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Home Educating and Working Full-Time

Published October 9, 2018 by lynn k scott

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.

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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.

 

 

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Pet Peeve

Published July 10, 2018 by lynn k scott

A huge pet peeve of mine is when homeschooling parents encounter parents who say they can’t homescool or couldn’t imagine spending all day.  While, these types of comments are common, what I find some homeschooling parents berate working parents.

wrong way

While I believe homeschooling could be (and should be) an option for every family, it’s doable IF the parent believes they are up for it.  However, to make snide remarks about working parents using brick and mortar schools or daycares to “justify” working so they won’t feel guilty for working because they “choose” to.

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I cannot stress enough, working parents are the only ones with the ability to assess their family’s needs.  Do I think public schools are acceptable?  Not in this day and age.  However, that is my opinion.  I also don’t care for public charter schools that offer stipends.  To me, it’s the same public education, with a bit more freedom, but parents are essentially bribed by the stipends to follow the rules by the district.  Yet, it works for many families; just not mine.

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I work choose to homeschool, while working full-time, because I believe that’s what’s best for MY family.  We complete new lessons at night, ‘homework’ is completed during the day.  We utilize weekends for completing assignments; if need be.  We also have our field trips on the weekend or I may take off a day here and there to attend special field events not offered on the weekends.

Here’s an idea:  whether you are a stay-at-home parent or a working one, you do what is best for your family.  You decide if you can live on one or two incomes.  Your values are not necessarily the same as someone else’s.  Every famly is unique.  Please be careful painting everyone with the same brush; esp. when they differ with your beliefs.  Homeschooling is challenging enough.  Last I knew, none of us were God, so save your judgement and perhaps offer support instead of criticism.

Appointments: Days Only

Published July 22, 2016 by lynn k scott

While I respect any business owner’s right to set their own hours, work when they want to work and run their business on their terms, not all parents stay at home during the day.

This is prompted by a local add I saw from a photographer, who was giving away a photo session for “tween” girls:  ages 10-12.  It was supposed to be empowering to the girls and help them see themselves in a different light.

The sessions are only held for a limited time.  However, all the sessions are only held during the day; Monday – Wednesday; no nights or weekends.  I let her know we’d have to decline, because I’d only have on Friday, during the day off (which I requested).

I received a very nice “PC” response.  “Yes, I totally understand that would be difficult! I’m a working parent as well, so my studio is open during the week…”

Ok, stop right there.  As a business owner, you are not in the same class of “working parents” as those who report to someone else.  You are your own boss, you set your hours, so please do not think you are comparing apples to apples, because that’s simply not accurate.

For my family too, weekends are family time.  However, I sit on a board for a non-profit, and sometimes my weekend schedule needs adjusting.  I think it’s equally important for young girls to see that if a woman wants/needs to work, that there are businesses who accommodate their schedules and are open during non-traditional work hours.

If the medical industry has finally started to figure this out, I think the majority of businesses can as well; or at least make an attempt to do so.  It’s just really frustrating, as a parent, that my daughter loses out on many opportunities because so many local businesses and community organizations only give priority to those parents who stay at home or are free during the day.

Going Into Business With Your Child

Published January 7, 2016 by lynn k scott

When it comes to parenting, there are more ways to approach to raising children than I could shake a stick at.  There are just as many parenting topics that could be addressed too.

I’m going to leap into the educational realm of parenting.  Whether your child attends a public, private or home school, parents and children have a relationship based on that environment.

I just realized, my youngest has been in public school, then we homeschooled and now she’s attending a private school.  I always tell my daughter, “We are in this together.  We are a team for your educational success.”

Sometimes my daughter agrees with me and she’s ready to tackle the world.  Other times, my “team” approach is met with a heavy sigh and rolling of her eyes.

I was preparing her backpack this morning; making sure all her books, homework and whatever else is needed for the day was included.  I love when my daughter shows me the graded work she’s received from her teacher.  Yet, I have to remember, I’m still dealing with a child, who isn’t always forthcoming with all her returned work; especially when the grade isn’t all that magnificent.

That was the case this morning.  I pulled out all these additional sheets of a paper.  Some were satisfactory grades, one was barely passing and one had ???? over it.  Me being me, I planned on speaking with my daughter after she was ready for the day.  It would seem the ???? paper wasn’t properly completed because she simply didn’t feel like doing it.

I can relate to that!  However, we’re not homeschooling any more and it’s not possible just to table an assignment for another day.  I had to reiterate she needs to complete the work as assigned, on time.

There was English work that I was concerned with.  Tenses and parts of speech getting mixed up.  I decided I was going to have the lil miss practice with some online educational games.

Her teacher is great, but I can see my daughter is struggling with a few things.  By being involved, treating her education like a business model, investing my time, we will grow her knowledge together.  School doesn’t have to be all boring.  We can play word games, have conversations and utilize the technology that’s out there.

Her success depends on my involvement.  I firmly believe in working with her teacher, keeping open discussions going, finding out where there are issues and addressing them.  If no official homework is assigned, then I give her something to do each night.  That could include reading her library book to me, playing Scrabble, catching up on some math concepts that could use reinforcement, etc.

Parents know their children best.  That is one reason I firmly believe in homeschooling.  When that isn’t an option, you don’t have to simply sit by and do only what the school says.  You can supplement or raise questions when you see areas that are causing stress.  I see that as my job as her parent, as her partner, for her education.

It’s my business to know where she stands.  It’s her business to be the best student she can be.  It’s our business to accomplish this together.

My Hands Aren’t Pretty

Published August 27, 2015 by lynn k scott

Yesterday in the car, my daughter looked at my hands and said, “you have hands like daddy”.  I looked at her and asked what she meant.  She took one of my hands and placed it next to her hand.  Her hand is dainty, soft, long nails; picturesque of a woman’s hand, minus the nail polish.  On the other hand, my nails were very short, full of wrinkles, a bit rough; but missing the the calluses that used to be present on my palms. I replied my hands aren’t as dainty as hers because I used to use my hands a lot.  That seemed to quell her inquisitive mind.

It got me thinking though.  My hands show my life.  They show that long nails, polish, being massaged with lotions weren’t the norm.  My hands showed a worker’s life.  I grew up very low, middle class.  I know there were times that we probably qualified for some type of assistance.  My dad only had an eighth grade education.  My mother sometimes worked two jobs.  We made due with what we had.

I was responsible for watching my younger sisters.  We grew some of our own food.  We didn’t hire people to mow our lawn; we did it.  Clothes were hung out on the line to save on the energy bill.  It was just what we did.  It’s how I grew up.  I am not ashamed to say, I was a “chambermaid” back in the day.  What’s that?  Oh that’s right, they’ve changed the name these days. Most people are now called “housekeeping” when working in motels/hotels.  I have waited tables, scrubbed toilets, tended bar, worked in gardens, help cut firewood.  I grew up doing manual labor.  My mother never stressed keeping our hands soft with lotion.

Now, I have a working knowledge that I still use today, but it mostly pertains to my home.  I work in an office, so I guess I’ve changed my collar from blue to white.  I will remember when life was a lot harder for me, but taught me how to work through it. I am not ashamed of that now (as a kid I once was).  I think some people today could benefit from working with their hands. Yet, I will always remember, with pride, why my hands aren’t pretty.

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