We started homeschooling ten years ago. For a portion of that time, I was homeschooling and working full time. Is it possible? Can you homeschool and work full time?
Was it easy?
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But that doesn’t mean to say that you can’t work while homeschooling. You can.
I am assuming that you are new to this way of life – if this is the case, then read my post how to start homeschooling. In that post, you will find five crucial beginner tips for every new homeschool mom including some homeschooling tips for all the dads out there that are supporting your decision.
If I was to give you one piece of solid advice it would be to put things in place from the beginning of your homeschooling journey.
This includes putting a solid homeschool schedule in place.
The schedule can be a five-day schedule or, if you are working full time and trying to juggle everything at the same time, you might prefer to know how to homeschool 3 days a week.
Either way, get a schedule in place.
Another piece of advice, (and this is crucial one) would be for you to go easy on yourself when things don’t go perfectly to plan.
Because they won’t.
And that’s ok.
Homeschooling and Working Full Time. Is it Possible?
But mainly yes. Bear with me and I’ll explain.
Knowing what I know now, by finding a homeschooling routine that works for you and putting that schedule into place as soon as possible, there is no reason why (with a little give and take you and practising a few self-love exercises along the way) can not make both jobs work.
Listen While You Read!
Why not listen to our latest podcast episode. Homeschooling & Working. 7 MISTAKES I made & how to ensure you DON’T do the same.
Our Homeschooling Journey
My kids were 10 and 7 when I first started to homeschool them and I knew absolutely nothing about education, curriculums or pencil sharpeners.
I was a total novice who spent the first two years of her homeschooling journey crying, making it up as she went along and making loads of mistakes.
If you’d asked me back then how to start homeschooling I would have probably have looked over my shoulder to see who you were talking to.
It took me two years to figure things out.
I know. I’m a very slow learner.
Ten years on and those same children are now teenagers. My son has graduated and my daughter, along with the help of online education programs, is thriving and loving learning at home.
Meaning that I have recently (in the last two years) been able to return back to working full time while homeschooling.
I juggle my hours around her – that’s one of the benefits of homeschooling – the flexibility.
Our Homeschooling Problems
But, like all families who decide to take their kids out of public school to homeschool, we have had our share of problems; one of those was when I tried working full time while home-educating.
We needed the money (and to be honest, I needed a job for my sanity). I had saved all of the cash I could by exhausting all of my how-to homeschool for free tips, but still. We needed extra income.
So I set about working and homeschooling.
Is it possible to work while homeschooling?
Yes, it’s possible (depending on the child’s age and your type of work you do.) Let’s find out more.
Later in the post, I will tell you about successful homeschooling moms (friends of mine) who still manage to work full time later in the post.
I will also be totally upfront and tell you why working full time and homeschooling didn’t work for us the first time around (and how you can make it work for you).
If you would like to read a more in-depth post on what our homeschooling experience was like then you can read my personal homeschooling journey blog post.
Why Not Take This Quick Quiz & See If You Are REALLY Cut Out For homeschooling?
Everyone has different reasons for wanting to homeschool. The most common reasons people decide to homeschool are:
The world decides to throw a hissy fit, send us a pandemic and causes schools to close. As such, the kids are sent home to learn and the parent finds that they are now the ‘teacher’ who must ensure that everything gets done on time and in the right order.
Bullying at school, leading to the child be totally miserable.
The child is not learning at their own pace. Either feels as though he is being left behind or she is too quick.
Family want to spend as much time together, maybe wants to travel (eventually).
The Cost Of Homeschooling
I don’t want you to worry that you need to spend a fortune on homeschooling resources.
There are many pros and cons of homeschooling and the fact that you can homeschool on very little money (as opposed to sending your kids to school where it seems your hand is never out of your pocket) is a huge pro.
You can spend as much and as little as you like on homeschooling. ask anyone who has homeschooled for a while and they will tell you how to homeschool for free.
Don’t believe anyone who tells you that you have to have some fancy pants curriculum in order for your children to learn.
You don’t. Take it from me. I know this for a fact.
We used lots of second-hand workbooks (some I would even rub the answers out of if they had been written in!). There are stacks of brilliant Youtube channels for kids and if ever you need to buy homeschool supplies you can always find companies that are offering things on sale.
Money doesn’t make the perfect homeschooler. Time, patience (and the odd glass of wine) does.
Ok. Rant about money over. Let’s move on.
How To Homeschool And Work. 6 Ways To Succeed At Both.
I totally understand that not everyone is in the financial position to quit their job and homeschool their kids full time.
If you are desperate to homeschool but you need to keep working then let’s look at your options:
REMEMBER. Nothing is impossible. You can still work and be a successful homeschooling parent.
✔︎ You might also want to take this quick quiz to see if homeschooling your kids is going to be your cup of tea.
1: Invest In Some Excellent (FREE) Online Homeschool Courses
If you are going to work and homeschool at the same time you don’t want to be spending all of your earnings on expensive curriculums, and right now, is the ideal time to look into the option of how to homeschool for free.
Many homeschool courses are being offered free (or at a reduced cost) for the next few months so it’s a good time to check them out and decide which ones would work for you.
If your kids are anything like my two you will find that they love having the independence of working through a course online.
And it’s great for you because you can get on with working full time, knowing that your kids are being taught by professionals and are learning at their own pace.
Remember, you can’t do everything so don’t even try.
Do NOT rule out the excellent YouTube channels for kids that are available. Both of my kids learned 50% of what they know from Youtube – people often overlook this free resource and they shouldn’t.
2: Preferably Do a Job Where You Can Work From Home
If you have a work from home job then you are pretty much good to go.
You will have to have a very good weakly planner and a solid homeschooling schedule for the kids.
It sounds boring I know, but if you try and rely on spontaneity then you will quickly spread yourself too thin and end up with burn out.
And that doesn’t help anyone.
You will have to adjust your hours accordingly but there’s no reason why older kids (aged ten and upwards) cannot be given a project or some set work and work independently for a couple of hours at a time.
Again, I don’t know your kids, but mine would have been able to do about 40 minutes at a time. This gives you plenty of time to arrange your work into blocks.
Work it around your own kids but most importantly, make sure it works for you too.
3: Pick Your Own Days and Hours
Remember, homeschool kids don’t have to be ‘working’ from 9 until 3.
You will find that your children will complete their formal learning in a couple of hours. After that, they can work on projects, build lego, read books, watch documentaries etc.
And there is no saying that ‘school’ has to be Monday – Friday.
Why not have two full days of learning (even though your kids will be learning constantly) at the weekend and have Mon – Fri as unschooling days?
Condense homeschooling into a three day week and dedicate the other days to your job. This is another way to combine homeschooling and working (but please promise me that you won’t work seven days a week without a break).
Next, you could read…
The other option is to join a homeschool family conglomerate. I know lots of other families who do this.
This agreement meant that they would share the days that each parent had the group of kids at their house and worked with them.
If you have enough families that you like and trust, (and let’s assume that the country is out of lockdown) then you can potentially be the ‘homeschool teacher’ for one day a week – making this the perfect solution for families who wish to work and don’t want their children being sent to school.
Make sure that you ask for help when you need it. I mean it.
Do not try to be the hero for everyone.
There are many other working parents who are trying to homeschool that are in the same position as you are and would welcome a couple of days break.
Next, you could read…
5: Part-Time Homeschooling
This is fast becoming a very popular option, with schools agreeing that rather than the child return back to school full time they can stay at home for part of the week.
Speak to your local school and ask them how this could work for you.
If you are working full time but still wish to homeschool then this could be your perfect solution. Talk about taking your child home for the afternoons, or for two full days a week.
Either that or let me help you to create a schedule that allows you to homeschool for 3 days a week.
And promise me you won’t get caught up in the trap of thinking ‘their friends will exclude them’. They won’t. Not if they are real friends.
6: Take Care Of Yourself
This is the last and probably the most important tip in order for you to succeed at homeschooling while working full time.
You must remember, for the sake of everyone, to take care of yourself.
Practice some self-love exercises or if you don’t have time for that then promise me that you will at least read a few of these self-love quotes every day. They really do work in the inspiration department and will go a long way in ensuring a successful homeschooling journey.
You are not a superhero (although to your kids you always will be) you are human and you must treat yourself with care at this challenging time.
- Take regular breaks. It is a proven fact that taking a break increases productivity. Take a five-minute break every thirty to forty minutes. This break must include getting up from your desk, walking around and stretching.
- Consider taking a break from social media until you are in a place of stability. You do not need any excuse to compare yourself to others right now. If you can’t cut social media out for at least two weeks then limit the time that you check your feed.
Homeschooling & Working Full Time. (What it Looked Like For Us).
- Homeschooling while working full time. It’s hard, but it’s not impossible, especially not if your kids are teenagers and are capable of sitting with the work that has been assigned to them.
- As your kids become older, your homeschool routine will change and adapt. By using more online tutors your time will be freed up. As mine was.
- This was probably the insane reason I decided to start my own business again and believed that I could manage both homeschooling and working full time.
- I am addicted to starting new ventures; I get a real buzz from it. I was ready for a new challenge and so decided to build a touring theatre in education company.
- This I did, and it was a huge success. But what was supposed to be a part-time venture took over nearly 40 hours a week of my time for a year. I was homeschooling and working full time, and it wasn’t easy.
- The trouble was not being able to give 100% commitment to either one or the other. I tried to balance both, but in the end, it was too much.
- Educating at home while working full time. It’s not easy. Yes, it helped that the kids were both involved in my business, but at the same time, It was a massive juggling act.
- My daughter was only 12 when I started to work and she had to take a bit of a back seat.
- Although I don’t think it did her any harm, in fact, it was probably good for her to see her mum create a business from scratch and then make it all work, I also know it wasn’t easy for her.
- I quit the business and returned back to full-time homeschooling.
- Three years later and I am now, once again, homeschooling and working full time, but this time it is different. This time it is a success. My daughter is older and I have lowered my expectations. I now know that kids learn with or without traditional lessons, so I am able to trust in myself a lot more.
Why not listen to our latest podcast episode. Homeschooling & Working. 7 MISTAKES I made & how to ensure you DON’T do the same.
Do I Know of Anybody Who’s Made a Success From Homeschooling and Working Full Time?
Yes, I do. I know lots of people.
- A vet who made homeschooling work for her family. Her boys were both under ten years of age. They would spend all day playing games and writing out projects while she was in her practice mending animals.
- I have a friend who works full time while her son (who surfs for New Zealand) is left to fit his work in around his own schedule. He is a successful teenager, and the family make it work.
- A full-time midwife juggles three children under 12 and still manages to smile when she sees me. Some days she takes the children with her to the clinic, and other days her husband is at home for a few hours. They juggle, work with a schedule and make it happen.
Next, You Could Read...
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Summing Up Homeschooling And Working Full Time
The one thing that I want you to take away from this post is that you must go easy on yourself while both working and trying to help with your child’s education.
If some days you don’t feel up to teaching them then stick a movie on and have a snuggle day.
I promise you, your kids will be fine and the break will do you the world of good.
Everything will be fine
Homeschooling is a job in itself, granted it might be an unpaid job, but it’s still a job.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. The years that you do homeschool may be poor ones but please make sure they are happy ones.
You can always be supermum when the kids have left home.
If you are thinking about homeschooling but don’t know if you can homeschool and work full time then please drop me a comment below and let me know how I can help. I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.