Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Q & A - Working & Homeschooling

1.  What made you decide to work and homeschool?

My girls were in public school before we homeschooled.  When my little one started first grade I took a part time job at the public library just because I wanted something to do while the girls were at school.  When we decided to homeschool I thought about leaving the job, but my boss was willing to really work with me to find a schedule that worked for us.  The director of our library, as well as our library consortium, see homeschooling and homeschoolers as an asset to the library and I have been offered opportunities to develop programs and a collection of homeschool materials.

2.  Don't you feel that working takes too much away from your kids?  They could be doing so many more things if you didn't work?

Yes, sometimes I do feel that way.  I go through a period every few months where I start to think I should quit working; it's usually brought on by a field trip we can't attend because of my work schedule.  I work two days a week so really we can make more field trips than we need to decline, PLUS from October through April my girls have sewing lessons with my mom on one of the days that I work and this year my dad will teach them soldering and ornamental copperworking.  The other day that I work the girls come with me, they help out around the library and they get to see some of their public school friends who do their homework at the library.

3.  Do your children do schoolwork on the days you work?

We have actually found a system that works really well for us.  Each weekend I come up with a general idea of what I want to accomplish that week.  On Mondays, before I go to work, I tell the girls my thoughts/expectations for the week.  They work on their independent work while I am at work.  On Tuesday I work in the afternoon so we have the morning to work together on things like history, science, Latin, etc. and then Tuesday afternoon they come to work with me and finish up their independent work beside their public school friends who are doing their homework.  We do math every day, but otherwise by Tuesday afternoon the girls have completed many pages in their geography, logic, and math workbooks and have completed a rough draft of their writing assignment for the week.  Getting a great start to the week on the days I work allows us a ton of flexibility Wednesday-Friday when I don't work.

4.  What is your advice for other moms who might be considering working and homeschooling? 

Depending on your homeschool style, assigning independent work on the days you work may allow for more flexibility when you are not working.  If your kids can come to work with you, that may be a priceless learning experience in and of itself.  If your kids can not come to work with you, perhaps you can work while they are taking outside classes, thus freeing up your schedule for other things when you are not working.  There are trade-offs to be sure and it depends on each family's goals and values, but I think providing an example of working for children is priceless.