One of the most common questions I see on homeschool forums is this one: “I would love to homeschool my son/daughter, but I have to work to help support the family. Is is possible to work and homeschool?”
Years ago, the answer to that question would have probably been a resounding “NO.” Homeschool curriculums used to be preparation intensive, teaching intensive, and follow-up intensive. Parents often felt that they were spending as much time lesson planning and teaching as a classroom teacher with 30 students!
Today, that doesn’t have to be the case at all. Many homeschooling resources are designed to be parent-friendly, and require very little preparation time or actual hands-on instruction. In fact, some programs let you pick and choose just how much you want to be involved in the learning process.
When your children are in the early elementary years, active participation in their studies is most important. Even if they are using a homeschool program that allows for a lot of independent work, it is important to be nearby while they are working, so that you are available for guidance or any questions they may have. But an independent homeschool program also allows you options. You might be able to have your child work on some subjects while a spouse or family member is present, giving you time to work.
An online homeschool curriculum is an excellent option if you are working. If you have your own business, and need to take your children with you to work, they could take care of their studies on a portable laptop. Or if they will be spending part of their days with a babysitter, or family member while you work, their schoolwork is always as close as the nearest computer.
Another option for working parents is finding another working/homeschooling family to coop with. If you and they can coordinate your schedules, it might be that each of you could trade off time watching each others children while the other one gets some work done. And I have read about homeschooling families who have turned their entire nights and days around so that they could make homeschooling and working fit for them.
The ability to make working and homeschooling balance out for you will totally depend on your commitment to making it work. There are options, support, and programs that can make it very possible, but there will still have to be sacrifices and changes that might be difficult - - especially at first. But if you are passionate about teaching your child at home, there is no obstacle too difficult to overcome.
How many of you are working and homeschooling either by necessity or just because you want to?