There are several reasons why getting a job seems like a great option for homeschooling high schoolers. A job brings extra spending money, time out of the house, and a sense of independence; plus, with your flexible schedule, it seems all too easy to work around and between your job and your schooling.
However there are a few things you should keep in mind before sending in those applications.
1. It won’t be as easy as it sounds.
When I got my job, I figured that I could do a few hours of school after an eight hour shift no problem. Boy was I wrong! A sudden change from spending the day reading and doing school to being on my feet most the day and dealing with customers is not an easy transition in the least. And while your body and mind do get used to it, it’s still a difficult balance.
You’re probably going to end up falling a little behind due to loss of time, and ultimately it will be up to you if the experience and compensation is worth the shortened summer.
2. Don’t apply for a job you will hate.
If you do not like being around food all day, the burger joint probably is not the best option for you. If a local bookstore is outspoken about something strongly against your morals, cross that off your list as well. If you are not very good with children, and kids tend to get on your nerves, a nursery probably is not a good match.
On the other hand, don’t hold out only for something that is absolutely perfect. Cashiering and putting away clothes are not on my list of favorite things to do, but I do it anyway because I don’t hate it. Look for a job that plays to your strengths. If you have good customer service skills and can work fast, retail might be a good place to start. If you like the quiet and an even-paced workplace, go for a library or bookstore.
3. Make sure you have transportation.
If Mom and Dad are busy at work and you don’t have your own transportation, that will be a problem. If you see this happening, apply for a job within safe walking or biking distance or be prepared to stay at nearby places for a few hours. More often than not, my mom’s schedule conflicts with my own, and I’ve had to wait in coffee shops or fast food places. If you do end up with a long wait to be picked up, that’s actually a good time to get in some school work.
On the subject of transportation, if your parents are driving you to a paying job, offer to reimburse them for the gas. It’s not a lot, but it’s taking responsibility and bringing you one step closer to some independence.
4. Finally, give yourself down time.
Going from working to school to working some more is the perfect formula for a breakdown. Give yourself extra time to rest, nap, or read a book. It’s good for you.
If after reading this you feel prepared to enter the working world, go for it! There are few things better than buying a new pair of shoes with your own money that you know you earned, or growing your college fund through your own hard work.