Dear Helping Hand,
Hi. I've just begun homeschooling my 14 yr. old son, and the problem I need help with is how to homeschool and hold down a job at the same time. I'm determined to homeschool because public schools are detrimental to his happiness and to his learning, but I'm having a hard time giving the "teaching" my full attention after being at work all day. We've both decided that unschooling would be beneficial for him, or at least we're looking into it, but at the moment I feel that basically it's as if he's on an extended vacation. I have things for him to do, but it feels as if I'm not doing enough. I guess I need something more structured because the "unschooling" isn't working, but I don't want a regimented program, either, because so many of the things in a program like that don't interest him, and then the problems begin. The homeschooling network here is incredible, and I do know that I should utilize it, but my difficulty with that comes with working during the day. Any suggestions?
If you haven't already, I'd recommend reading The High School Handbook by Mary Schofield. She'll give you a lot of help in setting out a planned course of study for your son. You can still allow yourself a lot of flexibility, but by the time he's in high school you should, at the very least, have an idea of which subjects he's going to be studying each year. You mentioned that you work during the day. Is your son home alone or does he have some kind of supervision? Perhaps the supervising person could oversee one or two courses on video so that you wouldn't have all the teaching responsibilities. Since you have such a large support network, you might also be able to pursue some classes for individual subjects.
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