Sandbox to Socrates recently did a series on our biggest homeschooling challenges. Time constraints and self-discipline are surely hurdles which every homeschooling family must clear, but we can’t think of many things more challenging than homeschooling as a single parent.
Emma, one of our contributing writers, graciously agreed to be interviewed on this topic.
What kind of job do you have?
I am a graphic designer and have my own freelancing business. I have also recently begun working for a publishing company as the creative director of two of their magazines.
What do the kids do while you are at work?
A friend and fellow homeschooler cares for and teaches my children in addition to hers while I’m at work.
What are your work hours?
It varies depending on workload. Freelancing is sink or swim: I either have five projects going at a time or no work at all. The magazines are similar. The weeks near deadline are busy, and I work three to four days a week for 7-8 hours. Otherwise, it is two to three days a week for a few hours.
When do you do school?
We school in the morning, except for Fridays when we have co-op in the afternoon.
If you share parenting, how does that affect your homeschooling?
It makes it complicated. Their father was not teaching them when he took them during the week, so we had to rearrange the schedule so that he only gets them on weekends and one evening.
Where do you do school?
We generally school in the dining room and kitchen.
What are your homeschooling hours?
We start around 8:30am and are usually done by lunch, unless they work slowly or there’s more work than usual.
Does your former spouse homeschool them as well?
Their father does not participate in their schooling.
What is your biggest challenge as a single homeschooling parent?
My biggest challenge is how to fit everything in: work, housekeeping, schooling, personal life, time with the kids. It’s a lot of juggling.
What is one thing that friends and loved ones could do to help you?
I try not to ask friends and family for too much help. However, when one offers to help with the kids, babysit or even run an errand for me, thus taking one thing, even something small, off of my plate is a HUGE help.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. We hope this will be an inspiration to others wondering if they can still homeschool as a single parent.