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This Working Family Is Figuring Out How To Tackle Education at Home

Alicia and her husband both work full-time, so they just can’t homeschool. That’s why… wait, what? But how? Turns out that being a dual-income household doesn’t mean you can’t try home-based learning options. In fact, for the Kiovsky family, working and schooling doesn’t feel much different than working and parenting … and it shouldn’t because the Kiovskys have joined a “learning pod.”

Technically it’s “homeschooling,” but in reality, it’s the learning experience we all wish we had. These kids and their parents aren’t stuck in one room and completely sick of each other. There’s nothing socially isolating or unfulfilling about it. It’s actually the total opposite, with Alicia and her husband having uninterrupted work time and her kids socializing with other learners in a fun, small, safe environment where each kid is free to explore their interests and passions … It’s the Shangri-La of learning. And it works for them because Alicia understands that sometimes learning happens despite books, structured curriculums, and fancy classrooms. Heck, let’s not kid ourselves: It’s probably more likely to happen when those things aren’t present. In short, learning can happen everywhere.

The Advantages of a Homeschool Co-op for Working Parents

Alicia’s older child was the first to make the leap to a homeschool co-op after attempting traditional school with little success. Troubled by the thought of maintaining a career while giving her daughter a quality, social education, Alicia looked into her learning alternatives. Without a neighborhood of kids, Alicia admits “we had to be very intentional about the interactions.” But, with a little deeper dive, Alicia found the perfect model for her kid. A drop-off homeschool co-op fit the needs of their family and bucked the stereotype that homeschool meant social isolation … meant lawnmower, hyper-involved parents … meant socially awkward kids. It was the furthest thing from that.

There are tons of articles about the benefits of homeschool co-ops for employed parents. Like many homeschool moms and dads, Alicia and her family are able to share expenses with other parents. And the co-op allows for her kids to participate in many enrichment classes that she hadn’t had access to previously. Her younger daughter has become a sponge, soaking up the information and the learning styles of the kids around her. Alicia observes, “They pick up on information entirely differently because they see how other ages absorb and use the info.”

And if you’re considering a homeschool or a homeschool co-op, maybe the ultimate decision isn’t up to just parents. In Alicia’s case, her older daughter tried it and totally dug it. Then, she decided she’d include her younger daughter and she, in her own words, “loved the co-op I attended last year.” The traditional educational world tries to stuff our kids into one giant, prescribed standard, where some are thriving and some are falling behind. But maybe, just maybe, we have the opportunity to think beyond just what works for parents in terms of schedules, to what works for kids in terms of, well, learning.

In a Time When We All Need a Little Advice …

From one busy mom to all busy moms, who need acceptance when it comes to their out-of-the-box thinking and who yearn for advice during an unpredictable time, Alicia insists it’s easier than we make it. A normal, everyday parent, Alicia offers advice in a no-nonsense way. “Switch if something isn’t working,” she says. “We’re in the driver’s seat and we have the freedom to make any and all changes we need to.

And that stuff in books—although wonderful, exhilarating, and thrilling sometimes—can, if misapplied, also dull your learners’ passion for education. You don’t have to tie yourself to books.

You miss out on so many opportunities,” suggests Alicia, “if you keep it in the box of what the curriculum tells you to do.

You really can … learn everywhere.