I know several people who balance working outside the home with homeschooling. For each of them it requires a lot of juggling, some outside help, flexibility on when the “academics” happen, but ultimately is working well for their families. Each one of them (two friends and my sister) enjoys being a professional and also values being able to create a challenging learning environment for her kids. Their kids are involved in a number of “outside” activities; they each have a supportive spouse and/or outside help to make this happen. Oh — and — each one of them has struggled with maintaining the “other” responsibilities of the household… getting the laundry done, the house clean and all that. Each of them have talked about being stretched too thin.
Because of my long conversations with them, most of the challenges mentioned in the recent New York Times article about working and homeschooling came as no surprise. The article was about a lawyer who decided to homeschool her daughter. You can find it here:
What I found interesting was that she didn’t share this information with people at work. She said,
The biggest challenge I’ve faced is owning this new identity as a home schooler. I told no one at work, preferring to stay completely in the closet about teaching my daughter at home. My corporation values diversity, but somehow being a home-schooling corporate lawyer felt beyond the pale — a topic simply too taboo to discuss. The corporate world reluctantly accepts a skilled professional working part time while raising small children, but home schooling — so retrograde, so unprofessional — is harder to understand. Acknowledging that I have made this choice feels risky, like an open invitation to question my commitment to a legal career.
Wow. That must be tough. I can’t imagine feeling like I couldn’t talk about homeschooling… but then here I am online, talking about homeschooling all the time! My sister and my friends are all professionals (a college professor, a physical therapist, an economist). My sister and my one friend made it clear from the beginning at their work that they homeschool. They are extremely dedicated, reliable and well-regarded in their fields. I never asked my other friend if she told her employer that she homeschools, but she is able to work from home twice a week and shares the homeschooling with her mother and mother-in-law who both live in the area.
Anyway, I’m curious how other homeschoolers balance work and homeschooling and if you feel you need to keep homeschooling a private/secret at work? Are you able to talk about homeschool life with your co-workers? I’d love to hear how you juggle it all over at my Homeschool Den Facebook page!
Several other recent homeschooling articles:
Home schooling numbers and opportunities grow, News-Times, Danbury, Connecticut
Ohio State applications from home-schooled students rising, The Lantern, Columbus, Ohio
Learning at home, Bismarck Tribune, Bismark, North Dakota