Can you homeschool and still work full time? Learn about the pros and cons of homeschooling while working full time, and see if it is right for your family.
Working Full Time and Homeschooling
When you picture a homeschooling family, you likely think of a dad who works full time and a mom who stays home all day and schools the kids. This scenario has become increasingly less common.
Many families can’t afford for either parent to stay home full time; they need the income. Is homeschooling compatible with full-time work? It can be.
Things to Consider
Before you jump into working full-time and homeschooling, you need to consider the pros and cons.
In the plus column, your child may thrive in a homeschool environment. School may not be the best fit for your child for a number of reasons, be it social, medical, or academic. At home your child’s anxiety may decrease, he may focus better, and you can tailor his academics to his learning style and needs.
In the negative column, your child may become lonely at home. This is especially true if your work requires you to be away from home. Even if you are home, your child may miss out on human interaction if you are engaged in your work duties.
Another negative is the time that it takes to homeschool. Even if you go with a fully online curriculum, your child will likely need your help and your oversight. Working full-time, you may not have the bandwidth to essentially do two jobs.
To end on a positive note, homeschooling has evolved to include many choices under the umbrella of homeschooling. You do have time-saving options to consider, like virtual classes, drop-off co-ops, and tutors. You do not have to be the one overseeing every single bit of your child’s school.
How to Make It Work
If you plan on homeschooling when working full-time, you will need to be organized and stick to a schedule. Have set school hours for your child, and check in on her during that time. You don’t need to be 100% available, but you do need to have times during the day where you can work together.
You also need to pick your curricula wisely. Some programs require a parent to present each lesson; others are designed for the student to work independently. You may want to consider online programs that keep track of your child’s progress. You can even check their progress remotely.
If you are considering working full time and homeschooling, take into account your job’s flexibility. Obviously, jobs where you can work remotely are a great fit. Or you may work evenings or weekends or very early mornings, enabling you to be home with your student during school hours.
When It’s Not a Good Fit
Homeschooling while working full time does not work in every instance. These factors may indicate a poor fit:
If You Work Outside the Home
If you work outside the home and your child will be alone during the day, he or she may not thrive as a homeschooler. Typically, children need human interaction, and most need accountability. Your presence isn’t just valuable, it’s vital.
If You Have Preschoolers or Small Children
Young children learn through play and interaction. As the homeschooling parent, you will need to facilitate and safely oversee those activities. Even if you have older siblings at home, a young child is a demanding student in need of lots of parent stimulation and direction. They typically won’t leave you alone, and it’s not fair to expect them to do that. If you need uninterrupted time for work, homeschooling may not be the best choice.
If Your Child Is Not a Self-Starter
Some children are naturally self-motivated. They will work diligently and efficiently whether you are there or not. These children are easy to homeschool (and they are also pretty rare). If your child is not a self-starter, he may need your presence to stay motivated and on task. If you are working full time and homeschooling, you may not have the time to oversee your child’s schoolwork to the degree that he needs.
If Your Family Is Disorganized
If you are homeschooling and working full time, let’s face it, you are working two jobs. That takes a lot of time, commitment, and organization. You need to keep a careful schedule and stick to it. If your family prefers a more free-form way of living, it may be a challenge to work full time and homeschool.
Is Homeschooling While Working Full Time Possible?
The short answer to this question is yes. It is possible to both homeschool and work full time, but it is not the best choice for every family. You need to keep in mind your family style, your work flexibility, and your child’s age and tendencies. If you think it may be a good fit for your family, give it a try!