We’re hearing it over and over: “I want to homeschool, but I’m a working parent. Can I really meet the demands of at-home learning for my kids? I don’t want to fail them.”
While every educational decision is a personal one, we know from experience that homeschooling is totally do-able – even as a working parent. (Don’t believe me? Our team is full of ’em!) So today, we’re spotlighting a few beloved work-from-home members as they share what teaching & working has been like for them, and how they adjusted their schedules accordingly.
Below, enjoy 4 real-life examples of working parents making it work:
Name: Sarah Y. in Sacramento, CA
Kid(s) Age(s): 4 and 7
Occupation: Virtual Assistant
“My work is very flexible, but I’m still required to be “on” for my clients during the day. We use Other Goose because I can teach both of my sons at the same time with just one daily lesson, which frees up a tremendous amount of time if a deadline hits. I like the peace of mind knowing they’re getting their school in no matter what.
Usually, we do our lesson first thing in the morning after breakfast. I find they’re more rested and open at that hour. Then, I work while I play storytime podcasts for them until lunch. This is also their free play, so they’ll often choose Legos or painting, or my oldest son will practice piano while my youngest heads to the backyard trampoline. After lunch, I plug in a documentary on nature or some sort of facts show while I get back to work for the afternoon. Then we cook dinner together (the kids are always in charge of the side dish) and go for a family walk after my husband is home from the city. If I have a few more hours left of work, he takes over showers/bed/books and I’ll sneak into the bedroom to finish up. I try to be asleep by 10pm if I can.”
Name: Tina W. in Meridian, ID
Kid(s) Age(s): 3-yr-old twins
Occupation: Grant Writer
“I’ll start off by saying that naps are my survival! I tend to need deep focus to get my work finished, so I only work when the twins are asleep. I also have Tuesdays as work days because that’s my husband’s day off.
For the rest of the week, our morning time is reserved for an outdoor adventure so they’re good and tuckered out and I can guarantee a long afternoon nap. ;) After breakfast is finished, we pack a picnic lunch and immediately head outdoors – usually we go to our local nature preserve, rose gardens, or neighboring creeks! Whatever keeps them outside and active is a win over here. Sometimes I’ll take rough drafts to edit along with me; other times, I sit back and watch them play together. It’s so good for my soul to see!
Once we’re home, it’s nap time / work time for a few hours. After they wake up, we ease into the afternoon with an Other Goose prompt and a snack + reading time. They often take their lesson prompts in fun, zany directions, so this almost always accounts for all of our time until dinner! Bath, books, and bed starts at 7pm, and I hit the sack right after they do so I can be up early to sneak in some alone time and more writing. I’ve actually learned to prefer early mornings far more than I thought I would!”
Name: Jenn C., in Chicago, IL
Kid(s) Age(s): 5
Occupation: Nurse Practitioner
“Because I work outside of the home from 9-5, I rely heavily on childcare. When COVID hit and my daughter’s nanny was quarantined in her home, my parents were kind enough to keep my 5yo during my shifts. She loved being at Nana and Pops and it was a dream scenario for all of us! Except that she was getting wayyyy too much screen time. :) (This is the reason we joined Other Goose — I just send the printed plans with her so my parents don’t have to think of educational lessons to keep her learning during the day.)
My parents work through her lesson of the day alongside her, and when finished, they’re usually on to tackling some sort of project or chore around the apartment (last week, they built a spice rack!). Once my shift is over, we take a long walk home through the city and read her favorite Fancy Nancy books over a dinner of mac & cheese!”
Name: Allie S., Upstate New York
Kid(s) Age(s): 4 and 1
Occupation: Artisan Baker
“I’ve never been a scheduled person, so our days are kind of unstructured, but that’s just how we like it! Last spring, I lost my biggest client (the bakery ended up shutting down due to COVID-19). So I had a lot more time on my hands, and at the same time, I hated spending so much of it navigating Zoom schedules with my daughter’s preschool. So at some point, my husband and I said, forget this – why don’t I go rogue and just teach her how to bake?
So our “homeschool” is generally just 1 Other Goose lesson/day, and then I teach her a new kitchen skill. She’s in charge of sounding out the words in the recipe (I can’t believe how much better she’s getting at reading!) and then we work through the recipe together. Last week, we mastered pecan rolls and this week I’m teaching her my favorite danish. Once we get in a good rhythm, we plan to reach out to our local meal delivery service to see if they’d like to carry our treats. Fingers crossed!”
Remember: no matter what time you wake up, how many conference calls you’re juggling, or who’s stepping up to stand in the gap, these 4 mothers are proof of the one thing we know: where there’s a will, there’s a way.
We’re cheering you on!