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People who want to hire your kids on school days


PrairieSong
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Yesterday a friend texted me asking if they could hire one of my sons. They had bought equipment for their business and her dh needed help loading it in one town, driving to another town and unloading it. My son in college has a full day, BUT...so does my homeschooling 10th grader. If it had been an hour of helping someone, I probably would have let him.

 

No problem, said my friend. They were going to call some friends from work. Then later she let me know they had no one to help. I called one friend who has teenaged sons but she never got back to me.

 

I feel kind of bad that they ended up with no help. I didn't want to let my son have the whole day off, but I still don't like disappointing my friends.

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If they can't do it, they can't do it.  Don't feel bad.  My daughter occasionally baby-sits in the morning on a school day.  Three days a week she has classes so if someone asks she just can't.  My oldest son has a dog-sitting job 2-3 days a week (total of about an hour each time).  They always ask at the beginning of the week if the days they need him are okay.  If he had something for school on one of those days/times he would say he couldn't.  School comes first.

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I simply say "I'm sorry, but _______ has school."  Sometimes, if it isn't time specific, we can arrange to do it after school is done.  Or do like we did the other day when dd really wanted the job.  She did it in the morning and then promised to get school done afterwards.  And she did.  But our schedule can manage a bit of flex even if it meant her working a lot later than she normally does.  

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I can be flexible too, but this was almost the whole day, and we have evening activities on Wednesday and Thursday. Besides, ds said he wasn't really interested.

 

One of our daughters used to babysit a toddler boy during the day sometimes. He was a tornado. It was pretty disruptive and I would have put a stop to it but thankfully, it was a short-lived job.

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I can be flexible too, but this was almost the whole day, and we have evening activities on Wednesday and Thursday. Besides, ds said he wasn't really interested.

 

One of our daughters used to babysit a toddler boy during the day sometimes. He was a tornado. It was pretty disruptive and I would have put a stop to it but thankfully, it was a short-lived job.

 

So just say no.

 

Would you rather people pre-decide your kids are not available and not ask?

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but that is due to their poor planning. I mean, they do have options. They could hire a day laborer. They could schedule it for a weekend. They could rent a lift. (Maybe? I don't know enough about that sort of thing.)

You're right. I was surprised they waited until the day before to start asking for help when it is a time commitment of several hours. They are kind of last-minute people. Hopefully it works out for them.

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Our kids were constantly in demand for work and service projects during school days. I finally just had to make a firm policy: Our kids don't work during the school day. At one point I had  five teenage boys who were constantly "needed" for their muscle. Then, I had three teenage girls who were constantly "needed" for babysitting. People even seem to think I should be available during school days for whatever they need. I figure I can either let down my friends or let down my kids.The teenage years, when they are free from the responsibilities of adulthood, are their chance to get an education. If you simply say, "Our kids aren't free during regular school days" enough times, people eventually quit asking.

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We've helped out neighbors with dog walking when it fit our schedule. Last year it was 3 days/week all year, about 1/2 hour each time. This year we can't handle that, but we would still help out in an emergency (walked one neighbor's dog when she had foot surgery for instance). Dd doesn't really need the money but it did help her grow in being able to handle more responsibilities, plan her work, etc. Plus we don't have a dog and she really loves dogs.

 

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Why feel bad? Your son's commitment to school is as important as other people's work.

 

(Here, it's against the law for homeschooled kids to be working during hours when regular schools are running anyway.)

 

I agree with you on your first paragraph.

 

Your second?  Whoa. I thought Pennsylvania was crazy with restrictive laws, but that blows my mind. 

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I agree with you on your first paragraph.

 

Your second?  Whoa. I thought Pennsylvania was crazy with restrictive laws, but that blows my mind. 

 

Probably trying to prevent people from using "homeschooling" as a way to get around child labor laws and force young teens to quit school to work. Generally NC's homeschooling requirements are super easy compared to PA (e.g., I don't report to a school district at all).

 

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In my state, homeschoolers *are* permitted to work during public school hours. PA law only says we have to do 180 days OR 990 hrs, but it does not mandate when those days or hours occur, so it makes sense that homeschoolers can work during typical public school hours.

 

If my child:

a. wanted to do the work

b. was being paid fairly

c. would be able to complete school work at another time (evening, next day or two)

d. was not missing any paid-for activities (such as dance or karate) or commitments

AND

e. transportation needs didn't interfere with me getting another child to work or activities

then it would be fine.

 

But I almost never allow them to accept last minute "emergencies" that are "free" (assuming not a true emergency/illnesss- not just a lack of planning) or disrupt my world more than usual. Paid work- my youngest are not yet old enough for "real" jobs, and need spending money- so we'll take it where we can get it.

 

For PA people: (SORRY- I lost the original link... can't easily find it...)

Q: If a student is being home schooled, do all of the child labor laws apply?
A: The U.S. Department of Labor has ruled that home schooling is not grounds for an exception to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and thus all work by 14- and 15-y
ear-olds is prohibited during the time the local public school is in session. Since the FLSA does not cover 16-and 17-year-olds, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has ruled that home schooled students who are 16 and 17 may work during the time school is in session as long as they do not work more than 6 consecutive days in one week, or work more than 8 hours per day or more than 44 hours per week. Those students may not work after midnight (Sunday through Thursday) during the school year. It would be helpful if the parent provides the employer with written verification that the student is being schooled at home.

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In middle school grades, it usually worked well. In high school, not so much. Between sports and school, there is not much flex time.

 

Exceptions are made for true emergencies...like hospitalization, flooding, etc. Not for planned things like moving or babysitting where people just want cheap labor.

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I can be flexible too, but this was almost the whole day, and we have evening activities on Wednesday and Thursday. Besides, ds said he wasn't really interested.

 

One of our daughters used to babysit a toddler boy during the day sometimes. He was a tornado. It was pretty disruptive and I would have put a stop to it but thankfully, it was a short-lived job.

 

He wasn't interested. Sounds like it wouldn't make a difference whether or not it was a school day.

 

I am not sure why you feel badly that they ended up with no help.  As a PP said, it's their own lack of planning that caused this, not the fact that your ds is not available.  They DO have options, and if they choose the one that leaves them without additional help, that's their choice, right?

 

Do you think that asked you, guessing that you would feel guilty, and then have your ds help them?

 

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He wasn't interested. Sounds like it wouldn't make a difference whether or not it was a school day.

 

I am not sure why you feel badly that they ended up with no help. As a PP said, it's their own lack of planning that caused this, not the fact that your ds is not available. They DO have options, and if they choose the one that leaves them without additional help, that's their choice, right?

 

Do you think that asked you, guessing that you would feel guilty, and then have your ds help them?

 

No, I don't think they were trying to make me feel guilty. They just needed help. Sometimes I feel bad at the time I'm saying no, particularly if I feel like the other person will be left hanging. I know it isn't my fault if they are. It's just something I need to work on. I hope they worked it out, and that they learn to plan ahead better.
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No, I don't think they were trying to make me feel guilty. They just needed help. Sometimes I feel bad at the time I'm saying no, particularly if I feel like the other person will be left hanging. I know it isn't my fault if they are. It's just something I need to work on. I hope they worked it out, and that they learn to plan ahead better.

It's NOT your fault if they are left hanging. You said yourself that they are last-minute types. They leave themselves hanging because they wait until the last minute to find help. 

 

I get it, I really do. But, I've had to force myself to not feel guilty. Goes back to the whole "Failure to plan on your part does not constitute and emergency on my part." 

 

 

ETA: So, I totally misread what I highlighted. I thought you said "It IS my fault." Either way, glad we agree. lol 

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If your son was in a brick and mortar school, he wouldn't be able to help. School is school, regardless of where it takes place. So, unless he is already off for a predetermined school holiday, he's not available. Easy peesy. 

I strongly agree with this. I am glad that my kids have flexibility, but the short-notice, and the all day commitment combined feel a little like "they are homeschoolers - I'm sure they are available." Not saying this was directly in the mind of the OP's friend, but if you wouldn't ask a working adult or a brick-and-mortar schooled kid for a mid-week, all day commitment on short notice, then I'd think just out of respect for the idea that the kid's job is first and foremost to get an education. 

 

One-offs can be fine, but the courtesy of lots of advanced notice just feels more respectful, KWIM? For a really good friend/family who needed my teenager for a day, and we didn't otherwise have a conflict - yes, with notice, we could rearrange his/her commitments to accommodate helping you. But if my kid was just going to get behind in their work to help you, or miss out on some opportunity that was for their educational benefit, then your request is kind of saying that you don't respect their time or don't "get" that the commitment to their school work requires that, generally speaking, they've already planned their day or week, and a last minute, non-emergency request is asking them to "put off their education" for your thing. Some recognition of that goes a long way.

 

It is similar when a non-homeschooling family "suggests" that you might be free to watch their kids on a day off of school if you hadn't already planned it. No, if I babysit your kids, it messes up our homeschooling routine. It's really hard to integrate non-homeschooling kids into a homeschool routine. So, your asking if I'm free to babysit has the impact of us not doing school for that day. I would not ask you to forego sending your child to school or taking off of work to babysit my kids. But that's essentially what you are asking us to do. 

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On the other hand, I look at 'work' as school. I like that my boys have that chance to help out and get paid. So I would have let him go.

 

Most of the work my kids are asked to do isn't educational at all and could not be classified as school. Helping someone haul something, clearing brush, babysitting -- none of that is educational for kids who already have reasonable amounts of community service, physical labor, and childcare as part of their everyday family life. Sure there are some work opportunities that are educational, but there would have to be some serious rationalizing going on here for me to classify most of what my kids have been asked to do as school. 

 

It's nice when kids get paid, but the amount of money my kids could have made during high school doesn't even come close to what they won in scholarships (up to $100,000+ each) because they had time to develop their minds during high school.

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Agree with PP. If this were a one off day where something educational could be learned and the child was interested, sure, we would make it work. This type of thing and the child is not interested- definitely not.

 

I could see, for example, a small business getting behind on some data entry or website updates and hoping to hire a skilled teenager for a day to get their business back on track. Something like that would be OK with me if my child were interested- it could be a good learning experience to see how a small business operate behind the scenes.

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If your son was in a brick and mortar school, he wouldn't be able to help. School is school, regardless of where it takes place. So, unless he is already off for a predetermined school holiday, he's not available. Easy peesy. 

 

People who don't homeschool don't often think these things through (and they often don't understand how home schooling works, on a practical level, I have learned); I started getting a little creative with my "no" replies a while back.

 

"No, I'm sorry, ______ has school, but you could maybe ask [Non-home-schooling Mutual Friend] if [brick and mortar school kid] could help?" (said in a very kind, matter-of-fact tone, not being snarky at all)

 

(This is usually followed by a pause, realization, and then not-so-many future requests.) :lol:

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This has only just barely started coming up for us (ds has a possible upcoming mother's helper gig) but I see the fact that they can do work during the "school" day and do the schoolwork later as a perk of homeschooling. I don't think work has to be educational to be worth doing. Work for money is a value in and of itself.

 

Of course, all things in balance. And if that doesn't work for your family, it's okay to say no. Also one of the perks of homeschooling, after all.

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The way I see it? Nothing wrong with them asking, nothing wrong with you saying no. 

 

Homeschoolers are more flexible. My kids could take a day off every school week if they wanted to work on Saturday instead. My senior does volunteer work during typical school hours, because that's when it works out best. 

 

No one should assume homeschoolers will do something, but I have no problem with them asking.

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I don't think it's a problem that they asked.  My daughter did a few daytime babysitting gigs when she was homeschooled.  Her schedule was flexible enough to allow this and she wanted to do the work.  It's also not a problem that you said no.  They only real stress I see is that you feel guilty about saying no, and that's not really a homeschooling issue at all.

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My oldest assists at a preschool-age dance class one morning a week, in exchange for a discount on her own dance tuition.  It's a win-win: nobody else is available and qualified at that time of day, she gets some experience in what may become a career for her (plus learning responsibility of getting places on time), and she makes up her schoolwork at other times of the week, and we're paying less for her monthly fees.  This is her second year doing it, and I'm glad she has the opportunity. She volunteered at signups last year, just letting the teacher know she would be available if there were enough kids that she'd need an assistant.  She's had other jobs or job offers, and takes some and declines some - I love that she can do that but don't feel bad when she says no.  My middle dd can't wait to be old enough to get asked!  I think learning to balance work & school is a good life skill, and this is the time for them to figure out how much they can commit and how much downtime they want.  I do get annoyed when people just assume one of us will be available during the day, but that's pretty rare now.

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Sometimes that would happen to us, and if we could work it out and my kids would actually be paid, we'd just consider it one of the perks of homeschooling!

 

The funniest time was when the public school itself called me up to see if our kids could help work at their kindergarten screening days!  That was a real hoot, and my kids did it and got a real kick out of it.

 

 

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Yesterday a friend texted me asking if they could hire one of my sons. They had bought equipment for their business and her dh needed help loading it in one town, driving to another town and unloading it. My son in college has a full day, BUT...so does my homeschooling 10th grader. If it had been an hour of helping someone, I probably would have let him.

 

No problem, said my friend. They were going to call some friends from work. Then later she let me know they had no one to help. I called one friend who has teenaged sons but she never got back to me.

 

I feel kind of bad that they ended up with no help. I didn't want to let my son have the whole day off, but I still don't like disappointing my friends.

Sometime the school lesson of the day is a job. DD has had little working assignments periodically since she was about 8. I always let her do them for a number of reasons. Having the flexibility of homeschooling allows those opportunities. But, you have the right to say yes or no based on your own values you want to instill. You should not feel guilty.

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I don't have teenagers, but I was a homeschooled teen and I often babysat during the school day and did school work around those times. I was so glad to have the opportunity to save for a car and college. I think the thinking on this has changed though. I have asked around and haven't found anyone willing to babysit for me during the day. I could sure use someone too.

 

I wouldn't feel guilty about saying no if they couldn't do it, but I am hoping to keep a little flexibility in our schedule so we can help occasionally.

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My oldest assists at a preschool-age dance class one morning a week, in exchange for a discount on her own dance tuition.  It's a win-win: nobody else is available and qualified at that time of day, she gets some experience in what may become a career for her (plus learning responsibility of getting places on time), and she makes up her schoolwork at other times of the week, and we're paying less for her monthly fees.  This is her second year doing it, and I'm glad she has the opportunity. She volunteered at signups last year, just letting the teacher know she would be available if there were enough kids that she'd need an assistant.  She's had other jobs or job offers, and takes some and declines some - I love that she can do that but don't feel bad when she says no.  My middle dd can't wait to be old enough to get asked!  I think learning to balance work & school is a good life skill, and this is the time for them to figure out how much they can commit and how much downtime they want.  I do get annoyed when people just assume one of us will be available during the day, but that's pretty rare now.

 

:iagree:

 

My oldesr girls both assisted with daytime dance classes. It just became a part of our schedule, like piano lessons or library trips.

 

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I don't think asking homeschoolers to work during school hours is necessarily bad.  I think the expectation that they should be available is unwise.   I think it is up to each family to decide if it will work for them.  I think my kids tended to have more flexibility during the middle school years simply because the work-load and extracurricular load was less.  A few years ago, Dd had a weekly mother's helper gig for a former homeschool mom who did day-care out of her home.  Dd helped her with her bonus preschoolers for a couple of hours.  We were able to work her schoolwork  around that schedule.  This led to future babysitting jobs with other people.    Right now, she has a weekly babysitting gig that she only got because her schedule is more flexible (she goes to high school part-time and is available earlier than most kids.)  If this interfered with her schoolwork, we would not have allowed her to take it.  She did get offers that she had to turn down because they just weren't workable for her schedule.  I guess I look at this like any other activity ... Does it interfere with other important things?  Is it worth rearranging the schedule?  Is it worth the time taken off to do it?  We have also had to turn down many good educational activities and extracurriculars because they didn't come out ahead in this analysis. 

 

 

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