As homeschooling continues to grow at an amazing rate, there is a new population of homeschoolers hoping to also join the crowd. They are single working parents. Considering the fact that to homeschool, someone needs to be home with the kids, having only one parent who has to work can make homeschooling extremely difficult. Still, it can be done. Here are some tools that have worked for many single working parents who have homeschooled in the Atlanta area.
Utilize childcare centers: Use childcare centers to care for your child well into elementary years. Sure your child will be one of the few school age kids there during the day, but this has earned the child "helper privileges" which are great at value building. In home child care centers are more flexible and may keep a child through the middle school years.
Homeschool at night: Homeschool at night or during non-work hours. Most working homeschooling parents map out lessons on the weekend, then teach one-on-one lessons in the evening, over dinner, and relaxed on the couch. Then they assign homework for the next day. The evening lessons mostly involve discussing corrections, and learning new concepts.
Take advantage of learning software: With the help of learning software, the parent only has to actually "teach" when a child encounters a concept they struggle with and to help them manage their time and progress. There are dozens of titles to choose from such as Time4learning, ALEKS.com, Teaching Textbooks, Math Tutor DVD, and many, many more.
Use hybrid homeschool programs: Hybrid Homeschool programs are very popular in the Atlanta area. Hybrid programs may provide single lessons or full days of classes ranging from 1 to 3 days a week. Popular hybrid homeschool programs in the area include Artios Academies, Classical Conversations, Vertias Classical Schools, and more.
Propose a work-from-home agreement: A local parent has a child who is in basketball and needs to be transported to games and practices. She made an arrangement with her boss to work from home two days a week. She quickly proved to her boss that she actually go more work done on those days she was home, and so her schedule is not flexible to allow her to work at home two days a week around her child's schedule.
Swap time with another single working homeschool family: If you can set your schedules opposite each other, you can homeschool your kids together with one family caring for the children on one day, and the other parent caring for the children on the others.
There is no real formula for being a single working parent who wants to homeschool. The only thing that truly works is flexibility and perseverance. You will run into issues, especially in the beginning and need to re-tool and to make quick changes. You could find that a caretaker is ineffective, or that a fellow homeschooler who volunteered to help your child was only confusing them academically. You need to be able to recognize when something is not working and make changes as necessary. Still in the end, finding a way to homeschool, even as a single working parent can be one of the most important things you can do for your child.