In this day and age, it has become more and more common for both parents in a family to have jobs that they have to go to on a daily basis. Sometimes families can luck out, with one only having to work part time, or getting to work from home, but it still paints a picture of a hard life for many families.
Additionally, more and more families have been opting out of the traditional school structure, which has grown increasingly less effective at preparing kids for the workforce and world at large. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there’s been a large increase in the amount of parents searching for ways to operate in alternative forms of education for their kids, and I personally think these numbers are only going to get higher in the following decades. This all begs the question, though. How does someone homeschool when there are two working parents in the family?
Have Your Kids Wake Up With a Plan
Let’s start with what a typical morning for a family with two working parents would look like in a homeschool environment. Granite, there’s a good chance both parents won’t have to be at work bright and early, but if you do both have to, it would probably be best to have your kids up early as well, so that they’re situated before you leave. If you have younger kids this is even more important.
However, if you have teenagers you may be able to get away with them simply sleeping in, especially since most teenagers, in staying up far too late, are likely sleep deprived anyways. Either way, your kids should know the night before what they’re expected to do when they first wake up, which for most people will be straightforward. Get dressed, eat breakfast, clean up, and then begin schoolwork.
Utilize an Online Curriculum
Regardless of the age of your children, giving them plain old coursework is a must, simply because of how convenient it is to sit them down and give them an exact number of problems, equations, or pages to do. Having their coursework be online will be helpful too, since most sites allow students to access educational videos and hints for what they’re learning. This work is generally the most straightforward, and it’ll be the easiest to assign.
The problem however, is not all subjects are good for this kind of learning, and you can’t really expect your kids to do eight hours of textbooks and be all good to go. Which is why they need to get in person interaction.
Send Your Kids to Several In Person Classes
At some point during the week, your kids will probably need to take several in person classes, not so much for legal reasons, but purely for your family’s sanity. Younger homeschoolers in particular will need more engagement in this sense in order to get through they’re day. Make sure to find a place that you trust to educate your kids, and to keep them on track with what your goals for them are. For those parents with a little more money to spend, hiring tutors can also be hugely beneficial.
Ask Your Kids to Assign Themselves Electives
Electives are one of, if not THE most important aspect of a homeschool curriculum, and it’s important that your kids pick several subjects that they are not only willing to do, but look forward to doing. Some electives will be harder than others to facilitate, especially if both parents are working full time, but overall it’s important to facilitate this if you want your kids to remain busy while you’re at work.
Get Your Kids Involved in Organized Sports
Something else that can be equal parts inconvenient and supportive for a full time work lifestyle, is having sports for your kids to partake in during the later, after school hours of the day. The biggest obstacle to this will be shuttling your kids to and from their sports, but fortunately, that’s where having a community and support group comes in handy.
Get Together With Other Homeschool Parents
Knowing that you’re not alone is one of the most crucial components of successful homeschooling. You’d be surprised just how many parents there are that have chosen this lifestyle. Whether or not they come from a more free spirited or a more christian homeschooling approach, you’ll find that the vast majority of homeschool parents are incredibly supportive.
What’s more, you can work with other parents to help teach your kids, and since there are so many parents that have to also hold down a job, it’s perfectly possible to find parents that are willing to take turns with homeschooling you and their kids. Vice versa, on days you have available, you can work with their kids and yours simultaneously. No system is perfect, but this could give you and your kids, exactly the breathing room you need.
Check Up on Them Every Day
Last but not least, it’s important that, even after a long exhausting day at work, you find a few minutes of time to check up on your kid, both from a personal and from an academic point of view. These can often be the most crucial moments that separate homeschooling from regular schooling, and while they can be enormously difficult to make time for, they can also be the most precious.
Homeschooling is no small task, and you’ll get a lot of push back from not only people around you, but from the school system as well. Add on top of that, the weight of maintaining a job, and it can take a miracle to make homeschooling work. But a miracle is precisely what you’ll likely get. Whether from yourself, online resources, your kids, or your community, you’ll be surprised what you’ll find in terms of motivators that will make this journey easier than even public schooling could be.