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Homeschooling, running a business from home and having time with your husband?(4 Posts)
Is this a case of “pick two” or is it a reasonable ambition? My kids are still babies and full on but it’s sort of my long term goal but I want to know if it’s achievable and any advice from people who’ve achieved it?
Well, I know people who do it, but it undoubtedly takes a lot of work and organisation and probably some luck as well! I never put more than a day and a half a week into my business, which I did for a few years when I had just one child. That worked well. I gave it up when pregnant with my second child, on the assumption that it would be more juggling than I wanted to do - I am not a good multitasker!! (As it turned out, my second child was about a hundred times easier than my first. I had known that I might have carried on with the business!) I think you'll have to try it and see.
However, I'll mention a couple of things which might not have crossed your mind.
Educating your children doesn't necessarily take a large amount of time. Home education is so much more efficient than large-group instruction with a standardised curriculum that even if you choose to do formal academic work with your kids, an hour or two a day is plenty. The challenge for working parents who home educate is childcare rather than education. A childminder is a popular option, which is what I used. If my first child had been the sort of kid who would play happily for a few hours at a time (like my second child!) I could have just got on with my work while keeping a bit of an eye on her. But she needed somebody to play with or interact with pretty much all the time, so I sent her to a CM and that worked out great for all of us. We used home educating CMs so she'd have older kids around in the daytime, but you could use a non-HE childminder. If your family qualifies for the childcare element of Tax Credits, you can use that to subsidise the cost.
Nearly all children get more self-sufficient as they get older. You might not be able to look after the kids yourself while working from home when they are 4/5/6, but you could probably do it when they are preteens.
Reciprocal childcare arrangements where you look after someone else's kids one day a week and they have yours one day a week sound great, but they rely on everything coming together perfectly. It seems to me that such arrangements are better for supplementary childcare rather than as the cornerstone of your childcare. If your working hours are flexible, you may be able to assemble various extra chunks of time in which to work by childcare swaps and playdates and arranging to take one another's children to home ed groups. Obviously the fewer kids you have, the easier it is to
palm them off on other families make such arrangements.
I'm sure other people will come along soon with more views on it.
I run a business and home educate, so do many of the home edders I know. I have only 1 but some have up to five/six. It depends on how you organise. I am an early bird, my DH goes on shift very early so I get up at 4.30am and start work around 5 which works well as I have clients in the states and Oz. DS gets up around 7/7.30 and we start lessons soon after, I usually continue work and teach planned lessons at the same time. As I've done much of my work by that point it leaves us free to do DS activities during the day which mainly are sports and drama and science. DH arrives back home at 2.30pm then we get sorted start tea etc. DS usually does online maths and reads at this point, it then leaves him the evening free to do playing and catching up with his dad. I usually work for a hour or so in the evenings, more if I have lots on. Weekends are mainly free with some sport or activity, I sometimes work but overall at the moment it's ended up as DIY. Some people use childcare and of course home ed kids do go to groups. I find you can always sit in a cafe at whatever group activity they're at and catch up on work as well.
I would say plan well, but most business people have to do that anyway ( I use 90 day plans) and join your local home ed groups. Many people do make it work so it's not unusual at all.
I've done work and HE in the past and yes it can be done. It helps to be very organised and have solid childcare available when needed. Getting time alone with your husband means having a good routine in place so the kids know when it is bedtime and won't come interrupt and of course getting paperwork done at other times. A supportive partner makes it much easier as you will then be able to catch up with work when he has time off if needed.