The Homeschool Aspect of Working From Home

20130606-230334.jpgWe’ve known for a couple of years we wanted to homeschool our children. Believe me when I say that prior to my husband joining the military for a second time (Marines to Army) I was not a homeschool advocate. I mean, great if you wanted to do it but why on earth anyone would was beyond me. I worked at public and private schools as a teacher and couldn’t imagine not having my children share that experience.

When I thought about how our children’s lives would be so similar to my own childhood with frequent moves, I also thought about how disrupted their education, like mine, would be. Some years I was ahead, some behind, some I learned the same thing twice in a row. Schooling in America does not usually work well for children who move often. I’d worked with countless children over the years who were struggling so much because of a move to a new school and academic structure.

This past year I shifted into a more serious school mindset – mostly with future planning. While Bella is still young and our homeschool days are quite open – I knew it wouldn’t be long before we’d have to be a bit more structured and focused.

Balancing work and home and school requires more effort, but then work became more. I felt myself trying to balance just being a mama and a writer and a wife, and as I found a routine it got a little easier, but my hours (as you all know) are so all over the place it was hard to even find a routine. I can have our sitter come for a couple of hours one day so I can work, only to get an email or reminder of something I’d missed that had to be up asap.

I’m still not completely sure how to throw myself fully into both things I love and that both fulfill me in different creative and happiness areas. I really adore being able to work from home and write. Being paid to write is amazing. On the other hand, I am so passionate about educating our children well, making sure that their time with me and in learning is quality and focused. Not some haphazard thing I throw together because I was up late writing.

I see moms online who do both. Manage multiple children, schedules, a blog, and education. I understand that you can always make things look however you want online (for all I know they might have an in home teacher) but I do believe that they’ve managed their time well and are mostly content with the way things run.

Maybe that’ll be me. Maybe I’ll find it won’t. And if push comes to shove, the kids will come first and writing will wait till another time.

2 Comments

  • Observacious says:

    Wow. This seems like quite a challenge, but you are making a good start.

    I can’t imagine working from home with kids around much less trying to add a school element to it. Right now I am looking for work because my current job is being de-funded in August. If I can’t find a job I’ll be a SAHM, which terrifies me. Part of the terror is financial because my salary is 40% of our household income, but I’m also terrified of keeping my children engaged without going crazy.

    People have said to me, “This could be a blessing! You can focus on your writing!” I view these people are crazy. I don’t know what about being home with a 2 and 4 year old is conducive to writing (particularly since the boy doesn’t nap). However, I do see people like you who are finding a way to work at home while the kids are around. (Working at home while kids are in school is a different, more manageable seeming animal.) You give me hope. I’m still terrified though.

    I look forward to hearing more about your approach to balance. Good luck.
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