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Do you want to homeschool but still need to work to provide an income? Can you really homeschool and work? Of course you can, it will take some organization and work though. Some questions you’ll need to consider, will your spouse be teaching the kids as well? What subjects will they do with or without you?
It’s important to be realistic about your time. This is how burnout happens, you can’t do it all by yourself. Get help from your husband, get help from the kids.
1. Be Flexible
Who says you have to do your school work from Monday to Friday, from morning to afternoon. You must now arrange your school schedule around your work. Decide who will be homeschooling and which subjects they will be working on. If you work afternoons, get your school work completed in the mornings and assign any independent work while you are at work such as independent reading and things that you know they are capable of doing on their own. If you work full-time (9-5) then assign your independent work while you are gone and do your lessons after dinner and/or on the weekends.
2. Ask for help
If you work from home, consider hiring a babysitter to watch your children in order to get some work done. If you can’t afford it, swap with another mom, ask family for help or hire a teenager to help with your little ones. Don’t think that you have to do it all.
3. Get organized
Who will be handling the household chores? Get the children involved, assign chores to each child. Discuss things with your spouse so that each person knows what is expected of them. If funds are available consider hiring someone to come and clean your house. You’ll feel less stressed about your household.
I knew certain things would slide but I was not going to live in a mess. I had to take time to pick up stuff as I went upstairs, and then bring stuff down as I came down. Sounds simple, but it works, or else things would sit out misplaced for days.
4. Meal Plan
What will you be cooking for the week? Start meal planning. Spend the weekends cooking large amounts of food to be frozen for the week. This will be a great time saver. Or have your veggies all cut up for the week so it makes meal preparation easier. Older children can also be involved in meal preparation – put those life skills to work.
I love cooking a large batch of stew or soup that could be eaten as left overs the next day. Any amount that would go over 2 days can be frozen. My family does not want to eat the same thing three days in a row.
I am a full-time student with a spouse who was home with the kids but not teaching, just not his cup of tea. As a third grader, we did our school in the afternoon, once I returned from school. I left things for him to complete on his own like reading and written narrations of certain pages he would read in a book. That was about all he was able to do on his own at that age. We completed the math lesson after dinner and also worked through weekends. You can do it too.
6. Take time for yourself
Finally, take some time for yourself. Your free time will be spent cleaning or teaching or on laundry. Take some time and wake up earlier than the children or late at night after the children are asleep and have some you time. Read a book or magazine while sipping tea or eating chocolate. A happy mother will make a happy household.
Take a look at the other series in my Ultimate List of Homeschooling Questions series.