Firstly, to answer your question,
‘Can I Homeschool As A Single Parent?’,
yes – you absolutely can!
This is the short answer.
Now, for the long answer I am going to break this down into topics to consider.
Homeschooling As a Single Parent:
A Challenge But Not Impossible
Black parents choose to explore the homeschooling route for many different reasons and ultimately this will vary from family to family. But upon doing some digging the majority of black parents, when asked, have said it is due to their academic concerns.
Secondary to that on the list is religious/moral reasons and then thirdly, behavioural issues or worries about their child being kicked out of school. In my experience, the main factor in a black parent’s choice to homeschool is racism.
There is a strong urge for black parents to homeschool because they want to protect their children from racial unfairness in public schools. And this trend of black parents homeschooling is quickly moving upwards. Homeschooling isn’t by any stretch, an easy option – so this decision is not one black parents’ are taking lightly. In the US over 220,000 black families now homeschool and now the movement amongst African/Caribbean families in the UK is growing fast.
I would like to reiterate, homeschooling has never been an easy task, even for couples. It becomes even more difficult for a single parent who has to divide time and energy between making ends meet and catering to their children’s academic needs. Usually one would be able to send them off to school to be educated, freeing up time to work and simply, have some me-time.
This is why the topic of homeschooling as a single parent seems impossible and the biggest thing weighing on a single parent’s mind with this decision is am I willing to make the required sacrifices and commit to total dedication? For this to work, you must be very determined!
But remember, the theme of this post is ‘Homeschooling As A Single Parent – A Challenge But Not Impossible’ so bare with me, I am not trying to put you off, I am on your side, I am your sister and fellow Village Auntie and I want nothing more than for you and your child(ren) to succeed on this journey…
Below are some things you should include in your plan of action if you had not considered them have a think on them and adjust your plan accordingly. Other things you might want to look into if you are planning on taking your child out of school is deregistering them the correct way and also finding a curriculum that will meet their needs. Check this post out for more info on how to do so and download the free deregistration template here.
Have A Goal
Setting a goal for yourself will help you stay dedicated and focused on your child’s education. In setting your goal, consider why you home-school, what it is you hope to achieve, and how you want your kids to emerge from homeschooling. When you begin to set the pace towards homeschooling, you will probably receive discouragement from family and friends. You will probably be told that you are being unrealistic and challenged on your teacher-like capabilities. You might be made to feel silly or incapable and be told to ‘leave it to the experts’ You might be asked how you intend to manage work with schooling a child. It is very paramount that you arm yourself with a thick resolve and setting a goal will help you to stay on track. It will help you stay rooted. It may help to create a vision board or vision diary where you pin these goals down as a reminder to yourself.
Afrocentric Homeschooling/Parenting Books Tailored Towards Helping Black Children Succeed
Single parenting has never been easy. Adding homeschooling to the mix only makes an already full-time and demanding job harder. But listen, you have probably been conditioned to think that your child’s schooling or education has to take place during the traditional school hours – 9 am to 3 pm. While some people do still carry on with this schedule, for you, this may not be at all feasible. You are well within your rights to remove this fixture and improvise. Work homeschooling around your schedule. Sometimes, you might have to take your kids with you to work, allocating them tasks while you go about your work. Other times you may want to lean on another homeschool family and have them include your child in their day. There are meetups, social groups and clubs going on within the homeschool community almost daily. This is why it is so important to find your village.
Do What Works Best For You
Homeschooling is not rocket science, there is no set of formulas, no right way and certainly no one way you must do things. Some people swear by worksheets and a tutor in each subject as soon as possible. Others might touch a worksheet once a week and do most of their ‘homeschooling’ outside, in nature. There are various groups on Facebook for the plethora of different approaches and this is because people decide what works best for them and then find their tribe of like-minded parents.
You must find out what works best for you and your children and work your way around it. You do not have to follow anybody else’s methods and likewise, what works for one family may not work at all for you. These are your children. Determine what will work best for all of you. And even if you decide on one route, if you find it isn’t working out for you… switch it up.
Seek Help, Find Your Village
You do not have to do it all by yourself. If it is required, seek help from family, friends with either schooling or chores, and other activities. You might need another adult to help supervise your kids sometimes. It may be another parent. Teach your kids that they should contribute as well in keeping the house together. Never think that you can handle all the workload alone. Teach your children to be responsible for what goes on in the house.
As a single, black parent, you need to find a balance between work, home, and home-schooling your child. Create a schedule around your work, your children’s home-schooling, and keeping the house. Stick to this, but don’t be too rigid about it. Fix a feasible timetable that your kids will follow. Because your schedule might become too tight for you to meet up with your kids’ homework, educate them to get used to working on their assignments independently. Assign tasks to them to occupy them when you are not around.
Homeschooling, by definition, is literally the opposite of traditional schooling, so do not treat it as such. Homeschooling is not perfect; it is not meant to be. There’s nothing wrong with being flexible and making changes from time to time. One benefit of homeschooling is that you can receive direct feedback on the methods and approaches that work with your children. You receive that feedback from your children – how they adjust, their moods, how they are getting on and simply sitting down and discussing it with them. That is one of the most rewarding benefits of homeschooling, your bond with your child grows.
You have to come to terms with the fact that your child will not always agree with some methods you might use. Be conscious of how they feel during your sessions and be ready to drop it and switch it up if it isn’t working. Involve your children in implementing new ways that they can learn. Once in awhile try out something new that will interest your kids and make learning better. Allow space for change in how you approach your kids’ schooling. You can have activities with other families. The schedule does not have to be the same every day. This is one thing a single parent needs to know. Homeschool can be done in the evening!
As a single parent, it is you and your children against the world. Hopefully, you never get too caught up in the teacher role that you forget this. Your children should have a say during decision making. When changing schedules and changing teaching approaches, ask your kids what they think. You will be spending a lot more time together as opposed to non-homeschooling families. There is more involvement in their lives than parents who send their children out to public schools. Have a talk with them when you have to make a decision that affects them.
Each of you has to learn compromise.