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homeschool and working

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I would like to know how some of you work and homeschool. 

I just started a new job as our family needs some extra income and wondering how I am going to balance it all. 
Luckily its a job I can do mostly at home and doesn't have a bunch of small parts where kids can get into and eat them :)


But it will require some talking on phone, texting, computer, paperwork and driving and meeting people. 


So send me all your advice on this topic...

Edited by happycc
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I work outside of the home 3-4 nights a week and homeschool during the day. The hardest parts for me are balancing all the kids activities while trying to work. That and the fact that there is precious little time for myself. Every moment seems taken up by work, homeschool, or the million other things such as cooking, cleaning, errands, shopping, lesson planning, chauffeuring etc...


I actually think it would be harder for me to work from home. Once I am at work I can change gears and forget about the state of my kitchen or the subject that we didn't quite get to that day. Maybe someone who works from home can chime in but my guess is you need to carve out some sacred work time. You may need help with childcare depending on their ages. Working from home is still work. Homeschool is still school. Make sure you have enough physical hours in the week to do both!

Edited by CaliforniaDreaming
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I worked for one year, June 2015 - June 2016, while homeschooling three children. The oldest child was doing all online classes and was very independent. My younger two were in 8th and 9th grades.


It was the most stressful year I have ever had in terms of homeschooling. Ultimately I was unable to manage both. I did well at my job and even got a raise during that time but I was constantly stressed. My husband travels a great deal for his job so he wasn't there to pitch in. If he was home everyday I think I might have been able to do it. For me the hardest part was always feeling like I was failing. I always felt like I was dropping the ball. I constantly felt guilty. 


My advice is to drop some of your expectation levels. I really wish that I had been able to make working and homeschooling work for me. I loved my job but felt like I was always failing my family. I have a lot of respect for women who homeschool and work successfully. It's not easy!


Good luck to you! 

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I work 20 hours a week outside the home. I agree it would be very hard to work from home, so I think to make it work you'd need to set a schedule and pretend like you aren't home during those hours. 


I work from noon to five Monday through Thursday. School gets done in the morning, then dh meets me and the kids at work and takes them home. To make it work, I have to set a strict schedule and stick to it. We don't have the luxury of sleeping in every day like some homeschoolers do. We're at the breakfast table by 7:30 every morning and have our Bible study while we eat. We don't participate in any co-ops, partly because they always seem to meet during my work hours and partly because spending 20 minutes on a subject independently is more efficient than the hour or so that a co-op might spend. We also don't do a lot of the "fun" arts and crafts type activities. 


I had to let my extreme frugal side go, and spend the extra money buying new workbooks for the second kid because photocopying takes too much time. I also just had to break down and buy video lectures for ds's math, because I just don't have time to work through each day's lesson with him. Curriculum needs to be as independent as possible. Work that they need my help with must get done in the morning while I'm home. The subjects they can handle solo can be done while I'm at work. My oldest has to be trusted to check his own answers in the teacher's guide. Actually he has to be trusted to do his work period because sometimes I let a ridiculously long amount of time go by in between cracking open his notebooks to make sure there's something in them. I check his writing and grade his tests. 


Also, sometimes I end up needing to put in more than 20 hours a week at work if necessary. I start my school year early with this in mind, because sometimes the kids have to take a day off from school so I can work. 


It's also hard not to get envious or feel bad when I start comparing myself to what all my SAH friends do with their kids. I just don't have time for activities. I've moved heaven and earth to make ballet once a week happen for dd. Not sure how I'll manage when she's ready for twice a week or if ds gets interested in joining something. Of course, I also have little patience with same SAH friends when they start complaining about having too much to do!!

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After 9 years of being exclusively a SAHM/homeschooling parent, I returned to part-time teaching work this past year. (I work a little from home and a little at work. So this past year, I was home with my children every weekday during the day to homeschool, and I did my teaching work one or two evenings a week and one or two weekend days per week. I have been able to do all of my prep work from home, so in all I've been working 15-20 hours per week.)


It felt very hard at first, just because it was a major change. I had to sort of re-learn how to work in the professional world. This was a great thing and something that I very much wanted to do, but it was very humbling simply because I felt so out of practice! (I felt like a teenager and kinda inept at times, but it was a necessary process.) So, the first weeks were hard because I had to be very disciplined. (I could no longer get x done "sometime between today and Friday"; I would look at the calendar and see that x could only get done Wednesday night, so I had to do it Wednesday night, period.) Another thing that helped is that, when I officially got the job, my husband and I sat our kids down and explained that now that Mommy is working again, we expected them to pitch in and help out more. (Not in a punitive way, just in a "our family is a team and we help each other" way.) I think this made our girls feel needed and important and essential to the family, because they have both risen to the occasion and been very helpful! (The timing has meshed well with my kids' development.) Looking at your signature, it looks like you have several teens who might be able to pitch in with household stuff and caring for the younger kiddos, etc., so that should be a help! I'm also lucky in that my husband has always been one to do his fair share of the household tasks. (He has always done grocery shopping and cooks most of the dinners; I do all the cleaning and laundry and homeschooling. The kids are helping to the best of their ability with all of the above.) Honestly, the hardest part is seeing my housekeeping suffer a bit. (I am extremely tidy and I can no longer keep my house super clean at all times. This bothers me far more than I care to admit, but honestly, I know deep down that it's probably healthier/better for my children that their mother has to let go of her perfectionism in this area.) 


So, I think it's likely that you'll have 3 months or so of that learning curve, where you have to search out your new groove, but once you find it, everything will be okay! I don't think my homeschool has suffered at all; rather, like I said, it's more the household stuff that suffers. But I have been forced to be more efficient, and I am mostly keeping up so far! I definitely have less free time, but I find I am more intentional with the free time I DO have. (So, there is a LOT less mindless internet scrolling in my life, much more intentional use of my time applied towards household things and hobbies, etc.) I've been working for 9 months now and it no longer feels that hard. Instead, it feels more like a rich life. There are still small, tricky periods of stress, like when a new class is about to start and I have a bunch of extra stuff to do and there is that deadline crunch, but the more I do it, the better I get. Overall, it feels really good to be working again, and honestly, I just feel so lucky that I was able to find something that was compatible with homeschooling. My life is nothing glamorous, but it feels rich with meaning; I'm finding a way to do things that are important to me. (To be sure, my job is hardly some amazing high-powered career, but I truly feel like I am doing what I can for the season of life that I am in. I am doing it with my whole heart, and that is enough.) 


That said, life is still very full, sometimes uncomfortably so. I teach at our homeschool co-op, too, and it's a lot; everything we do might not be sustainable long-term. (So...co-op might have to eventually go.) I am likewise staying open to the fact that I may need to step away from work when my oldest hits high school. (Work may prove to be too much for that time, and homeschooling is definitely my number one priority.) Or, the opposite might happen: I might be so efficient by then at the working-and-homeschooling thing that doing both will be no sweat. So we'll see. But my plan is just to keep evaluating every year. If I find my homeschool truly begins to suffer, I will step away from work again. 


So, my advice is to be kind to yourself; you are doing so much (and you have lots more kiddos than I do)! Ask for help from adults and from children. Write daily to-do lists. Make sure anything you put on your calendar is something that is necessary or truly enriching. (For us, anything on the calendar has to be a HECK YEAH! or it's a NO. I no longer have time or space for people, things, or events I'm only lukewarm about.) Give yourself time to re-learn how to do all this. But honestly, it gets so much better!! Working makes me feel good and the extra money has been such a help (even if it's only a small amount.) You can do this and you'll be showing your children that they, too, can succeed at difficult things. Wishing you all the best!

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