Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How Do You Work from Home and Homeschool?

A post over on one of my favorite forums WAHM got me thinking about this topic. A mom recently went from being a work-at-home-mom to a work at home homeschooling mom and was wondering how to do it. As a homeschooling family, we understand what it's like to want to offer the best educational choice to your child and still make financial ends meet. That's why I work from home as a freelance web writer for various websites and clients. I network with a lot of WAHM's who have kids underfoot while working. Being able to work from home is great. I can start at any time, finish at anytime, and no one knows if I'm wearing a nice outfit or my Hello Kitty robe and matching slippers with my hair in a bun. But homeschooling and working from home can get difficult.

Below are some tips I think may be helpful if you're struggling to work from home and homeschool. Or if you currently homeschool and would like to make a little extra money but have been afraid to take the plunge because you think the schooling will suffer, maybe these tips will help.

  • Choose a work from home job that you can do well. I write because it comes easy to me, and I have the educational background that helps me land jobs. Other work from home jobs include transcription, web design, CSR for various companies, babysitting, creating an etsy store for your crafts, proofreading, online tutoring and phone scheduler. 

  • Become familiar with a crockpot and start a lasting relationship. I couldn't live without mine. You can put the bulk of your dinner in at 10 a.m. and not worry about it until dinner time. All you may need to do is throw on some rice or nuke some potatoes. This can give you an hour or more of homeschooling or working time that you'd normally spend on dinner prep and cooking. 

  • Plan to get up earlier or go to bed later than everyone else. This is easier for people who can create their own work schedule, such as online writers. 

  • Schedule, schedule, schedule. It doesn't need to be an exact science or even followed to a tee, but without one you will always feel that you're behind in either homeschooling or work. Use a large desk calendar so that your schedule is always visible. 

  • Plan your lessons on a weekly basis. I write down the general ideas I want to cover for the week. I then find appropriate activities and lessons, print out needed materials, and write down a rough draft of what we'll do each day. It's easier to plan if you use a prepackaged curriculum, but if you plan each thing separately like me, give yourself a couple of hours to get your week planned out. It's amazing how much time gets wasted when you try to plan at the last minute, and the quality of lessons usually suffers, too.

  • Relax. It can be stressful working from home and homeschooling. It can be confusing to know which one to put first. Working makes you money, but your kids need to be educated. When I'm stuck on which area to give my focus I ask myself which one could be done later that night. If the lesson we're doing is going well and she's gung-ho to keep going, I won't make her stop so I can get some work done. If I have a pressing project with a tight deadline, I plan my homeschooling stuff for after dinner. 
Hopefully these ideas will help you in your quest to homeschool and work or work and homeschool, whichever way you look at it. Happy homeschooling!

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