I am employed, full-time, outside the home. I am also a home educator for my daughter. This post is to show working parents you can work (if need be) but still provide a quality education to your child(ren).
Home education, in general, is time consuming and hard work. In addition to reviewing curriculum, reviewing coursework, grades (if you’re required by your state) and teaching your child. Throw a full-time job into the mix and it’s downright tiring.
Yet, I wouldn’t change our educational journey for the world. It’s time that I get to spend with my daughter. Granted, she’d rather be watching BTS or whatever music group has caught her attention, but it’s precious to me.
So, how do we make it work? When she was younger, I would send work with her that could be done independently, while at a sitter’s house. Now that she’s older, we go over “homework” that she will do while I’m at work. She also has daily chores and she has to clean whatever mess she makes in the kitchen.
In addition to the basics such as history, English, math and science, Bible, she practices her guitar. Some nights we dance to YouTube videos, she practices skateboarding or uses the Xbox for physical education. We read books aloud and discuss them. Once I, or her father arrives home, she is allowed to get the laptop out and log in to do her Spanish lessons.
A typical Wednesday goes like this:
- I work
- She calls me to check in (and clarifies any homework problems)
- She practices guitar (daily)
- I leave work early to pick her up for guitar lessons
- Thirty minutes later we head home to prepare dinner
- Depending on what dinner is, we may have time to read a chapter or two from our current literature selection
- She helps prepare dinner and/or sets the table
- We eat as a family and then we clean up the kitchen
- Education resumes – time to review the day
- I look at each assignment. If there were problems (say with math) they are addressed
- We cover new assignments
- Discuss her day
While this may seem like a lot, it’s not too bad. No two days are the same. We adjust as the schedule as life plays out. When I had to have surgery, she brought her books to the hospital and yup, her education continued. Flexibility is something you have when home educating.
While cooking dinner we discuss the food we are preparing. Since my daughter has a huge cancer risk (my side of the family is riddled with various forms), knowing what foods offer and how a our bodies process varies nutrients is always forefront in our home. I am on a special diet, so she learns what different herbs, spices and vegetables have to offer.
Above all, education is more than books. I will not say it’s easy. I will not say there are days I want to give up. There are days my daughter is less than cooperative. When all is said and done it boils down to learning how to have life skills, learning to communicate effectively and knowing the quality time is irreplaceable.