Isabella is at the age where we could start sending her to preschool and while we wanted to, it was an added expense we just couldn’t swing for now…possibly after the holiday break. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t still prepare her and provide fun learning tools for her at home. Now if you’re like me and work full-time you’re probably wondering how on earth homeschooling your toddler would work.
I have been following Michelle from Deedle and Bug for a while now on Instagram. She ran an Etsy shop with adorable handmade fabric and felt creations made for fun learning and play. Then one day I noticed that she was closing up her shop and turning her focus on to homeschooling her children. I was intrigued. She continued to share brightly colored, imaginative ideas that looked fun all while teaching her kids. I felt compelled to reach out to her and gain some knowledge. Here’s what she had to say:
Homeschooling has become a growing trend in our society, with terms like “unschooling”, “Charlotte Mason”, and “classical education” peppering social media and blogs. With abundant resources readily available to parents, an increasing number of families are opting to take education into their own hands. Traditionally, homeschooling has been done by stay-at-home moms, but we are now seeing a growing interest in homeschooling among working parents.
The decision to homeschool is a huge undertaking, and can be even more of a challenge if you are working parents. But with a little extra planning and a shift in perspective, it CAN be done. Here are some points to consider if you are exploring your options:
What is your work schedule like? Do you and your spouse both work similar hours? Are your hours flexible? You need to decide WHEN you will be able to homeschool. One of the advantages of homeschoolimg is that you don’t have to limit yourself to traditional school hours. If mornings don’t work for your family, find a time that does. You may have to homeschool on the weekends with mini-lessons in the evenings. You may also consider year-round schooling to make up for lost time during the week.
2. Child care
Where are your children while you work? If you work from home, work boxes or online learning programs may be beneficial if your child is old enough to work independently. If you have a nanny or family member who stays with your children, you might want to consider working together to develop and implement a system where the children complete lessons with the caretaker, and you keep track of their progress when you’re home.
In the case of working parents, I recommend looking into purchasing a complete curriculum. Planning lessons is time-consuming work, and if you are already stretching your time, you may find relief in a pre-planned curriculum. As I said earlier, there are so many resources available to homeschoolers, and you can easily find a curriculum to suit your style. Not only will it give you a complete scope and sequence for the year with objectives and assessments, you can also modify it to make it work for your schedule.
Homeschoolers in general have to be organized, but it is even more important for working parents who choose to homeschool. In addition to keeping track of work projects, meetings, and tasks, you also have to monitor lessons, school projects, assessments, and homeschool records. Come up with a system that works for you and stick to it. Maybe that means keeping file folders with each week’s plans, papers, and notes. Maybe you work better with an online program like Homeschool Manager. Get some binders for record-keeping, and have an organized space for your homeschool materials.
5. Family relationships
Perhaps I should have put this first, because I truly believe it is the most important consideration. With all you have on your plate, how will you strengthen and grow your family relationships. Planning for family time, without school or work, is incredibly important. You might set aside an evening or day each week to simply focus on your family. If you are schooling year-round, you also have the option of taking mini get-aways as a family to unplug and reconnect. Lastly, but equally as important, is your relationship with your spouse. You will need a strong relationship to take on homeschool AND work, but you can’t have that relationship if you are so focused on all of your other obligations that you simply exist together. Think about how you will nurture your marriage and have a honest discussion about what your expectations and needs are throughout these years.
Deciding on how to best educate your child can be daunting, but you don’t have to feel limited because you are a working parent. Think outside the box, discuss your options with your family, and find what works best for you.
Some background on Michelle:
Michelle is a wife, mom, and former high school teacher who swore up and down she would never home-school her kids. Her blog vision is to provide details on her journey with homeschooling, including curriculum, lessons, and resources. Be sure to follow along as she makes learning fun, bright, and creative!
Stay tuned because I’m on a mission to find the best products and resources to help us along this journey!