By: Kelly Shaw, Bridgeway Parent

The question often comes up, “How do you have a job and homeschool?” It’s not always easy. This is our second full year at Bridgeway with our daughter, who is in fifth grade. My husband and I are full-time Realtors and we are managing partners in both a realty brokerage and a title company. My daughter and I also ride horses. So yes, our plates are very full. And honestly, the only thing that makes it all work is the ability to homeschool.

Before homeschooling, we had Emma in a top-notch private school with all the things you’d want in a brick and mortar, but it just wasn’t working. There wasn’t time for anything and we were all run ragged. We finally pulled Emma out in the middle of second grade and it’s been amazing.

The best advice I can give everyone is to be willing to accept that some days the schedule will be a train wreck…and that’s ok. That’s the beauty of the whole thing. If something happens at the office that requires my presence (I normally work mostly from home) or a dog or horse requires an emergency vet visit, it’s ok to rearrange the day. It’s ok if language arts occurs at 7pm instead of 10am. It’s ok if all we get done that day is 20 minutes of reading and gym.

Homeschooling allows life to happen and everyone to be present for it. I will agree that as Em gets older, it is getting easier because she can complete more assignments with less supervision. So I can do things like send emails and load the dishwasher while she does math problems or builds a project. And I have the ability to look at assignments and adjust them as needed to fit her learning style or reading preferences.

We can do so many more amazing things while still being in homeschool. We were able to be there in North Carolina when my grandmother turned 100. We can train horses in the cool morning hours during the week. She can sleep in the next morning if we were up late the night before finishing a project or tending to a sick animal. It’s amazing how much of our lives we were missing out on by not having that flexibility.

As for socialization, Em still has friends from when she was in private school. We joined American Heritage Girls to meet new people and actually met more homeschooling families. And our brokerage has several homeschooling families. We welcome them in our office at all times, so at any point you’ll find desks with busy agents and desks with busy homeschoolers, side by side.

I never expected us to homeschool. Now I can’t imagine not being able to. Bridgeway has been an absolute blessing and I’m grateful for it every day.