Hello, I've just registered and am hoping to find information, support, anything for our situation. We have a 5 year old daughter who is a clever, spunky, outgoing, delightful child - and her needs are just not being met in public school the way we would like. She's in kindergarten at one of Albuquerque's better public schools, and her teacher is a great woman, but our daughter just is not thriving in school. She comes home feeling defeated more often than anything else, and it seems like more attention is being paid to whether or not she sits still and keeps her mouth shut than whether or not she is learning and having fun doing so! So, we are strongly considering homeschooling.
The issue/problem/glitch is that I am currently finishing up a degree in Nursing. I'll finish this spring and I both want and need to work. Full-time at most of the hospitals here is 3 12-hour shifts (plus some on-call time that varies by hospital and unit, so I won't know exactly what that is until I have a job lined up as an RN) and my husband and I have figured out that he'll be able to scale back his hours some at work once I'm working. We think that we can arrange our schedules so that one of us is at home all the time, but we're not certain what his boss will agree to and haven't brought it up yet - he's our only income right now and we can't risk losing it until I have a job too!
Anyway, I'm wondering if this is at all realistic. We have a 3 year old son also and will probably have another baby in a few years. Is it possible to homeschool AND work? Does anyone have experience with this, or know of resources out there in Albuquerque that would help us make it work? I'd love feedback. We're going to let our daughter finish up her Kindergarten year in her current school, but frankly I am dreading sending her back and really don't think public school is the right thing for our kids.
Also, most homeschooling books that you can find at the library and the bookstores will have advice about this, because managing finances are such an integral part of homeschooling. The most successful and happy homeschoolers tend to pay attention to balancing the needs of everyone in the family -- ie, not just your kids' educations, but also careers, money, travel, hobbies, etc. One thing I can't emphasize enough is that young kids especially need very little in the way of direct "schooling" so the education aspect isn't at all time consuming or expensive. If childcare is an option for you, that can still be part of the equation. You or your husband don't need to supervise your daughter doing seatwork from 9-3, in other words
And, not to talk your ear off, but one last thing I can't help mentioning. About 7 years ago, my sister took her 5yo daughter out of kindergarten at Christmas break (after much reading, thinking, and, she says, even crying!). Like you, her daughter was in one of the "better" schools, but still wasn't thriving as she had done at home in her early years. She says there isn't a day that goes by even now when she doesn't feel how lucky she was to make that decision, and a bit afraid of how easy it would have been never to try it at all.
YES, it is definitely possible to homeschool and work.
"Homeschooling" is a generic, blanket label that makes it sound as if ALL homeschooling parents "set-up classrooms" in our homes that closely resemble the school model. Yes, this works for some families very well. But for others, homeschooling is completely different . . . you can TOTALLY customize homeschooling to fit your childs' interests, strengths, and even moods! There's carschooling (via travel), clickschooling (via computer), unschooling (via inspiration-only), and many, many, many other titles for different approaches you can use. Homeschooling is unique family-to-family . . . as unique as each person in the equation. That's what makes it so natural, effective, relationship-building, and keeps the spirit of a person intact instead of cookie-cutting everyone into a "no child left behind" model. In homeschooling, no child is EVER left behind, right?
It really does give a child the opportunity to find her unique purpose, too.
I love this quote from one of our own Albuquerque homeschooled kiddos: "It should be called 'worldschooling' because we're schooled in the real world!" Another great quote: "I don't know why they call it homeschooling . . . we're hardly ever at home!" Just food for thought.
Starting anything new is scary. So, the most important thing to do while you're exploring this is RELAX. A year from now, you'll look back on this period of time and be SO GLAD you decided to homeschool and you'll feel a lot less nervous about every teensy-weensy thing. Just RELAX, find your roots, and reconnect as a family. The answers WILL come to you.
Happy exploring! Finding local groups is EXTREMELY important for most homeschoolers . . . you'll get "the hook up" on all the cool local things going on. Truly, you will soon be amazed at how much your family will grow and learn TOGETHER!
Peruse this website for lots of ideas; but, don't feel that you have to do it all at once. Take a day, a week, a month at a time. It will help to start a weekly family calendar. Just FYI, many of us only do "formal teaching" for 20 minutes a day . . . remember, it's more concentrated. Plus, you can grab her most attentive 20 minutes and just accept her rambunctiousness as a sign that she needs something else (physical play, imaginative play, cuddling, alone time, whatever . . . ) Without all the disciplinary crap, VERY LITTLE actually gets done in a school day anyway, other than lots of busy work. Anything you can do will be better . . . and she will have time to bond with her daddy and younger siblings!
One thing I can't emphasize enough is that young kids especially need very little in the way of direct "schooling" so the education aspect isn't at all time consuming or expensive. If childcare is an option for you, that can still be part of the equation. You or your husband don't need to supervise your daughter doing seatwork from 9-3, in other words
Hi. Yes! I have a 5 1/2 yr old and I work in the afternoons and evenings. We homeschool in the mornings, and usually that means the weekends too. He has no concept of when we 'should' homeschool, so we do it whenever we can, which is usually mornings. His first words on waking are ususally, 'let's do school'.
I have a friend who has an inconsistent work schedule, but still manages to homeschool her 9 and 5 yr olds, and both are thriving.
I have at times worried about the lack of 'enough' time, but he is happy, well rounded, and learning enthusiastically, which are the key ingredients, I think.
So, go for it. Can't hurt!
Kim Wagner Troublemaker "Nothing you do for children is ever wasted" Garrison Keillor
Gosh, one of the things that appeals to me, as a homeschooler, is knowing that it can take pretty much any form. There is certainly no rule that says only one parent can homeschool a child, AND that parent must be a "stay at home" parent as well. You can taylor it to fit your families needs. And honestly, I think it could be a wonderful opportunity for your whole family to have both parents actively involved in the homeschooling of your children. You would be involved in a true "Family School" situation. One thing my husband says to me is that he wishes he had more one on one time with our nearly six year old son . I think he wishes he could be more actively involved in the homeschooling of him because he sees, daily, the bond that we share.
I'm so sorry your little one isn't thriving the way you know she could. Fortunately, sending her to school doesn't have to be a permanet decision.
Mom to 11 year old Ethan. Pet mama to Harvey, Sofe, Autumn, and Tippy
I agree with everything previously posted!! I have a 5yo and a 12 yo that I homeschool. I also own a Mortgage Company. Obviously because I'm in charge, I can creat my own hours and schedules for work to a point. I am also in the unique position of being able to do alot of my work from home. I take my children to the office when I need too, put them on a computer and give them a task while I do what I need to. It takes some juggling, but it works. The one area that I don't have alot of time for is activities with the group. The few that we do schedule are like field trips for my kids. The fact that there are 2 of you to share the load helps immensly. You should each focus on the parts that you are most comfortable with. Mommy time for art, reading etc... Daddy time for social studies, puzzles etc... Don't worry if one subject is getting more attention than another, follow your daughter's lead. You'll do great!!! You'll find that your 3 yo wants to get involved and you'll foster a love for learning that makes the whole process easier!!
Wow, thank you so much for all the feedback. This feels totally overwhelming for me at the moment, but frankly it feels great simply to hear that this isn't some crazy impossible idea I've dreamed up. I don't have much time to write at the moment but I am going to ask my husband to read over what all of you have shared and we'll read the old thread that was linked, also. I am sure I'll have tons of questions as we try to figure out what the best thing is for our kids. I have worried a lot about sending the little one to school anyway, even before my daughter started having a less-than-ideal experience at school. He is SO shy and easily overwhelmed - he talks all the time and has an immense vocabulary, but he is so shy that one of his preschool teachers didn't know he could talk at all and last year asked if we'd had him evaluated for autism! I can't see him doing well in a traditional classroom setting, honestly, and that's scary to think about when he's "supposed" to start kindergarten in a couple years!
You've gotten some great replies here, but I thought I'd just chime in too.
I work as a nurse--two 12 hour shifts/week. When I was a single mom I worked weekends and had someone come to the house from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sat and Sun. Now my dh, who has a home business, stays home on the days I'm working and does billing and office work. He goes out and does jobs the days I'm home.
I must add my 2 cents too. We own a business & before the holidays, my husband and I were EACH working 7 days/wk (opposite shifts). Not sure a couple can work more than that. The kids adjusted well & we are very flexible with their schooling.
A couple of years ago when we first started HSing, I was incredibly nervous & full of questions. This group was so helpful (and still is). Everyone has different experiences, insights, and perspectives. I definitely agree that you would benefit from being in contact with other families. Over time you find a groove & get more comfortable.
I say, if it's something you want to try for the benefit of your kids, just take the plunge & try it! It's the best thing ever to explore the world with your kids! Also, it's completely flexible to fit your lives. You make your own schedule, use whatever materials you want, etc...
Hope to meet you sometime!
Adam (12 y.o.) Allison, aka DD (10 y.o.) Ian (7 y.o.) Jason (5 y.o.)