Continued from previous page...
Would you recommend other people try office schooling if they have that flexibility?
Yes, definitely. For years, I told my daughter I couldn’t homeschool her because I wasn’t a teacher. It wasn’t until I connected with other homeschoolers on Facebook that I realized I could do it. I am so glad we decided to take a chance and try it out.
The most important thing in making office schooling work for the business has been having the staff to delegate some of my work to and having a large enough office for both of us to fit . Also, the fact that I don’t have a lot of walk-in customers allows me to have a child in a professional environment. I am very particular about maintaining an environment that is professional. I make sure all evidence of kids, school, dog toys, etc., are hidden when we have guests. There are times, although rare, where she is instructed to stay in her office while someone is visiting because I don’t feel that it’s appropriate to reveal to that particular person/people that we are homeschooling here.
The most important thing in making office schooling work for your child has been learning how she will thrive. I am still learning and will probably continue to learn for many years. It’s working, but it’s not perfect. I think there is a better way for us, and I will continue to try and find it. I want her to love to learn and want to do school. I hope that will happen one day.
The most important thing in making office schooling work for you has been scheduling alone time. I used to have a lot of alone time in my office at work every day, and I no longer have that. Different people need different amounts of alone time. I find that I value my yoga nights, girls nights out, and going to the grocery store alone even more now that I am homeschooling because she is always with me. I miss being able to go out to lunch with a girlfriend during the day or being able to stay focused and be very productive at work.
But it’s all worth it! My daughter is worth all of the sacrifices. I have to say, it is much easier to homeschool than I thought. I was really nervous, but I’m so glad we decided to try it. Many people tell me that they don’t think they could do it. I recommend that they try it out for one year, and they will probably be very surprised at how successful they can be.
Do you plan to continue homeschooling at the office in coming years? Yes, we plan to keep homeschooling as long as it continues to be what is best for us. I hope to at least continue through middle school. High school intimidates me because of credits and transcripts, but I realize that VaHomeschoolers has a wealth of resources for me when I get to that point. We love having my daughter at the office with us. We feel that she is safer, she’s receiving a good education, and we have an amazing family life!
What changes might you envision in your office schooling as your daughter gets older?
I’m hoping for more independence and a desire to do her school work without me making her. As she gets older, I imagine she will work more hours as an employee and be able to contribute to the business in major ways once money becomes more of a motivation.
How do you think a child's age or personality might affect whether office schooling is a good fit?
My daughter is pretty laid back. I would think that if she had more energy and had difficulty being calm and quiet, it probably wouldn’t be a good fit. Also I think that a kindergartner, first, or second grader would be more of a challenge due to the demands on the teacher/parent at those ages. The older the child gets, the more they should be able to accomplish on their own so that the parent can work.
Any other comments?
Many people tell me that they wish they could homeschool their children. My response is, “You can!” I would encourage everyone to try it. It’s wonderful, and I believe it is so much better for the children. School can be done anytime, day or evening. It’s definitely possible to work and homeschool!