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Juggling working and HSing a kid with time-consuming passions?


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#1 dmmetler

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 10:06 AM

I'm still on the fence as to whether I should pursue an adjunct contract for fall or not. On one hand, the idea really, really appeals. I'm spending a lot of time on DD's interests and her education, but, for the last two years, have only done a few brief stints in summer camps or as a workshop clinician in mine. And I miss it. A lot. I miss being in a setting where I actually know what I'm doing most of the time, and I miss being around people who share that interest.

 

At the same time, I chose not to renew my contract several years back precisely because the time just wasn't working. She was demanding more and more and needed me to be there and be available, not in the same room. Child care was a big problem, and it just was too much stress on me for a job that was, maybe, breaking even financially.

 

At this point, DD's school, if anything, takes MORE time than it did 2 years ago. She's more independent, but her research interests and working with mentors requires my taking her there and being there. And I can only see that getting worse. I have this fear that I'll pursue a contract, discover that it's completely untenable, and that I'll end up messing up what she's getting now, because, honestly, I can't exactly demand that college professors who are giving of their time to help her work around my schedule. And the whole goal of the conference next week is for her to make more connections with others. Her mentor has a long list of people she wants DD to connect with and meet, many of whom would be well within a reasonable driving range for her to work with them, and some of which are actually at schools close enough that taking classes would be a viable option. I can't see DD being at the point where she won't need me physically there for most of her stuff for several years yet (realistically, getting to any of the local universities would require being able to drive-public transit is non-existent here), and I wouldn't be comfortable dropping her off anyway.

 

 

I'm really feeling torn between what I want and what I feel she needs.

 



#2 Gil

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 10:38 AM

Are you the only parent/care taker in her life?



#3 dmmetler

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 10:42 AM

No, but my DH is a software engineer/Architect and works ridiculous hours overall. DD could do independent work at home if he's there (or occupy herself), but he can't take her to a college lab or go with her on a day-long field trip.

#4 JenneinAZ

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 10:54 AM

If it is important to you as a person to having this opportunity to teach the I think you should do it. You need to take care of yourself too. And think of the process as role modeling taking appropriate care of your needs.

I think you can require that the professors work around your schedule. You are important too!
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#5 Arcadia

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 11:04 AM

Would you be able to find a baby sitter you can trust to chaperone her for those times when it clashes with your work schedule?

#6 ashleysf

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 11:49 AM

If you think that it is important to keep yourself professionally engaged, it is OK to take the opportunity. You are showing your daughter that there are different facets of your personality and being a mom and mentor is one of them just like being a professional is. Every family makes sacrifices for the welfare of the other family members. So, your family will make a few sacrifices and adjustments for your sake too. Your child will not have unlimited opportunities, but you can make it work out well. Can you engage a nanny to drive your child around to various classes, meetings etc? In my town, both parents work and we see nannies taking children to every place including classes, birthday parties, sleepovers etc. 


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#7 dmmetler

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 12:53 PM

It may be possible to find someone part-time. Although I think I'd prefer to take my DD on any field trips, etc, both because of the drive time involved each way and because I know DD well enough to know that she doesn't always have common sense when reptiles are concerned, which means I'd need to be available Fri-Sunday since that's usually when the bigger field trips happen.  But maybe I could do a T-Th class or two or a 3 hour block class earlier in the week?

 

It's all academic until there's actually a contract available anyway....

 

 



#8 regentrude

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 01:35 PM

Can you find a part time position?

When I brought my kids home from public school, it was under the condition that I did not have to give up my teaching job, because I need work for my mental health. I find it important to balance the parent's own needs with the child's, and not center the entire family around the kid. So, if going back to work is important for you, you should look for a way to make it work. Your DD will need to adapt to the fact that there are other things going on.

 

So, if you need to be available Friday through Sunday, you could still teach a T/Th or MWF if it's early in the morning. I don't know whether some components of your classwork could be done online/blended?

 

When my kids were younger, I have brought them to work with me to work in my office; usually on the longer days when I have to be on campus until late. I could still interact with them between my classes. They have worked for shorter periods at home.

You might want to look into finding some help. For a while, my teen DD was helping one of her professors homeschool her son; she was supervising him in the library and doing some school work with him while the mother was in class. The mom had lined up several college students to help her deal with this difficult situation.

 

 

 


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#9 madteaparty

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 02:21 PM

I do not have a kid with consuming passions, nay I have a kid with the noted absence thereof, and I find homeschooling the middle school age and working quite difficult. And I work part time, at a schedule I myself chose! that I can change on a whim! I am thinking of taking the middle school time completely off my career and revisiting in high school (DS will most certainly go to a brick and mortar school then). I know part of this is my personality, but while someone would look at my situation and say I have it all, I look at it and say that I am being mediocre at everything.

On the other hand, for someone who has always always worked (including when my children were infants), and who has an advanced degree and a desirable career in her field, it feel like such sacrilege even considering stepping off the race for about 3 years or so...



#10 dmmetler

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 02:56 PM

I'd be looking for something part-time. That's actually something that gives me pause-9 yrs ago, after DD was born, I moved from teaching in the PS system to teaching part-time at the college level, just a class here and there. By the time I quit, that class here and there was a class here and there plus a ton of other stuff, like handling observations at local schools for students before student teaching and stuff like that which took far more time than the actual teaching. I have this fear that when the department chair says "We NEED you back", he may well need me more for that stuff that takes a ton of time and stress more than just coming in and teaching "Theories of music development 0-7" or "Music Theory 1/Theory lab". The latter, I think I can probably make work. The former, I can't. And I'm really not good at saying "No" when something needs done.

 

 



#11 regentrude

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 03:12 PM

I'd be looking for something part-time. That's actually something that gives me pause-9 yrs ago, after DD was born, I moved from teaching in the PS system to teaching part-time at the college level, just a class here and there. By the time I quit, that class here and there was a class here and there plus a ton of other stuff, like handling observations at local schools for students before student teaching and stuff like that which took far more time than the actual teaching. I have this fear that when the department chair says "We NEED you back", he may well need me more for that stuff that takes a ton of time and stress more than just coming in and teaching "Theories of music development 0-7" or "Music Theory 1/Theory lab". The latter, I think I can probably make work. The former, I can't. And I'm really not good at saying "No" when something needs done.

 

I can completely relate - I'm not good at saying "no" either.
But I think you might be able to nip those expectations in the bud if you approach your department chair with a clear outline of what you are able to do within the framework of your responsibilities as a homeschooling parent. I find it easier if I make clear form the very beginning that I am available and happy to do a,b,and c, but that my family situation does not currently permit me to be responsible for x, y, or z at this moment in my life.

This way, it's more as if you put on the table what you can offer - instead of later having to decline requests for additional responsibilities.

 

I am very fortunate that my work situation is such that this is possible. I have gradually increased hours and responsibilities and will be working full time in the fall and responsible for a big foundational course, but I started out part time with  very narrowly defined responsibilities when my kids were little.

Good luck finding a way  to balance all those aspects of your life!


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#12 bakpak

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:42 PM

I'd suggest you start small, 1 class per semester max to test the waters and see how it all works out. This way, if you find you have extra time you might be able to do some of those 'extras' you mentioned. Treat it as an experiment....have your daughter graph your time/moods (or some other variable) this summer before and then after beginning work :) Heehee..it might prove interesting!



#13 texasmama

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:59 PM

I have done adjunct teaching at 1-2 classes per semester, always in three hour blocks once a week.  I found this very manageable while juggling the rest of my life.  I was only committed to the weekly three hour block and then met with students as needed by appointment before or after class.  I was available by email and found that the vast majority of student needs could be managed via email.  I was not required to keep office hours and, in fact, had no office at the university.  I enjoyed doing this and did it off and on for ten years.  I may return to it someday but am currently otherwise personally and professionally occupied.  :)



#14 Dana

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 07:59 PM

Agree with others.
I typically teach Tu Th nights. It does mean I need to conserve energy during the day and can't do as much then....but MWF and weekends are open for other commitments.

If it's something you are interested in, our cc is filling or has filled fall adjunct positions....this is the time to be asking questions for the fall.

Online courses work great when they can run. But otherwise, practice saying "I'm only available at x times."

Hope you find something workable!

I enjoy working....but I enjoy the time I don't work too!
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#15 morgan

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Posted Yesterday, 02:58 PM

While I have not tried to work and homeschool simultaneously, I will admit that I feel like I sacrificed a lot of my time and self for my oldest (now adult child) and we shouldn't have centered our family around her "needs" which were really passions or interests at the time. In hindsight, I wish I would have chosen to make time for myself and not always driven across town multiple times a day or week for some great teacher/camp/opportunity that she just "had" to do. I really wanted her to have these great experiences, but life is full of choices and trade offs, and sometimes the parent needs to benefit too. If I were you, I would start slowly back into working if that is something that would be enjoyable for you, even if it means your child can't do "everything." 

 

 



#16 Donna

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Posted Yesterday, 07:22 PM

I work two days a week, sometimes a little more, if I have difficulty saying no to a child waiting for services or if I have to reschedule around performances/camps (like right now).  Those days my husband is home with dd. I schedule her schoolwork so she does the material I do not have to be present for like computer programs, writing tutor homework, etc… The "teacher intensive" subjects are done on the days I am home. 

 

It is all a juggling act. Luckily, I have a job where I am able to rearrange my schedule around my kids' (mostly dd's) schedule. 




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