Can you work and homeschool? Yes! We are breaking down how to manage life as a working homeschool mom. From daily schedules to curriculum and more. You can work and homeschool!
I looked at my husband with tears in my eyes,
“I can’t do this anymore, we can’t do this anymore”.
He shook his head in agreement,
“I know, but what can we do? We can’t afford for you to stay home”.
“I know, but we need to find a way, if we keep going like this we won’t make it, especially with a new baby, I really feel like God is calling me to stay home”.
My eyes pleaded with him to just give it a chance.
Thankfully, he did. That was over 12 years ago and I have been home ever since. For us, it has been a different dynamic than other households where the mom is home. I have always in some way, contributed to our family income. First as an in-home child care provider, then as a freelancer, and now as a blogger. I have worked out of both necessity and out of a desire to get out of debt.
Many moms who have longed to homeschool have not pursued that desire because of the need they still have to work. They believe that homeschooling while working cannot be done. This is without a doubt NOT true. So many moms nowadays work while homeschooling. Some work outside the home, some, like me, work inside the home.
If you have been looking for more information about the working homeschool mom, you have come to the right place. We are going to take a look at ideas for moms who need to work while homeschooling, challenges you may face, the benefits of being a working homeschool mom, tips to make it all work, and resources that can help you homeschool and work like a boss.
Let’s get going!
Ideas for Working Homeschool Moms
In this particular section, we are going to talk about jobs that moms can get that will allow them to work at home. Finding a work-at-home job isn’t as hard as you may think. There are TONS of options out there. I have worked from home since 2006. I started working as a childcare provider, looked into becoming a transcriptionist, and ended up being a freelancer. Believe me when I say there is a work-at-home job for everybody! The key is discovering one that works for you and your family. Here are a few suggestions that may work for you:
- Childcare provider
- Online teacher
- Direct Sales
- Virtual Assistant
Want more information on this topic?
Check out the links below:
- 5 Ways a Homeschool Mom Can Make Money from Home
- Yes, You Can Work and Homeschool
- 4 Websites that Allow to Make Money from Home
- Growing Slower shared over 6o Real Jobs for Stay at Home Moms.
- Virtual Assistant Making Money Course by Alexis Matthews. Use code MISTY10 for $10 off!
- My friend Davonne at Davonne Parks.com shared Work at Home Opportunities for Moms.
- Anita at Live Like You are Rich did a whole series on How to Make Money as a Stay at Home Mom.
- Linda at Teach 4 the Heard shares her story about God Providing her with a work at home job in Yes, You Can Be a Stay at Home Mom
I lay out exactly how to get a job working from home in this presentation that I gave at the Southeast Homeschool Expo
How a Working Mom Helps Her Family
Even though I am a working mom, I have always wanted my family and our home has always been number one. So many times we feel guilty as working moms and think about what our kids may miss out on. But, the reality is that a working homeschool mom benefits her family in many ways.
This is a no brainer really. Most moms work because there is an income need. However, sometimes there isn’t really a need for the income, but it helps. This has been the case for us many times. What started out as a need, has turned into just enjoying the extra income. It allows us to spend money on holidays, birthdays, vacations and the occasional family night out. It also has allowed us to knock down a good portion of our debt and has helped when my husband has had a layoff, or an unexpected medical expense has arisen.
A working homeschool mom benefits her family by providing an income that can help with the family finances, or offer a little bit of extra “cushion” for a rainy day.
My kids see me work every day, and they know how hard I work to balance my time effectively. They have seen me persevere and reach goals, they have cheered with me when I sold my first eBook, and have listened to me read articles, and blog posts. They also helped me hang business signs and read books to the babies when I ran my in-home daycare. My businesses have really been family businesses that they have believed in with me.
A working mom benefits her family by demonstrating perseverance each day, and by rallying her family behind her each step of the way.
Embracing Family Roles
The reality is that the ideal one income family is becoming more and more of a rarity. Chances are our daughters are going to have to work once they start a family. Our sons are going to likely do more household chores than our fathers did. Working moms are a reality and we are modeling balance and family roles in our homes. This to me is an encouragement and I hope one day helps my children’s marriages and families.
Challenges You May Face as a Working Homeschool Mom
As I shared before, I have worked from home since May of 2005. My job has gone from a childcare provider to a freelancer and while they are very different, they still provide many of the same challenges. If you are a working homeschool mom I want you to know that while there are many benefits, there are also challenges
Work is ALWAYS There
When you are a working homeschool mom, you are ALWAYS attached to your work. This is particularly true if you work from home. You don’t get a break from it. I found the easiest way to handle this is to set work hours and stick to them! Now, this is hard. Especially in today’s world of technology where our phones allow us to have constant contact with our email. However, for your families sake, it is necessary to turn it off sometimes and try your best to stick with those work hours.
Balancing Your Time is Hard
Honestly, this is my #1 challenge. I have written posts before about managing time, but honestly, I struggle. Daily. I keep a to-do list up in my dining room of the day’s tasks. They include my daily cleaning list, my work responsibilities, and the day’s laundry tasks. Rarely is every item on that list marked off by the end of the day, so it carries over. However, I have to remember the items that are NOT on the list. Things like our homeschool duties, the books I read to my son, the games I played with my daughters, or the time I spent with my husband. So, if your to-do list is overwhelming, remember the items NOT on the list. Your time is valuable and chances are the really important things won’t need to be on reminder list;).
If you are a working homeschool mom you will face mom guilt. Daily. This is where recognizing the benefits of working motherhood helps a lot. But, also, you need to face the reality that you cannot do it all. When faced with the dozens of homeschool moms who simply homeschool your kids, you may feel like you are not enough. You are. You are doing an amazing job. Kick the guilt and comparison trip to the curb and embrace the fact that you are doing your best. And that is all you can do. See Homeschool Mom Guilt, We Miss Field Trips
Here are some posts that can help you meet these challenges
- Success strategies for Moms who Work from Home by Successfully Homeschooling
- Learning to Say No by Jill Savage at Focus on the Family
- 5 tips to Make being a Work at Home Mom Less Stressful by Becky Mansfield at Your Modern Family
- Marcy at Ben and Me shares tips on how she makes working at home while homeschooling work for her in How to Successfully Homeschool and Work from Home
- Jennifer at Godly Glimpses shares tips on Running a Small Business while Homeschooling
- The Pros and Cons of Working From Home
Time Management Tips for Working Homeschool Moms
I have been working at home for over 12 years. That is CRAZY to me!! But, it is true. And considering that my kids are 14, 12 and 7 it is safe to say I have always had kids underfoot while working at home.
One question I get a lot when other moms find out I work from home is “How do you do it?” We homeschool, and my kids are ALWAYS with me. Moms are busy enough, so most can’t imagine adding another thing (like working at home) to their list.
If you have considered working at home, or if you are just getting started working at home I have good news. Working at home with young kids CAN be done! I am sharing my REAL WORK SCHEDULE as well as three tips for working at home with young kids that have been CRUCIAL to my success. Now, I am going to talk about working from home here, but many of these tips will also help the mom who works outside the home.
Get up Earlier
I know this is not ideal for most of us. But, it is a legitimate way to survive working while homeschooling. Try getting up 30 minutes earlier each day. This will give you an additional 2 ½ hours each week! That is a good chunk of time! This also frees up more time during the day to enjoy your kids, go outside, or relax by the pool.
Set Work Hours
When I first began my in home daycare business I did not have work hours. This meant that I often times had kids here from 6 am until bed time. Needless to say, I burnt out quickly. When I began freelancing I found myself making the same mistake. Again, I burnt out very quickly.
The key to both of these jobs was setting work hours. Once limits are in place, you know when you SHOULD be working. If you have set work hours clients know when they can get a hold of you and when you are available to work.
When you have young kids at home, setting work hours is a HUGE help. You know when your kids nap, when they are at school or need to be doing school, you know when their appointments are, and when they play sports. So, you know when you are available to work. Having a set schedule also means that my kids know when I am working. We have established a routine, and even my youngest knows when it’s time for mommy to work.
For me, I work every morning from 6 am until 8 am, and then I have additional hours available throughout the week. Two evenings a week my hubby does bedtime routine, and one night he has a fun movie night/ice cream with the kids. This has been a HUGE benefit to our family and if you can set your work hours at some point to be distraction free I HIGHLY recommend it!
Create a Schedule
Once you have set work hours, what do you want to be doing during them? For awhile you may not have clients, this does NOT Mean you do something else during those work hours. Look for clients, take a class, find a way to build your business during this time. Set a work schedule and stick to it.
If you already have clients you can break down your work hours into the tasks you need to accomplish each week. For example, here is my Weekly Work Schedule.
You can see clearly what my work hours are. You can see what I need to do each day. At a quick glance, I know what my work week entails. Use this Weekly Work Schedule Template to make one for yourself.
Creating a work schedule keeps me on task, I know what I need to do, and when I need to do it. This is crucial when you are a mom with young kids because we are SO busy! We don’t have time to get on the web and browse for “just” 5 minutes. Having a schedule allows us to see in front of us, what we need to be doing, and mindless browsing is NOT on that list!
When you work from home others may not realize you really are busy. Yes, this is sad, but true. SO, the biggest tip for working at home while homeschooling is to say NO!
- Can you head up this field trip?
- Do you want to teach at co-op?
- Will you babysit my child?
- Can we come over today and hang out?
If any of these questions will cause you to MISS work (see the schedule and work hours) then the answer needs to be NO!
Why? Because you are running a business. You have a job. Yes, working at home is more flexible but that does not mean you need to say yes all the time. Saying no to outside distractions means you are saying yes to yourself, your job, and your business. It means you are saying no to being overwhelmed.
Saying no also comes into play when dealing with some clients, and when considering taking on more work. Say no if you know that more work will probably lead to burn out. Say no if you are in a season of babies, or have a child that needs more of you right now than usual. Say no to clients who constantly email you outside of your work hours. Say no to jobs that may interfere with your work schedule, or family life.
Why? Because you are a mom first! And you do not want your child’s memories to be of you being grumpy because you are always overwhelmed. By saying no you are saying yes to a more pleasant and joyful mommy and household.
- Finding Time to Work from Home by Sarah Mueller at Early Bird Mom
- Time Management Tips
- Overcommitted Homeschool Mom
- The best book I have ever read about homeschooling while working from home is this one by Tricia Goyer. A MUST READ if you plan on working from home!
What If I Work Outside the Home?
There are also many moms who work outside the house and make it work. This can be done in a number of ways.
- Work opposite shifts so someone is always home with the kids
- Ditch the traditional school hours and realize that homeschooling is flexible it can be done at any time of the day.
- School on the weekends
- Hire a tutor
- Online school may be a possibility
- Swap care with another family
Want more information on this topic?
Check out the links below:
- How to Homeschool While Working Outside the Home
- How to Make Homeschooling and Working Outside the Home Work for You
- Homeschooling and working outside of the home: Is it possible?
- I Can’t Homeschool I Work Outside the Home
I hope this has encouraged you in balancing work and homeschool. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments. Also, keep scrolling for additional resources on how you can make being a working homeschool mom work for your family.
Best Homeschool Curriculum for Working Parents
I asked working homeschool moms on my Facebook page what curriculum they recommended. Here are the top homeschool curriculum for busy moms.
- Schoolhouse Teachers
- Mr. D Math
- Teaching Textbooks
- Nicole the math lady for Saxon
- 101 Science series from Westfield Studios
- Drive Thru History DVDs
- Apologia student notebooks
- A tutor twice a week 9 to 11 grade. 12th grade
- Online academies
- ABeka Video math
- First Language Lessons
- Writing With Ease from Well Trained Mind
- Writeshop Videos
- Acellus Power Homeschool
- Essentials in Writing