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I'm 14 weeks pregnant and I am seriously considering homeschooling for my child.

How can I learn more about homeschooling in general, and specifically for single moms who have to work? Are any of you single parents who have successfully homeschooled your children?

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You want to work a full-time job, school your child, and do everything else that needs to be done? How do you expect to have time for that? The standard single mother life is supposedly plenty time consuming. In any case, it seems like a premature decision, you haven't even experienced taking care of your child on daily basis yet, your perspective on parenting will be quite different by the time your child reaches school age. – aaaaaaaaaaaa Apr 12 '14 at 12:22
So when is the best time to start thinking about schooling? I want to avoid rushing things at the last minute. – Glowie Apr 12 '14 at 14:51
You should at least let your child grow up enough that you can determine any special needs before making the final decision. The only prominent exception would be if you desire a popular private school, in that case you might need to be early on the waiting list. I could be wrong, but I doubt there is a lot of precedence for single mothers home-schooling their children, so if you are serious you will probably have to do with learning about home-schooling in general. In any case, be patient with the question, after all there is ~5 years until you need the answer. – aaaaaaaaaaaa Apr 12 '14 at 15:34
The StackExchange network as a whole frowns on "resource requests" like suggestions of forums, other web sites, books and the like. It may seem pedantic to change "what are good resources?" to "how can I learn?" but it keeps the question more on-topic. I've edited your question to this end. – Chrys Apr 12 '14 at 16:08
You understand, homeschooling is a job. Child care is a job. It is not very realistic to think that you can do two full times jobs simultaneously. – swbarnes2 May 6 '15 at 19:00
up vote 11 down vote accepted

The most important thing you need to homeschool your child is an adult who can spend the hours of 9am-3pm with the child. This is also the requirement with the longest lead time. Some of the ways people are able to arrange this include:

  • be a 2-adult family, one works for income and the other homeschools the children
  • be a 2-adult family, one works days and does childcare in the evening, the other homeschools in the days and works in the evening (this is a VERY hard way to live)
  • be independently wealthy so you don't need to work and can concentrate on your child
  • be on social assistance so you don't need to work and can concentrate on your child (many feel the disadvantages of living on such a low income would outweigh the benefits of home schooling)
  • home school your child in the daytime, and send them to a daycare in the evenings or overnight while you work (also a VERY hard way to live, and such daycare is likely to be hard to find and expensive)
  • work at something your child can accompany you to, such as driving a school bus morning and afternoon, working in a small retail establishment that allows quiet school age children to spend all day there reading or doing worksheets etc, and actively teach them when you're not at work (days or evenings according to your work schedule.)
  • work from home on something very interruptable so you can get 8 hours of work in during a 16 hour period of being awake, and teach your children the other half of the time. Again for some of your work time they might be doing schoolwork, but they will need active teaching every day.

Most of these require a LOT of advance planning. For most, the benefits of homeschooling are unlikely to outweigh the costs (primarily a lost salary) unless you know the benefit to your specific child is far more than it would be to most other children. It's hard to imagine you would know this now.

The actual mechanics of schooling the child - getting curriculum, getting materials, working out a schedule, obtaining permission from the local authorities, and the like - probably take only a matter of weeks or months. You can wait until your child is nearing school age to make this decision and get the wheels in motion. But being free during the day to spend the time to homeschool? That's a much bigger problem to tackle, and one it does make sense to think about now. You might start looking for a specific job, take some specific training (only certain jobs can be done as shift work), or start looking for a friend with whom you could form a 2-adult household (eg two single mothers as room-mates) in order to have more options. You might also start your own business - if the store, restaurant, or home office belongs to you, then allowing your children to be in it may or may not be practical but at least it will be your decision, not something you have to ask a boss for.

We homeschooled one of our children afternoons only in response to issues the school was not helping with. The prepping for that (Grade 7 and 8) took less than a day. Being able to change our schedules so one of us could be at the school at noon to pick up our child, collect assignments and such from teachers, and then between us put in 4 hours of teaching and supervision every day - that took about 20 years, but luckily we had already started :-)

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I am IT field and now I am looking into jobs that allow you to work from home. Good thing my strengths are in programming, coding, SQL queries, etc, etc. – Glowie Apr 13 '14 at 17:46
Please don't assume that being able to work from home means that it is feasible to work from home and care for an infant at the same time, much less that it is possible to work from home and homeschool and older child at the same time. – Vicky Apr 14 '14 at 13:03
@Vicky is right. You are likely to need 4 hours or so a day to do the homeschooling. If your "work from home" work lets you do an hour or two at a time, and catch up in the evenings after your child has gone to bed, it should work out. With an older child (12+) you may be able to work side by side for stretches of the day, but if you're homeschooling there will be a lot of time where you're not working at your job because you are teaching your child something. It's hard, don't think it's not. – Chrys Apr 14 '14 at 13:44
@Glowie Have you considered the simple "adjustment" of just having the child attend a normal school rather than trying to both homeschool and work (which is likely to lead to hard times for both you and the child due to stress)? – Doc Apr 15 '14 at 19:00
@Glowie I should clarify that I mean no disrespect to your desire to homeschool (I have family that homeschool) - only that doing so in the given conditions could be disastrous. The ire against public schools is often unfounded, but if you wish to avoid them, private schools or other options are all likely better choices given the need for you to work to earn a living. – Doc Apr 15 '14 at 19:16

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