I’ve decided that working while being the homeschool teacher has MANY perks. Other than the late night shift interruption here and there (which is super exhausting), this whole working homeschool mom thing is actually WORKING! And there are so many things I will never have to deal with again. Never, ever, ever, ever!
Perks of Being a Working Homeschool Mom
My kids have been in a traditional school before, and I’m also a graduate of a public school. Some of my opinions are based off of these life experiences. I understand that not everyone can homeschool and of those that do homeschool, they aren’t able to homeschool all of their children. I am strictly looking at the benefits of not attending a traditional school, and it is not meant to rip schools apart. But, I do tend to be pretty blunt. You’ve been warned… 😉
Many of these “perks” are benefits for all kinds of homeschooling parents, but they are some of the many highlights that I think we working people can specifically appreciate.
1. Family Time
When parents work, family time with children is greatly reduced, wouldn’t you agree? I remember certain times during my children’s traditional school experience when I worked several back-to-back shifts that overlapped weekends and evenings. This meant there were only a few select chunks of time I actually spent with the kids. I would find myself home while the kids were at school. Although it was nice to have alone time every now and then, day after day of not seeing my kids made me sad. If I had been a homeschooler back then, I wouldn’t have had to struggle to find time to be with them. We could’ve chosen to spend time together when it was convenient for us–not when it was best for a school system.
2. Quality Time
In addition to having a lack of time to spend with one’s children, having quality time with them is another issue. If you are anything like me, when I worked and they went to a school, time actually spent with my kiddos was commonly packed full of appointments, extracurricular activities, and that thing called HOMEWORK. Real quality time was limited. While homeschooling, my entire day (when I’m not working) can be time spent building the family up if I so choose. I can choose to dump school for the day and take a free day to enjoy life with my children without worrying about them getting behind. Isn’t that great?
Raise your hand if you like spending your day off handling a fundraiser project for school! Anyone? Not me! Maybe you do like it, but I’m sure no one can argue against the fact that school fundraisers take up an awful amount of a parent’s precious time. Auctions, magazine subscriptions, candy bars, popcorn, and other random gifts seem to flood the fundraising scene. When homeschooling – unless you are into something where you have initiated self-inflicted fundraising torture every year – you most likely won’t have to use up your precious time selling cheap things for your school. This might sound a bit selfish to some, but it sounds glorious to me. I know there are good fundraisers out there, but I don’t like feeling guilty when I don’t participate so my kid can earn “points” to win a cheap prize. Giving isn’t about winning cheap prizes. It’s about giving. I told you, I’m blunt.
4. Understanding Your Children…
When we don’t teach our own children, we tend to have very limited amounts of knowledge about our children’s overall learning strengths, needs, and struggles. In my experience with traditional school, it was very difficult to obtain useful information about challenges even when one of my children had an IEP. Volunteering will not always help either. When one works, these challenges are magnified. Homeschooling gives you ample opportunity to learn the strengths and weaknesses of your children and ways that you can aide in your children’s growth and education. It wasn’t until I started teaching my own children that I realized how significant my son’s learning disabilities were. This was after he had been in a formal (and private) school setting for 2 years! I was never told there was a problem…other than he seemed distracted at times. The new knowledge I’ve obtained (only from homeschooling) is significant. I had the choice to pay for hours of extra tutoring after school or do the job myself. Which would you choose?
5. Teacher Conferences…
Teacher conferences are a way to find out how your children are doing, but because the time frame is so limited and these meetings happen so infrequently, I’m not quite sure how this is actually beneficial. But, since you and your husband (or another family member) are doing the teaching, those awkward parent-teacher conferences are a thing of the past. You don’t need a 15-minute update on your child’s school year (an update which only occurs 1-2 times a year). You already know what you and your children need and will have already acted upon concerns to help your children succeed. This is gold.
A huge benefit of homeschooling while you work is that you will never have to finagle a work schedule around the school system. You control every single thing! There won’t be any more calls from your children that they missed the bus or you frantically shooing them out the door…for school related things. Truly, homeschool provides wonderful freedom from the chains of a traditional school schedule. This will give you back your breaks and vacations–which means you can go on a fall or spring vacation when others are in school and tourist traps are less busy. Kauai in October anyone? It also means you can choose things like a year round school…one that I feel is much more suited to long-term learning.
7. Work = Homeschool Fund…
The fact that a working homeschool mom does work is a great perk. The cash earned through employment can be a great resource for homeschool in general. There are certain things that a working homeschool mom can buy BECAUSE there is that income.
8. Work Ethics…
Another perk that I’m not sure a lot have considered is the example you are able to set for your children when you work and your kids see you work. This is primarily for work-at-home parents, but I think it fits with outside workers too. When a parent works, that parent is teaching children what quality work ethic is. I’m talking about integrity, accountability, dependability, and honesty. When children see the wonderful examples of their working parents, they grow up with a greater chance of understanding the value of work. As working parents, some may also have the option to have children do school right along side them. Children rarely get to see their parents in a work setting, and I feel this experience is priceless – especially in our increasing entitlement-like culture.
9. The Subject of Food…
NO MORE BROWN BAG SCHOOL LUNCHES…enough said!
10. Rules, Restrictions, and Other Ridiculousness…
The last time my kids went through a school registration process, I was handed a 200-300 page student handbook. Sound familiar? Some of the things in these handbooks are just plain ridiculous, and the rules seem to mutate over time. We see in the news children who are sent home because their shirts said something political or religious or they are expelled because they were playing cops and robbers on the playground. Heck, I’ve even read where some children’s lunches were being trashed because the school didn’t think it was up to par – meaning it didn’t have a grain in it. Really?!
Instead of having to abide by the evolving rules of the school system, we homeschoolers – working or not – can create independent children who are not influenced by peers or the laws of schools. You don’t have to stress about your kids while they are away. Instead, you can prepare them for their futures in a safe environment that will teach them how to really live in the REAL world. Yours and your children’s time can be filled with high quality content which will make a lasting impression.
For parents who do not homeschool but are checking out their options, these “perks” should be considered. Are you happy with how your relationship is with your children? Are you satisfied with your children’s education?
For parents who do work and homeschool, next time you feel like quitting – which may be tomorrow morning – read this list again.
These are only some of the hundreds of reasons I choose to homeschool. Can you think of other “perks” of being a working homeschool mom (or parent)? What are some things you don’t miss from traditional school?