Tag Archives: christianity

Can I Homeschool & Work Too?

Guest Blogger

Texas Home School Coalition Association REVIEW © February 2008

by: Holly Williams Urbach

When I started teaching my children at home in 1993, it was rare for me to meet a home schooling mother who worked outside the home. We home educators met at our local park and commiserated on the challenges of tackling lesson plans and getting dinner on the table each night. Our husbands worked full-time, or more, to support the school lunch program, and we wives worked hard to stretch the income as far as possible. We swapped curriculum and clothes with each other, along with recipes designed to make the most use of the available items in our pantries.

Contrast the above scenario with 2007, when quite a few of my home educating friends and acquaintances work either from home or outside the home. While there are many families living on one income, increasing numbers of households are finding it more and more difficult to do so for a variety of reasons. When I counsel new home schoolers these days, many ask me if it is possible to work and homeschool.

My family and I are part of the growing trend of home educating families in which both parents are working. When we realized that I would have to begin working, my husband and I determined to continue home educating our children. We did not want to shortchange our children as a result of the difficulties we were having financially.

I am extremely fortunate to work part-time for a company that allows me flexible hours. I know of families with home-based businesses who face the same time crunch that I have working outside my home. I believe it is likely that we will find home schooling families where both parents work more common in the coming years. Whether working outside the home or from home, combining work and school is a task that requires creativity, energy, and determination.

Even with all the perks of my situation, I find it challenging to combine work and schooling.  Following are some ideas and strategies I use to manage home, school, and extra-curricular activities while holding a job.

One of the first things to do is develop a workable schedule. Obviously, a lot depends on the age and activities of your children. My four children still at home range in age from thirteen to nineteen. Since they are teenagers who require and desire a lot of sleep, I work mornings while they are still sleeping. When I arrive home around 1 p.m., they have gotten out of bed, eaten and dressed, and they are already working on independent assignments. We then have between 1:30 and 6 p.m. to complete their studies for the day. I have students who are well-rested and ready to learn.

When I worked two afternoons a week, I struggled to accomplish schoolwork in the mornings prior to leaving for work. The children were sleepy and sluggish. I was frustrated and felt that everything was rushed and seldom accomplished to my satisfaction. Our new schedule works much better for all of us. Determining your most productive work and school hours is the first step in making school and work successful.

The next thing to consider is what curriculum to use. A teacher who is also working may not have the preparation time available that she would like to have. Many employed home schooling parents find that computer or video curricula fill the need nicely for their students. I would caution parents not to use such curricula for all subjects, because students need variety and adult feedback to help them learn effectively. Others hire tutors or send their children to outside classes for some of their instruction.

At times, I have utilized outside classes and co-ops to help meet the needs of my students in science and math, freeing me to delve more deeply into history, literature, Bible, and foreign languages. These classes make my available time with my students more productive. The point is, take a deep look into your family’s needs and develop a plan that helps you not only to survive but also to thrive in your situation. Any frustration you encounter in your schedule is a natural alarm, telling you that something still needs adjusting. Pray about it and seek God’s direction on how to resolve the situation.

With the work/school schedule planned and the curriculum squared, the next big consideration is how to deal with housework, meals, and outside commitments such as Boy Scouts, 4-H, kids work, etc. My family and I take time to discuss housework issues, and the children and I divide the responsibilities between us. The great thing about this plan is that my sons are learning to launder clothes, cook, and keep house just as well as my daughter. We all pitch in to get the work done so no one has to spend a lot of time doing housework.

Meal preparation is time consuming enough for parents at home full-time, so having less time due to working outside the home can cause a lot of stress. I try to make things ahead of time over the weekend, so getting a meal on the table during the school week is easier. I use my crock pot as much as I can. I have many cookbooks that contain recipes for cooking in quantity and freezing meals ahead of time, to best utilize the time I have available.(Once a Month Cooking by Mary Beth Lagerborg and Mimi Wilson and Jill Bond’s Dinner’s in the Freezer are two favorites.) I also solicit my children’s help in preparing meals. I reap the benefits of more time with my children and reduced time in the kitchen. Planning and executing a menu is essential to streamlining meal preparation as well as keeping expenses down by avoiding the fast-food trap.

My daughter has a part-time job, and she and my youngest son are active in 4-H. Such additional activities are worthwhile enough to our family to factor into our schedule the time they take. We have found 4-H to be a great program for our family, because each child can participate in an area of their own interest as we take monthly trips together to the meetings.  Another great thing about 4-H is that it helps our home schooling so that we work smarter rather than harder. Finding an activity that the whole family enjoys together is a great way to manage the time spent out of the home. Each family can find activities that add enough to the family that they also justify the time taken to participate in them.

Do I long for the days when I was home all day with my children? I certainly do. I have actually started a home-based business for just that reason. Once my business replaces the income from my part-time job, I will once again be at home all day with my children. I will still face that juggling act that comes with working and homeschooling, but I think that my children and I will all have gained a greater understanding of what it means to work together as a team and of how to adapt to changing situations. In the world we face today, those will be valuable and useful abilities for all of us.

Meet Holly Urbach


It’s a Party!

There is a tremendously huge blog party going on all over the world, so I couldn’t miss out!  There are over 1300 moms throwing a party on their blogs and you are invited! 

 The party is at 5 Minutes for Mom

The Ultimate Blog Party at 5 Minutes for Mom

This is a great opportunity to meet new moms from all over the world through their blogs.  What did we do 10 years ago with out blogs? 

Here are a few of my favorite blogging friends…

Robyn @ Home Sweet Home

Robin Sampson @ Heart of Wisdom

Susan @ Kerugma

Growing in Grace

Kristine @ Mama Archer

Penney @ Becoming Real

These are just a few of my blogging friends that I gain wisdom & encouragement from. 

Homeschooling is hard enough by itself and then we at times go through seasons when we don’t get much adult interaction.  That is when blogging comes in handy.  I can visit these other sites and learn what these moms struggle with and how the Lord is working in their lives.  What a blessing!

If you are participating in this party, leave me a comment so I can celebrate with you!

Growing in Grace Online magazine for Girls

 

I can’t say enough about Growing in Grace.  I found this website a month or so ago & really liked what I saw.  Now, they finally have their first magazing for Girls ready.  Is is full of info that would interest any teen girl, but it is safe & directs them to the Lord.  What a nice relief that is.  Our girls are so saturated by the filfth of the world that it is really hard for them to stay focused on their relationship with God unless you never let them leave the house (which I have seriously considered).

Below, I have included a portion from their website that describes what they are all about.  I would highly encourage you to take a moment and visit their site & then let your daughter spend some time there also.  If you like it and agree with them then let your friends know & send them to the site also.

From their site;

Welcome to Growing in Grace Magazine! We are a mother-daughter ministry publication that desires to bring encouragement to relationships in the lives of women of all ages. Our most treasured and valued relationship is with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When we have our relationship with Him in it’s proper place, then all our other relationships can be blessed by Him. The Bible says that there is none righteous, no not one. Praise the Lord for His saving grace. He freely gives us His grace, knowing full well that we are not perfect. Our relationships will never be perfect, but as we are ‘Growing in Grace’ we will see His love and mercy abound as we strive to live in that grace.

Review: Passionate Housewives

 

Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God
  Authors: Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald
  For more information or to order:
  www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

  — 

  “You deserve a break!”
  “Why should you have to do all the caring for the kids?”
  “You’re wasting your life being a stay-at-home mom.”

  These messages and others are the voices of feminism that seek to
  undermine God’s high calling of being a wife and mother.  These
  messages, whether spoken or inferred can be discouraging – especi-
  ally for homeschool moms who are not only mothering, but committed
  to teaching reading and even chemistry if needed!  It can be easy
  to fall into a “woe is me” attitude that breeds discontentment and
  selfishness.

  In this refreshingly honest and down-to-earth book, two godly women
  sit down to put forth a fresh vision for homemaking.  The message
  of ‘Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God’, is one of HOPE!
  The authors are real, and scattered through this convicting and
  encouraging book are stories and glimpses into their very real
  lives.  They are quick to dispel the “perfect housewife” myth.  You
  know the one – the 1950s happy homemaker vacuuming in her high heels
  and pearls.  Instead, they take the reader straight to the Word of
  God, for fresh insight and pearls of truth.  Be prepared to be chal-
  lenged – I found myself switching between this book and my Bible,
  highlighter in hand!

  Both of the authors have a lot to say and they say it quite well.
  The book begins and ends with the fictional account of the life of
  ‘Carol’.  It is kind of a before-and-after glimpse of her life as
  she first gives in to the message of feminism that permeates our
  society (and sadly, the church), and then as a woman set free by
  God’s Word to be all that He created her to be – completely ful-
  filled in her service to Him by serving her family.

  ‘Passionate Housewives’ is not a politically correct book!  The
  concept of dying to self, of living to serve your husband and
  children as unto the Lord, is not a popular ideology in our society.
  You may not agree with every doctrinal position these ladies and
  their husbands hold, but you will, however, be blessed with truths
  that transcend denominations – and timeless wisdom desperately
  needed in this day and age.  This is not a “how-to” book.  You
  won’t find ideas for successful home management, or picking the
  right homeschool curriculum.  Here’s something else you won’t find
  – authors who expect you to be just like them.  Oh, they hold firmly
  to their beliefs about many things, but when it comes to what a
  “perfect” wife and mother should be, well, they are quick to remind
  you to lay aside those thoughts of perfectionism and to be wary of
  comparing yourself with others, including them!

  This book addresses so many issues of the heart, it is difficult
  to describe the breadth of coverage and the amount of hope and
  encouragement one will find in its pages.  As I read, I had many
  “Aha!” moments and there were definitely places where I was con-
  victed of falling for the message that I am somehow “missing out”
  on life by serving my family.  I was challenged to realize that
  I can be home with my kids, but not really “be here” in my heart.
  I have found the really good books are the ones that do more than
  cheer (although this book definitely inspires).  The books that
  I put at the top of my “must read again” list are those that make
  me a bit uncomfortable, that cause me to examine my heart and
  propel me into the arms of God.  ‘Passionate Housewives Desperate
  for God” is one of those books.  I highly recommend it!

  —

  Reviewed by Cindy Prechtel
  http://www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Here are the authors & their families.

Stacy and Family

James & Stacy McDonald & family

Jennie and Family

Matt & Jennie Chancey & family