{FAQ} How to Homeschool When Both Parents Must Work Full-Time



As you might guess, this question is a common concern for prospective working homeschool parents.

Since I (and a few readers!) just answered it on the How to Work and Homeschool Facebook page, I thought I'd share it here for anyone else facing this challenge:
".... I'm curious how people handle childcare when both parents work during the day and homeschool. My job requires that I work school hours, and I really couldn't find another one that pays as well for working part-time. Want to be able to keep my options open for ds, but I can't put our family into debt for it. Any advice would be welcomed."
And here is my response:

While researching the book I found parents in similar situations:
  1. relied upon family members or friends who were available to child-sit;
  2. changed their schedules or work location (telecommute) so that one parent was home at all times;
  3. downsized homes, cars, etc.;
  4. opted to afterschool rather than homeschool;
  5. opted to only homeschool for a short period of time to address a specific need (ex. pulling a child out for a few months to a year in order for them to then re-enroll in a new school or special program).
Some did a combination of the above.
Note that daycare is the BIGGEST hurdle for most parents, making afterschooling the most common solution.

Keep in mind that when homeschooling a child does not spend an entire day working. So a caregiver during a parents working hours need not be responsible for schooling.
(See the schedules at the back of my book for examples of how to make this work.)

Experienced and veteran homeschool parents: tell us how you do integrate full-time employment with homeschooling in comments!



18 comments:

  1. We are beginning homeschool this year. I plan to continue working. Most of my work is from home, with two days out of home. My hope/plan is to work with my 2nd grade daughter while I'm not with clients. And will attempt giving her a list of to-do' while I am working. I have tried a bit of this throughout the summer, and it has worked quite well. Time will tell :_)

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    1. Sounds like a great plan! Good for you!

      Have you heard about project-based homeschooling? It's a way of teaching self-directed learning. There's a book and blog, Camp Creek. The author is Lori Pickert.

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  2. I work second shift and my husband works first shift (usually very early). We often overlap, so I arranged for an in-home sitter (cheaper than daycare) who comes during that time so that I don't have to worry if he stays late. I homeschool in the morning and my sitter helps the kids finish up if there's anything to do and helps with reading and stuff as well. She doesn't teach, she's more like a re-enforcer of ideas.

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    1. "Re-enforcer of ideas"-what a great concept!

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    2. I now work 2nd shift and husband 1st im glad to know there are pthers.

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  3. I work night weekends. I teach during the week. My husband works mon-fri day shift. I do not like being away from my family but we make it work. We have our family fun time also whenever God allows us too.

    When I fall short on a subject. My husband the principal steps in.

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  4. We use a daycare provider that takes 'drop in' homeschoolers as well as my husband and I flip our schedules.

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    1. I've read where other homeschool parents have created "drop-in coops" for their kids. It's a great way to manage work and school responsibilities.

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  7. I think a lot of parents struggle with this issue. Fortunately, I have a job that allows me to work from home, which is such a blessing, but I know not everyone has this option. Thanks for sharing and I am definitely planning to share this post on a homeschool/working parents group that I am a part of ;) https://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=8190802&trk=anet_ug_hm

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  8. Hello! I've been following your site for a while now and
    finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Tx!

    Just wanted to mention keep up the good job!

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    1. Hey, thanks! I'm in San Antonio. Central Texas FTW!

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  9. My daughter is a competitive gymnast so she trains 8-12 everyday and then comes to my place of employment. I have lunch from 12-1:30 so we do the work she needs help with then and once I am working again, she does the work she can do on her own. My employer is very flexible.

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  10. My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was totally right.
    This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info!

    Thanks!

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  11. I am a nurse and work three days a week (full-time), one weekend and two week days. My husband works mon-fri. We have a babysitter for the two days we both work and homeschool on the off days.

    I knew another couple that both were nurses and each worked 3 days a week, but made it so one parent was always off. You only get to see your spouse one day a week, but it works.

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  12. My DS is 6 we dabbled in homeschooling last year and are seriously doing this year - public school starts tomorrow and he will be the only "older" kid at daycare until school lets out each day - DH and I work full time. We will be Afterschooling him with him taking handwriting and math worksheets to daycare - hoping he does not get too bored during the day!

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Got feedback? Great, let me hear from you in comments! (Moderated)

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