At times, well-intentioned advice suggests that dedicating an entire day to homeschooling leaves no room for a job during regular hours.
This is not necessarily so.
My husband and I owned a garden center for a few years while also homeschooling. After that, I had an online business while homeschooling. We did not “only work in the evenings or on the weekends.” At the garden center, we worked during the daylight hours, and online, I worked in pockets of time throughout the day and evening.
Yes, You Can Work and Homeschool Simultaneously!
Yes! Many of us do this! You can, too. Your school may look different than others, but that’s what homeschooling is supposed to be: different. Right?
Balancing Homeschooling and Work: Time Management
Since homeschooling is concentrated, one-on-one time, it takes much less time than traditional schooling, where a teacher has twenty kids to teach. We are teaching one, or a few, but not twenty. Homeschooling only takes about four hours of time daily because it’s much more concentrated learning.
Much of homeschooling is, or should be, done independently – because that’s the goal of homeschooling: independent learners.
Strategies for WORKing ALONGSIDE THE KIDS WHILE THEY HOMESCHOOL
For jobs or businesses that would allow it, ‘work’ alongside each other as much as possible. I work on my online business while they do their schoolwork or while they work on a business of their own.
When we had our garden center, we’d have the children in view while we worked and they did schoolwork. For example, they’d read aloud to us as we potted up plants. We made such beautiful memories!
Currently, I work on my online business while the children do their “academics”, or “table work.” Table Time, as we call it, consists of subjects such as writing, reading, or math that require them to sit down and concentrate. If they’re concentrating, that means I have time to concentrate as well! I don’t allow myself to do chores at this quiet time – this time is for “brain” work. Chores can be done when the kids are active or loud.
For a time, we had a business of selling plants online. We needed to prepare orders, pack the plants, and mail them off. This was a perfect time for the kids to think of their own entrepreneurial ideas. They could work on their “business” as we worked on ours, use some of our supplies such as the label machine, and if they had orders – we’d go to the post office together. Sometimes, the “business” was selling cakes and cookies to family, but when they were older, the businesses were more serious. One of ours created an Etsy shop to sell handmade leather journals and filmed a course* on how to make handmade leather journals
*(For an example, check out my daughter Brittany Seaborg’s Skillshare course on bookbinding – search for it using her name).
WHAT IF MY JOB HOURS ARE AWAY FROM HOME? When Your Work Hours Clash with Homeschooling
Some jobs will not allow you to work alongside your child. With a job like that, you’ll set school hours and work hours. You’ll also figure out what the student can do independently of you. They can do a lot more alone than you would likely guess!
Homeschooling, since it is one-on-one and concentrated, takes much less time than other forms of schooling. You will not require a 7-hour school day. A typical homeschooling day lasts around 4 hours. Teens might extend it, while preschoolers often require less.
You can homeschool, even if you are working. Believe it!
If you’d like more advice from been-there-done-that me, visit the Thoughts from My Homeschool category, where I share unsolicited advice with you.