Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A juggling act

Today's post is part of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Blog Hop. This month's topic is homeschooling with/without a partner.

This is very relevant for us at the moment. Since quitting full-time teaching to homeschool Video Boy and Wombat Girl, I have generally taken responsibility for most of the homeschooling. That means the successes are due to me, but the uh-oh moments are mine too! But since quitting teaching, our income has decreased dramatically - we rely on our retail to business to bring in the bacon, pay the mortgage, put food on the table, yanno - all that fun stuff.

Except retail hasn't been going so well here in Australia. A sluggish economy and increase ease and availability of online products have hit hard. So I've been "supplementing" the family income because I have LOTS OF SKILLS. And bits of paper to prove it. I regularly head out of the family home to work in the local library and visitor information centre. I sometimes don my "Ranger Ingi" uniform and get paid to go bushwalking, or less satisfactorily, working in schools. Last year, I temporarily moved to Sydney to mark exam papers. All in the name of saving us from eating 2 minute noodles every night (oh, alright and to go on cruises to China).

It's a bit of a juggling act! I leave work for the kids to do while I am away - work I think they can manage without my guidance. Hubby tries to organise the shop so he can be at home to supervise/guide where possible. But it feels...not ideal. But it is what it is and we all make the best of it.

So very zen - so very NOT me!

Turns out we really are heading in a not positive direction finance-wise, and so lately, I've been on the scout out for more work. We are making changes in the shop, but ultimately, we think a change might be in order.

So what will we do if I manage to snag a nicely-paid full-time job somewhere? We talked about putting the kids back in school, but really, that's not an attractive proposition. It would have to be an amazing school to do what we are able to do at home and not turn my kids into emotional wrecks. So, Hubby would have to step up to the plate and take on the majority of the homeschooling.

The kids aren't totally convinced of this prospect - his approach so far has been to write lists and tick off items when the kids have done them. But he is sure that if he wasn't trying to run a business at the same time that he would get right into the homeschooling thing and even be enthusiastic about it! It might not be the way I would do things, but it would be better than sending them back to school.

I'm not entirely happy about our financial situation impeding on the very nice life we've set up here. But between the two of us, we'll work it out - we have to! Oh - there's apparently a great book about working and homeschooling and trying to balance it all by the great people at GHF - not surprisingly called How to Work and Homeschool: Practical Advice, Tips and Strategies from Parents - I think I need to go buy it now (always an excuse to buy new books)!

Go check out the other posts on this relevant topic at:

Do you attempt to work AND homeschool?
Does your partner (if you have one) help out in homeschooling?
Are times getting tough financially for you?


  1. "It might not be the way I would do things, but it would be better than sending them back to school."

    And this Ingi is such wisdom. Back when we had 3-4 kids both husband and I held down part-time jobs, he in finance and I was launching our book selling business. We did really well, managed between us to nearly always having one of us home with the children. At that stage our oldest was 6 and then 8 by the time I had baby no 4 and the umbrella business (DKFL) went bust.

    But your sentence above struck me because that is what I had to struggle with my pride and accept, his way was not how I would have done it but it wasn't necessarily inferior, just different. In fact it was healthy for the kids to have both.

    Now I have teenage boys I really wish my husband could be home more with them, think it would suit them so much better. He'd make them toe the line more than me. Anyhow different is good too:){{}}

    1. It's hard to "let go" but sometimes we must! And I think that even though Video Boy and Hubby sometimes bang heads, it would be good for them :-)


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