooling is meant to be flexible. Usually, it isn’t because we stand in our own way. Making homeschooling and working a reality means to envelope the freedom to shape school any way you need and around when you need to redefine the way you accomplish schooling.
The first way to approach homeschooling and working a job or running a business is to be honest about your situation. There is only enough time in the day. Therefore, you need to use your time wisely. Pinpoint how much time you have during the day to hyper focus on either instruction or work review for your child. Don’t consider what you want to do with them for the day, only job down what you can do for them during the day. Total up that time within the full day for seven days out of the week. When you homeschool and work, you need to be flexible with your homeschooling time and fit it around work time. That opens up evenings, nights and weekends to doing school. Kids are usually more fluid and their ability to work within a schedule. You may also find that they actually like it when their day is changed around.
CHANGE UP STYLES AND SCHEDULES
Most people are creatures of habits. Changing children from learning during the morning and afternoon time seems odd to the point where it isn’t even considered as an options. Schooling on the weekends is also off limits for many families, except when kids are in traditional school, homework is usually done on the weekends. The benefit of homeschooling and working is that the parent has the ability to mix up styles. Learning styles are important, but all can be used to teach within the parameters of the needs of your child and your house hold. If your child’s primary learning style is audio, they still benefit and learn by being presented with the information visually or written. Feel free to present learning in all methods depending on what the family schedule needs, but lead with the child’s preferred learning style whenever possible. In scheduling, there are quite a few popular scheduling methods. Own your freedom by using a traditional five day schedule during the time the kids are cooped up in the house for the winter, then after the holidays when they are bursting at the seams to have a break, do unschooling for a few months, then end with a Need-to-Want-to schedule. Use the various combinations of scheduling and styles of homeschooling to your benefit based on the time constraints and goals of the family.
DELEGATE OR DITCH IT
The major area of flexibility to utilize while homeschooling is the ability to delegate a task or forget about it. In instances where you need to do yard work, house work, go to work at a job or your business, start thinking about delegating a task. If it’s a task you have to hire out, ask yourself how much money you would lose by paying someone to do something you could do. So for instance, if you are considering working full-time, but have to pay for child care, compare the cost of child-care per hour against what you make per hour. If that isn’t a good tradeoff, maybe just working part-time around your spouse’s work schedule would be a better delegation of childcare. Also, if you would take two hours to do the yard work, and a yard service would cost less than that, pay for the service. Beyond comparison, there are things you just can’t do or don’t want to do for the level of time required. In those cases, getting the kids involved to help tackle the task works by teaching them the skill and getting you help. Consider what you can’t delegate, don’t have the time to do yourself, and take a family vote to ditch it. If cleaning the dishes everyday takes an hour you don’t have, make the investment and buy paper plates and only wash the dishes once a day.
OWN YOUR FLEXIBILITY
When you are working and homeschooling, you survive by owning the flexibility to change all the pieces of making homeschool work, to fit you. This is the most powerful gift of homeschooling, the ability to change it to be whatever you need it to become for your family. There is no rules, no time constraints, it’s about customization of education.