Here on the blog, I love to share, not only our family’s life homeschooling, but “our life” collectively as homeschoolers. That is why I regularly post interviews with everyday homeschool moms just like you! I hope you will be encouraged by reading this interview with Jenny as she talks about her experience homeschooling her kids while working full time.
To see more interviews from other homeschool moms, see the Our Life Homeschooling Gallery of Homeschool Mom Interviews.
My name is Jenny Daugherty. I had a slow progression into homeschooling. I always knew it was what I wanted, however I knew my family would not approve so I chose to go the traditional public school route. When I dropped my son off at kindergarten, I felt like I was missing part of my body. It did not feel natural to be away from him so much.
In first grade we found my son had a learning disability and the public school wanted to punish him, so I pulled him out at Christmas and enrolled him in a hybrid private school. He went to school two days a week and did school at home three. I thought this was homeschooling (it was not.) By the time he reached sixth grade, this model was not helping him either so I pulled him out to finally embrace homeschooling him full time.
Having the freedom to choose our curriculum and when and how to do school has been so liberating. My only regret is not starting sooner. Looking back, I realize that his dyslexia has been a blessing seeing as it got us out of public school. Fortunately, his two sisters just followed along in whatever educational decisions we made for him and they never had to experience public school.
Do you have to be a stay-at-home mom to homeschool?
You can still be a working mom and homeschool your kids. I started with public school, thinking I would not be able to balance work and school. When we realized we needed to get out of public school, I already worked from home. At that point, it was just finding the balance of adding in school to the mix. I’m not going to lie. It’s not always easy. You have to sacrifice constantly. However, the fact that my kids are home learning with me, makes every sacrifice worth it.
In what ways have you had to adapt your homeschool to fit around your job?
I am fortunate in that I work from home and can set my own hours. I have always worked, so it’s just taken flexibility working schooling into my work day. Sometimes we do school on the weekend to make up for anything missed during the week. Sometimes it’s catching up after dinner I also started school in July this year to give me more flexibility throughout the year for anything missed.
What does an average day look like for you?
I typically get up at 4:00, read my Bible and then work for a couple hours. At 7:00 I squeeze in a workout and then the kids start waking up and I cook breakfast. I put on WorldWatch (a kids’ news program) we watch while we eat. We then do morning time for an hour to hour and a half and then move into math. They are all fairly independent for math, so this gives me time to go check emails and return any phone calls. I also use this time to empty the dishwasher and get breakfast dishes done. The kids move on to other subjects, with me helping the youngest the most. We have lunch, then finish up school by 2:00. I begin working more from 2-5 in the afternoon. I try not to work once my husband is home and we are all together as a family. I don’t have a typical 9-5 job, so I try to squeeze in work when I can throughout the day.
What’s your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge is when clients need me during time I like to consider our school hours. I have to make hard choices between whether school or work is the priority at the moment. Just taking a five minute phone call in the middle of a history lesson can be a huge distraction and throw off our morning because then I have to reign everyone back in and regroup. Trying to keep clients at bay to give my kids the attention they deserve is my biggest challenge.
What advice can you give to other part-time/full-time working homeschool parents?
OUTSOURCE! I have learned to outsource subjects in order to help free up my time. We use Saxon math, but I have learned to outsource it. We use my mymathassistant, which teaches the Saxon lessons, grades them and then sends me an email reporting how they did. I know instantly when they’ve finished and can follow up with any issues. I do not have the time to teach three different math lessons a day, so I find this a very valuable service worth paying for. I utilize IEW for writing so I rely on Mr. Pudewa to teach their lessons, but I still grade their papers and guide the kids as needed.
While I outsource those subjects, I refuse to do so with other subjects I love. We do Bible and history together as a family and I pour more of my time and energy into these. In addition to this, I have recently started having my mother-in-law come over and work on reading and writing with my youngest twice a week. This gives her the one-on-one she needs, while freeing up my time to help the other kids or work as needed. I have even learned to outsource other areas of my life.
I utilize grocery delivery services so I don’t have to make time to go to the grocery store. I cannot do it all. I have to make time for what matters to me, and let others help fill in the gaps.
Jenny’s Favorite Homeschool Resources
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Hi, I’m Sheri! I am a Christian saved by grace, married to my high school sweetheart, and a thankful mom to ten incredible kids. I’m a former public school teacher who never thought I would someday be a homeschool mom! Drawing on 13+ years of homeschooling experience, follow along to find help for getting started, tried and true homeschooling advice, life skills learning, simple Morning Time ideas, and interviews with everyday homeschool moms just like you!