When we first started homeschooling over twelve years ago, most of the homeschooling families we knew made it on just one income. Moms worked hard at home clipping coupons, canning food, mending clothes – anything to help save money. As time went on and the cost of living went up, however, more and more homeschooling moms found themselves back in the workplace in some form or another. Today, I only know three or four other homeschooling moms who aren’t working to earn some kinc of income. Homeschooling is a job in itself – so how do they balance it all?
There’s no easy solution, and sometimes it takes a while to figure out a schedule that will work best for you and your family. But you’re not alone. Lots of homeschooling moms are taking on that “second job”, and many are still trying to figure out how to make it work.
I have a friend who is a nurse, and for years she’s worked almost every Saturday. One full day a week is enough for them to meet their budget, and it’s a day when her husband is home and can be with the kids. But a lot of family activities are scheduled on Saturdays, so she’s missed out on most of them.
If Dad is home in the evening, that might be the best time for mom to work. One of my friends got a position cleaning offices at night. She really enjoyed the work; she said the physical labor and quiet environment gave her a great mental break from the rest of the day. But she worked late and had to be ready to homeschool again the next day.
Work at Home
Some moms I know have positions that allow them to work at home, whether over the phone or on the computer. Depending on the position, jobs at home can provide them with a little more flexibility in working hours. But because Mom is around all day, the family often looks to her to meet their needs, and she can find herself pulled in several directions at one time.
Working with the Kids
For a number of years now, I’ve taught art classes to homeschooled children. Each time, I’ve been able to take my kids along with me. They help me set up to start and put everything away when we’re finished. Then they participate in the classes. It’s been a good arrangement, though there are days when things just don’t go smoothly. Sometimes my children get into arguments before class, after class, and even during class. It’s stressful trying to deal with the problems and teach at the same time.
I wish there was a magic formula, and that working part-time while homeschooling was easy. But it’s not; I haven’t found a mom yet who doesn’t struggle with it in some way. But they keep homeschooling anyway. They know what I know: the struggles are worth it.
Do you have a part-time job? How are you balancing work and homeschooling?
Photo by: U.S. Army