How a Full-Time Working Mom Homeschools
I could not possibly homeschool. I am not a teacher. I am not qualified. My child wouldn’t learn from me. It would be a lot of work. I have a full-time job, and I don’t have the time!
These were the words racing through Sharita Humphrey’s mind right before the pandemic shook her reality and opened the door to the joys and wonders of homeschooling. With just a little nudge from her mother, who had always told her she would make a good teacher, Sharita began her family’s homeschooling journey and never looked back.
Life and Work Before Homeschooling
Sharita had always dreamed of homeschooling, but she and her husband, Quincy, felt it would be impossible with two older children, and while getting their new business off the ground. They pondered homeschooling their third child, 6-year-old-Kyle, but enrolled him in a private school instead.
Then, COVID-19 hit. The world changed, and schools shuttered across the country. They tried remote learning, yet like millions of other families, found it difficult and frustrating. In a few short weeks, they made the decision to homeschool to take control of where, when, and how Kyle learns. Sharita conducted thorough research and chose Time4learning due to its long-standing reputation, flexibility, helpful homeschool tools, and low cost.
Learning as Busy Homeschoolers
Sharita admits she found homeschooling to be intimidating at first. While she normally teaches finance to adults as part of her profession, she was unsure she would be able to switch to facilitate the learning of a child – let alone her child. She quickly realized that the leap is not so overwhelming if you love to teach, and if you have a homeschool partner like Time4Learning by your side.
Support from the Homeschool Community
Sharita’s family wasn’t alone on their homeschool journey. She joined the Time4Learning’s Families Facebook Group, to learn from other homeschool families, and expand her network. “Through what I call the ‘homeschool tribe,’ I have met some amazing people,” she says. One fellow homeschooler has become Kyle’s piano teacher, for example, and Sharita has become involved in the Time4Learning Facebook community to get inspiration, stay connected, provide feedback, and share tips and resources with other families.
Flexible Homeschool Schedules While Working Full Time
She designed a lifestyle around homeschooling, and documented it through her “mommy journal.” Sharita moves between her office in Houston and working from home. “Time4Learning has given us the flexibility to make homeschooling a reality,” she says. “Homeschooling gives you a way to control time, which you cannot buy, so you don’t have to miss precious time with your children.”
According to Sharita, homeschooling creates the opportunity for more family time and family bonding. “It marvels me how by working and learning with me, we can amplify what he loves, and strengthen his skill sets that only Kyle can give to the world,” she says. “These are moments I would miss if he had been in school. We have absolutely no desire to put our child back in traditional school.”
Kyle is now a homeschooler for life. To celebrate his first day of homeschool, he proudly wore his homeschool shirt. “From the very first day, he was hooked,” says Sharita. He soon learned to recognize when mom was in “teacher mode.” He told her: “Mommy, I think you are the best teacher. I think you are doing a good job as a teacher and as a mommy!”
Kyle’s Typical Weekly Homeschool Schedule
Sharita uses Time4Learning’s free Activity Planner and automated reporting tools to schedule learning times and keep track of progress. Kyle is comfortable with a streamlined and creative schedule that not only “meets district regulations and state requirements but gives more than the state or local school would provide.” Thanks to homeschooling’s flexibility, Sharita and her family can make any tweaks to the schedule as they see fit, whether it’s for family vacations, last minute field trips, or other opportunities that may pop up.
Below is what a weekly schedule usually looks like for Kyle.
- Mondays and Wednesdays: Language arts and social studies, ending with a quiz in each area.
- Tuesdays and Thursdays: Science and math, supplemented with STEM brain teasers to practice handwriting.
- Fridays: Real-world application through “Finance and Farming Fridays.” From his mother, Kyle learns about finance and banking, sometimes even joining her for meetings at work. From his father, and through maintenance of his own raised garden bed, Kyle learns about farming. In addition to a review of the week’s content through pop quizzes, Kyle is asked to make connections, for example, how the food chain relates to both finance and farming.
- Saturdays: Tutoring, using Time4Learning as the basis. The tutor also brings in additional activities based on the curriculum, and provides weekly progress feedback.
Sharita’s Advice for Homeschoolers
As the founder of her own thriving business, Sharita now hopes to inspire and empower other women and families. According to Sharita, homeschoolers should determine what works for them and their children, and give the whole experience time. “Make a plan, knowing that plans can change,” she says. “You may be in pajamas, but just show up and make learning happen.”