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You’d be surprised at how often people wonder how I can possibly homeschool my kids AND run a freelance business. Since it’s popped up quite a bit, I wanted to do a quick post to address how I tackle homeschooling and freelancing.
Homeschooling and Freelancing Both Have Flexible Schedules
My kids don’t have to spend M-F from 8-3 in school. As long as I hit 180 school days, my state has no jurisidiction over when that school takes place.
We’ve homeschooled on the weekends. We’ve homeschooled in the evenings. We typically homeschool first thing in the morning.
In fact my oldest gets up at 6 and has the majority of her school knocked out by 8–the time that our Bonus Bytes on our satellite internet end for the day.
Freelancing also has a flexible schedule. Yes I have deadlines to meet. But I don’t have to punch a time clock and work from 9-5 to meet those deadlines.
The changing nature of both freelancing and homeschooling is why we have our daily meetings to make a Plan of the Day. A rigid schedule simply won’t work for everything we have going on.
Some days I need to write more and my husband helps more with school in the evenings. Sometimes we get involved in hands on learning projects and I do my writing in the evening.
So we flex, and that makes it all fit into the day!
Learning Can Be Done Independently
Unlike a traditional teacher who gets up in front of a class and directs learning all day long, my kids are learning how to learn. They’re learning to work independently.
Does this mean they’re left on their own?
No way. It means that after instruction, they have time to practice skills on their own. They’re also encouraged to learn new things all on their own.
I don’t spend all day teaching my kids–I facilitate their learning and step in when appropriate.
We Use Short Chunks of Time
Instead of having an hour devoted to math for my young learners, I use their short attention spans to my advantage. We practice addition facts for a bit in the morning. We talk through some story problems in the afternoon. We spell number words for math.
By tackling the same subject multiple times in one day, we’re able to cover a lot of ground. And really reduce the amount of wasted, unfocused time.
As they get older, we increase the amount of time spent, but for the early years it just doesn’t make sense to fight through long periods.
We Write Together
My kids are learning that you can make money through writing–let me tell you that money is very motivating! Several of them have indicated that they’d like to write for others when they’re older.
They’re very interested in learning, which helps nicely with our writing time. Everyone works on a project and we share when we’re done. I get writing time, they get important practice and learn how to work quietly.
I Pitch Gigs that I Can Handle
There are some writing gigs that require daily submissions and lots of work for just a little pay. I don’t apply for those ones.
I know my limits, and my limits are different than yours. Know what kind of bandwidth you have room for, and pitch accordingly.
What Are Your Tips for Balancing Freelancing and Homeschooling?
This was just a quick overview on what we do, not an all inclusive list. I’d love to have you add your thoughts in the comments.
Are there any other questions you’ve been wanting to ask me? I’d be happy to tackle those in another post soon so let me know!
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.