Single Parents: Thinking about Home-Education but Wondering How You’ll Cope?

pensive looking gorilla

Penny for them?

The inspiration for this post came from a conversation I had with my little sister. She was really keen to know how things were getting on with home-ed, and admired the fact that I had taken on such a huge responsibility as a single parent.

You gotta do what you gotta do

My response to her was that single parenting was in itself a huge task for anyone, but that was the situation I found myself in, and I have endeavoured to my best. Unlike single parenting home-educating has been a choice. I am doing what I consider to be in Kai’s best interest. It is this desire to do what is best for our children that leads parents: single and otherwise, to take what may appear to be irrational steps.Prior to taking Kai out of school I had mulled over the idea of home-educating for a long time, but eventually I just had to act on what I felt was right. And it this that carries me through those dark times when I ask myself ”Why ?”

In terms of the practicalities of home-education my main concerns so far have been:

Money
Socialising/support
Having time for yourself
Choosing an educational philosophy

These are real core issues so I will dedicate a separate post to each, and I will continue to blog on each of these topics in the future.

So, where does the money come from?

I have touched on money issues for single parents in another post single parenting and home-education(2). In this post I discuss my own current financial situation. In a following post I talk about some great ways to save money and my search for freelance work.

One of my main sources of income is the money I receive from my lodger. I have a two bedroom flat, which means my son and I share a room and the lodger has the other. In addition to the extra cash, it also means that we have someone else around to engage with, which is nice.

Having a lodger is perfectly acceptable with my landlord. But if this is something that you are considering, please check first. You can advertise on somewhere like spareroom.com or Gumtree. I specified that I wanted a female in both my ads, but Gumtree will not allow you to request “female only”, only “female preferred”. Male single parents may or may not have a preference. 😉

Should you choose to go down this route, you may find it tempting to just accept the first person who shows an interest in the room; please don’t do this. It can be hard work living with someone in your space, for obvious reasons. Before I accept anyone into my home I tend to spend quite a bit of time talking them, having general conversation to get a feel for what they are like before deciding.

It is also a good idea to make sure you have some ground rules in place. For example, if you know that you would not be comfortable with people in and out of your house, let them know; perhaps by suggesting that they notify you in advance if they wish to have a friend over. A word of caution: while you may end up on very friendly terms with lodger, it is important to keep a log of all the money that is exchanged between you. I use a duplicate receipt book (religiously) for this. It is very handy for those rare occasions when there is a dispute regarding payment.

 

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About SJ

A mother, writer and free-spirited home-educator with a passion for challenging the norm.
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