the Trials of
By Margie Gray
In today’s economy, the single- income family has all but disap- peared. Often, with some anxiety, as our children get older we watch
expenses increase. Families with teens
have the extra costs of added drivers, and
of course, the costs of college loom on
the horizon. Many homeschooling families today juggle school, work, and home
life. Within the members of our CHESS
(Christian Home Educator’s Support
System) families, almost all have a secondary income generated by the wife.
She may be contributing to the family
budget by teaching music lessons, baby-sitting, working at the hospital, or working at the schools. When the mom is the
main homeschool instructor, the job that
takes her outside the home can pose the
greatest challenge for the family.
families today juggle
school, work, and
When discussing homeschooling and
working outside the home, several con-
cerns that families need to consider arise.
The first is whether or not your child is
independent and trustworthy enough to
be left at home unattended by a parent.
Young children require consistent aca-
demic supervision in the lower grades,
so it is not advisable to leave them to
do schoolwork on their own. But look
at your resources; perhaps you have an
older child or grandparent who can de-
vote part of his or her day to ensuring the
lesson plans are completed.
goal is to cultivate independent learners,
children who are responsible for their
own education. If your child can follow
instructions and is well disciplined, leaving him at home without supervision for
extended periods is doable.
Many parents of teens investigating
homeschooling for the first time relate
the trouble their child has with home-
work, or their teen is in trouble with
gangs or drugs, yet they want to leave
their child home alone all day while they
work. For such families, I would dis-
courage the idea of unsupervised home-
schooling. Home education requires self-
control on the part of the student and the
teacher. These troubled students have
not exhibited self-control, and without
equal effort from the parents, it quickly
becomes a failed experiment.