Can you teach your children while working?
Can you be homeschooled without a parent?
In most households with school-age children, the adults have jobs. Starting homeschooling can mean an interruption in your ability to work, or you may have to continue your job while also homeschooling.
Parents who work and are starting to think about homeschooling sometimes wonder if a parent has to be present for homeschooling. Or, they may ask, “Do parents have to teach homeschool?”
In some cases, you might have a less-than-ideal situation if you had to start homeschooling in a hurry due to school bullying issues or other miserable school-related problems. This means you start off with friends/family babysitting before your homeschool schedule is set.
Naturally, some parents wonder if a friend or family member can “homeschool” for them.
That’s not a simple concept.
You can have someone give your child an education that happens to take place in a home, but under a strict definition of homeschooling you can’t have someone else “homeschool” your child.
Homeschooling is education, at home, by the child’s parents.
Homeschool parents frequently have their child take classes outside the home (so it’s not like you can’t have another person do some of the teaching), but the primary party overseeing the work in homeschooling is the child’s parent.
So, does a parent have to be present for homeschooling?
The short answer:
The longer answer:
Yes, and let’s talk about what “present” really means (or doesn’t mean).
Present doesn’t mean “present in front of a chalkboard,” lecturing, the way you might remember from your own public-school days.
Present means that you’re there, acting to teach your children. Older children don’t need as much interaction from a teacher, but they still need a teacher around somewhere.
Present means that preferably, most of the time, you or another adult teacher are in the same room (or very, very nearby) while your child studies or you’re available to teach your children.
Present means you’re planning a course of study each day/week/month/year.
Present means you’re emotionally, mentally, and physically invested in being responsible for your child’s education.
Homeschool Laws And Leaving Your Child Alone
There are laws that state when a child is old enough to be left alone, and for how long.
For most situations, you can’t leave a child alone long enough to go to your job until the child is at least 13. Even then, laws vary and it might not be ok in your situation.
If you are planning on leaving your minor child alone, make sure you are familiar with laws (along with homeschool requirements) in your area, and follow them.
ALSO CHECK OUT : HOMESCHOOLING VERSUS SCHOOLING AT HOME
Homeschooling is a Job – Are You Ready for (at least) Two Jobs?
Homeschooling parents work very hard at our homeschooling jobs. If we also have another job, we’ve got two jobs.
Are you ready to take that on?
What if You Can’t Teach Your Children But You Need an Alternative to Public School?
There are so many more educational options now than there used to be.
There are also virtual public-school options available, which technically do not fit the definition of homeschooling, but might fit into your schedule.
For me, these options have most of the drawbacks of public-school, and no advantages over traditional homeschool, but many people choose them as a good option for their situation.
Working and Homeschooling
If you need to work and homeschool, realize that it might be a long-term goal to teach your children, but understand that it might not happen right away.
I decided to homeschool very suddenly due to my oldest child’s issues at public school. Before that, for many years I had been working towards a lifestyle where I could work from home. We felt very blessed that at the very moment when we realized I would need to homeschool, I also had the ability to do so.
Homeschooling might not be something you can start today (and that’s OK!). What changes can you make today that will make homeschool possible in three months? In six months? In one year? In five years?
Homeschooling is a flexible option for working parents, but you will need to plan and juggle.
Lisa Yankey is a regular contributing writer for HomeschoolSuperFreak.com and the author of the upcoming book, “The Homeschool Path to Foreign Language.” You can find her at www.highenergyhomeschool.com, on Facebook, on Pinterest, and on YouTube.
Lisa is a happy homeschooling mom of three, but she certainly never expected to homeschool. Teaching runs in her blood – she is a former public-school teacher, and her mother, father, and brother are all former public school teachers.
She began homeschooling shortly after her oldest child had a disastrous start to public school first grade, and she has never looked back.