Working parents can homeschool their children and still work. It’s true! Homeschool is not what it used to be. It has become much more modern and has evolved into something that can be truly freeing for a family. Many celebrities choose to have their children taught by private teachers. This style counts as homeschool. Have a busy schedule that keeps you from being in one place for very long? Homeschool might just be the answer you’ve been looking for if you need flexibility. Want the freedom to travel on your schedule instead of a school’s schedule? You create your homeschool schedule. There’s a freedom of plan and movement that you can’t get in a traditional school. And yes, even if both parents work, homeschool can still be a viable option.
There are ways to navigate homeschooling challenges that make it work for a variety of diverse family situations. Households with two full-time working parents and single-parent households can still homeschool. If you want to homeschool your children, there is absolutely a way to make it happen—no matter your life’s circumstances!
Schedule Considerations for Working Parents
The key to successful homeschooling when both parents work is the effective management of your time and schedule. It may look different depending on what shifts you work, but it is possible for working parents to still homeschool their children.
Homeschooling doesn’t take as much time as a child normally spends attending a public or parochial school. The seven-hour school day was designed as much for the working parents as for the student. The seven-hour school day actually has a lot more to do with parents’ schedules than students’ needs. So much of a school day is spent getting in a line, waiting for the class to quiet down, or walking down hallways on a painted line. Certain managerial tasks are not necessary for a homeschool setting. The daily necessary learning requirements can happen much more time efficiently in a homeschool setting than in a traditional school. When children are in first through third grades, the amount of time required for one-on-one instruction during the homeschool day is quite minimal. One to three hours is usually plenty of time. The point is that you can homeschool and continue to work even if your spouse also continues to work. Yes, it will require time management and some effective communication between you and your spouse, but it is absolutely possible.
In fact, you may even find that you have more time than you had when you were busy doing pick-ups and drop-offs, helping with homework, packing lunches, and preparing for those special days where they needed certain outfits or items. You may also find that teaching your own children takes about as much time as you used to spend helping them with homework each night. Of course, it may take a little more time, depending on your child’s learning style and your curriculum. An online app-driven curriculum can be directed entirely by the student; other formats require more parent/teacher intervention. (Look at the “level of independence filters” for guidance on this on Anything Academic.) But either way, with some effective time management and communication, working parents can tag-team homeschooling while both maintaining a job outside of the home.
Who said you have to be a homeschool teacher? Many parents opt to hire a private teacher and end up spending about the same or perhaps significantly less than they would be putting a child in a private school.
The way that your homeschooling will play out depends on your work schedule(s), the ages of your children, and your homeschooling style. Making homeschooling possible for working parents means working around one another’s schedules and sharing teaching responsibilities during those set hours. Again, don’t be afraid to look for help! We have amazing teachers and tutors who have made careers out of helping people figure this out! Be sure to create a Teacher Request listing on Anything Academic and see what happens!
It is important to think creatively about your time. We are used to school taking place 8 am -3 pm (or thereabouts), but homeschooling allows freedom to learn any time. You may find that your child can focus best first thing in the morning, so getting a couple of hours of school in before you go to work might be best for your family. Or, you may have a night owl on your hands who functions best after sleeping in most of the morning and then finds their sweet spot after lunch. Homeschool allows those possibilities to be a reality.
If you and your spouse work different shifts, it may actually be quite easy to get the homeschooling done throughout the day. You will not need to worry about childcare, and you can split the workload by taking on different subjects to teach your children while the other is at work.
Don’t forget that all kids, especially older students, can and should be given independent work which can be done while parents are at work. One of the benefits of allowing your older students to teach themselves is that it prepares them for college when they are likely to have to initiate their own studies and learning and attend lectures and classes. Not all high school students are ready for this kind of responsibility, however, so you will have to gauge your particular student(s) and determine how much freedom they are ready for when it comes to their education.
Childcare Considerations for Working Parents
It takes a village to homeschool a child, so don’t feel like you have to go it alone! If you and your spouse both work the same shift, you will obviously need childcare for younger children during that time. If you’re a single parent reading this, you already know that some challenges and difficulties are unique to your situation. Homeschooling is no different. It is possible to homeschool effectively as a single parent. You can choose to do it yourself or bring in a teacher or tutor for a few hours a day to help you out. However, as long as you have childcare for your working hours, you may find that homeschooling is less time-consuming and offers more freedom than traditional education. Affording childcare can be difficult, so you may want to look into your state’s childcare assistance and aid requirements. There may also be grants available to homeschoolers in need to cover curriculum and other expenses. However, this varies state by state and is somewhat rare.
In Home Tutors
If you’re feeling strapped for time juggling work, home, and schooling responsibilities, it may be time to call in a tutor or private teacher. If scheduled for multiple subjects, a tutor can do double duty as a childcare provider and teacher for a couple of hours while you’re working. Additionally, a tutor can be a relief for those tricky subjects that you, as a parent, may feel unqualified to teach. Anything Academic can help you find a quality tutor in your area who is right for your family situation. Start a search right now!
Learning pods are a newer opportunity in the homeschooling buffet of options. They have become especially popular since the Covid-19 pandemic when many parents are nervous about exposing their children to the masses at public school. A learning pod’s idea is that a few nearby families pool their resources together to hire a teacher who will lead the homeschool. At the same time, parents are free to pursue work or other responsibilities. This ensures that students are getting a quality education while receiving all of the differentiated benefits of homeschool. The teacher is responsible for several grades of instruction (as the participating families require) while engaging the students in some multi-age cooperative instruction. Some learning pods even arrange field trips and other experiential learning opportunities. If this option seems right for you, Anything Academic can help you initiate a learning pod in your area or find an existing pod that your family could join.
Homeschooling can work for all!
Homeschooling is a great option for people of all walks of life because it offers so much freedom to be flexible when and how you teach. It is often assumed that homeschooling is only feasible for families who have one stay at home parent, but that is not necessarily the case. More and more families find ways to work homeschooling into their lives, even as a dual-income or a single-parent home. With reliable childcare, time management, and utilizing learning helpers such as tutors and learning pods, anyone can run a successful homeschool.