When many of us think of a home-schooling family, we often picture a stay-at-home mom, a working dad, and one or two kids. While this idyllic scene may be what we picture, it is not necessarily typical.
Some mothers are discouraged from home schooling their children because they work outside the home. They think that it's simply not possible to home school their kids and work, too. But it is, in fact, quite possible. If you are trying to juggle home schooling and working outside the home, or are just considering it as a possibility, here are some tips that may help.
1. Get rid of preclusions about how long a school day needs to be. Those of us who grew up in the public school system tend to think of school as taking all day, from early morning to mid or late afternoon. However, homeschooling tends to take much less time than public school.
Home schooling is more focused, has fewer students, and does not have to allow for transportation time and other activities that, when they involve 25 or 30 kids, can take a lot of time. Depending on your curriculum and the number and age of your students, you can actually spend as little as 30 minutes to 1 hour each day home schooling, and still be doing a thorough job.
2. Choose a curriculum that is not too complicated or involved. Look for curricula that are based on short, daily lessons that cover one or two subject a day. That's another myth to let go of - you don't have to have lessons in every subject every day.
3. Work errands in with your commute to and from work. For example, take a minute during your commute to pick up a collection of books at the library (many libraries let you call ahead and ask for books on a certain subject, and you can simply drive by and pick them up). Or maybe stop by the art store for supplies on the way home. Order supplies online.
4. Let your kids' daily caretaker do some lessons with them, too. You may find that the caretaker appreciates having this kind of "pre-planned" day.
5. It's okay to home school in the evenings. You can read over dinner, for example, or at bedtime. You can do a short science project or experiment after dinner.
6. Plan ahead. Prepare a schedule each week so that you don't waste time trying to plan lessons off the cuff.