How Can a Single Parent Homeschool?

July 16, 2008

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One of the questions people ask me all the time is, how do you homeschool as a single parent? Obviously I have to work to earn a living too so it’s understandable that I would get this question.

For one thing, I started my business several years ago – and even though it was only part time income for me for much of that time, I still had a foundation laid that made it possible for me to earn a living from home with my business.

Another thing that helps is flexibility. Because we don’t take summers off, we’re able to keep a flexible homeschool schedule. My parents also help. My Dad spends a lot of time with the kids, and my Mom is helping with the 7 and 5 year old’s schooling when she is with them. That is a huge blessing!

I came across this excellent article from a homeschool advocate who has some suggestions for parents who think they can’t homeschool for one reason or another.

me and the kid
Creative Commons License photo credit: angela7dreams

Busy, Working Parents — 22 Ways To Homeschool Your Kids

Most home-schooling parents teach their children about two to four hours a day and turn out well-educated kids. So the problem is how to squeeze in about ten to twenty hours a week for home-schooling. Here are some suggestions:

1. Can you change your work schedule so that you can work in the afternoon or at night and teach your children in the morning?

2. Can you work part time, leaving yourself time for home-schooling?

3. Can you find a job in your local neighborhood so that you don’t waste one to three hours commuting every day?

4. Can you work from home? Computers, the Internet, fax machines, and e-mail all make working from home relatively easy. Thousands of companies now offer this option to their workers. You could of-fer to work for slightly less money if your boss resists this arrangement.

5. Can you start a simple-to-run home business that would give you more free time.

6. Can you do all your home-schooling on weekends? If you can arrange concentrated six-to-ten-hour sessions on Saturday and Sunday, you’ll be free to work at your job during the rest of the week. Or you might try a combination of weekday and weekend home-schooling sessions.

7. If you have no other alternatives, home-schooling could be done in the evening, say from 7 to 10 P.M., or a combination of weekday nights and weekend sessions. 8. If you’re married, get your husband or wife to help with the workload. Both parents should be in-volved in home-schooling if possible.

In my book, “Public Schools, Public Menace,” I describe 22 ways that parents can homeschool their children, even if both parents work. Almost a million parents now homeschool their kids, and most of these parents work. You can do the same.

About The Author: Joel Turtel of My Kids Deserve Better is an education policy analyst. He is also the author of “The Welfare State: No Mercy For The Middle Class.”

Any single parents out there who are also homeschooling? Want to share your success tips?

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3 Responses to “How Can a Single Parent Homeschool?”

  1. Nell @ Casual Friday Everyday on July 19th, 2008 10:32 pm

    My Mom was married for much of my homeschooling life (to my “Dad” and then step-dad) but it didn’t much matter. My father was never around — she did it all — she was much like a single Mother and held down businesses also.

    So, even if a homeschooling Mom is married it doesn’t always mean she is getting help. I think a single parent could easily homeschool their kids.

    Now, what impresses me more is that you have four kids you’ll be homeschooling…that is much more impressive to me than you being a single Mom!

  2. Monica on July 23rd, 2008 12:56 am

    A single homeschooler wahm here. Well, I only have 1 child but it seems to me that school would be a hassle for my family. I don’t want to waste my time and money on certain things that school usually demands. Instead, I prefer to spend time with my son and working for my own biz. We can visit our relatives whatever day of the week, take vacations and travel during low demand seasons. Now I have mom’s help but there was the time when it was only ds and me living abroad. I believe the more we spend with our kids the easier it is to parent, and as a single mom I certainly want to have that power.

  3. Suzanne on February 19th, 2009 4:03 pm

    I am home schooling my 4 year old at the moment and find it very hard as a single mom. Juggling the demands, focusing on my job and not meeting the attention needs of my daughter who is far too smart for her age. Not a result of the home schooling. I have had to take her out of daycare because they were not giving her enough to do and think about. trust me I am not bragging.

    Back to you. I have started my own business that allows me to work flexy hours though sometime it does take me away from the unlimite goal not to mention the money is not consistant.

    Being creative when you are broke has been a fun challenge.
    But if you are interested in starting a home schooling supply store that can be run online, that might be a solution and then you get to try the latest and greatest stuff and right it off as a business expence.
    Just an Idea.

    I have a lot of contact in Africa if you want to start an online fairtrade retailer store. If you do not have the technical skill I can help you out there as well. I am in the business of putting ideas, people and businesses together.

    Good Luck

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