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Homeschooling With Two Working Parents

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The three most oft-stated concerns about homeschooling revolve around effectiveness, socialization and lost income. Can parents more effectively educate their children than trained teachers? How will the kids develop socially if they aren’t in school? These first two questions are fair, and the quick answer to each is that homeschooling is the superior option. Academically, homeschoolers vastly outperform their public school peers.  Even those homeschooled by a parent that didn’t graduate high school outperform their peers. Socially, homeschoolers learn how to interact with people of all ages, not just those born in the same calendar year, and they are less likely to pick up the anti-social behaviors that are commonplace in public schools.  I will discuss both of these issues in more detail in the future.

Today, I want to address the third most stated concern, that it is prohibitively difficult to homeschool because a family can’t afford to lose a source of income.  To start, it is not necessary for both parents to work in order to lead a healthy and financially stable life. In fact, there are single parents who are successfully homeschooling today.  If they can do it, so can you.  You should review your sources and uses of income.  What is necessary, what isn’t, and what can be done more cheaply? Then you should consider what your life would look like if you were homeschooling. When one considers how much money is spent on an extra vehicle, commuting, dry cleaning, lunch money and child care, in addition to higher tax brackets, the second job may prove to be more trouble than it is worth.

But even if you need additional sources of income to make ends meet, you can still homeschool.  Part-time work is an option available to almost all parents. Remember, the amount of time that students receive instruction in public schools is less than three hours a day, and that instruction is not individualized. You can provide superior instruction in only a couple hours a day, leaving plenty of time to work part-time while your children are reading or working on projects.*  Additionally, you can head off to work part-time when your spouse returns home from work.  In fact, you both can hold full-time jobs if you offset your work schedules.

You can increase your time at work by entering into an agreement with other homeschool parents.  If a group of say five parents agreed to rotate homeschooling duties, one or two parents could homeschool the children while the others are off working, allowing them to work 3-4 days a week.  This arrangement would have the added benefit of allowing different parents to focus in on select topics or subjects.

Telecommuting and contract work are two ways to work full-time at home.  As of 2008 approximately 2.8 million people worked full-time from home (not including the self-employed).  Ask your employer if working from home is an option.

Finally, you can start your own business at home.  This one may be the most attractive option for several reasons.  First, you can control how much time you are willing to work on the business, and work it around your homeschooling schedule.  Second, as a business owner you are able to deduct certain expenses from taxes that you might not be able to deduct otherwise.  Third, you can have your children help you with your business, providing valuable learning opportunities in the process.   And fourth, there is the financial upside of owning your own business.

Homeschooling, like parenting, requires commitment and sacrifice. If you are loving parent, you can most certainly become a loving homeschool parent.

* An unschooled student doesn’t even need to receive instruction from the parent.

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14 Responses to " Homeschooling With Two Working Parents "

  1. Diane says:

    Thanks for putting this blog together. I look forward to the piece on single-parent homeschooling.

  2. SBenj says:

    Thank you for the resource. My husband and I have full time careers and offset our schedules so that we equally share homeschooling responsibilities. It can be a successful experience and well worth it.

    • MS says:

      We do the same…my husband and I both work full-time with opposite schedules and we both share the homeschooling responsibilities. I’m also off work in the summer, so we do any catch up then. It’s not as hard as it seems. Both of my kids are WAY ahead of their equivalent grade levels. It works very well for us.

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