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Can Your Older Children Stay Home to Homeschool?


Can your older children stay at home to homeschool while you are at work? In this video from the Working Homeschooler Quickstart Series, I discuss what worked for my family, as well as the things that you should consider and be cautious about when making this decision. Ultimately, this is a decision that you will have to make using your own judgement about the safety and maturity of your kids.

You can download the audio on soundcloud or listen here:

Here is the transcript:


Okay, what if your child is old enough that they already stay home? And by themselves? Can they stay home while you're at work to homeschool? Well, a lot of people are doing this. This is what our family did. We started late in the game, my kids were in eighth grade and fourth grade. And it worked well for us. But here's the thing, I really can't give you a formula and say that if your kid is this age, they can stay home. Or if your situation looks exactly like this, they can stay home. So much of staying home depends on your child's own maturity, your child's own motivation, your neighborhood, and who is around your children (is it people you trust).


You see, I was in a neighborhood (well, I'm still in the same neighborhood) where we had stay at home moms all around us, and we knew every family on our street. And we were very comfortable with the fact that my kids had people around them that they could run to in the case of an emergency. And they also had people around them that were watching out for them and could see what was going on around the house. So you see, we had that extra support of knowing there were people nearby and that my kids weren't home in a neighborhood where everybody was gone and all the houses were empty and no adults that they could run to. 


The other thing was that I only worked a mile away. So I could easily run home in an emergency if I needed to. And sometimes I would come home for lunch and check in on them. Now, there usually wasn't enough time by the time I got in and had lunch and it was time to leave to really do any teaching time. But it was a time I could kind of just check and see how things were going. So that was one of my assets, right.


But there are many people who are doing this. And I'm thinking of lots of examples. But I did talk to one mom who was using Skype as her way of connecting with her child during the day. She had a very young teenager, but he was staying at home. And she worked in an office. But they didn't have any problem with her just having Skype open all day while her child was doing his work. They were virtually side by side, she always knew that he was okay. She always knew if he needed anything. It was never anything that required a lot of her attention, but it worked for them. And they had a direct line of communication all day.


So if you feel that you have a safe situation for them to be in, and if you feel that you can trust your child to stay home, this can actually be a great exercise in independence for them. For my own kids, thankfully, my husband told them that I was not going to be working and homeschooling and doing their laundry and cleaning the house. So he made sure that before all of this started, he trained them how to do their own laundry. And we made sure - they were already kind of responsible for chores around the house - but they actually had time to fit all of that in now that they weren't going to school all day and then coming home and doing homework and trying to get to activities. A lot of times you want your children to do chores, but you just don't have time to do that when when school is running your life like we talked about in the beginning of this course. So it really kind of streamlined family life for us. Because most of the time when I got home from work, they had completed a good bit of their work except for the things that we needed to do together. And they had also, you know, done the daily chores that needed done to keep the house clean.


And so things were definitely less chaotic than when we were all gone all day, and just, you know, all coming home and trying to get everything worked in. So you see how this was one way that it lowered the stress on our family. So if you have that type of situation where you feel that your your kids would be able to handle being home and you have a safe environment, and they maybe have one or two people that are close by at least that they can contact in an emergency, then this may be what works out for you.


So that's something to consider. And that's something that you and your spouse will have to discuss if you are married and see if it works for you. If not, then you know what go through the childcare options until you feel that they are in a place where they can do that. But certainly, it's it's something that you can do. And we really enjoyed it.