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Keeping a Career While Homeschooling
Q: I'm interested in homeschooling my children, but I need to know if it is difficult for parents to keep a career.
A: The answer depends on the ages of the children and your family's teaching style. Younger children require more hands-on supervision and assistance with tasks. A preteen is beginning to become more independent and requires less supervision. A responsible teen can often be given the freedom to pursue studies independently, with only minimal supervision.
Some kids are more mature and able to focus on the task at hand. Others need frequent reminders, and tend to drag their feet when asked to cooperate. As you can see, there are a lot of variables.
It is not unusual for homeschool families to have both parents working. What is unusual, however, is for both parents to work full-time. The families that do have a very strong commitment to homeschooling, and are willing to sacrifice to make homeschooling work for them.
I know of two homeschool parents, both psychologists, who stagger their clients early in the day and later in the evening so one parent is able to focus on the kids. Another father I know operates a mobile "office" from his car and works while his kids attend homeschool activities. And still another, a dancer, schedules her classes and performances around her daughter's homeschool calendar. So it's not impossible to homeschool and work full-time, but it is a challenge.
I've also known several families who took their work experience and training, and channeled it into new careers. A few started home-based businesses, while others provided services to families who learn at home.
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Isabel Shaw is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom of 15 years. She and her husband Ray homeschool their two daughters, Jessica and Amanda. Besides being a contributor to FamilyEducation.com, Shaw has written for Home Education Magazine, The Link, Homeschooling Horizons Magazine, The Homeschool Gazette, and other publications.