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Is it possible to homeschool and work full time?
You would love to homeschool. But you also need to work full time.
Friend, I’ve been there.
Now, years later, my babies are 10 and 4. And neither has ever attended traditional school. While I have never given up working!
If I did it, you can too! Here are just some of the many ways to make it happen, using a traditional school schedule and calendar, or crafting your own.
How to Homeschool and Work Full Time on a Traditional School Schedule
Homeschool and work full time from home.
Ask your current employer if you can work from home all or some of the time.
In the age of COVID, more employers than ever before are allowing employees to work from home. Even if you haven’t already made the switch, others from your company probably have.
So your employer may have realized that he or she can still get great results from employees working from home. Which means that you may have a better chance than ever before at getting the green light to make the switch.
Find another full time job that does allow you to work from home.
Send out applications to your employers competitors, narrowing the search to remote-working opportunities. Depending on your field and position, it may be worth your while to speak with a recruiter about your ideal job.
Make a full time income as an independent contractor.
If you have the skills and contacts to begin bringing in an income as your own boss, now is the time to make it happen! Reach out to industry connections to let them know what you’re doing. Then update or create your LinkedIn page, and set up a basic website with your services, rates, and contact information to share with potential clients.
Make a full time income as a gig worker.
There are more ways than ever before to earn decent money on a flexible schedule that YOU create. Here are a few that I personally have tried out.
(Requirements, pay, and availability may vary, but each of these were worth exploring at the time of this writing.)
Teach English online with VIPKid.
Job description: VIPKid teachers teach international elementary and middle-school aged children (primarily in China) English via video classes. The company provides the curriculum. Teachers need a computer (NOT a netbook) and headphones, as well as a quiet well-lit place in your home to teach.
Pay: Base pay is $14-$18 per hour at the time of this writing, with opportunities to earn more with bonuses and by referring other teachers. If I taught a class today my hourly pay would be $21 with bonuses.
Schedule: Teachers can choose to open as many class slots as they want to each week. You can open a time slot as far in advance as you want. And you can close as many time slots as you want for as long as you want, provided a student has not already scheduled a class during that time.
Since students are primarily in China, classes are scheduled in the very early morning and weekend evenings in United States time zones. This frees homeschool parents like me to be with their own children during the school day.
Requirements: As of the time of this writing, all VIPKid teachers must have a four-year college degree. They must also have some experience working with children, although this is a very broad requirement. Anything from working as a camp counselor or Sunday school teacher to being a homeschool mom or brick and mortar teacher has been considered acceptable experience.
VIPKid also requires its teachers to undergo a background check each year. This is done at the expense of the company.
There may be some states from which VIPKid does not currently contract new teachers. This is because the company considers its teachers to be independent contractors, and some states have very strict rules about who can legally be considered an independent contractor. These state rules do not always line up with how VIPKid operates.
Work as a personal grocery shopper with Instacart.
Job description: Instacart customers submit their grocery orders online. Then Instacart shoppers go grocery shopping for those customers using a list that they access from a phone app.
Shoppers pay for the order with a debit card that Instacart provides to its shoppers. And then shoppers deliver the order to the customer.
Pay: Average reported earnings with Instacart seem to hover around $15 per hour. But this number can vary greatly in one direction or the other.
This is because Instacart customers choose how much they want to tip the shopper for each order. However, this information is available to the shopper before he or she commits to taking the order.
Shoppers can log in to the Instacart app any time they want to shop. There they can see all of the orders that are currently available to them. Each listed order shows the amount that the shopper will be paid for that order.
Schedule: I have seen shopping orders available as early as 7am and as late as 8pm. I imagine that the shopping hours available coincide with the opening and closing times of the stores where they are from. As an Instagram shopper, you can choose to fulfill as many or as few orders as you want.
I am not sure what Instacart’s official policy is on taking your children with you to shop. But I personally know of three homeschool mamas who do just that. That makes this an excellent option for making money outside of school hours without having to worry about childcare.
Requirements: Instacart requires its personal shoppers to have a valid driver’s license, as well as car insurance. They also require shoppers to submit to a background check.
Teach (just about anything!) to children with Outschool.
Job description: Outschool teachers develop their own classes based on topics that they want to teach. I have seen classes advertised on everything from German to story time to watercolor.
The sky is truly the limit with this platform. But I have heard, although not verified, that Outschool does not permit teachers to teach classes with religious content. And once a teacher has developed a class, Outschool must approve it.
Teachers can choose to teach one-off classes or series of classes. Classes can be live or pre-recorded. And teacher have the option to set the minimum and maximum number of students required for a class to run.
Pay: The average Outschool teacher reportedly makes $35 per hour. Since teachers can set their own rates, this amount can vary. New teachers may choose to offer classes for less money in order to gain a following and get the ball rolling.
Schedule: Outschool teachers can set their own schedules. Some time frames may book better than others. But the option to teach pre-recorded classes along with schedule flexibility make Outschool an excellent option for homeschool moms to consider.
Requirements: There are currently NO education requirements for Outschool teachers. But teachers must be at least 18 years old. And Outschool teachers do need to go through a background check. Classes also need to be approved before a teacher can begin teaching.
Have someone else homeschool your child.
You would love to homeschool your own children. But if that just is not in the cards with your current job, there are other answers!
Did you know that in many states there are few, or no, restrictions on who can homeschool your kids? If you are unsure of the homeschool laws in your state, The Homeschool Legal Defense Association is a great place to start.
Depending on the laws in your state, consider asking any of the following adults to homeschool your children during the school day while you work.
- Grandma or Grandpa
- Aunts or Uncles
- Trusted Neighbors
- College-aged babysitters
- Private tutors
- Retired teachers
- Other homeschool moms
- Stay-at-home-mom friends
- Adult older siblings
- Long-time friends (Pretend “Aunts” and “Uncles”)
- Retired ladies at church
- Pastor’s wife
How to Homeschool and Work Full Time on an Alternate School Schedule
Homeschool on weekends, work vacations, holidays, and other days off of work.
Some states have requirements about how MUCH time has to be spend on school work. But most, if not all, allow you to determine exactly what days that learning takes place.
Take a look at your state’s requirements, and consider whether you can fit the amount of schooling your family needs into non-work days.
Homeschool during evenings or other off hours during the day.
In addition to choosing which days to operate your homeschool, it is likely that you can also choose what times. Consider running your homeschool for an hour before work in the morning, and for some time during the afternoon or evening after work. This is a time when many traditionally schooled students complete homework anyway.
If you work from home you may also find some time during lunch breaks to school each day.
Homeschool year round.
Take some of the pressure off of completing the year’s school work by June. Just extend your homeschool to operate year round. Depending on your state’s regulations, this may enable you to reduce the number of hours that your student spends schooling each day. Many families with a stay-at-home parent opt for this option as well. Because it frees time during the school year for holiday breaks, vacations, and sick days.
Bonus Strategy to Make Any Homeschool Schedule Work Better!
Have your children work independently whenever possible!
If your time is limited, make the most of it by outsourcing some of your homeschooling to…your child!
Some subjects and topics will require more hands-on teaching than others. (I’m looking at you, long division!) But you can make that work to your advantage.
Identify the subjects that your student can complete with less help, and set him or her up to tackle those independently each day. In our home those subjects are hand-writing and reading.
Consider incentivizing independent work with the promise of a special privilege or treat when it is completed each week. A certain 10 year old I know once completed half a school year’s worth of handwriting in a month to earn a new Wellie Wisher doll.
You CAN homeschool and work full time.
Tradition tells us that students need to learn at certain times of day with a full time teacher. But YOU, dear mama, are already prepared to buck tradition to answer the call to homeschool your child.
Ready to get started? A great first step is visiting the Homeschool Legal Defense Association to explore the homeschool laws in your state. And then begin making a plan that will allow you to homeschool and work full time!
Do you have more questions? Post them in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer them!