Tell us about the work you do, Angie.
I do both paid and volunteer work. For paid work, I do freelance writing for the educational market. Most recently I wrote a series of picture books in conjunction with educational researchers at a research university. I also write children's books, and I'm actively seeking publication and an agent. I have one board book published so far and another was just accepted for publication next spring.
On the volunteer side, I have done quite a few things over the years: taught Sunday school classes, served on multiple committees, etcetera. Earlier this year I helped organize our local March for Science including all the website work and social media.
Currently I am building a website for Kidlit Nation, a new national non-profit. Kidlit Nation’s goal is to address the lack of diversity in children’s literature by supporting diverse authors and illustrators.
Tell us about why you chose to homeschool.
My husband and I had several friends in college who were homeschooled. It appealed to us for many reasons: the ability to tailor instruction to the child, increased flexibility, not being tied down to a school schedule, and so forth. When our oldest was 3 we put her in part-time preschool. Even then it wasn't clear that she didn't fit well. That was when googling led to me to “giftedness,” and from there I began to see what would work best to teach her at home.
Today the kids are 7 and 4. The youngest will be doing part-time preschool this year, but she will be homeschooling the rest of the time with her sister.
What are some of the challenges you face balancing working while homeschooling? What are some of the delights?
Time and stress are the biggest challenges. There just does not seem to be enough time in the day to do everything. On the other hand, the flexibility is wonderful. When I'm up against a deadline, we can take a break from homeschooling. The reverse is also true. Work can take a backseat when homeschooling needs to be emphasized. Plus, since my husband also telecommutes part of the time, we have been able to take trips without worrying about school schedules and can work along the way.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received about homeschooling? What are your favorite homeschool resources (books, blogs, websites, curriculum, etc.)?
The best advice is to follow the child. That can mean abandoning curriculum you labored over choosing when you realize it won't work for your child. Or it can mean modifying curriculum, skipping whole grades, or making your 2nd grader do kindergarten handwriting work because they need it. My favorite book is Creative Homeschooling: A Guide for Smart Families by Lisa Rivera.
What's your best advice or tip for someone who wants to work and homeschool?
Be realistic about what you can achieve and let the rest go. Don't be afraid to outsource somethings or ask for help: create childcare swaps, hire a tutor to cover your least favorite subject, pay for a cleaning service (I wish!). These are all valid options that let you put your time and energy where you feel they matter most.
Thanks, Angie! You can follow Angie on Twitter ( @aisaacswrites ).
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