Our homeschooling journey began about the same time our second daughter was born. I was teaching at our older daughter’s preschool while pregnant, and we all intended to go back when baby Kate was six weeks old.
Right before I returned, I was told I would be the teach in the 3-year-old classroom, teaching my own daughter along with 11 other children. The idea of making $2/hour while my newborn was in the nursery just seemed silly. It made a lot more sense for the three of us to “do school at home,” lesson-planning for one child and holding my precious infant as much as I wanted.
Addie and I immediately thrived as homeschoolers. She soaked up the one-on-one attention, I loved the flexibility of our routine, and our little one napped on her own schedule.
It also became quite clear that buried deep inside of me beat the heart of an entrepreneur.
I began teaching signing classes in our home in 2012. Over the next five years, I have added parent workshops, family activity guides, and one-on-one consultations. Along the way, I have met many other “mompreneurs” who are also considering homeschooling their children. I often hear this question:
Can I run my own business and find the time to educate my kids?
Have you seen that meme that says: “Pick Two: Your Sanity, Happy Kids, Clean House”? That’s how I feel about homeschooling and running a business. On any given day, I may rock the teaching aspect of our day OR I may finish a ton of housework OR I may check off everything on my work to-list. More likely, I’ll have a good day in TWO areas, but never have I ever managed to do all three. And I’m okay with that.
My girls have grown up right alongside my business. They have watched ME grow, too. If you are a homeschooling mama considering starting your own business or you are a business-owning mama considering homeschooling, let me just say, it CAN be done.
Here are four benefits of homeschooling as an entrepreneur:
Benefit #1: My girls recognize that “work” is a list of tasks, not a set number of hours.
My husband works a fairly traditional 9-5 job, but he also works every fourth weekend and the occasional evening. His flex-time schedule means that we can move a morning of schoolwork to the evening or weekend–and our girls still get plenty of Dad-time. We also travel during non-peak times (hello, Disneyland in September!) and soak up as much outside time as possible whenever the weather permits.
Benefit #2: My girls understand that “community” is not limited to age or location.
If you are considering homeschooling (or are already homeschooling), then you are no stranger to the socialization question. I have seen my children are building their group of friends from a wider pool of people than those assigned to their classroom. They have relationships with older adults, neighbors, community workers, older and younger children, students who are homeschooled and those in traditional school, etc.
Benefit #3: My girls have household responsibilities, and they see that housework is not gender-specific.
With our home pulling double-duty as our school, every family member works to keep it going. Honestly, I couldn’t work or homeschool without the support of my husband and children. We play together, we work together, we learn together.
Benefit #4: My girls know that their education can take them anywhere.
From a very early age, I have been able to nurture the interests of my children. My older daughter loves to sing, bake, write, and draw. She has grand plans to open an art shop/bakery when she is older, and I fully believe she will accomplish it. Both of our girls have lots of free time during the day, once their school work and chores are complete, to pursue their passions. I am able to work school lessons around their learning styles and strengthen the gifts they already possess.
Which of these benefits of homeschooling as an entrepreneur mean the most to you?