Single, full time working mom trying to homeschool

Hello, I need to get some advice on this subject from someone who can be nuetral.

I am a single mother who has a 12 daughter. I can't keep up on her schoolwork, and when I get home I foolishly trust, she's done it. I stay in touch with the teachers but she still seems to fail...

I'm soo worried about her and I think I may want to stay home and school her. But my only income is mine...any suggestions?

SHawn Maloney


Wow Shawn. What a difficult position to be in.

Ok - let's see if we can't give you a way to move forward with this.

I wonder if you can't keep up with her schoolwork, who is setting it for her? The school?

You said she is failing. In what way? Failing to do her work, or failing in the subjects (ie. she is trying to do her work she but doesn't understand it).

Since you decided to homeschool, you are ultimately responsible for your daughters education.

First you need to have a big think about what YOU want from homeschooling her. You obviously can't put in a lot of time but what are your aspirations for her? What is the minimum you expect from her? Is the schoolwork you are giving her helping to meet your aspirations - or is it just a lot of busy work that the teachers think she needs to go through?

You need to take a good hard look at how you have set up your homeschool and identify where it is not working. What is going wrong? Is she bored? Is it too hard for her?

Next go and talk to your daughter. She has responsibilities for her own education too. What is it that she wants from it. And how would she like to accomplish it?

Ask her to do some research about homeschooling and put together for herself a plan about what she wants to learn, and how she would like to do it. If you can beg, borrow or steal a copy - then I think she would really enjoy The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education (but for goodness sake don't pay the ridiculous prices on Amazon for it - see if your library has it in stock.)

Work out together the best way forward for you both. Should you switch to more project based learning? Perhaps you could set her a project each week and she could present/do a talk to you about what she has learned over the weekend. Or set up a 'learning' blog together where she records what she has learnt. Or maybe she could make you a short video each week showing what she has been up to.

What is it she loves to do? Could you capitalize on that? Learning isn't just about textbooks and assignments. There are lots of ways she could learn. What would get her excited about learning?

Perhaps you are both happy with the academic route - but she needs more help. Try a tutor a couple of times a week, or switch to an online charter school.

You both DO have options. You just need to stop a while and rework your plan. Work it out together and make this a partnership.

I hope this has given you some ideas for changes you can make. Stick at it - it will be worth it in the long run.

best wishes, Julie.

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