People ask me this question at least once a week: What do you do to make money? One of the reasons why two-income families don’t want to homeschool their children, is because they fear that they have to do away with one salary, which is not necessarily the case. After all, there are many different ways for committed, dedicated families to actually earn more money from home than they would working in a job.
Why Should Homeschool Moms Make Extra Money?
Well, duh… We all need money to live. But assuming you’re in the fortunate situation to have a husband whose income provides for the family’s basic needs (and then some) there are still good reasons for you to also earn money, including:
- Your income can help augment your husband’s , which means more money to put into savings, family vacations, fixing the house or car, buying things you need, etc. You’ll feel good “earning your keep”.
- It can help keep your mind active. Let’s face it, Grade 3 math and reading and reading the Mommy Pages on Facebook only bring so much stimulation.
- It can provide a great opportunity to teach your children exciting life lessons, including how to run a business and how to budget and be responsible with money.
But let’s get this clear first –
People always say that there are no jobs, and they are right. It’s not always easy to find the ideal job that works around your home life and pays the perfect salary. But there’s ALWAYS work. There’s more work than people, because most people are not prepared to do what it takes to earn the money they want or need. It’s easier to mope about everything their children are missing out on, because “I can’t find a job”. Nonsense! If you’re prepared to put in the work (even when it’s not fun, and even when you’re tired), you can create incredible opportunities for your whole family. Who’s to say your business doesn’t turn into a huge success which can become the perfect starting block for your children?
Starting a Business From Home in Today’s Market Place
Things have changed over the years. Modern consumers have different needs, wants and attitudes than ever before. Everyone uses their mobile devices to research things – especially moms! We look for online reviews before we buy baby foods and toys. We buy online. We review products and businesses online. We socialise online. We use Google Maps and GPS to find the location of our homeschool get togethers.
What does that tell you about your impending business?
It’s GOT to be online! You need a website in order to reach a global market. Even if you want to sell your goods or services locally, you can use the internet to leverage the behaviour of your target audience to your benefit, but more about search engine optimisation, Google local marketing and the importance of having a responsive website in a future post… Let’s stick to the business at hand.
I promised to give you tips on things you can do to earn extra income, so here goes:
- Sell Your Arts and Crafts
Most homeschoolers I know love doing arts and crafts, and they are quite good at it too – as are their kids. Take advantage of your God-given talent by setting up an online store or even stall at your local craft market. Give it a quirky name and I bet you people will buy it. Imagine how selling his cartoon art will boost your son’s confidence!
2. Sell Food or Sweets
I have homeschool friends who sell chocolates online, and others who make hotdogs, pancakes and more at concession stands. Do you make your own jams? Are you the only one who knows Granny’s fudge recipe? Put on your apron and get cooking, sister! There are many innovative ways to market it!
If you have the space, start a vegetable garden with the kids, and sell your produce at the local farmer’s market.
3. Join a Multi-Level Marketing Company
Bit nervous about doing your own thing? Join a reputable network marketing company.
They have everything in place for you to be successful, and they provide full training. Most of them don’t require that you buy stock upfront, and you can usually market the products online. Many people are very successful at network marketing – I personally know dozens of them – so don’t buy into lazy people’s dream stealing attitudes. It’s only a scam when people are too lazy to do due diligence to disect what is marketing hype and what is reality. After all, there is NO WAY (apart from winning the lottery) to make money without working.
There are companies that sell everything from satellite TV to health and fitness, wellness, skin care, makeup, kitchen or baby stuff. No excuses!
4. Put Your Professional Qualifications to Work
What did you do before you became a homeschool mom? What were your dreams before the little sleep-stealers were born? If you had to leave your occupation to become a mom, you may be happy to learn that these days, you can do a version of just about anything online, from the comfort of your home. You may find sites that list jobs that are looking specifically for people like you. Need ideas? Let’s brainstorm in comments below.
- Do sewing alterations
- Do online stock photography
- Work for your old company – from home
- Book keeping
I know a doctor who works from home around her two small boys. There is a nurse who works in a pharmacy, providing basic care, but if someone needs the doctor, she arranges for Dr. Gina to come in for an hour or so.
Were you a beautician before you had babies? Turn one room in your home into a beauty room and advertise on Facebook.
If you want to go “back to your roots” you have to just be creative. Think outside the box about your previous career and I’m sure you’ll find a new way to make it fit into your changed lifestyle.
5. Find Part Time Work
Want to get out of the house for a few hours a day? Find a part-time job at the doctor’s offices, or as a receptionist somewhere.
Better yet, get your teens involved in a seasonal job. In parts of South Africa where there are many fruit plantations, farmers are always looking for people to help out during harvest season. Yes, they will pay a menial hourly rate, but it will give your kids great exposure to taking pride in a job well done, and they will learn interesting facts about whatever they are working with. Of course, if the money is not that great for you, you can be thankful that you are not in a situation to need every cent you can get your hands on – leave it to someone who does.
6. Help Your Hubby in His Business
… presuming he has his own business. Some people have trouble working for their spouse, so it’s important to discuss boundaries with him before you get stuck in. Respect his wishes and don’t change things around too much. It may be awkward to expect money for your work, but time is money and it can actually help ensure that you both know what to expect from the other person. Too often, without structure and boundaries, expectations can become blurred, causing resentment.
7. Sell Your Homeschooling Experience
Do you have eight years worth of homeschool textbooks, readers and unused worksheets? Again, you can sell it either online or at the flea market. If you have a way to get hold of plenty homeschool materials for cheap, you can even resell it. Or you could create your own worksheets, or full curricula.
- Put together homeschool outings / market days / learning activities for homeschoolers
8. Teach Something
Now here’s a great way to earn money doing something you love:
- give extra math lessons
- teach yoga
- do a personal training course and teach at a gym
- teach poetry or drama
- teach cooking
- piano lessons
Again, there are many ways to do this online too – no need to change out of your yoga pants!
9. Write a Book
Almost everyone has dreamed about writing a book at least once in their lifetime. Whether you have a gift for story telling, or a skill you could relay in a self-help book, you’ve got to start somewhere. Self-publishing has opened up fantastic opportunities for anyone to become a published author. And I offer special rates for editing on homeschool-related books. 🙂
10. Learn Something New
Can’t do any of the above? Learn something new. There are many sites that offer free courses. You can also learn a new craft if you wish, simply check out your local library, Pinterest and these days, Facebook.
With so many options at your disposal, there is no excuse not to do anything, unless you really don’t want to. Need tips or advice? Leave a comment below and fellow homeschool moms will happily share their experience.