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Figuring out what to do next year


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Just looking for some different perspectives, as I'm not part of a homeschool community where I live.

I have a 4th grader (homeschooled since 1st grade) and a K'er.  My husband works full time, and I work part time (about 15 hours a week outside the home as an administrative assistant, plus another hour-ish a week at home of paid bookkeeping work).  Currently, when I'm at work, my mother-in-law homeschools my kids (she has 2-3 subjects that are hers).  I love my current boss, but am really interested in going back to school to be a bookkeeper and be able to work in that field for flexibility and better pay.  I've been accepted into a 100% online program for bookkeeping/accounting at a state community college that would start in Fall 2020.  It does 2 classes at a time at an accelerated pace (8 weeks) for 2 years, finishing with an AAS.

What would you do next year?  I am pretty sure that I cannot just add college to my current commitments.  I am pretty strongly against putting my kids back in school (it is not a bad school, but it's not great either, and the peer group for my older child is not great).  I could ... quit my job?  We would still be able to make ends meet, although we would not be able to pay down debt as quickly.

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So is your MIL willing to step up and do the rest of the homeschooling? So then you just need to talk with her about what can work for her. A 5th grader will be increasingly able to do tasks from a work list with supervision, leaving her free to work with the 1st grader. Should work. Is there a curriculum you're using now with them that needs to change if she goes to teaching them completely? That's where I would start. I would not make radical changes, just particular changes. 

And just so you're thinking it through, where is this going 2 years from now? You're already working part time. You want to work full-time and have MIL continue to homeschool? You'll put them in school at that point? You'll be able to afford a school you like?

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Wasn't quite sure what you're looking for here... Are you looking for general input about you doing work + school and how to schedule home life to make that all fit? Or are you looking for specific homeschool materials and ways of homeschooling that might make this all possible??

For example:
- would you want, and would it work, for MIL to full-time homeschool while you do full-time school + part time work
- can you reduce overall time spent on homeschooling per day, and go to a year-round schedule of homeschooling to fit better with your schedule
- is DH able to take over 1 school subject to do with DC at nights or on weekends, to reduce your homeschooling time
- can you reduce/streamline things like shopping/cooking/cleaning to free up time for school -- like, shop 1x/week, make/freeze bulk meals, make mostly crockpot/instant pot dinners, DH and you alternate making dinners, buy more frozen/pre-made dinners, etc.

And... before even getting to that point of thinking about options, I would ask:
- are online classes (esp. a 100% online program) a good fit for YOU?
- and you self-motivated to schedule and keep it up day after day with no classroom support/accountability? And another question: do they have a non-accelerated program that takes longer, and would that fit into your current schedule better -- so take 3-4 years doing 1 class at a time, but which allows you to still work and homeschool and have a home life.
- also: how supportive will DH and MIL (and your DC) be of you taking out 2 years to do this program?

Edited by Lori D.
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9 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

are online classes (esp. a 100% online program) a good fit for YOU?

This is a HUGE question. Ask for the graduation rates from the program and that will tell you a lot. They have to keep this kind of data on completion. Accelerated and quarterly classes are very risky. It's still an associates in 2 years, so you're not accelerating the overall program, only your risk if real life crops up. You can have issues like profs being slow on feedback/grade and the course being largely over before you realize what was happening. It can work, but you want to be very careful.

Also remember that online students have legal rights to access all the same services, including disability services, accommodations, testing, etc. as traditional/on campus students. So if you ever had issues with learning, ADHD, needing accommodations, or even suspicioned you might need something, now would be the time to get that paper trail in order and get those accommodations lined up. 

Edited by PeterPan
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