Homeschooling is sacrificial work. Let's face it: there's no pay, and long hours. Even so, many of us throw ourselves into homeschooling with reckless abandon because we love our kids, and the rewards of well trained minds are enough pay.
The challenge is avoiding burnout. It's easy to drain our tank completely and then scramble to figure out how to generate more to pour out. Over the next five days I'll be sharing with you ways to fill up before you reach empty. The family is a threat to Satan. It's not a matter of if he will attempt to break up your family, rather when it will happen. Arm yourself momma! The attacks are subtle:
If you're stressed financially, you might bail for free public school. - Mom, it's time to work.
When you find yourself grumbling about school work, you might sabotage your learning environment. Mom, it's time to read.
If you find your relationships depleted, you may seek to please your children so they'll feel like friends. Mom, it's time for friends.
When you lay down at night next to a stranger (your husband), you might question your path in life. Mom, it's time to love.
If you feel like there is just too much to do and too little time, you might cut valuable things out of your schedule without realizing the cost. Mom, it's time to rest.
One of the greatest stresses on a single income family are finances. It's great if your husband makes a comfortable income that provides for you to homeschool, but what if he doesn't? Life just keeps getting more and more expensive, and it doesn't help that homeschooling can be expensive especially as you start multiplying the cost by multiple children.
Pay for Being a Mom
If you're like me, you can often wonder how much people pay for the services you provide. Here's a breakdown of the costs you're saving by staying home:
- Full time nannies make on average $670 per week.
- A maid would charge around $130 a week.
- Hiring in a personal chef could set you back around $350 a week.
These are a bit silly, and really just the basics of what a mom accomplishes in a week, but you could get paid for your services outside of the home and make around $1,150 per week. While no one wants to leave their kids and family to become a "mom" to another family, there are other options for generating a little income on the side while you stay at home with the kids.
Dual Income Opportunities
My family has a crazy income structure. Our tax adviser loves us. That being said, we enjoy the benefits of a family centered home where my husband and I can be around during the day to invest in our children. How can you make money at home?
- Start a blog. This one is simple to do, yet takes consistent work over time to begin generating income. However, I've found it very rewarding. There are so many avenues to monetize your blog. If you find one bloggers strategies annoying, don't do them! Find what works for your topic and personality, and work it!
- Virtual Assistant. You may not want your own blog, but there are so many jobs out there that combine what you do love with serving others and making a little money. You don't even have to leave the house! Here is an excellent resource for getting a job as a virtual assistant.
- Tutor. I've worked as a tutor for the last six years in our Classical Conversations program. While it doesn't pay much, it helps pay for my kids to be a part of the community, and gives me a little extra money for books and homeschool supplies. Your favorite subject might be a friend's worst. Offer your services for a fee and encourage one another!
- Etsy Shop. If you're crafty and enjoy creating with your hands, Etsy is a great place to sell your wares. It might take some time to find a product that will keep people coming back to buy, but it's a great way to generate extra income.
This is such a short list compared to the opportunities that are out there. Since we live in a digital age, your opportunities are so much greater than they were ten years ago.
When to Work
While it's great that there are so many options, the reality is that you already have a full time+ job without adding anything to your plate. When can you fit all of this extra work in during the week?
- Early risers - I'm to that point in my life where my kids are not up before I am. This provides a great opportunity for me to get up early in the morning and get a little work done before breakfast. Whether I do it or not is another issue.
- Resting Time - When I worked at Pine Cove, every afternoon after lunch, we'd have FOB (flat on back). This was an hour of rest where kids could read, sleep, write letters, or stare at the ceiling. It was a great opportunity for the leaders to rejuvenate as well. Implementing a FOB into your schedule might be a great opportunity to fit a little work into your schedule.
- After bedtime - This is generally where I get all of my work done. When the kids go to bed, I take advantage of the quiet house to get the bulk of my work done.
- Weekend Warrior - Another great opportunity for fitting in some extra work is on the weekends. Since we don't do school work on the weekends, I can use that time to work so that I'm free during the week.
- Get the Kids Involved - Since my blog is about our homeschool lifestyle, I generally utilize it to enhance the school work we're already doing. If the kids help me with pictures for a post, I'll pay them a small fee for their time. It's fun to be working with them and not always away from them.
While it might seem exhausting to fit more work into your already busy day, God created us to work. If you find something that God has equipped you to do, and you match that with an opportunity to serve others, you'll find rich rewards from working.
Do you work from home? How do you make it work?
Come back tomorrow for more tips on how to avoid burnout:
This post is part of a great linkup and hopscotch with iHomeschoolNetwork.
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.