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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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    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
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    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
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    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
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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 :-)

  • 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
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    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
  • I'll look for home-based job that offers flexible hours in a field I'm very good and proficient at ... this is my only child. Of course it's hard, but I must try to make adjustments ... – Glowie Apr 14 '14 at 17:47
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    @Glowie, it's not so much "flexible hours" as "flexible minutes". If your job isn't one where you can be interrupted every five minutes, you're going to have a hard time both doing a job and raising a kid, at least until the kid is old enough to take care of themselves for an hour or more at a time. – Mark Jun 23 '18 at 19:02
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I have one friend who was a single mom that worked full time & homeschooled 2 children without issue & both went to college/uni after & she is what made me consider it in the first place. I saw how great her kids were.

I don't think it's a real stretch to think you can do it if that is your real desire. My friend was truly a single mother during most of the year, and she managed.

I homeschool (I am not a single mom, however. Your situation is different.) We take no major breaks. If we go visit family on vacation we still do school, maybe just less, like an hour a day, etc. We often do things on weekends too, and we go all year around. It advances them in grade levels faster & it also allows you to create an environment where learning is the norm.

I could for sure see me working full time & being able to do it. It is helpful to be home in the day so you have the option to belong to homeschool groups. Most of your activities, meetups & coops are going to be done in day hours. So if it were possible, I'd opt for a job that left as much of the day open as I could so that I could tap into that community & support. It helps. My friend did that. She went into work at something like 2-3pm (I can't recall exactly.) Her kids are grown & have kids now.

Filing paperwork will depend on where you live. Where I live I file nothing. When I was first interested I didn't let myself get deterred by all the people that said it would be difficult, and am glad of it. It's not super easy, but I have friends with kids the same age & the stuff they do isn't super easy either (think homework, class projects, teasing, bullying, being left out, etc.) School issues can be difficult.

I was scared to start, but it has done nothing but make our lives easier in the long run & I would continue it one way or another if I found I had to go back out & get a job.

  • This was the question: "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?" This comes off more as a rant than a helpful answer. I'm going to tone it down a bit. Please have a look at the help center, especially about how to answer questions. – anongoodnurse Jun 15 '17 at 19:45
  • I am so sorry it comes off like a rant. It wasn't my intention. I was a little shocked at such a negative look at the work involved in HSing as I haven't known anyone who has done it to have that experience. I apologize that it must've come across much differently to you than it was reading to me, perspective can be hard to account for & I wasn't feeling ranty when I wrote it, my intent was to say, hey, it's not that much work, you could likely pull it off. I did work from home until my youngest child & even then found it doable. I don't think it's as hard as it sounds. – threetimes Jun 15 '17 at 20:04
  • And I also thought my "helpful" part was the talking about how it isn't as much work as it seems & all the benefits of doing so that I have experienced, as it would have been helpful to me when researching it if anyone had acted like "You can do this". No one did. – threetimes Jun 15 '17 at 20:05
  • Not a problem. Mostly your answer didn't answer her question; it rebutted the other answer and comments. That is not the function of answers on this Q&A network; you'll get used to the format, I'm sure. Your intention was clearly to be helpful and encouraging, which is kind. But that wasn't the question asked, that's all. Hence the edit. :) If you want to discuss it more, we can do so in chat. I'll check in there from time to time and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have. – anongoodnurse Jun 15 '17 at 20:07
  • I thought her answer was very helpful. The first person's answer is very discouraging and not exactly accurate. Homeschooling doesn't take as much time each day as the length of time a kid would have to spend at school. Homeschooling is more academically efficient. – Cindy D Jun 20 '18 at 11:50

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