Home School - Single Parents Can Home School Too

Are you a single parent with children at home? Education is a primary concern these days, and many parents prefer not to place children in school systems, or occasionally have a reason for withdrawing them. There are alternatives and many parents choose them for solid reasons.

As a parent of pre-teens and teens, it had been a mutual choice to home school before I became a single parent. Afterward, the question of income and time became an issue. But we found solutions. Some of those solutions included working with the children and earning while they were learning.


Unschooling is literally learning how to live as life happens. Children learn by natural consequence to make good choices, learn important information, and study to achieve natural life goals.

Although this option is becoming more and more popular, as a single parent, it was nearly a requirement. I didn't have time to spend hours sitting in front of my children 'teaching' so education became more learning and less teaching. I focused on providing my children ample opportunities to learn and a variety of methods to choose from within a specific curriculum plan developed around our lifestyles.

Three primary methods held out:

1) Incorporate earning and learning.

As they were learning, I took notes, wrote books, and taught them as while creating educational tools for other students. After one particular trip became a project learning opportunity for a group of home school students, a large need for project planners and targeted educational programs became apparent. Those sold well. Families saved time and paid for the project planners.

2) Hire the kids for training and employee benefits.

A tax break too? When a teenager picked up the slack after a secretary took a hike one Tax Season, she was paid her for her efforts. She got so good at data entry, filing, and answering the phone that she stayed on permanently. In the fall, she asked to take the training to work as a tax consultant. She's one of the best tax preparers, on staff 3 months of the year, and working now with her own clients. She's had clients for 2 years, and is looking forward to another year of commissions.

If you pay your children for doing the same job you would pay an outside employee to do, their wages are deductible. (Be sure you pay their income tax and social security just as you would any other employee. If they choose to operate as an independent business help them with Schedule C records.)

3) Encourage active learning of life skills.

Besides knowing the basics of how to find information required during the normal course of living, it's important to have basic life skills. These are often not taught, but rather experienced as part of life. Children learn by actually living. For instance: on a trip, they might help care for vehicles, read the map, manage travel arrangements, and help make choices of costs and budget on the trip. In the home, they would help with preparation and clean up, budget and spending, home maintenance and care. As part of a family, they would participate in self care, child care, and care of invalid or elderly family members.

As a parent in this educational choice, you would offer opportunities to learn history, math, science, and English or language arts by encouraging your children to participate in political discussions, construction projects, and other educational opportunities. These would all be incorporated into daily activities and events. For instance: attending a Political Rally might include discussion about history, and an opportunity to write a letter to politicians.

A teenaged boy expanded his interests to writing and currently shares his experiences in a

Unschooling offers an opportunity to teach children alternative methods of earning income, learning, and developing skills in leadership and other life required abilities.