Want to homeschool and do not know where to start because you work full time?
Well, I have created this guide to help overwhelmed working moms who want homeschool but don’t know where to start.
More and more parents are opting to homeschool their children. Over the past few years the homeschool population has grown at an estimated 2% to 8% per year.
This guide it’s for you,
- A mom who homeschool and work in or out of the house
- If you want to start homeschooling after the pandemic.
- If you want to start homeschooling but have not done so because “you have to work and can’t find the time”
- I want to homeschool but don’t know where to start
- What is homeschooling?
- Common Misconceptions of Homeschooling
- How to start homeschooling when you have no Idea how to do this
- #1 Learn the law in your state/ country
- #2 Find a support group
- #3 Research methods and learning style for your child
- How to start homeschooling when you have a full-time job?
- What are the best homeschooling curriculums for working moms?
- Tips for becoming a successful homeschool working mom
- How to homeschool when you have a fulltime job outside of the house
- How much does homeschooling cost?
- You may also like to read one of these…
What is homeschooling?
Homeschooling is when parents take responsibility for their children’s education by teaching them at home instead of sending their children to public or private schools. You can also, hire a tutor to homeschool your children.
Common Misconceptions of Homeschooling
Is homeschooling legal?
Many parents worry that homeschooling is not legal, but it is legal in all fifty states. Each state has different requirements. Here is a great resource where you can get detailed information on how to withdraw from public school and various homeschooling requirements.
In the states of North Carolina where I’m from, I am not required to register my homeschool until my first homeschool child is 7 years old.
How is my child going to socialize?
One big argument against homeschooling is the limited opportunity for children to socialize with their peers.
I laugh every time I get this question/argument towards homeschooling because let’s be real kids are kids and they socialize everywhere they go.
However, homeschooling parents have many opportunities where their children can interact with others like going to parks, museums and exhibitions and arranging playdates with other homeschooling parents, in my neighborhood there are a lot of homeschooling families and once every so often we decide to take our kids to the community pool together. You see, it’s as easy as that.
Many homeschooling parents join a homeschooling association near them where they meet other parents who homeschool and their children can befriend other homeschooled children.
Another great opportunity for socialization is to volunteer in your local community. This also teaches children important values and new skills.
You and your children can also join the local community center. These places have loads of activities for children and adults.
How to start homeschooling when you have no Idea how to do this
#1 Learn the law in your state/ country
Legal requirements for homeschooling in the U.S. vary from state to state. In some states homeschooling is highly regulated and other states have little or no regulations. Use this Homeschool Legal Defense Association resource (HLDA) to find out what the legal requirements in your state are. This is really the first Step to starting your homeschool journey.
#2 Find a support group
The HLDA is a great support group for parents who homeschool. But these support groups vary by state so I suggest that you google “homeschooling support group in (whatever state you are in)” This will bring you the homeschooling groups around you.
#3 Research methods and learning style for your child
We all experience the world differently and we learn about the world in different ways. We tend to remember more information we receive in a way that matches our natural learning style.
Please, please do not skip this like I did learn the way your child learns best and it will guide you into the best curriculum for him/her and you.
There are four main types of learning styles and no one fits neatly into just one of them.
These are children who learn through sight. They need information to be presented visually – drawings and graphs, photos and images. This is the child who likes to doodle, who takes notes and make lists.
These children learn best when they can see the information, so telling them the information is not as effective as letting them read it by themselves.
These children learn best when they hear the information. These children prefer to listen to someone explaining a concept rather than read written notes.
You will know your child is an auditory learner if he likes to talk and read aloud and aren’t afraid to speak about what is being learned.
They are good at explaining things verbally.
Give this child lots of opportunities to ask and answer questions. You can also present information in the form of videos to them.
Kinesthetic learners, also referred to as tactile learners, learn best through doing things. They like to use their hands to touch things and see how they work. These are the students who will be willing to do experiments in order to understand what they are learning. They would rather do something than sit and listen to a lecture or read information.
This kind of student finds it difficult to sit still and have a need to keep moving. They need regular breaks from studying.
These learners love the written word. They love to learn to write and love reading. These are the students who love reading just about anything online and who enjoy expressing themselves through writing.
You won’t find it difficult to teach this kind of learner. Just give him lots of opportunities to write essays and reports, to do research online and to read books and articles.
How to start homeschooling when you have a full-time job?
The first thing is to make the decision that you want and need to homeschool your child. especially now with the pandemic being the center of attention.
Have a vision as to why you want to homeschool, write it on your refrigerator and everywhere you can, that way you can remind yourself every time you want to quit.
After you have figured out your child’s learning style it’s time to choose a curriculum that works for you! and to be honest this is a trial and error case. You will find some that you love and others not so great. So try, try, try.
What are the best homeschooling curriculums for working moms?
#1 Finding a curriculum
The next step is to find a curriculum. Choosing a homeschooling curriculum that best fits your needs is important.
Your child’s grade level, learning style and interests will influence the type of curriculum you might choose.
When deciding on a homeschool curriculum, consider the content, the approach to learning and the type of delivery.
Where can I purchase a cheap curriculum?
We have gathered a list of resources for you. Here is the post for 10 Affordable Homeschool Programs.
You can find a complete homeschool curriculum for every grade on Amazon and eBay – just type in “complete curriculum grade…”
Also have a look at:
Ambleside Online — Used by The Survival Mom.
Tips for becoming a successful homeschool working mom
In order to have a good time teaching your children, you can’t be too rigid. Life happens and things won’t always work out as you planned. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and not allow yourself to get too frustrated. Just accept things as they are for now and tackle
Make a to do list
Let me tell you I love my planner and the main reason i love it its because I can write my ideas and plans for the week. Here is where I write my to do list for the kids.
For example I will have a Expectation category: what my daughter needs to get done on that day by herself
The things I will be helping her with an trips that we have planned out.
To do list are awesome especially if you don’t have a set schedule or don’t want to follow one.
The kids don’t always have to sit in silence around the dining room table. You can take them out to the park or on a field trip to have fun while they learn. Remember, kids can also learn from playing games and watching movies. Try to incorporate at least one fun activity a day.
Don’t compare your experience
There is no point in comparing your and your children’s experience of homeschooling with that of other families. People are unique and they have different experiences. Focus on what you have to do and do that to the best of your abilities. That’s all you need to concern yourself with.
When you plan your school year, plan to take some breaks. You are going to need it. These breaks don’t have to extend to weeks; they can just be two or three days, but they are necessary to recharge your batteries. Yours and the children’s.
How to homeschool when you have a fulltime job outside of the house
I am a fulltime nurse, and blog on the side. That being said, I am busy all the time. I depend on my planners. I write everything down on a monthly basis or as I like to calle it “The monthly house vision”…LOL. In my planner you will find what is going on in my house for the whole month. such as:
- Who is teaching what? and the time
- field trips
- science experiments
really anything and everything goes here. I love it and it helps so much to be able to sit down once per month and just do this so the rest of the month can go easily.
The main idea here is for you to focus on the things that you are able to do and can do at home.
Working and homeschooling may be tricky but not impossible to homeschool your children if you have a fulltime job away from your house. Here are some tips on how to overcome this difficulty.
- Alternate shifts with your spouse
If at all possible, try to arrange your work so that you alternate work shifts with your spouse. This way there will always be someone at home with the children. With this arrangement, one parent can take responsibility for certain subjects and the other parent can take care of the rest.
When considering this arrangement, keep in mind that you and your spouse will probably have no ‘’together time’’ with this kind of arrangement which is not sustainable in the long run.
Know that it;s okay to leave the house to work for later and if something don’t get done. When it comes to me I know that mys kids’ learning is more important than me vacuuming the carpet. That being said, my daughter and husband do help out a lot. We all have 10 minutes a day daily chores that need to be completed. The part they love the most is the 10 minutes part.
I also try to have a minimalist house. hard to do with toddler twins but do it able. I have bins for toys and the kids know they have to pick up after they play. they are only 2 years old but trust me they know.
Learn how to keep up with your homeschool
One of the beauty of homeschooling is that you don’t have to lock yourself in a room for 8 hours like regular school. That is not what homeschooling is about.
Finding a curriculum that works for you its key. And planning around it not to overwhelm you but to teach your child what they need to learn and at the sametime allow you to work, because we all need the money.
Get help from relatives or hire reliable childcare
If you have young children, you might consider getting help from relatives or hiring reliable childcare. You can set the work for your child and a relative or someone you hired can see that they complete the work.
If your children are older, you might consider allowing them to get on with their work unsupervised. This will depend on your teen’s level of maturity and the safety of your neighborhood.
- Use a curriculum that you kids can follow independently
If you and your spouse are both working full-time, you and your children will benefit from a homeschool curriculum that incorporates a lot of independent work. A computer-based curriculum or online classes could be ideal for this purpose.
There will be more hands-on work to be done like science experiments – these you will have to plan for times when you are at home to guide the activities,
- Be flexible about your homeschool schedule
Remember that homeschooling doesn’t have to follow the public school schedule. You can start as early as you want and end your school day as late as convenient for you and your children. And you can have school early in the mornings, after work and over the weekends.
You can use your free time at home creatively to get some learning done in fun way. Bedtime stories can include biographies of historical figures in politics, science and more. It can also be the time to learn about literature and poetry.
Watching TV documentaries together can be a fun learning experience for the whole family.
- Consider joining a Co-Op
A homeschool co-op consists of a group of homeschool families that join to share in the education of their children.
Homeschool co-ops offer classes for students. These classes are offered by parents or by someone hired by the co-op.
Some co-ops meet once a week, others meet less often. Co-ops and what they offer is in addition to what you will be doing at home. Co-ops differ widely and you will have to find one that suits your needs. Some co-ops are for field trips and extracurricular activities and other focus on academics.
Frequently asked questions
How much does homeschooling cost?
Your curriculum will be the factor that affects the cost the most. You can create your own curriculum for free, or you can spend a lot of money on a prepared curriculum. It also depends on how much time and effort you are prepared to put into preparing a curriculum and finding bargains.
According to the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), the average parent spends about $300 to $600 per year, per child, on homeschooling curriculum, games, and books.
How long should you homeschool every day?
Don’t worry, teaching your children won’t take the whole day.
Pre-Kindergarten should only learn for about 20-60 minutes a day. Elementary school children should study 2 hours per day and high school kids should study 4 hours per day.
These hours of study should be supplemented with additional optional work and enrichment opportunities like reading, visiting a museum or attending a concert or the theater, or going on a field trip.
Are they going to learn everything they need to know?
Homeschooling works because it allows children to learn at their own pace and takes their learning styles into account. There is also less distraction from students who do not want to learn and don’t value learning.
Homeschooled students are they are self-motivated and don’t need award ceremonies to feel validated.
Studies have shown that homeschooled student perform well on standardized test. The children of parents who use a structured curriculum fare particularly well.
The last thing you need to know about homeschooling
Homeschooling can be challenging and it will test your resolve, but it is as rewarding as it is challenging. Whatever you do, don’t quit!
There will be days when you and your children will be frustrated. Take a breather, take some time off, reassess, but don’t give up.
Here are some important resources you need to know about:
- Homeschool Legal Defense Association — This group is Christian but will defend all homeschoolers against illegal harassment regardless of their faith.
- Information about learning styles
- Learn about your state’s homeschooling laws at the HSLDA website
- Homeschooling advice from The Survival Mom — A collection of articles that have appeared on this blog.
- Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto — A classic, written by an award-winning public school teacher.
- The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child by Linda Dobson
- So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling by Lisa Whelchel
- Teach Your Own by John Holt — A classic written by a pioneering homeschool dad.
- The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer
- The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas by Linda Dobson