As I began researching the process and multiple strategies for homeschooling last fall, I noticed that many blogs and organizations assumed and wrote to families that consist of a man, woman and their children.
I’m a single parent with one child. In the homeschool world, my family is something of an anomoly. Homeschooling without a husband seems to be the exception to the rule.
A snippet from this HSLDA article indicates that single-parent homeschoolers are growing:
According to homeschool researcher Dr. Brian D. Ray, 2% of (or about 20,000) homeschooling families in the United States are headed by single parents. Census 2000 figures indicate that out of the 35 million U.S. families with children under 18, between 20% and 30% are led by single parents (over 75% of whom are single mothers). Recent data suggest that this percentage is growing at an alarming rate. According to these figures, single-parent families in America are not uncommon—but single-parent homeschooling families are.
I joined a homeschool support group a few months ago and met a few really nice moms. I also learn a lot of tips with each meeting. But I can’t help but feel a little bit like the new kid on the block, especially during the social part of the meeting (before the presentation) since everyone talks about their husbands. I’m not insecure about my single status, but I can only wonder how much my burden would be lightened with help in the home.
I can use homeschool blogs and resources for the information regardless, but sometimes adapting the information can be tricky.
When registering for a local homeschool conference coming up soon, I encountered a pricing structure that incorporates a low rate for a husband and wife, but no allowance for two people (like my family) that are a parent and child. I called the organization and the rep I spoke to told me I could pay the lower rate and include a note. She also asked me to consider volunteering for a lower rate, but I declined because 1) I’m the sole caregiver for my child at the conference, and 2) as a new homeschooler, I need to soak up information and network, not running around an unfamiliar environment with tasks (and a kid distracting me all the while I’m working).
Do you know any single-parent homeschoolers? How do they do it?