Most of our concerns as single parents tend to ruminate around financial stuff like the bills getting paid, work scheduling and of course, childcare. If you are employed full-time outside the home, it still can be done. Working part-time, and/or running your own business is the ideal. Having a flexible schedule is the most desired when you homeschool. But, this does not mean that you cannot do it if you work full-time outside the home, it just means that you will need to arrange things a bit differently.
The first thing you'll need to do is realize and understand that homeschooling is not simply "public school at home." What the typical school teacher accomplishes with a classroom of 30+ children is on a completely different scale than what you will accomplish with your child. You likely will be working with either one child or a small group depending on how many children you have. So relax. Time is on your side. You will complete a whole lot more. Your program at home does not take an entire day to implement and realistically, it can be done completely on weekends and holidays with a few nightly activities during the week. The younger the child, the less time is required. Older children work more independently. These two things are important to keep in mind. Homeschooling is different. It is a lifestyle.
Don't be afraid to network with others and enlist their help. Look to relatives, friends, church members and homeschooling support group people. Co-oping with others is a great way to share the load! I've done this and still often do. Find other people in your area who have the same needs that you have and see what you can work out between the two or more of you. I've shared rides, food, clothing, cooking, housing etc. You name it, I've arranged a situation with another mom to work things out so that the both of us benefit. Although an arrangement with another single homeschooling parent might be ideal, an individual with the same need as yours whether married or not, would work just the same. Trading and bartering also work excellently. Room and board can be provided in exchange for sitting, for example. One caveat though, when you co-op, its not a drop-your-child-and-run type of situation. Be prepared to put in your share of the workload; that is the only way these things work out. Do what you say you are going to do. You help them out and they are expected to do the same. If there is a problem, address it. If problems persist, find another situation. The key is to make arrangements that are beneficial for everyone involved.
You will need to find a good, reliable sitter or nanny. This could be arranged with another single-parent that also homeschools, but has a different work schedule. A live-in student or stay-at-home mom would also work in this situation. While your child is with the sitter, they should be expected to do some activities on their own. When looking for someone to sit with your child, be certain to inform them that you homeschool. Let them know that you will need them to assist as needed with school activities. It doesn't have to be all book work either. They can garden, do science and art projects, cook and play educational games. Sitting in front of the television, playing video games for huge blocks time is a no-no and should not be permitted.
About the Author: Aunice Yvonne Reed is a writer and homeschooling consultant. She is an experienced single-parent home educator of 18+ years.
Further recommended reading:
Single Parent Homeschooling: Not Impossible! 6 Tips to Help You Do It
Co-oping: The Single Parent Homeschooler's Guide
Got a homeschooling question or concern? Just Ask!