Can you homeschool and work? 10 surprising solutions

playing with blocks and working

Your wife and you both work fulltime jobs. And you talk about homeschooling? How is it possible to educate your kids effectively? There is a way to do it and we will show you the surprising solutions.  

You can work full-time jobs and homeschool your child at the same time. The options include hybrid or nighttime homeschooling, 2-day, 3-day, 4-5-day homeschooling schedules, or homeschooling and working from home. Co-op courses and any combination may be a solution for working parents. 

Understanding the Hours of Homeschooling and Working

We want to show you the practical details of how many hours you need to homeschool. Then you can see how to adjust your working schedule. This was something my spouse and I wanted to see on paper. How would our schedule look? We both worked and we needed to realize the possibilities. Firstly, the average hours needed for homeschool vary between 2 to 6 hours per day. That is 10 to 30 hours per week. This is based on the age and level of your student. Does it seem like enough hours? How does this compare to traditional public and private schools? 

Most school districts across the United States follow a 180 day per year school schedule. This works out to 36 weeks of school or 2 semesters of 18 weeks. The average number of school hours per day in traditional schools is 6.5 hours. Some of that time may be spent walking from class to class and also on other non-school related activities.   Add in the travel time and lunch and you can see that homeschooling may be more efficient. You can see the statistics here

180 days/ year36 weeks18 weeks/ semester5 days per week

These are the typical hours in public schools, 1170 hours! When you homeschool your child and work full-time, shouldn’t you do it in the most efficient way? When you focus on the subjects and remove the distractions, you can get done earlier. Then you have time to do extracurricular activities or other character-building projects. We believe that we can make better use of the time and complete subjects more thoroughly in homeschooling. It will take a schedule for your child to follow in order to complete their subjects in an efficient manner. But there are many options available, so keep reading.

Hybrid Homeschooling Even When you Are Working

Hybrid homeschooling is one option for parents so they can enjoy the best of both traditional schools with some of your own high-quality additional resources. This means your child may attend the traditional school 2-3 times per week and then the hybrid classes on the other days. This is an option for some parents who may not be ready to jump into full-time homeschooling when they are still both working. A few parents may also feel they are not qualified to teach some of the advanced courses. But they feel they can do many of the other more easy courses.

Hybrid homeschooling may be secular or faith-based organizations. But they are both focused on allowing parents and children to have more choice in what the children learn. And give them more opportunities to take part in and meet other like-minded parents. At times homeschooling families may seem like they are socially awkward and not following the norm. However, it’s actually the opposite. As a homeschooling and working parent, we want the best for our children and we are willing to put in the hard work to arrange the best possible education. Learn more about the Forbes article about hybrid homeschooling here.   

You Can do Homeschooling at Nighttime when Working

night shots homeschooling
Nighttime Field trip

You’ve heard of nightschool right? Well, there is also a thing called nighttime homeschooling. This is an option for some parents who may work full time and therefore don’t have time to do the classes during the daytime. They may have family or daycare services for their child and then do the teaching in the evenings. Depending on the age of your child this is a feasible and practical way to do homeschool. There are also some data to suggest that this may be a great way to learn. Learning before sleep can help with the “procedural memory consolidation” of subjects. See the research details here.  

There are also some cases we have read where parents prefer nighttime homeschool for another important consideration. If their child was more hyper-active during the daytime, they would be more settled by the evening. And then they were able to learn better when they were in a calm state of mind. This is also a potentially good solution to homeschool at night when you are still working full-time.

In my case, I work during the day time on our own businesses at home and also outside of our home. However, my wife is a music teacher and so her schedule is more irregular than mine. She sometimes has classes in the evening to match her students’ schedules. So this is a good time for me to do homeschooling in the evening some days during the week. I teach my son the sciences (my background is in Biology and Chemistry)  and we do some nice reading activities.    

Homeschooling 2 days a week is possible

You can do homeschooling in 2 days per week in some cases with the right scheduling. This may be an option for some working families who like the idea of homeschooling but are not able to do it full-time in the beginning as well. It is similar to hybrid homeschooling however it is more closely defined as homeschooling. 2 days out of the week they attend the main classes in the school like the University-Model Schools International. Then the other 2-3 days are spent at their own “satellite classroom” as they call it.

This option of homeschooling does allow the parents to still work full time and then find the time for the 2-3 other days for their child to do some self-directed studies. This is an age-appropriate solution and may work in certain types of situations. For example, you might consider doing the homeschooling part on the weekends. You will have more time to relax and do the studies as a family. This is a flexible solution if the parents have scheduling conflicts to incorporate more time during the weekdays.    

You can Homeschool 3 Days a Week, Just Plan It! 

kids studying

If one parent works full-time and the other parent is part-time, then the 3 day homeschool week is a possible solution. This means you will focus on the main subjects that your child needs, not what you want them to learn or study! Everyone needs to learn how to read, write, and be able to do math problems. But not everyone needs to do every single subject or extracurricular activity. Some subjects may also be taught during the summer or winter terms normally when kids are out of school. As a homeschooler, you are free to use the full 52 weeks if this makes sense for your child and family situation.

The 4 or 5-day homeschooling schedule

When you are working parents, but you really want to do homeschooling in a more relaxed way, the 4  to 5-day schedule is ideal. You can pace the material in a reasonable way and you and your child may have more flexible time to speed up or slow down. If you were in a traditional class, this would be more challenging to do. However, as a homeschooler, you control the schedule and pace. This needs to be done in an honest way. You are only doing a disservice to your child’s education if you gloss over the details and let them pass when they have not mastered some material. You can check out 5 different ways including the typical 4 and 5-day plan using the Simply Charlotte Mason methods. 

Homeschool Schedule for Working Parents

As you have seen from our article so far, there are many ways a working parent can do homeschooling while still working. The key point we’d like to make is that firstly, you are free to adjust any combination of plans to make it work for your family. Before compulsory schooling was a law across the world, parents, and families have homeschooled their children for centuries. Many famous people have been homeschooled while their parents worked! Even Thomas Edison was homeschooled.   

Essentially the main variables you need to consider are first, the age and level of your child. The younger they are the less amount of time they need per day to be in actually study time. Although some parents consider children to always be learning as they go through their daily life. The table below summarizes the hours typically needed per age. Use that as a guide to fit into the model of homeschooling we have outlined in the previous sections of this article.

Homeschooling Hours Per Day Based on Age

GradeHours Per DayNotes:
Grades K to 5Half-day: 2 to 3hrsCan include time at the park or museums
Grades 6 to 8Half-day: 3 to 4hrsDepends on other courses: 2nd language, Art, Music…
Grades 9 to 12Half-day+: 3 to 6hrsMay include sports or extracurricular activities

Homeschooling is Not Always at Home

kids playing at table

One thing we should make clear is that homeschooling doesn’t always take place in the home. This is a misnomer, and the real meaning of homeschooling is that the parents are in control of what and how their children learn. They ultimately take full responsibility for the child’s education and this is unlike traditional public schools. But as working parents, the homeschool curriculum and school day can take the form of many different combinations. You have seen that there is a myriad of solutions available. They are based on the age of your child, your time, availability and budget.

Any one of the combinations in conjunction with a co-op class, public school class or hybrid course can work very well. Over the years you may have also heard about pop up schools. And this is where parents came together locally and created a part-time school to offer additional courses for their children. They were unsatisfied with the range of options they had and wanted to hire and have something better for their children. Read about it here and learn how they have taken form around the US over the past few years.    

You Can Do Homeschooling and Work from Home

Some families we know in our town run their own business and have a manufacturing facility. They homeschool their children and have made the time to work with them every day on their schoolwork. This makes it very convenient for these parents to homeschool their kids. Actually they also have their parents living in the same facility. So this makes it even more convenient that the whole family is together. They can manage the family affairs and children’s care and education very easily. So for them, it made sense to homeschool.

In our case, we also have our own business and we do 2 things. One is this blog website about homeschooling. The other is something our son also finds very interesting. We make a luxury line of leather accessories. It is made of bamboo and fine Italian leather. Aaron likes to take part and sometimes even pretends he is doing leatherwork. We found that this is an ideal situation. One of the main reasons we like doing our own business because we are trying to instill creativity in our children. We want them all to realize they are able to create things and invent things y themselves. With the right direction and ideas, along with hard work, you can create your own business and livelihood. Homeschooling gives us the opportunity to live the dream and we hope to leave a legacy for our children to enjoy a lifetime of learning.

Don’t Move or Take Loans for Private School, Homeschool!

When I was growing up my parents went to some extreme measures for my education. They wanted me to be able to enroll in a school that was outside of our neighborhood. So my parents sold their house and moved to a whole different neighborhood. I did like the school and we were lucky that it worked. But not every family can do this. And sometimes it’s just not practical. Homeschooling offers flexibility so the parents and the family can focus just on education. Homeschooling saves a lot of hassle like travel time to and from school. And sometimes to locate yourself near a good school is just not possible.

Homeschooling is not always expensive. It can sometimes be absolutely free. Let me give you an example of something that happened just this week. Do you see all these wonderful books below? They were free! This is a full children’s encyclopedia set that I picked up from our library. We had gone to the library to check out some books and that day they had a free book giveaway. Apparently they had too many books in their collections. They wanted to give away hundreds of textbooks and all kinds of books for free. We got a lot of books that day and I was just amazed at how many free books we could get.

Homeschooling curriculums that are free as well are online and in your library. The library will be your friend if you take the time to check the resources available. Nowadays the catalog collections are all online. In our town, we can save time by reserving a book online, and then go pick them up the same day. We can even check books out by simply using an app and scanning a barcode. Libraries are so convenient and absolutely free. Audiobooks are also a super option. And if you have Spotify, there are so many audiobooks for kids that you can kind. 

As we hope you have seen there are many options available to you as a homeschooler. There are resources for every budget, timeframe, and educational preference. The hybrid homeschooling options or 2, 3, 4 or 5-day homeschool programs can all work with the right adjustments and commitment from you and your family. Even nighttime homeschooling is possible for some families. Just know that you are not alone and that over 3% of the student population in the United States are doing homeschooling. Many families still work full and part-time jobs. And they still find ways to give their children the best opportunities. Start planning your future now!

Robert Dad

I'm Robert "Daddy" Macias the father of 3 wonderful kids. I am embarking on a new journey of homeschooling and green living. I realized my wife and mothers all over the world were doing this all by themselves. So I realized as a dad, I must jump into action!

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