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Please describe the reality of homeschooling high school

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Hi friends!

 

So, as a homeschooling parent, I've been out of professional work for almost 9 years now (I used to be a public high school teacher). I stopped working when my first was born and then, thus far, have continued not working in order to care for my babies and homeschool them. As my girls get older, I definitely want to continue homeschooling (we plan to go the whole way), but I'd also like to slowly take on part-time outside work, if possible (mainly because I'm terrified of having a huge gap in my work history).  

 

I guess I'm wondering: how much time out of your day does homeschooling your high schooler actually take? I can't figure out if my (typically very mature) girls will be so mature and independent by that point that I could theoretically just assign stuff (or have them work on an online class, etc.) while I am gone at work for a few hours each day, or if the difficulty level of high school work is such that they will need me more than ever and that part-time work is a pipe dream and/or a recipe for disaster for my own homeschool. I'd love to hear about the reality of your experience. Thanks!

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I have always worked part time as a college instructor while homeschooling, which I started when my kids were in 5th/6th grade.

Assigning work and being gone for a few hours was not a problem in middle school, and it was no problem in high school either. When I had only a few hours work in the morning, the kids would work independently at home. On my long day, where I had to be on campus from 8 to 4, that would have been too long for middle and young high schoolers, and they came to the office with me until 9th grade - but no longer in late high school.

I do not do any direct teaching, I facilitate. Most of the time homeschooling high school required of me was time spent researching and selecting materials and curriculum. DD began taking college classes for credit in 10th grade, by 12th grade she took three classes, and home school courses took a back seat.

I cannot quantify the number of hours I am directly involved in schooling, since it varies form day to day and week to week.

Homeschooling has not been an obstacle to working; I am now full time, but have a somewhat flexible schedule and can do some work from home - which is greatly beneficial, since sometimes all that is necessary to get work done is parental presence and some oversight, not actually direct working with the student.

Edited by regentrude
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I'm out of the house many days while my teen is home alone doing school work (I don't have a job, but we have a lot of dr appts, & dance classes, co op- he no longer attends, errands, etc)

 

I assign work with a checklist & he does it.

I don't directly "teach" anything anymore for him.

We started this set up in 9th grade, but should've eased into it in 7/8 in retrospect.

 

This year, for 10th, he mainly needed me to: check his work, be sure he was on track with online classes, edit essays, purchase electronics supplies, drive him to robotics, drive him to robotics, drive.... You get the idea.. We did occasionally discuss a book he read or something like that, but I was more of a sounding board for his ideas on classes, he self taught or used online teachers for everything.

 

Next year, he has 2 online classes, 2 DE classes (I'm still the driver), homemade history & an elective that he'll do on his own from a syllabus, and robotics.

 

I think as long as your kids are good independent workers, motivated, & don't mind self teaching (my other teen cannot self teach anything), working outside the home, especially part time will be fine.

 

One caution though- teens wind up in time consuming extra curriculars & need rides to those things. Plus want to hang out with friends too. Much harder to do if you are at work, or live out of town where they will be stuck at home all day when you're working. I do feel bad for the teens in our local group who can never attend activities or events because their parents are working & the kids are stranded at home all week.

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Regentrude says it better than I could. :) Most of my time with my high schooler is spent researching options and discussing material he's read with him and going over his writing assignments with him to look for areas of improvement. The actual nuts and bolts of "doing school" is done on his own.

 

I will say, however, that it has surprised me that high school has taken more of my time than middle school does. I expected it to go in a progression from needing me for everything in K-2, needing me most of the time in 3-5, needing me some of the time in 6-8, and needing me almost none of the time in high school. That (so far) has held true up through 8th grade, but not so much in high school. I've found that it's not direct teaching that he needs me for, it's someone to bounce ideas off of and have meaty discussions with, things that are difficult to schedule and can sometimes take a long time. And that sometimes that seems harder for me to make time for in a busy day than, say, "teach lesson 37 in grammar". But that also could be because I have a larger age range of kids to school and care for. YMMV.

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Regentrude says it better than I could. :) Most of my time with my high schooler is spent researching options and discussing material he's read with him and going over his writing assignments with him to look for areas of improvement. The actual nuts and bolts of "doing school" is done on his own.

 

I agree. I've always worked and homeschooled and was able to swing working full-time the last few years. Thankfully nearly all of my work is done from my home office. I have some set hours and some time where I'm "on," which sometimes means work hours in the evenings and weekends, but it works for us.

 

I've often commented that my teens very much still need my presence, even if I'm not really involved in the details. For us, having breakfast together nearly every morning has been very important. This year I had a work-related commitment at 8am twice a week, and that wasn't a good thing. We always used breakfast to chat about the day, and it was my time to check on their deadlines. When I was asking them for their preference on scheduling the fall, both said not to miss breakfast. Even my college kid who lives at home still values that time.

 

In our case, I've been able to outsource some in high schooling, thankfully mostly through a bartering arrangement. That has taken some of the load off of me, although I still ask about deadlines.

 

I will note though that it's very, very important to do spot checks of their work even if they are largely homeschooling themselves. We got into a bind over math because I was relying on verbal reports and not looking at what was really being produced. That was probably the worst mistake I made in high school, but thankfully we recovered. 

 

I would agree that getting them around is one of the tougher aspects. This year my oldest was in college locally, and we shared a vehicle for financial reasons. I had to have a weekly spreadsheet to manage it all, and it became really difficult when he had to have months and months of physical therapy following a serious injury in the fall. We're in the process of getting another vehicle.

 

My youngest graduates a year from now. We'll probably also get yet another vehicle next summer as well. Ha! I guess I'd better keep working to pay for college and vehicles and such, although some of that will be covered by scholarships and part-time jobs for them.  We have a local community college that is truly a gem with excellent transfer agreements, so the college expenses are workable for us after years of worrying. My oldest has enjoyed living at home while broadening his horizons, and my younger one plans the same. Thankfully both plan programs that end up at a nationally-ranked college within commuting distance.

Edited by G5052
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I have always worked part time - much of it from my home office. My kids spent their earlier school years in a Montessori environment so the transition to home schooling, once they hit middle school age, was very smooth. They were already used to working independently.

 

Mostly I evaluated their work and sometimes spent one on one time when they came up against a difficult math concept. Their work was also evaluated by teachers at an academy they attended for a few courses and they took courses at the community college in 12th grade.

 

I found, that as they progressed, my teaching time decreased but my transportation time increased as they became more involved with activities outside of academics.

 

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You could absolutely manage a part-time job while your girls were in high school. I did have to get my son to the local community college when he was a sophomore, but during his junior and senior year, he drove himself. He is totally independent with his work. My job now is more facilitator, counselor, researcher, and keeping up with college requirements (ie. SAT's/ACT's, Common App, Transcripts, etc.)

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So I'll be the voice of dissension. I expected my kids to work independently in high school. My oldest has multiple LDs, and it just never happened for him. My youngest though, was always super mature and responsible. She really surprised me by needing a lot of supervision as well. Once they started DE, my load lightened, and this year I've hardly done anything with just dd around.

 

So, I could probably have worked part time by the time both my kids were in high school, but very light hours. Working more couldn't have happened until my first graduated. I think this varies by kid and by family and I don't think it is always as predictable as we like to think. You may have no trouble at all. You may find your previously mature, responsible children are just not able to stay on task and get things done when you aren't around. Just be aware, it doesn't work for everyone.

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Mine do a lot of work independently but still need guidance, help with questions on things they can't figure out on their own, instruction in foreign language, help with editing, etc.  We do a lot of our talking/discussion outside of actual school-time.  I do work part-time but mostly once they are done with the bulk of their work or only have stuff they are reading left.

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I second all the comments about the increase in driving time.

 

I would add, that it depends a lot not only on the individual child, but also on how much you are directly teaching vs. outsourcing and then supervising.

 

As mine have hit high school, there are some outsourced classes (online or CC), that take relatively little time.  But I also have kids who, on entering the high school years, have become very interested in focus areas/electives that are also areas of expertise for me or my husband (computer programming, accounting, art, graphic design), and thus we are directly teaching/mentoring those subjects - which is very rewarding, but also surprisingly time consuming!

 

However, I do work full time, with a flexible schedule, and always have, so it's certainly very possible. 

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Hi friends!

 

So, as a homeschooling parent, I've been out of professional work for almost 9 years now (I used to be a public high school teacher). I stopped working when my first was born and then, thus far, have continued not working in order to care for my babies and homeschool them. As my girls get older, I definitely want to continue homeschooling (we plan to go the whole way), but I'd also like to slowly take on part-time outside work, if possible (mainly because I'm terrified of having a huge gap in my work history).  

 

I guess I'm wondering: how much time out of your day does homeschooling your high schooler actually take? I can't figure out if my (typically very mature) girls will be so mature and independent by that point that I could theoretically just assign stuff (or have them work on an online class, etc.) while I am gone at work for a few hours each day, or if the difficulty level of high school work is such that they will need me more than ever and that part-time work is a pipe dream and/or a recipe for disaster for my own homeschool. I'd love to hear about the reality of your experience. Thanks!

 

 

It looked very different for DD #1 vs. DS #2.  DD#1 homeschooled with almost no outside classes.  DS #2 had a ton of outside classes/activities.  

 

With DD - I was accountable for teaching but I found it FAR more autonomous than middle school. Middle school is quite intense vs. high school, imo, if they have a strong foundation in reading and writing abilities.  High school has been far more about discussion than learning skills.

 

With DS - Because we outsourced so much more (because his strengths are my weaknesses) it has been much more about chauffeuring.   I find this sad and am glad he has license.  This has been very time/energy intensive for me.

 

It really depends on how flexible part time work is, what your schedule looks like, and how independent your child is.  Is your youngest high school?  Does she need a lot of interaction with you?  My oldest was VERY independent as school work goes, but she needed far more interpersonal interaction in high school.  How much will being out the home drain you?  Are you an introvert who will have to come home and recharge or will you be able to come home and interact with the family in the way they need nurtured?  Discussions?  

 

In high school it is about so much more than purely doing the work whereas I think in middle school it is much more about laying an academic foundation.  In high school they are ready to fly academically, but they have so many more philosophical thoughts to discuss and it's important to be there when the mood hits.  That would be my one caveat.

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I definitely agree that it depends on your kid.  I could not work and homeschool my dd.  I do a lot of direct teaching.  I figure that if she were in regular school, she would get a teacher teaching the lesson in the front of the room.  So that's not unreasonable for me to do it.  

 

But then my dd does not learn well from the computer.  And as part of her learning style, she needs people to learn.  So I am that people.  :)

 

YMMV

 

 

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I definitely agree that it depends on your kid.  I could not work and homeschool my dd.  I do a lot of direct teaching.  I figure that if she were in regular school, she would get a teacher teaching the lesson in the front of the room.  So that's not unreasonable for me to do it.  

 

But then my dd does not learn well from the computer.  And as part of her learning style, she needs people to learn.  So I am that people.   :)

 

YMMV

 

This has been my experience as well.  My kids don't learn well from visual instruction, be it video or online.  (We learned this the hard way.)  They need direct instruction, which I provide in most cases (except a few on-campus dual enrollment classes).  It would be completely disastrous if I handed them a list of check-boxes and sent them on their way.

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I will say, however, that it has surprised me that high school has taken more of my time than middle school does.  

 

This has been true for me as well. I worked various part-time gigs from when they were toddlers, and stopped most of it when they started high school, lol. I did do a few small group classes that were quite time-consuming the first couple of years, and I sponsored a lot of teen activities. 

 

The ages your kids are at now was actually about the easiest time for me to work and school! From about first grade to the end of middle school. So, if you can manage it now, go for it. 

 

Part of it is the driving; DE was about 30 minutes each way, and you had to allow longer to get there in case of traffic. And of course other activities and regular old errands. If you live in a more compact community with better traffic, it can be much more manageable, but we've been all over the place. 

 

I spent a good amount of time planning and prepping classes. We spent quite a lot of time on researching and visiting colleges the last two years; I'm hoping really hard that it's less for younger dd! 

 

There are so many factors that I think it's hard to plan ahead with much precision. It would have been very hard for me personally to work more than a few hours per week the last couple of years, when younger dd was 9th and 10th and older dd was 11th and 12th. I would not have liked to be committed long-term to a job that required a set number of hours per week. Now that oldest is graduated and off to college in the fall, I think it will be much easier and I will have more time to work. 

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So I'll be the voice of dissension. I expected my kids to work independently in high school. My oldest has multiple LDs, and it just never happened for him. My youngest though, was always super mature and responsible. She really surprised me by needing a lot of supervision as well. Once they started DE, my load lightened, and this year I've hardly done anything with just dd around.

 

So, I could probably have worked part time by the time both my kids were in high school, but very light hours. Working more couldn't have happened until my first graduated. I think this varies by kid and by family and I don't think it is always as predictable as we like to think. You may have no trouble at all. You may find your previously mature, responsible children are just not able to stay on task and get things done when you aren't around. Just be aware, it doesn't work for everyone.

This. My Ds has a lot of trouble managing his time when I'm not around. He gets less done then he thinks and there is not as much time to make up the work as there was when he was younger (BC if extra curriculars and the fact that even working hard he often needs to do evening work three times s week and some Saturday work.)

 

My dh can work at home sometimes. As long as he is home or I Am home it works. I may need to work when my youngest is in high school. I will probably send her to work with dh or to a friends.

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I really think this stuff just depends on the kid. I have two kids who needed minimal supervision to get stuff done. We discussed a lot, but I was able to give them weekly assignments and be fairly hands off. With my ds, I find myself sitting around a lot waiting for him to need me. We use Trello and OneNote and he works very well independently. If I just had those two, I could easily have gone back to work.

 

On the other hand, my recently graduated younger daughter needed a lot of guidance and supervision up until last year. She had significantly more trouble with executive functioning tasks, like managing time. She's also extremely social, so she sometimes had trouble making the right choice between getting work done or socializing with friends. Tim Urban did a great TED talk on procrastination that she said really hit home for her. Over the last year, we focused a lot of getting systems in to place to help her get things done without me around. It would have been much more challenging to homeschool her and work, I think.

 

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Hard to say because I have all these other little children to educate as well. I happen to have two children, one of them being our high schooler, that need a lot of assistance managing themselves and their time. My current 9th grader is probably the worst, so my perception is quite skewed. My kid had a ton of difficulty just learning independently. Many, many skills (that have been taught) needed explicit instruction again. I did see progress by the end of the year and some of those discussions I had read so much about were happening. My kiddo did try very hard, but was just not ready to be let loose with regular check in from me.

 

As a few other people have said, my kid needs direct instruction. Honestly, it is one of the major reasons my kid is heading to school next year. I have heard multiple times this year from my kid, "Homeschooling high school takes a lot of self discipline and self motivation." I think that is so true. My kid wants to be self disciplined and tries, but will probably perform better with a more regimented and clearly laid out schedule. I have another kid that would probably do quite well at home. Very motivated and able to manage their work quite independently. At this point, that particular child is planning on going to high school, so I may never know. 

 

One of my biggest frustrations this year was in my personal expectations. I have been reading this board for a number of years and thought I would be able to take more of a facilitator role once we moved to high school. I should have looked through the lens of my experience with my student, not someone else's lens and experience. I set myself up for failure. Now that I have a bit more experience, I think I can be a bit more realistic about what high school might look like for my family and the students I have.

 

I guess just another vote for depends on your kid.  :001_smile:

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I did do some part time work for a couple years but mostly I've been home f/t while my kids did high school & both of mine definitely needed me. 

I still have one in high school and he needs me to keep him company, often to actually instruct, to talk over assignments, to talk through outlining a concept etc. My kids would not have done well just being given stuff and a checklist and left to self-teach. If it had come to that, I would have put them in school. 

My kids are not auto-didacts. They need an instructor and a facilitator.  Many days that wasn't full time work (& I've said in another thread that my post count here is directly related to the amount of loose time I have in which I don't really need to be helping him but I can't start a big project either.... so I surf the board instead...) But you know, now that I'm almost at the end (next year is our last year) I'm glad I spent the time just puttering around while they worked on stuff. 

 

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So I'll be the voice of dissension. I expected my kids to work independently in high school. My oldest has multiple LDs, and it just never happened for him. My youngest though, was always super mature and responsible. She really surprised me by needing a lot of supervision as well. Once they started DE, my load lightened, and this year I've hardly done anything with just dd around.

 

So, I could probably have worked part time by the time both my kids were in high school, but very light hours. Working more couldn't have happened until my first graduated. I think this varies by kid and by family and I don't think it is always as predictable as we like to think. You may have no trouble at all. You may find your previously mature, responsible children are just not able to stay on task and get things done when you aren't around. Just be aware, it doesn't work for everyone.

 

I agree. Don't make assumptions.

 

My older one was less self-sufficient in middle school and 9th grade, and then took off in 10-12th in terms of keeping up with his work and overcoming difficulties. I would read his papers and grade his science and math tests. That was pretty much it. When he had to put aside physics for some months because AP Latin was killing him, he told me and accepted that he'd have to do physics into the summer.

 

My younger one ironically was more self-sufficient from 7th on, and then we had the math meltdown I described in 10th. She was horribly lost and using the answer key far more than she should have  :closedeyes: . Thankfully she confessed, and we worked out a plan to step back a level in math. Some of the problem was me. Math is easy for me, and we didn't connect when I was trying to help. I outsourced math this year, and she pulled a solid "A." When she had trouble, she asked the teacher, looked at Khan Academy, or asked her brother. That worked. I also outsourced writing this year (AP English Composition) because my sense was that she had a lot of potential but wasn't into really working hard for me. That was a good choice too. Her writing grew leaps and bounds.

 

So you figure as you go!

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I definitely agree that it depends on your kid.  I could not work and homeschool my dd.  I do a lot of direct teaching.  I figure that if she were in regular school, she would get a teacher teaching the lesson in the front of the room.  So that's not unreasonable for me to do it.  

 

But then my dd does not learn well from the computer.  And as part of her learning style, she needs people to learn.  So I am that people.   :)

 

YMMV

This is DS, he insists on being taught, hates online classes, even if they take less time.  So no, I won't be seeing any lighter of a load for H.S. with him until he starts some DE classes (state only pays $1200 per year so not a lot of outsourcing even then).  DD and DN on the other hand do online classes almost exclusively and I have very little to do with it.  That's what fits their personalities/learning styles.

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Completely depends on the child.  My oldest wouldn't have done well with my current schedule of working part-time and going to college full time.  My younger two have thrived.  They have always preferred to be super independent and work well that way.

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I agree that it really depends on the child and your situation, like what extracurricular activities they do, whether or not classes are outsourced, etc.  I have found high school to take much more time than I expected, but at the same time, I am so grateful for this time with my high schooler.  I feel like he will be away at college so soon, so I am thankful for this time together.  I am very lucky that I am able to work from home.  I only work part-time, but I have considered increasing that soon to help pay for the upcoming college expenses.  It is going to be hard though.

 

ETA:  I worked out of the house part-time when they were young, and that was easier for that age than it would be now, because I just had a child care person who came here or they went to a family member's house.  That was just easy and fun for them.  Now, I think it would be really hard to do what I did then, because they have so many more scheduled things.

Edited by Grantmom
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I spend less time teaching now and more time driving.  :driving:  It's a vital part of what makes opportunities possible. Also, even when classes are outsourced, there is still so much to discover and discuss. So much to read and share. The Great Conversation continues...  I cherish this time. 

 

 

The quote in my signature sums up my experience:

 

Now's the time to be here, not to fade away.

Edited by Woodland Mist Academy
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We found it so depended on the kid. My older two did fine with less involvement, except for math. They struggled a bit and I didn't catch it, requiring some backtracking.

 

With my next, I had to be on her all.the.time, which was draining. Fortunately, she and her brother pretty much did the same stuff. He was quite content to do his thing, learning with little input from me. However, she didn't make it to calc in high school, thus losing an Appointment to USMA (she had a prep year) so she took her ROTC and they destroyed her body from bad training. She should be a senior there this next year, but is not. She's graduate from WY at Christmas, but is flailing around a bit in life right now. A lot of it was she took the brunt of Ed's death. We really lost two years of school with her. Ds just continued on reading, but she's not much of a reader. 

 

And then the last--she has to be kept on top of things or she spaces the entire day away. It's really only been since last Christmas that I haven't felt like a nag 24/7. She got behind last year, so we spent 7 days a week this year getting caught up. She did it, but it wasn't fun. And she took 22 DE credits on top of it all. 

 

One of the HUGE things for us was the driving. When the kids were in DE but not driving yet, it was brutal. Plus the girls started at the college orchestra, plus strings and piano, and we spent a lot of time in the car. Middle dd did 4 sports a year, so more time in the car. And to top it off, we've gone through 2 ankle surgeries and 3 hip surgeries, with one more to go. Those weeks of no sleep really took a toll on the whole family. And when they are driving, but then can't for several months, it's hard. 

 

I won't look for employment until this last one's applications are in. It's a full-time job. 

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I did do some part time work for a couple years but mostly I've been home f/t while my kids did high school & both of mine definitely needed me.

 

I still have one in high school and he needs me to keep him company, often to actually instruct, to talk over assignments, to talk through outlining a concept etc. My kids would not have done well just being given stuff and a checklist and left to self-teach. If it had come to that, I would have put them in school.

 

My kids are not auto-didacts. They need an instructor and a facilitator. Many days that wasn't full time work (& I've said in another thread that my post count here is directly related to the amount of loose time I have in which I don't really need to be helping him but I can't start a big project either.... so I surf the board instead...) But you know, now that I'm almost at the end (next year is our last year) I'm glad I spent the time just puttering around while they worked on stuff.

 

 

This. Couldn't have said it better myself

D

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I always check myself by asking, "If I paid to send them to a private school, and they educated like me, would I be pleased?" For me, self teaching and self directing is out. Independence is a good thing, but I think it's not a fair plan for most kids. I agree with others that they need direction, teaching, and mentoring. Like many have already said, the workload is different, but I'm finding it heavier with teaching, late night discussions, driving everywhere....

 

I think older kids should manage less mom time better than littles, I wouldn't bank on it as a plan.

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I guess I'm wondering: how much time out of your day does homeschooling your high schooler actually take? I can't figure out if my (typically very mature) girls will be so mature and independent by that point that I could theoretically just assign stuff (or have them work on an online class, etc.) while I am gone at work for a few hours each day, or if the difficulty level of high school work is such that they will need me more than ever and that part-time work is a pipe dream and/or a recipe for disaster for my own homeschool. I'd love to hear about the reality of your experience. Thanks!

 

I too found that junior high was kind of a "sweet spot" that involved less of my time, and that high school again involved more. I do work part-time from home (I started when my kids were late elementary ages--my dh is disabled, so it's necessary for me to work). It's a great arrangement, but not without its challenges. To make it work, here are things I find important:

 

1, use curriculum that is set up to make your job easy. That might be a teacher's manual that you find very intuitive (open and go), video instruction (so that you can be more of a coach and fellow-learner rather than sole instructor), specifically "homeschool" material unless it's known for being homeschool friendly (courses that are not will eat up a lot of your time when your student hits a wall with learning), materials that are a good fit for your student (challenging but not overly so, relatively easy for the student to use, etc...)

 

2, don't slack on checking your student's work--keep up with corrections (especially things like math--you don't want to find out at the end of the week that they've done it wrong all week, and now that's ingrained in their minds and harder to unteach). Make it a goal to check daily if at all possible. High school students are ready for more independence, but you'll hear tons of stories of kids who let something slide for a few days--and that can turn into weeks and even months if you don't stay on top of it. Think how hard it is for adults to be self-directed, and understand that at this time when a young person's brain is still developing and hormones are doing wonky things to them, that it's helpful to scaffold them towards independence. 

 

3, Have a daily time with your student for discussions. Maybe you'll go over skill-work daily (math corrections, maybe science work etc...), and rotate some of the other discussions (one day you might talk about the lit. they are reading, another day history, and so on). 

 

4, Know that your student is busier too (more activities, friends, choices etc...) and make a concerted effort to stay involved in their lives. It's going to take you being a lot more proactive when you are tired and would rather collapse on the couch, don't feel like making dinner, etc...

 

Working and homeschooling can work--but go into it with eyes open. It's easy to think that work will replace "empty" time where you aren't doing much, but the truth is it replaces all kinds of family time, chore time, volunteer time, social time, and yes, homeschool time. 

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One of the HUGE things for us was the driving. When the kids were in DE but not driving yet, it was brutal.

 

 

Yes.

 

Oh my gosh, so much this.

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Margaret in CO, on 02 Jun 2016 - 11:09 PM, said:snapback.png

 

 

One of the HUGE things for us was the driving. When the kids were in DE but not driving yet, it was brutal.

 

Yes.

 

Oh my gosh, so much this.

 

Yeah, I didn't even consider DE until they were driving! I can only imagine!

Edited by MerryAtHope

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I do not do any direct teaching, I facilitate. Most of the time homeschooling high school required of me was time spent researching and selecting materials and curriculum.

 

...sometimes all that is necessary to get work done is parental presence and some oversight, not actually direct working with the student.

 

Exactly.

 

I probably average 3 hours per day and most of that is discussing their reading and writing. I am learning Spanish with my son, so that takes about 30-45m a day. Research and planning take up a lot of my free time in the Spring/Summer, but I would still have time to work...just not to watch TV/go online/read for pleasure.

Edited by Liza Q

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I didn't even think about the driving when I first posted, but yes. The driving. Both of mine started DE before they could drive. Dd was a competitive gymnast and had to be taken to the gym and back 3-5 times a week - always. Youth group, gaming group, dd nannied part time for a year starting at 15 (she got her license before she had to quit because she couldn't make her DE schedule work around the job hours anymore).

 

Teens are on the move and need to be in order to get that all-important (to them) social time. Even my introverts, were out there. Being able to work around their schedules was a big part of what made homeschooling work for us. A job, even part time would have had to have been super flexible. We live in a semi-rural area and there is no public transportation option. Either I drove them or they couldn't participate. Participation was important, so I did a lot of driving.

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I remember the months of college orchestra, with two that weren't driving, with a baby and a preschooler, but the preschooler was in a cast! Oh, and we had a Guide Dog puppy! The music building didn't have an elevator yet, so I'd put the baby on top of the preschooler in the stroller, hand the GDB puppy to the oldest one who was holding her violin, and then schlep the cello up the stairs for #2. Then, leave her, and get everyone back in the car, leaving the oldest to get herself up the stairs. And then reverse the process 2 hours later. We had a party when they put the elevator in! But, then, this year, they gutted the music building, and the dorm that the music department is in, doesn't have an elevator. So, up three flights of stairs with the cello (full size this time) whilst dd hobbled up on her crutches. And the ensembles were in the main building, with an elevator, but it's a loooong walk from the parking lot, even with a handicapped placard. And dd couldn't take the ramp as that bent her ankle. So, up two flights of stairs, in the snow, just to GET to the building! And then, an extra set of stairs, because dd couldn't go up the slope in the auditorium. Ugh. 

Edited by Margaret in CO

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Can I just say that having read this thread, I am so glad I live *in* the city and my kids can walk or bus to almost all their activities!  DS starts DE next month, and will walk 30 minutes each way to the university.  He walks to badminton 3x per week, martial arts 2x per week, music 1x per week, and now university 2x per week.  All I do is drive him to music lessons 1x per week as the mandarin tutor comes to us!  

 

Ruth in NZ

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On the other hand...I treasure the time spent driving. Great Courses lectures, heart-to-heart discussions, quiet thoughts... Our commutes home are often well past dark. Sometimes there's a mystic quality about them. Dh and I both remember reflections that took place on quiet drives while growing up. I try to see them as opportunities. For us, the driving takes time, but it gives back in spades.

Edited by Woodland Mist Academy
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On the other hand...I treasure the time spent driving. Great Courses lectures, heart-to-heart discussions, quiet thoughts... Our commutes home are often well past dark. Sometimes there's a mystic quality about them. Dh and I both remember reflections that took place on quiet drives while growing up. I try to see them as opportunities. For us, the driving takes time, but it gives back in spades.

Oh, that does sound lovely:)

The driving might be ok if I didn't also have a van full of littles to get out into carseats each time & whining toddlers on the drive.

There's no listening to Great Courses or private conversations- just "let's get you dropped off & picked back up as quickly as possible before the littles have a melt down".

I like your version better:)

 

My dream is to move into town.

Edited by Hilltopmom
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Oh, that does sound lovely:)

The driving might be ok if I didn't also have a van full of littles to get out into carseats each time & whining toddlers on the drive.

There's no listening to Great Courses or private conversations- just "let's get you dropped off & picked back up as quickly as possible before the littles have a melt down".

I like your version better:)

 

YMMV....literally!  ;)

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On the other hand...I treasure the time spent driving. Great Courses lectures, heart-to-heart discussions, quiet thoughts... Our commutes home are often well past dark. Sometimes there's a mystic quality about them. Dh and I both remember reflections that took place on quiet drives while growing up. I try to see them as opportunities. For us, the driving takes time, but it gives back in spades.

 

 

Yes! I swear one of my kids only talks to me on a deep vs superficial level in the car and at bedtime. At bedtime, I am wiped out. It's bedtime! LOL But in the car, I'm ripe for conversation. It's ideal.

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Gosh, I had not thought about how much transportation factors into this answer. My 9th grader walks or takes public transport, so no driving for me and no leaving him stuck at home if I go out.

 

It is easy for me to be gone for part of the day. He would get lonely if I were gone all day, though.

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I did not work during our home school years (just graduated youngest dc) because all of our children needed me in some way - academic help, emotional support, accountability, social interaction. In addition, all of our children participated in performing arts and/or worked. We have a big age spread, so even though we had drivers, I usually had to take the olders to activities because I needed the car to drive the youngest. So, the reality of home schooling high school in our family was lots of driving and hard work. I've been on this board for a few years and read posts about high achieving, independent children with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I was always inspired by what other families are doing, but at the same time, it wasn't my world. We had high school students who needed help - severe learning disabilities to struggles in specific academic areas. Our successes came through plugging away. Each family is unique.

 

 

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Gosh, I had not thought about how much transportation factors into this answer. 

 

I sometimes wish people would include transportation time in their posts on various topics.  ;)

 

Time spent commuting really makes a difference. I think not realizing this can contribute to inaccurate perceptions of how people do so much. Ruth's post is an excellent example. For some teens, doing all those activities would mean hours and hours in the vehicle each week. That may not be feasible for some families, and it may be frustrating if they aren't aware it can be done in her family because most things are within walking distance in a relatively safe area.

 

A short walk or bike ride to DE that many posters have is a far cry from a 45 min - 1 hour drive each way that many others have. So when making the DE/AP decision the commute needs to be factored in. 

 

Our activities range from the city (cities, to be more accurate) to the country, so living in the city would just increase the drive to the country and vice versa. Living in the city would change the driving, it wouldn't eliminate it. If we want the best of what both the worlds offer, we need to drive to get it. The flip side is that we can't take advantage of everything that either offers. Every decision has trade-offs. The decisions about trade-offs do seem to get harder in high school. 

 

Context and location matter so very much. Sometimes that's easy to forget online...

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I found that my high schoolers still required a lot of attention. I wasn't sitting on the couch doing aside by side lesson or read aloud. I was checking that work had been done daily and in some cases correcting the actual work. When my kids stumbled by getting behind or distracted, my lack of daily attention was always a contributing factor.

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I just graduated our oldest.  Each year of high school has been unique and it has differed for each child.  I think you need to ask what instruction format you plan to use and what activities you will want to have them in.  

 

High school was a busy time for my kids and for me.  Not only did academics ramp up in the level of difficulty, but also I felt a bit more pressure because of the sense that everything "counted."  It was less of an option to just push something off until next year or a nebulous "later."  In the states where we lived there was minimal path (or no path) to move from homeschool into public high school that would give the student credit for any high school work done at home.  

 

I think that it is easy to overestimate the ability of a 9th grader to self-motivate and self-regulate.  They are more able to do longer reading assignments and complicated math than younger students.  But they may also be prone to a lot of distractions.  Coursework that is done on a computer tended to add to the distractions, since a cool You Tube video or article was just a click away.  

 

I think it is possible for some families to balance homeschool with a working parent as the lead teacher/mentor/tutor.  But I think you also have to be on top of the academics and not put off grading or otherwise checking work.  You might also ask yourself how much you might resent having to take time away from work in order to help them through a sticky time in academics or maturity.  Would working limit the homeschool activities they could participate in?  Would you want to do a coop that expected parent participation or would work commitments conflict with that?  Are homeschool science teams, sports and other activities during the regular school day (when gym or pool space is more available) or during "afterschool" hours?  

 

 

Edited by Sebastian (a lady)
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 We are outsourcing every class for my upcoming high schooler, so....it's hard to explain.  I have to be around. Not only would it be lonely and boring if I was too busy to stop and discuss whenever my son is in the mood, but he still needs guidance, and a mom to watch over him.

 

I spend my entire afternoon driving my kids around...next year my two kids will need a total of 23 trips (including the drop off and the pickup separately, and if I stay at the location that is not counted as an extra trip)....per week of me getting in the car to take them somewhere.  I have two kids.  The one thing that is close enough to bike to, is during rush hour and therefore way too dangerous....oh well.  

 

I think if I were squeezing work in, it would probably be ok early in the am, like from 7-10...and if your teens are on a strict chore schedule so everyone knows what is expected to help around the house.  Typically they are very self-teaching, and even if you don't outsource you won't really sit at the table teaching all day.  Outsourcing doesn't save time for you if it includes driving.  If you outsource to an online provider it saves a little time, but again your kids hopefully will still discuss things with you, and you can study with them a bit and meet with them daily to see if they need advice or help planning or even help with the material.

 

So, I would say working about 3 hours a day would be do-able if it's time properly and you are on the ball with things in general.  :o)

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I sometimes wish people would include transportation time in their posts on various topics.  ;)

 

Time spent commuting really makes a difference. I think not realizing this can contribute to inaccurate perceptions of how people do so much. Ruth's post is an excellent example. For some teens, doing all those activities would mean hours and hours in the vehicle each week. That may not be feasible for some families, and it may be frustrating if they aren't aware it can be done in her family because most things are within walking distance in a relatively safe area.

 

A short walk or bike ride to DE that many posters have is a far cry from a 45 min - 1 hour drive each way that many others have. So when making the DE/AP decision the commute needs to be factored in. 

 

 

Definitely. DD rode horses, that was only a 15 minute drive to the barn, but that was just far enough not to make it worthwhile driving back to town and then drive back out to pick her up - so it was not just driving, but also sitting at the barn. I watched her riding lessons every week for several years until she had made friends with older girls who'd give her rides and then finally could drive herself.

 

DS takes judo classes in the city. That is 2 hours one way. Before he had his license, we could manage to do that once every two weeks (car pooling with another family); he then added a martial arts studio, and we went three times in two weeks. Now he goes three times a week, some of the trips are shared with a friend.

 

At least the university where we do DE is in town, five minutes drive.

 

We were always very clear which activities and driving was possible with our work schedules and what was too much. I had no qualms about saying no when I was unavailable to chauffeur because of work - such is life, and kids can learn that not everything is possible. We try our best, but I don't think the kids are short changed when some things are simply not doable for us.

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 Would working limit the homeschool activities they could participate in?  Would you want to do a coop that expected parent participation or would work commitments conflict with that?  Are homeschool science teams, sports and other activities during the regular school day (when gym or pool space is more available) or during "afterschool" hours?  

 

And just a comment: it is entirely possible to homeschool without having the kids be involved in daytime activities geared specifically towards homeschoolers. It is possible to homeschool without coops and homeschool sports teams, and homeschooled kids can participate in activities that happen after the traditional school and work day.

Homeschool activities may be nice, but are not essential.

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And just a comment: it is entirely possible to homeschool without having the kids be involved in daytime activities geared specifically towards homeschoolers. It is possible to homeschool without coops and homeschool sports teams, and homeschooled kids can participate in activities that happen after the traditional school and work day.

Homeschool activities may be nice, but are not essential.

Quite true. We haven't done a coop in several years.

 

But we also only get to spend an hour once. A swim team commitment may rule out robotics. A family that wanted a coop for science or lit might find they were expected to volunteer at the coop and not just drop off.

 

I don't think homeschool groups are a necessity. But they may present a time conflict.

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There are so many options you won't be able to even begin to sort them all out until much closer to high school. My children are close in age and have different home schooled high school experiences. But in general most parents could work part time while dc are in high school.

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