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.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received about homeschooling? What are your favorite homeschool resources (books, blogs, websites, curriculum, etc.)?
Think of it as home education. It does not have to look like the schooling you know in any way, shape or form, but it doesn't have to look like full on unschooling either. Do what works for your family.
My number one favorite resource is a small group of other homeschooling moms with similarly aged kids that have forged a circle of friends for me and my girls. They rock!
Otherwise, I like: How to Work and Homeschool (the blog, the book, and the Facebook page and group); Secular, Eclectic, Academic Homeschoolers (a Facebook group that now has a conference!); the Free Range Learning book; the Savvy Homeschool Moms podcast; Real Science Odyssey from Pandia Press; Brave Writer; Patricia Zaballos’s Wonder Farm blog (and her book about writing workshops); and finally The Big Fat Notebook series which covers several topics (English language arts, math, science, and world history) and could be a great “spine” for a middle school curriculum. [Editor's note: Amazon.com links to books mentioned appear at the end of this blog post.]
Also, I like everything from NPR and PBS, particularly George Public Broadcasting (GPB) which gives me access to Discovery Education streaming and all PBS-educator materials for free.
What's your best advice or tip for someone who wants to work and homeschool?
It's a bit of a cliché, but do "think outside the box.” Think outside of the box for work and school.
What you create for your family--what works for your family--may not look like anything you previously knew or imagined. Transforming your thinking is going to be messy and busy and exhausting at first. Period. But you will find your groove. Your groove. The one that works for your family.
And as soon as you do craft your custom approach, it'll change, and change again, because kids change. Yet you can do all of it--work and homeschool--if you are committed to making it work. To help you out, find some great home educating friends (online and in real life) for yourself and your kids. (And, no, they don't have to be the same families, but it's nice when they are.)
Thanks, Kathryn. You can find and follow Kathryn on her company's Facebook page, LinkedIn or Twitter: @katfrogg.
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