Homeschooling and the Single Mom

According to several Twitter (@momtosprouts) and Facebook (Home Grown Families) prompts I am the ONLY single Mom that homeschools. Fortunately, a Google search confirmed that this isn’t true but there definitely aren’t a lot of us.

Homeschooling is hard. Period. When you talk to other homeschooling Moms they will tell you how much they love spending time with and teaching their kids. They will tell you that they have seen so much growth in their children; growth they know would have been stilted in the public school system. But, they will never say it’s a piece of cake! If they do, they are hiding something- or doing it wrong.

I’m not going to lie, homeschooling as a single parent is almost impossible. And, if you are not properly prepared, you will fail. It is the dirty truth but, in my opinion, dirty truth is better then shiny lies anyday. And, when it comes to something so important there is no room for half truths and crossed fingers.

So, what do pioneers do? Where do women in the forefront of a movement go for help, information or support?

Each other. That is all we have – just the few of us who are doing it right alongside of you.

I am going to share with you the few facts that I have learned to be essential to my ‘success’ as a single, homeschooling Mom. I hope you read this even if you’re not going at it alone- you never know when you might meet someone who is.

#1 Most Important Rule: You must have faith

I realize that not everyone who homeschools is a Christian- but I know that most of us are. In order to successfully homeschool as a single Mom you must have a true and working relationship with God. (If you want to talk about a saving personal relationship with Jesus Christ contact me privately.) There will be times when you can not do it yourself any longer. The best way that I have found to cope with that is to never do it by yourself in the first place. Find a Bible-believing church and get involved. You will need their advice and guidance more then you can imagine.

#2: Find a homeschooling group

I am not a member of a homeschooling group, per se. I have tons of support, though. There are several homeschooling Moms at my church. I am counted as family of a couple that has been homeschooling for over 25 years- they also own Lamppost Publishing and KNOW curriculum. In addition to that, I am in the acquaintance of several educated women who have experience with Special Needs children and will answer any silly question I can dream up.

#3: Consider a preplanned curriculum

Although I did not do this- I wish I had. In fact, I am researching my options for next year. I have found that time is in the shortest supply in my life. Not to mention, I am pretty sure I have lost my mind. I wish I could open a book and be told what to do, what day to do it, in what order to do it, what extras to use, what crafts to do, what ‘real life’ associations to point out and how many times to blink. In other words, don’t be surprised at what you don’t have time to do in your new life as a single homeschooling Mom – this includes (but is not limited to) trolling the internet for crafts that explain the life cycle of a slug, planning a week worth of Math, Phonics, Spelling, English, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Handwriting, Bible Study and all the others, showering, remembering that February is MLK and Valentines Day, finding age appropriate information on Abraham Lincoln for your study of the penny – this could last forever. After the first year you can evaluate how it went and decide if you need to continue on the ‘grade in a box’ route.

#4: Give it up

You have to go into this with the realization that you are going to have to give things up.

Money: (I have a great series planned on this for Home Grown Families so make sure you look for it!) Many single Mom’s are poor- 30% according to the National Poverty Center at The University of Michigan~ Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

“Poverty rates are highest for families headed by single women, particularly if they are black or Hispanic. In 2009, 29.9 percent of households headed by single women were poor, while 16.9 percent of households headed by single men and 5.8 percent of married-couple households lived.”

We qualify as a poor household- we live way below the poverty line. Dinners out are few and far between and forget vacation, it’s not going to happen for us. My girls understand this and are good sports for the most part. Every now and then I hear “You need to go back to work, Ma. We need money to go to McDonalds.”

Time: This article was due in February. I am about 3 weeks behind on our 365 Days to Green feature. My car note wasn’t paid until the 12th this month. I need to fill out about 500 papers for a new Dr. for the twins. I only get to laundry when the twins are out of socks. We are constantly late to everything. You get the picture.

When there isn’t another person to help with the everyday… stuff, you quickly find that the ‘stuff’ bogs you down.  Do you know how long it takes to get 3 little girls ready to go anywhere?  Just getting us all together and out the door is a two hour job.  I have learned to not schedule anything before 11 AM or we just won’t make it.

Self:  I roll my eyes when I see friends post something about “me time” “girls night out’ “date night” and “much deserved.”  Forget it.  I don’t begrudge my friends their fun, I just don’t get any of my own.  I have chosen to give up myself for them.  Every now and again I get to go out for Sushi with a girlfriend of mine but that’s about it.  Maybe you don’t have to go to the extreme like me, but understand that “me time” turns into “us time.”

While this article isn’t a comprehensive and in depth look into homeschooling as a single mom (time, space limits, and, honestly, attention deficits prevent such an article), I think I touched on the basics.  Don’t forget that you can do an online search for ‘single moms homeschooling’ or something similar to get more information.  (There is no fact or opinion too obscure that Google can’t dig out.)  And you can always check out Home Grown Families for my ongoing brilliant, witty, and yet, poignant posts on homeschooling as a single Mama.  Don’t forget to check back here next month for Part 2 of this article- that is, if I can manage to submit it on time.

Tiffany is the single Queen of 3 Princesses~ including Special Needs twins.  She blogs in her ‘spare time’ @ Home Grown Families.

Photo Credit 1 and 2


  1. 1
    shmrd says:

    I’m the single mom of my 5-year-old son. I’m agnostic, but definitely want to homeschool. What brought me here was googling “single mom homeschool,” though I’ve done that search before. It’s even more imminent, since my son is about to start kindergarten at public school tomorrow. Everything in me rails against this, and I literally feel sick to my stomach. This is not the usual separation anxiety: This is fear for the heart, mind, emotional well-being, and soul of my child. And I have never been one who could hide my contempt at institutions I find disgusting, so I have this feeling I’m going to get him/us kicked out. What’s a poor, single mom (who’s going to school part-time herself) to do? I joined a free, local homeschooling group, and I was told about all conversations members of the group have been having about starting a homeschooling co-op, but when it comes right down to it, everyone seems too busy to actually do it. I’ve been going crazy trying to find a solution. All I can think of is . . . for now, I’ll send him to school, de-brainwash & un-indoctrinate him on a daily basis, and when he’s about ten years old, take him out. Even if I’m still poor (haven’t finished school, don’t have a job, what-have-you) by then, I might be able to get away with keeping him home on the sly while I’m at school for two or three hours a day. At five, that just won’t work, but at ten it might. Anyhow, thanks for being real and down-to-Earth about this issue! I greatly appreciate this article!

  2. 2
    Kerry says:

    “I realize that not everyone who homeschools is a Christian- but I know that most of us are.” This quote might have been true ten years ago but definitely is not the case now. We opened less than 2 years ago and have already grown to over 4,000 members. If those who are our site members are an effective sampling of general homeschooling trends, then I would say that secular homeschoolers are probably the largest-growing demographic within the homeschooling world. Might want to update that generalization.

  3. 3
    kristina says:

    Thank you so much! This article gave me great encouragement. I am over a year “single” (currently in the divorce process) Mama of three precious kids. Twin boys,8 and a drama queen,4.:) We are currently in our “official” second year of homeschooling. (My kids have never been to public or private school.)
    This is my first year as a single homeschooling Mama. It is HARD. Sacrifice, small failures, fear, etc…plague me.
    Ive been looking for other single homeschooling Mom’s, but few and far between are we!! (Especially in Southern Alabama)!

    Thanks for the boost I need to realize im not “alone” in this!


  4. 4
    Sharina says:

    This article is such a blessing of encouragement. Thank you for stepping out on faith and sharing your story. Like some of the other mamas; I’m grateful to know that I’m not alone.

    Keep the faith…our babies are so worth it.

    Take care,

  5. 5
    JuiceJuicesMom says:

    I too have made up my mind to homeschool my daughter (she’ll be 4 years old in April). She currently attends preschool 5 days a week full-time–which is mandatory for Headstart programs. I’m constantly bumping heads with administration because I pick her up early and/or keep her at “home.” My biggest challenge is figuring out how I, a “single” mother (Dad is there but dosent offer adequate support) is going to Homeschool in one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.–NYC? I hear of people “working” from home but dosen’t that defeat the purpose? My options thus far is to A) work a part-time evening job, B) start my own businesses selling crafts C) Do both A and B D) “Work” from home (don’t most companies require you to be available during standard work hours?

    I figured it will come to me at some point

  6. 6

    Great article.

  7. 7

    Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent, let alone the content!. Thanks For Your article about Homeschooling and the Single Mom — A Nation of Moms .

  8. 8
    Eva Rutgers says:

    Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is fantastic, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about Homeschooling and the Single Mom — A Nation of Moms .

  9. 9
    Jess says:

    If single mothers could live together, it would make homeschooling a lot easier. Imagine living with another strong woman and raising the kids together. It would be wonderful!

  10. 10

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  11. 11
    Rachel says:

    I am a single mother who will be homeschooling my son this fall. I am sick to my stomach about it and how I will be able to handle my two-year-old daughter as well. He has ADHD; PDD-NOS; Vestibular Disorder; etc. After 3 schools and finally getting through the end of the 1st grade – I am convinced I am the only one who can help my son learn how to read…even though it will be so challenging. He has tested way above grade level for math and science but at beginning grade level for LA and Writing. I have downloaded Common Core and will try to put together something using that. But I have so many questions! I have anxiety and it is challenging for me to figure out how to provide him with enough socialization. I am strongly opposed to “Christian-perspective” education; how do I find “curriculum Fairs” or the like?

  12. 12
    Anne Gregor says:

    I certainly agree to #1. If you have faith, you’ll definitely know that you have a purpose. Being a single mom is never easy while homeschooling at the same time is almost impossible. But with the help of your faith, you will be given the strength you need. :)


  13. 13
    WAHMBrenda says:

    I am a single WAHMom that homeschools, you’re not alone :)


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