Homeschooling for busy parents

Homeschooling For Busy Parents

So, you find yourself suddenly homeschooling. Maybe you always wanted to, and this chaos in the world made the decision easier. Maybe you have no choice because your child has a weak immune system. The reasons don’t really matter. Either way, here you are, and your still really busy. Let’s be honest, even more so now. If your lucky you already work from home, if your not, you have little kids and work outside the home. Long story short, your busy and you need to figure out how to homeschool your kids and still pay the bills. Withour further ado, a guide to homeschooling for busy parents.

Homeschooling When Busy Parents Work Out Of The House

I’m not going to sugar coat it. This is the trickiest sitation for busy homeschooling parents, especially if your a single parent with young kids. But if your willing to try it can be doable. Here are a few things to think about.

  • Are your kids old enough to stay at homes while you work?
  • If you have older kids, are they able and willing to over look some of the schooling of the younger ones? Mabye they get out of washing dishes for life in return.
  • If your married, or live with a partner, could you re-arrange your schedules so there is someone home most of the time?
  • What sort of support system do you have? Could you create a schedule between them for child care?
  • Is there a grandparent or other relative that would be willing to handle the homeschooling?
  • Could your job be done from home, even for a few days? I doesn’t hurt to ask your boss.
  • Do you have the budget for child care?
  • Can you find a work from home job in your field? Or any work from home job for that matter?
  • Do you know other homeschool parents in a similar situation? If you all got together maybe you could create a pod and work out a schedule that supports you all.

I’m not saying that figuring this out will be easy, just that you might need to think outside the box, be willing to ask for help, and put yourself out there.

It Doesn’t Take As Long As You Think It Will

Unless you sign up with a fully aligned, teacher led program, homeschooling doesn’t take as long as you think. Here are some general guidelines

  • kindergarten -Grade 3, 1-2 hours  
  • Grades 4-6 , 2-3 hours
  • Grades 7-9, 2-4 hours
  • Grades 10-12, 3+ hours

When they are younger things are more hands on and require more one-on-one attention. Keep in mind that the older you kids are, the more independantly they can, and will, be working. So these hours aren’t nessecarily time out of your schedule, except for checking in to make sure their not feeling lost and getting their work done.

Another note around time. You don’t need to start at 8 a.m. unless it works for you. If you need to do their formal learning in the evening, you can do that, if you need to do it in the afternoon, that works too. But only if you choose curriculum that supports this kind of flexibility.

Choose Curriculum That Supports You

Homeschooling isn’t all textbooks and works sheets, unless that’s what works for you of course. Traditional homeschooling, as opposed to blended or teacher led/aligned, is likely to work best if you nedd to fit it around YOUR schedule.

I know there are many people out there shaming patents for using devices for school, but life isn’t perfect, and when your busy you just have to do what you have to do.

Don’t forget, homeschooling doesn’t take all day, so if you have little ones, and you need them busy while you have zoom meetings, or work on a deadline, having them learn online does NOT equal spendng all day on the internet or in front of screens.

My 7 and 8 year olds did an amazing program this year called Adventure Academy. It’s a gamafied program that uses videos, games, and e-books to teach your child. I have them each do a lesson in one topic, which consists of 4-6 tasks and takes any where form 30 minutes to an hour. Then I have them move around an play for a while, then they do another set of lessons in another topic, or two and then they’re done for the day. In full discloure, my kids have a tendancy to play around in the store and dress their avatar for too long, so now I have them show me before hand which lessons they’re going to choose, and I need to see that it’s done before they get to do anything else.

Online learning is a great options for busy homeschooling parents. Your kids can take it anywhere, it’s easy for other adults to teach them, and you can do it anytime you want. There are no deadlines to add more stress to your week.

Self Paced Online Homeschooling Resources

If your a newbie, you migh wonder what self paced is. Basically, it just means that you do the work at your schedule with no deadlines. There are a few exceptions. Veritas press gives you a year to finish their courses, bu you can purchase an extension if need be. Most of these are graded and/or allow you to keep track of what your children are working on, so even if your not with them all the time, you cn see how their progressing and what they migh be struggling with.

You can absloutely use non online resources. The key to all of this, is do what works for YOUR family. I’m putting an emphasis on online learning because it’s just the simplest option. With most of these they can do all of their subjects in one program, and if they go to any kind of alternate care, you don’t have to pack up 1000’s of books.

Encourage Independant Learners

As soon as your child is a fluent reader, encourage them to persue their studies on their own. This is one of the ultimate goals for most homeschoolers, wether they work or not.

Get them involved in curriculum choices that they’re excited about.

You could set up workboxes. Here’s a great tutorial on how those work over at Confessions of a Homeschooler. Basically you put their work in it for the day, and they just plug away box, by box.

There a million more ideas, but the goal is to make you less busy and stressed out not more.

I hope this guide to homeschooling for busy parents was helpful and left you with a bit of hope that you can do this, no matter what your schedule looks like.

If your feeling lost and need support I offer homeschool coaching. You can check it out here.

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