Can You Homeschool and Work from Home Full Time?

By Melissa Batai

When you work from home, you typically have greater flexibility.  For many work-at-home jobs, you can tailor your hours around your life—your appointments, your responsibilities, your natural productive rhythms, etc.  Many parents start working from home part-time because they want to or do homeschool their children.  But is it possible to increase your work hours?  Can you homeschool and work from home full time?

Can You Homeschool and Work from Home Full Time?

The simple answer is, yes, you can.

The more complex answer is yes, you can if you’re willing to be flexible and look at education in a different manner.

How to Homeschool and Work from Home Full Time

There are several different strategies that can help you homeschool and work from home full time:

Consider All Opportunities Where Learning Occurs

When children learn, it isn’t just from textbooks.  For instance, a child who is making muffins is learning math (fractions for measuring), chemistry (how different ingredients interact), and home making skills.  Make sure to count these activities as school time.

Embrace Unconventional Learning

About 18 months ago, our special needs daughter had to start therapy 45 minutes from our house three to four times a week.  That meant we were in the car 4.5 to 6 hours a week just driving to and from therapy.  Rather than sacrifice that time, we instead turned to audio books.  We listen to an audio book every time we drive to therapy.  Last year alone my children heard 61 audio stories!  Sure, this is unconventional learning, but we listened to stories that covered topics ranging from immigration to World War II, to Roman history.

Bedtime is also a great time to cover literature with carefully selected read aloud stories.  Bedtime stories don’t have to be just fluff reading; they can be part of your homeschool curriculum!

School Year Round

Consider schooling year-round.  If you do this, you’ll need to get in less work during the work week because instead of having just 36 weeks to get all of your school work done for a year, you will have 50 or 52 weeks, giving you more time to spread out the material.  We do a large portion of our schooling during the summer months when our temperatures outside in Arizona are too hot for the kids to play and there are no social or extracurricular activities planned.  Then, the rest of the year, we can have a lighter course load when we’re busier.

School Just Four Days a Week

Alternatively, you may decide to do schoolwork just four days a week.  Remember that in your homeschool, you likely get much more work done per day than a brick and mortar school, so you can simply school one less day.

Speaking of which, those days don’t have to be weekdays.  If your full-time job keeps you busy most weekdays, there’s no reason why you can’t homeschool on Saturday and Sunday. 

Split the Teaching Load with Your Spouse

Rita works 2nd shift at home taking calls for a company.  During the day, she homeschools her 13-year old daughter.  Rita teaches her daughter science and art.  She also takes her out to their homeschool co-op once a week and to other homeschool events.

Her husband, who works 1st shift at a factory, comes home in the afternoon and teaches their daughter language arts, history, and math.  Neither parent is able to teach their child all of the subjects, but by sharing the homeschool load, they can both work full-time and homeschool their daughter.

If your spouse can’t help you, a grandparent or family friend may be willing to step in and assist.  Even if you live far from relatives, this is still possible.  I know of one family where grandma is a retired math teacher.  She goes on Skype every day and teaches her grandkids their math lessons.

Split the Load with Another Homeschool Family

Another idea is to split the teaching load with another homeschool family.  Perhaps twice a week you teach your own kids and their kids literature and history, and the mom of the other family teaches your kids and her kids math and science two days a week.

Hire a Tutor

If you have the funds, you could also consider hiring a tutor.  The tutor could work with your child for all her subjects, or just the ones that you find challenging to teach or have trouble squeezing into your day.  Some working parents hire a tutor to come three to four days a week for a few hours at a time.

Enroll in Online Classes

Another option, especially for children in middle school or high school, is to enroll your children in online classes.  Veritas Press and Memoria Press our two great places to start if you’re looking for online classes. (See why we like Veritas Press.)

Enroll in Hybrid Homeschool Classes

Hybrid homeschool is becoming more and more popular.  Children homeschool perhaps three days a week and go to school two days a week or homeschool two days a week and go to school three days a week. 

This could be an excellent option for parents who work from home full-time, but just like taking online classes, the price tag is a bit higher than traditional homeschooling.  (Hybrid homeschool typically costs $4,000 to $5,000 per year.)

Enroll in Community College Classes

Many homeschool parents enroll their high school junior and senior students in community college classes.  If your child is mature and a good student, this may be a good option.  Even better, your child will receive both high school and college credit while still in high school.  Who wouldn’t want to start his college career already having earned 15 or 20 college credits beforehand?

Final Thoughts

Homeschooling and working from home full-time isn’t easy.  However, if you embrace creativity and flexibility, you can do both successfully.  Just remember that you aren’t likely to have as much free time as a parent who works full-time and doesn’t homeschool.

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