{Homeschool + Work} How Libraries Might Serve Working Homeschool Parents

 It's really easy for me to imagine a space like this
one--Parman Branch Library in San Antonio, Texas--
filled with working homeschool parents. 

A post over at MindShift has me contemplating the relationship between homeschoolers and libraries.

The piece cites an unnamed librarian who responded to a Pew Research study on library services in the digital age:
"I believe public libraries should move away from being ‘houses of knowledge’ and move more towards being ‘houses of access.’ This is what the public is asking for and we are here to serve them.”
Houses of access.

Houses of co-working, too, perhaps?

It's no secret that huge chunks of my forthcoming book were written at the downtown branch of the San Antonio Public Library while our son attended science camp at the local children's museum. On more than one occasion, I typed furiously on my iPad (thank heavens for Evernote!) while our son played on the grounds of the Parman Library location.

As home education becomes more popular, we will see more and more working homeschool parents in search of collaborative spaces in which to crank out work with peers while their children read, research, and perhaps attend micro-courses.

Libraries, I hope, will pay heed to that demographic and respond.

Does your library reach out to homeschool families? If so, how?

Note: I've extended registration for my How to Homeschool workshop until Sunday, June 2 at 5pm CST. A few spaces remain for the workshop which is come-and-go and therefore incredibly convenient for working parents to attend. Details are here.

{Giveaway} How to Homeschool Workshop Giveaway!

I'm pleased to announce that I have two tickets to giveaway for next week's How to Homeschool virtual workshop (June 3 - 7).

This is my fifth time to offer this online course.*

If you are seriously contemplating homeschool, this workshop may help save you a lot of stress, strain, and money.

Yes, money.

Because we spend so much time in the workshop helping you determine the "right fit" for your family's homeschool experience, you're less apt to purchase the "wrong" kind of curriculum. The group is small and therefore personalized.

This workshop is both faith-based and secular friendly. And we're really good at helping you discern how to juggle homeschool, work, volunteer, and caregiving responsibilities.

• For a complete description of the class, see my EventBrite.com page. •

Interested in registering for a chance to win one of the two free spaces that I have available?

Here are the four ways that you can enter the giveaway:

• Leave a comment on this post at HowtoWorkandHomeschool.com about why you are interested in the workshop.
• Tweet this message on Twitter:

Yes! Working parents CAN homeschool their kids. HowtoWorkandHomeschool.com c: @RedWhiteandGrew

• Repin this post on Pinterest.
• Leave a comment on the HowtoWorkandHomeschool.com Facebook page.

The giveaway registration deadline is 5PM CDT Thursday, May 30, 2013. The winner will be selected at random.

Prefer to purchase your own ticket for the workshop. Click here.

* Please note that a working Facebook account is required of all workshop participants.

{F.A.Q.} Can We Both Work Full-Time and Homeschool?

As word has spread about my new book, I have begun to receive some version of this question regularly:
We love our jobs, and we do not want to give up salaries and insurance. But we think we want to homeschool our kids. Can full-time working parents do that? If so, how?

Here's my answer:

Yes, it can be done. Parents are working full-time and homeschooling their kids. 

My forthcoming book includes a list of schedule options for full-time and part-time working parents. The schedules will help you visualize how to accomplish what you want to do. I also talk at length about how single working parents homeschool their kids.

You can watch this page for updates on the book's release. It is due to be published by GHF Press in July 2013. The price will be under $6--a real value for working parents.

If you need additional support transitioning to the homeschool lifestyle--or if you just can't wait for the book, I offer workshops and private consultations for a fee. Some people express surprise that I charge for consults. I charge because, as a working homeschool parent myself, I generate revenue through my writing and coaching. (Click here for details.)

Childcare is often the single biggest hurdle for working homeschool parents. On that topic, I also suggest that you look for a copy of The Four-Thirds Solution: Solving the Childcare Crisis in America Today at your library or via Amazon.com or another retailer.

Finally, please be sure to take a look around this site and follow me on Facebook.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate-links for Amazon.com.

{Homeschool Tips} You Don't Have to be a Math Whiz to Homeschool Your Kid

Supper... or a study in fractions?

Many would-be homeschool parents are afraid to dive in because they project 2, 5, or 10 years out and think "I sucked at X so I can't teach X and therefore I can't homeschool."

Note this well:

 I'll say it again, because it bears repeating:

Just because you homeschool doesn't mean that you must always be your kids' only teacher.

You can outsource all kinds of lessons and topics via your network of friends and family, tutors, or for-profit learning centers. Or, you may learn like I did, that if you change up your approach to a topic--releasing yourself from how you learned it--you may find new ways of teaching that work better.

Whatever you decide to do, and however you decide to do it: more power to you!

This post originally appeared via my feed at Sulia.com, where I frequently write about homeschooling and other lifestyle topics.

A Lovely Compliment About My Forthcoming Book

My friend Colleen wrote this about my new book on Sulia.com this morning:

Although I don't currently have plans to homeschool, I'm eager to read it to learn how she's successfully working and homeschooling at the same time.

My son is home sick today and I'm working on several deadlines. I'd love to learn some of Pamela's tips for getting work done while caring for (or teaching) small children.
{Read more}
Here's why I love this post (besides the obvious "flattery will get you everywhere, Colleen" aspect):
  1. All parents homeschool in one way or another or at one time or another. The "walls" between the worlds of home, private, and public school are permeable and will become even more so as we reconsider how education is "done" in this country, embracing new concepts like "flipped classrooms."
  2. Caring for and teaching children are pretty much the same thing. They are always learning and we're always teaching. Homeschooling embraces that idea--and afterschoolers are now embracing it, too. I think the book will help both groups of people set aside time to honor those natural impulses.
  3. This book isn't really "my" book as much as "our" book. Over 100 parents contributed their stories and ideas on making homeschooling and working fit together.
 I'd love to hear more from those of you who anticipate reading it, too! What are you hoping to learn from it?

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{Homeschool Tips} Simple Stealth-Schooling Strategies

This post is part of a blog hop sponsored by Gifted Homeschoolers Forum. (Links to other blogs appear at the bottom of this post.)

We love stealth schooling here.

Except of course that our kiddo doesn't know the term or that we do it as often as we do.

Our roots in stealth schooling--or "sneaky teaching"--go back to his preschool days, when we wholeheartedly embraced the Reggio-Emilia approach, a child-led educational method. ("R-E" is a basis of the popular "project-based learning.") Back when he was a preschooler,  I would make a point to listen and look for what interested him and then make materials related to that topic accessible to him for exploration.

This is how, when he was 5, he came to love a pretty sophisticated app on the human immune system designed for much older children. He'd voiced an interest in the topic, and I kept providing him resources on it. Eventually he became proficient at explaining things like how T-cells work, making a short video on the subject by using the Show Me app.

Remember: our children's brains crave information and if we pay attention to their words, actions, and behaviors, we can tune into what they seek. Stealth schooling builds upon our awareness as parents, creating meaningful, lasting learning for our kids! 

 Here at home, I find that when I listen to what my son's interests and try to meet that demonstrated "need to know," then he is not only more receptive to the information but also more likely to remember it.

If you'd like to incorporate stealth schooling strategies into your homeschool or afterschool setting, here are some simple ways of so doing.

Make materials accessible: Books, art supplies, media, and other materials on topics of interest can be selected for their age appropriateness and made readily accessible for independent exploration.

Conversation: While one doesn't want to inundate a child with too much information on a topic, conversation--free-flowing, two-way chat as opposed to a one-way lecture--is a marvelous way to determine what a child knows about the topic already. (You might be surprised!)

Show and tell: When it comes to topics like character development or basic life skills, children learn by watching us. So, if your child shows an interest in cooking, get in the kitchen with him or her and collaborate on a project.

Can you think of other stealth school tips?

If so, I'd love to hear them in comments.

More About the "Stealth Schooling" Blog Hop

Be sure to check out the other bloggers writing on the topic of "stealth schooling" this week. A complete list can be found here, but I will continue to add links to this page as the posts come online.

Wenda Sheard
Building Wingspan
Mommy Bares All
Little Stars Learning
A Voracious Mind
Chasing Hollyfeld
Cedar Life Academy
Thea Sullivan 
Buffalo Mama
Sprite's Site


Facebook Office Hour TOMORROW Night!

On Tuesday (May 7, 2013), I will be taking 
your questions about working while homeschooling. Details are on my Facebook page.