Run a home-based business and homeschool to experience the joy of spending time with your kids at the same time. It can be challenging but with a few tips in this article, you can make it work as close to perfectly as possible.
Running any business from home has its own set of challenges. Add homeschooling on top of that and you can have a real roller coaster going on! How do you balance the two? You could wait until you head blows from all that pressure or you could read the following tips on how to homeschool successfully while running a home-based business.
How to Successfully Homeschool and Run a Home-Based Business
We’ve homeschooled our three kids for their entire lives. Currently, one has been accepted to college and will start in the fall, while the other two are doing high school at home. During our all our homeschooling years, I’ve run one or more home-based businesses at the same time. That’s a lot of years of balancing and practicing doing the two things together. Some seasons have gone better than others.
Here’s how I’ve managed in the best seasons…
Create a water-tight schedule
There is no getting around this. You cannot possibly run a successful business at home and still homeschool unless you have a very clear schedule going on. Schedules will keep you, your family, your business, and homeschooling in check. The kids need to know exactly what they are supposed to do at what time. So do you.
Of course, as life often goes, a schedule will fly out the window when someone is sick or when some other life emergency takes over. But the schedule will keep you going the rest of the time and get you back on track after a derailment, like sick parents or the flu.
Concentrate on one task at a time
Multitasking is a good thing but it won’t work in this unless you are superwoman. I don’t know about you, but I’m not superwoman. No one actually is. You cannot be talking to clients and teaching your kids at the same time. Create a time for every task and work on each at a time. You will find balance very fast and things will fall right into place seamlessly.
Learn to say No
A lot of people find it hard to say no to things. I know my hubby is like that. Everyone needs help and you do not want to disappoint them.
To make it through life though, you will have to learn how to say no to some things and mean it.
Let the kids and other family members know you are trying to juggle between putting food on the table and educating them at the same time. You cannot meet all demands. I sometimes feel like a big meany saying no, but I also know, in my house, I’m the keeper of the schedule, so it’s necessary.
Get some help
Homeschooling can be tough enough. Homeschooling and running a home-based business at the same time can drive you nuts. Ask me how I know that one!
If you have a supporting spouse, that is immensely helpful. If your spouse has a day job, work out the chores and meals so everyone is helping. As a homeschooling mom (or dad) who is also running a business you are essentially doing two full-time jobs.
If your kids are still too small to safely entertain themselves while they’re not learning, hire a babysitter for a couple hours to take care of them. That way, during that time, you are able to concentrate on your work without worrying whether the kids are trying to kill each other in the backyard. When your kids get a little bigger, require them to spend an hour of quiet time in their rooms reading or playing on their own each afternoon. We did this and it was a HUGE sanity saver for me.
Don’t just look and seem busy, make money!
We all seem to glorify the busy these days. Don’t believe me? Pay attention to the answers when you ask how people are doing. I’m betting that the main answer you get will be ‘busy’.
You might spend hours behind a computer and become very busy doing everything else aside from what you should actually be doing; making money. Avoid distractions. You only have so much time before the next geography lesson, so get busy making an actual income.
Engage the kids and give them chores
Giving age-appropriate chores to your kids is a wonderful way of instilling a sense of responsibility into them. It also gives you some time to get some work done. Delegate easy tasks to them, make lists. Do not worry if they will do them badly. You can always correct them later. Take advantage of this time to finish off that overdue report. They need to learn that they are part of the house and have to be good stewards of it too.
This should be automatic. Create racks and storage areas to store books. Make sure they are accessible. You can recycle used mayonnaise jars to store pens, markers, and rulers. Be creative. The more organized you are, the less time you spend looking for learning materials. This might just save you some time to do some business in the day.
With a little bit of extra effort, it is possible to homeschool and still work from home. If done right, this can be a rewarding experience in that you get to make money and still spend quality time teaching and learning stuff with your kids.