Single, working and homeschooling - Gotta love Chaos!!
by Aimee Bentley
My husband and I separated just as my daughter was to enter Kindergarten. I felt like it was too much change for her all at once, so I decided to homeschool her even though I had to work full-time as well...just for one year. She is finishing Fifth grade this year and has been homeschooled all of the way. I expect we will continue...at least through middle school at this point :).
Kindergarten, first and second grades went smoothly and she thrived. I worked evenings and we would do school during the morning and early afternoon. Then her father or a babysitter would take care of her while I was at work.
When she started third grade, I had switched to night shift which I am still on. I work 12 hour shifts as a nurse in an ICU. Third and fourth grades were a struggle as I was adapting to being a night owl and she was not old enough to do much work independently. I was not terribly happy with her curricula, but struggling to find ones to substitute that I preferred. Yet, we muddled through and she continued to score very well when I had her tested. I seriously considered putting her into regular school during that time, but we both love doing school together, so I put it off for a bit longer.
This year we seem to have hit our stride. I have found an amazing computer program that helps me plan things down to the letter. I can print out her lessons for a single day, a week, or a month (if I would want to). I am now pulling from several different curricula and add lots of extra things in to keep her interest high. I usually plan her independent stuff heavily on days when I know I will need to sleep and plan for the things that we do together for days when I am off. She is old enough now to do a lot of independent work, but it is not uncommon for me to wake up in the afternoon to find her with her books spread out on the bed with me working away. Occasionally we even do school on Saturday. We have been blessed in that my fiancee is a math, engineering, technology type, so he has taken over math (my weakest subject) and some of her science.
As if life wasn't already crazy enough, I am working on an online Masters degree in Nursing. Now, it is common to find us sitting side by side working on our school. I believe it is good for her to see my dedication to lifelong learning.
My father in particular has often asked me why I am putting myself through all of this. The many hours of planning and teaching, when I already have so much on my plate. I just tell him that I want her to have the best that I can offer her. I have not been terribly happy with the results I see coming out of our local public schools, and I cannot afford a private school for her. So we continue to homeschool. For us, even with all of the work and tightly scheduled lives, it works. It can work for you too.
THANK YOU Aimee! So wonderful to hear your success story. This will be a blessing to many. Diane