How to Homeschool Your Kids while Running a Business

Homeschooling is becoming an increasingly viable alternative to public schooling. Between 1999 and 2007 (the most recent year for which data is available), the number of homeschooled children nearly doubled, from 850,000 to 1.5 million students. Many parents opt to homeschool because they’re dissatisfied with public-school offerings due to differing values, educational standards, or safety concerns.

Whatever your reason, it can be hard to teach your kids and make a living at the same time. Here are four strategies for running a business while homeschooling.

  • Schedule kids’ activities. Carefully plan each day’s activities for your children and stick to a regular routine. If you take a lesson-based approach to homeschooling, designate a block of time for structured self-guided lessons: Molly Aley of Mom Advice gives her children a three-hour window each day to focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic. Use this quiet study period to handle business-related tasks.
  • Participate in the homeschooling community. Seek out other homeschoolers in your area who are interested in collaborating on group lessons and outings, such as visits to national parks. In some cases, you’ll be able to leave your kids with another adult in charge — and stay home to take care of business. When you do go along on a trip, take advantage of any down time by responding to client emails or phone calls while your children are busy learning.
  • Set up a good support system. If your spouse is also self-employed, or if you run a business together, organize “shifts” so that each of you have uninterrupted time at work. Focus on compromise: Can your partner give you a couple of hours in the morning to work (while he or she serves breakfast and gets the children dressed) before you start your school session? If a partner is unavailable, ask relatives or close friends for help. Consider hiring a tutor for a few hours a week to support the kids’ education and give you time to work.
  • Bring your kids to work with you. Children who see their parents as entrepreneurs are more likely than others to want to start a business of their own. By teaching your children about your company — and how each task (holding a business meeting, designing a brochure, etc.) contributes to your overall goals — you may inspire them to launch their own successful enterprise someday.

About Kathryn Hawkins

Kathryn Hawkins is a principal at the content marketing agency Eucalypt Media. She's written about business, marketing, and entrepreneurship for publications including BNET, TheAtlantic.com, Inc.com, and owns and operates the positive news site Gimundo. Follow her on Twitter at @kathrynhawkins.
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10 comments
jbledsoejr
jbledsoejr

Awesome post and great tips!  Homeschooling is GREAT and I believe Homeschooling and Entrepreneurship are perfect compliments.

Tom Watt
Tom Watt

not personally. they need a better education than that. my wife is doing it.

Amy Garrett
Amy Garrett

Did it, kids are in public school now, homeschooling didn't work for any of us.

Mark Haskins
Mark Haskins

We are starting to homeschool them this year. Had enough of the public Screwool.

Cindy Steed
Cindy Steed

Yes, been there done that. I am hoping to assist with my grandchildren's homeschooling also.

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