I am a working mom with five children all under the age of 11. Most people think that I am either a) crazy to homeschool (i.e. I can’t wait to get rid of my kids, why do you choose to spend so much time with yours) or b) wow, superwoman, I could never find the time, energy, insert excuse here to homeschool my kids.
First of all, to group a, really you can’t stand your kids that much? I’m sorry. Group b, here’s the wonderful thing about homeschool, it actually takes up less time than public school. Yes, you read that right, less time.
You see, I’ve tried the public school mom route. I used to take my oldest to the bus stop, then we became a car line family, and man did that take time! I either had to get to the school an hour before the kids got out to be at the front of the line, or wait in the line that would often wind it’s way out the parking lot and down the road for an hour. Usually I managed to strike some sort of happy in between balance.
But the problem with this is that the schedule I was keeping there, was not my schedule. Yes, I got to drop off 2 kids at 8:30, but would be back by 1:30-2 to pick them up, and having to think about thay during the day kept me stressed. You can’t be late to pick up your kid from public school.
This kind of schedule would only give me about 5 hours away from some of my kids, not enough time to get things done and now that I work, I don’t know how parents who do, manage. So parents of public school kids who don’t think you have the time? Let me tell you this, you will have more time by homeschooling then you ever did with public school and it’ll be on your schedule.
I now work nights, leaving before midnight and not getting home till after when kids would be in school. If my children were public school, our lives at home would only overlap by about 5-6 hours a day, most of which, either I or they would be sleeping during. By homeschooling, when we are awake, we are together. We can school when we are all together and do not have anything else pressing. Sometimes in the car, sometimes at home, shoot we’ve even done homeschool at doctor appointments and sport events. Homeschooling allows the ultimate in flexibility for the entire family.
The way that I think I am able to manage working fulltime is because I am able to work at night. My kids stay at home with their dad during the day, though he isn’t available to help with the schooling during those hours. When I come home on the days I have worked, I sleep. On a good day, I get the amount of sleep I need uninterrupted and am back up before they’re in bed, if I have trouble sleeping or their is some appointment, I don’t wake up for bedtime. And that’s the other thing, I still do appointments, either taking who needs to go where or watching the kids who don’t. Now, if I’m watching, we will get some school done, otherwise, it is done in the evenings on the good days before I go in, or it is done on my days off. Which is technically three days since I work four ten-hour shifts. I also really count on my older children to know what they need to be doing, and at least try their work independently before asking me, and to help their younger siblings when I am unavailable. That’s how it works for us.
If you’re a working homeschool mom, how do you balance the two? Also, where is the most interesting place you’ve done homeschool?