Thursday, May 8, 2014

Working Mom And A Non-Traditional Homeschool Schedule

As a homeschooling Mom, who works full time outside of the home, it can seem difficult and even impossible to fit homeschooling in. I've heard many times where families have both parents working full time outside of the home and desperately wish they could homeschool. It's possible..... But difficult.

Non-Traditional Homeschool Schedule Options
Bella is only in Kindergarten, which doesn't require as many hours daily to devote to "school work" but we started a little early to really take the time with the basic subjects. We are doing Kindergarten year round for a year and a half. We started in December of this year before she would technically be starting Kindergarten in the fall.

We plan on doing year round with a couple small breaks for the holidays and summer. This will give us more than enough time to achieve the goals we set out for her.

Year round study
It's great if you don't have  the same hours as a traditional school would provide a student. It also is nice because you can transition to another grade level easier since the time frame of the break is minimal and the transition is pretty seamless.

Alternative Schedule
Because homeschooling offers flexibility of schedules, we are able to plan our week around our careers. We are lucky that my husband works the third shift that allows him to be home with our girls for most of the day. He gets home and goes to bed around 4:00am. He sleeps in until 11:00 am. He also has taken ownership of the homeschool responsibility and is teaching some of the subjects during the day. It's helpful if your spouse is willing to take on a subject or two and be a part of the educational experience. It makes it a whole family thing and takes some of the pressure off of Mom.

I work a condensed schedule that allows me to have Friday through Sunday off. I do most of the teaching in the evenings and on the weekends. Education never stops in our house and we have something going on every day of the week. This spread out schedule helps with the young ones and she doesn't get burnt out.

You can see from the schedule below, the area shaded in orange is when I'm away from the home working.

Team work makes the Dream work!

Here is a breakdown of the subjects and how they are taught.

Handwriting (Mon-Thurs 11:30-11:45 pm)
Math (Mon - Thurs 12:30-1:30 pm)
Electives (Mon - Thurs 2:00 - 4ish)
Gymnastics (Wed 4:30-5:30pm) Lesson outside of home, obviously not taught by Dad.
Handwriting (Fri 9:00-9:15am)
Vocabulary (Mon-Thurs 7:00-7:30 pm, Fri 9:15-9:30am)
Reading (Mon-Thurs 7:30-8:00 pm, Fri 9:30-10:00am )
Math (Fri 10:00-11:00am)
Co-OP: Friday afternoons

We use Saturday as a make-up day and tackle any electives and fun learning opportunities such as field trips, usually to the Zoo, museum, or nature walk.

So it can be possible to homeschool even if you work full time. It takes a lot of commitment, structure, and flexibility. The beauty of homeschooling is that it can be done anywhere and anytime. It's important when you do decide on your alternative schedule to watch out for a few things...

Questions to consider...

When is my child's prime time for learning?

What subjects need to be completed during prime time?

What is my child's natural schedule? My kids have a later bedtime than most but they also sleep in later, so they get the right amount of sleep for their growing bodies.

Is this schedule doable? Meaning, do you really plan on teaching vocabulary within 30 minutes of getting in the door? A plan and schedule is essential but the following through is what is going to make it work.

We plan on doing this schedule for the next 2014-2015 school year. The following summer we will pick up 1st grade. For the grades that require more "school hours" we will add on Sunday.

I hope this helps anyone on the fence with homeschooling in a non traditional schedule.If you have any additional tips on this subject please post them in the comments or feel free to email me!

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