For busy parents who want to homeschool and are not sure where to start, I’m sharing some of the benefits of homeschooling and how it can be the best choice for many families.
Parents choose to homeschool for a variety of reasons; it offers more time with their kids, a flexible schedule, and the ability to provide a quality and diverse education, first-hand.
My husband and I have been homeschooling since fall 2014, and we have learned A LOT. Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart, and it comes with more challenges than I can number, but for all the hard work, IT IS SO WORTH IT.
Main Reasons to Homeschool
For us, moms, there is nothing more important than being able to connect with our kids and help them develop into the adults they are meant to become.
Homeschooling is one of the many ways my husband and I have been able to do that. With the responsibility of ensuring our kids’ education, there is more room for creativity, and we get to be there every step of the way.
Benefits of homeschooling for working parents
Many working parents ask me, HOW do you do it? The simple answer is that we juggle a lot and get help to make it happen.
If you’re a working parent and not sure how homeschooling could be beneficial at this point and even pull it off, I’ll share more. First, let’s talk about the many benefits of a flexible and efficient home school program.
Let’s elaborate on those benefits:
- More Productivity in Less Time
A traditional school day runs from 8:30 a.m to 3:00 a.m, roughly, and this includes lunch, transition times, recess, etc. Without all the added distractions, homeschooled kids spend more time focusing on course material. Therefore, school days are much shorter and efficient.
- No More Homework Hassle
After spending, 8 hours in a classroom, it can be difficult to get any child to spend another 2 hours on homework assignments. In a homeschool setting, homework doesn’t exist, since lessons are completed during the learning time.
Personally, this was a breath of fresh air for my kids and myself. Trying to coax kids into doing work outside of school before going to our evening activities was like pulling teeth, and it drew out the worst in everyone. Not my finest parenting moments, I tell you.
- You Get Your Kids at the Best Part of Their Day
News flash, during early morning and mid-afternoon hours kids are at their best, both mentally and physically. They’re more focused and eager to interact. But as soon as 3 o’clock rolls around, it’s a downhill spiral.
When I realized that someone else was getting the best of my children’s time, I knew we needed to make a change.
Now, I can connect with my kids when they’re minds are “fresh.” Don’t get me wrong, we all have our days, but for the most part, it’s made an enormous impact on our relationship.
If you work from home, a great option is to homeschool in the morning and hire a sitter or nanny to supervise in the afternoons, while you take care of business.
- Vacations and Family Trips
A challenge many working parents face when it comes to vacations is aligning their work vacation time with a traditional school’s holiday schedule -in my case.
Also, a traditional school schedule leads to traveling during peak times (tourist season) when all the other families across the country are vacationing. Has anyone been to Disney World mid-July? Packed and not fun.
On the flip side, a homeschool program gives you the advantage of planning trips and vacations at times that are most convenient for your family and work schedule.
This flexibility is how we spent six weeks in Utah, near the slopes, while carrying on with our work remotely and school.
Side Note: Honestly, a flexible travel schedule was one of the leading decisions for us.
How to Work Full-Time and Homeschool
Ok, this is a tough one if your job is not flexible and work a traditional 9-5. Note that I said “tough” not “impossible.”
With a traditional office-setting (9-5) job, you’ll need help to drive your child to a homeschool center, homeschool learning group (also called co-ops), or tutor. Otherwise, you’ll need a family member or friend to supervise the learning.
Many working families rely on a family member, such as a grandparent, to take care of the driving and tutoring or learning supervision. This is easy to implement with older kids that are more independent and self-sufficient.
If you have a flexible, full-time job where you work from home, you can break up your work hours and school hours. This is the approach I took the first year when I worked full-time from home.
In the morning, I’d work from 7 to 9 am, and then we’d get the school work done between 9 and noon. After that, the kids would read and play, while I worked until 4pm. In the evenings, when my husband would be home from work and after dinner, I’d put in another 2 hours to finish up for the day.
At times, where I was very busy with work, I would hire a babysitter so I could leave the house to work between noon and 4pm, helping me eliminate distractions and increase productivity.
Other Reasons to Homeschool
Many families benefit from homeschooling for various reasons, the most important ones being:
Homeschooling is flexible! When I say that, I don’t mean in free time, but the authority to decide how and when things shall be done.
For instance, since most homeschools take place within the house, you’re able to start the day at a more convenient hour. I promise it’s A LOT easier than rushing everyone out the house to be at school before the crack of dawn.
Also, if you work from home, you can tailor a daily schedule that works around class time and your professional obligations.
Learning Tailored to the Child
Working one on one with your child provides the opportunity to find a method and pace in which they learn best.
Whether you have one or multiple children, knowing how your child learns is an essential key to ensuring they receive a solid education. Parents often overlook this detail since their kids attend a school where another person is monitoring.
Whenever my child has mastered a new skill, we move on to the next. This way, they don’t have to fill out a dozen repetitive worksheets because the curriculum requires it. Once they know it, they move on.
Choice of Curriculum
I said it once, and I’ll repeat it you can, and you WILL change curriculums.
There are HUNDREDS of curriculums available online and choosing the right one the first time, is a miracle. Below, I go more in-depth on which curriculums are best, but what you need to know is HOW to choose a curriculum:
- Learning Style
Whether your child learns through verbal or written instruction, with visuals, or hands-on projects, there is a curriculum that will fit those needs.
If your child thrives using visuals, then a program that offers videos and workbooks with diagrams and illustrations would be most beneficial.
- Your Teaching Style
Another crucial factor that often gets overlooked is the parent’s preferred method of teaching. Remember, you will be doing this 4 to 5 days a week, so ensuring that the material is taught in a way which you are comfortable with will help you stick to it.
Perhaps, you want to make your family’s faith the main focus of your homeschool. Or maybe you want to focus on your child’s weak spots, whether it’s math, science, reading, or writing.
There is no wrong answer, but it’s essential to know your priorities as each new school year approaches and you can expect it to change from year to year.
It’s a good idea to find a course program that focuses on subjects or areas in which your child is interested. E.g., if it’s writing and reading, choose one that comes with fun activities and a good reading list in those subjects.
Depending on which state you live, there are several ways to approach homeschooling: online programs, homeschool centers, or private tutors. It’s important to choose the source that works best for you and your family.
For the past few years, my husband and I have brought our kids to a homeschool center, and I’m happy with the results. It allows me to run my business while the kids get a change of scenery and can interact with friends.
The Best Online Curriculums
Finding an online curriculum that works for both the student and parent can be tricky, but according to customer reviews, these curriculums have proven their expertise.
Time 4 Learning
BJU Press Homeschool
Much like a college class, students attend a local center 2 to 3 days a week to receive lectures from a teacher or tutor on the material which they are studying. From there, the pupils return home and complete the work, under the parent’s supervision.
This approach works great for older pupils because they interact with kids their age. It also allows the parent some free time to catch up on work or errands.
An option that works well for working parents; once you have the right curriculum, you can bring on a private tutor to monitor. Most tutors are usually undergrad or graduate college students, so their hours are more flexible. They’re also more helpful when it comes to assisting the student in solving problems and answering questions.
Bottom line, homeschooling can seem tough to implement, but it is also a rewarding process and opens the door for fantastic opportunities to learn, travel, and grow right alongside your kids.
If you’re interested in taking on the challenge, check out thee posts reviewing my experience of homeschooling three kids over the years:
- 10 Things I Learned from our First Year Homeschooling
- Lessons from our Second Year of Homeschooling
- Lessons from our Third Year of Homeschooling