{Yes, I Work and Homeschool!} Meet Kathryn

Today’s featured working homeschool parent is one of my favorite colleagues! I interviewed Kathryn for my second book. In it, she included some helpful tips to help parents address school bullying. This post is part of a series.

Tell us about the work you do.

I am the owner of Grogg Educational Consulting, LLC. I assist parents or guardians in making the best educational decisions for their children, by helping them understand their choices, processes for assisting struggling learners, and setting up record keeping. I also provide academic testing for homeschoolers (individual and group-administered). From time to time, I do some educator training for schools or associations. It's part time and somewhat seasonal, and as such my hours vary greatly week to week and month to month. But I try to spend 4 to 6 hours a week doing social media and other efforts to put my business out there and stay current with the literature in my field.

Tell us about why you chose to homeschool.

I have identical twin girls, who are in middle grades now. We had planned on homeschooling for middle school, but found ourselves starting in second grade.

Our local elementary school was not a good fit for our family.

What are some of the challenges you face balancing working while homeschooling? What are some of the delights?

In the past it was challenging to find somewhere for my girls to be when I needed to be at a school for a day for work. Now my husband works from home, plus my girls can work from a list of assignments on their own, so I am looking forward to more weekday contracts. The delights have been the ability to set my own work hours for the most part and work around our family life. Additionally, I can take my girls with me to most conferences if I choose. Since I often work with families that homeschool, we have also added new folks to our circle of homeschool friends.

{Yes, I Work and Homeschool!} Meet Doresa

Doresa and I met through our involvement with GHF: Gifted Homeschoolers Forum. In fact, I cited some of her work on the topic of gifted minority students in my second book, Gifted, Bullied, Resilient: A Brief Guide for Smart Families. This post is part of a series.

Tell us about your work.

I work full time as a Senior Faculty member for a university. I’m also an adjunct for two other universities, and I teach exclusively online. I work a minimum of 40 hours per week, but it is not unusual for me to work 50 hours per week.

Tell us about why you chose to homeschool.

We chose to homeschool for a number of reasons. The primary reason was because all three children are gifted as well as dyslexic. We started in 2010, and we live in a district where dyslexia was not considered a learning disability for accommodation until the 2015 school year.

Also, in our state, a child does not quality for services unless they work significantly below grade level. Due to our children being gifted, they rarely work below grade level, although their dyslexia is severe. They still needed both remediation and accommodation, but would not have been granted those things in our local school system. There were not private schools in our area that could accommodate their needs either, so--here we are!

I have a set of twins that are in the 5th grade this school year as well as a 7th grader. Yes, all three are homeschooled.

What are some of the challenges you face balancing working while homeschooling? What are some of the delights?

The biggest challenge is honestly getting other people to understand that working from home is still working.

When I am working, I am doing things like evaluating Master's level thesis for students pursuing a graduate degree in Education or reviewing presentations for Speech Communication courses. While it might 'look' like I am just at home in my office, I am fully engaged in the work I am doing.

Another challenge is feeling a little out of place. Some of my friends who work outside of the home lament or celebrate time away from their kids; I can't relate. Even though I work full time, I am also home with my kids and interacting with them for most of the day. Meanwhile, my friends that homeschool may talk about having to give up their career or talk about the joys of getting to sleep a bit later. My career is still moving forward and going strong, but my sleeping late? Absolutely not. I start my work day around 3:30 A.M. every morning, seven days a week.

The delights of working are that I am happy that I got to keep 'my' identity. Although I went into a different field full time when I started homeschooling, I still have a thriving career. I am contributing to my retirement account. I earn sick days and vacation days and make a fair salary. While I enjoy being a wife and mother, I also enjoy being "Dr. Jennings" and having that as a part of my identity as well.