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5 Things You Should Discuss With Clients Before They Sign

5 Things You Should Discuss With Clients Before They Sign

These are five things you should discuss with your potential clients before you enter a business relationship as their virtual assistant.

In The VA BluePrint I recommend creating a “How to Work With Me” document that is sent to clients before they sign on the dotted line. However, if this isn’t your style, you’ll want to communicate these five essential points to any potential clients. 

Discuss working hours with clients before signing 

Sometimes, clients who are not familiar with virtual assistants and the definition of independent contractors versus employees will assume you’ll be available from 8 am – 5 pm like a traditional job. 

No matter what work hours you choose for yourself – make sure they are clearly spelled out prior to the contract start. 

If a client needs you to be available, to take calls in the morning, let’s say, then you would not be a good fit for that client. And it is unfair to either of you to continue talks. 

Scope of work should be discussed as early as possible

While it can be tempting to agree to whatever tasks a client needs…money is nice, right?!…if there are certain tasks that you hate it will do neither of you any good. 

You need to know what tasks the client needs to be completed and what tools they use most often. If any of these tools are out of your scope of experience, you should be transparent about that fact. 

Clarification early can prevent confusion later.

Always discuss due dates with clients

It can be difficult to plan your work week if you don’t know what is due when. 

Discuss with your client the overall project due date and when they need small parts of the project completed. Discuss which parts of the project are the most important and which ones are of less importance. 

Give realistic estimates on how long each part of the project will take and be honest if you are not sure. Put dates in writing and clearly communicate if there is a delay for any reason. 

Discuss payment amounts and due dates

Payment discussions should take place as early as possible. Nobody likes to waste their time, clients, or freelancers. 

Always charge what you are worth and discuss pay along when it is expected. There will always be exceptions to the rule but be clear before they sign.

Limitations and Expectations

Do you travel often? Are there certain hours you are definitely not available? 

Before starting with a client you will want to have a frank discussion about when and how often you might not be available. For example, if you will not respond to texts or emails from when your kids get home from school until after bedtime be sure to express this. There is nothing worse than a client texting and calling during hours you are spending with your family. 

Are there any other points you think should be discussed prior to signing with a client?

5 Reasons Virtual Assisting is an amazing opportunity

5 Reasons Virtual Assisting is an amazing opportunity

Why is virtual assisting such an amazing opportunity? Why do I recommend it to anyone who needs to work from home? 

I recommend virtual assisting for anyone who needs to make an income from home in a more non-traditional way because it’s so versatile. I’ve met so many women who have at least one marketable skill that can be applied to virtual assisting. 

While I’ve shifted a substantial amount of time to paid mentoring, I still enjoy the challenge of client work. 

Virtual assisting allows me the opportunity to work with whomever I want

When you meet an awesome business owner who has a passion for their product YOU get to choose to work with them. As a virtual assistant working with a business owner, you get to help a company that aligns with your values become profitable and successful. 

You also get to choose to NOT work with business owners who don’t share your values and morals. VAs can walk away from clients who seem to be unfit to work with you. 

Truly make your own hours and set your own pay virtual assisting

I see a lot of advertising that pushes the idea of working whenever you want and making your own pay as a selling point for whatever business model this person is selling. 

With virtual assisting you can truly make your own hours. You decide what hours you are available to work. This doesn’t mean that money simply flows into the bank account. But it does mean that you can choose when you are completing the work. 

Setting your own rates based on your experience and skills is a definite benefit.

Work with amazing clients from all over the world.

One unexpected benefit that I uncovered as a virtual assistant was the ability to work with clients from all over the world. 

Working with clients in other states and countries brings an amazing richness to your business. It’s adventurous and amazing to meet people, no matter how that happens. Building relationships across state lines and blue oceans brings richness to your business life. 

Work from anywhere (with an internet connection)

The freedom to really work from any location is an amazing perk of becoming a virtual assistant. 

I love the ability to take my kids on vacation without having to worry about getting permission to leave work or finding coverage. That’s not to say I work on vacations but the option to take the kids out for even a long weekend is one of my biggest perks of virtual assisting.

Every skill you have is marketable as a virtual assistant

Whether you are skilled at customer service, managing a household, or a general office person you have the ability to get started as a virtual assistant. 

Everyone that has approached me about getting started as a virtual assistant has been surprised to discover that skills they already possess are marketable. What is usually lacking is confidence in those skills making them money. 

One of the biggest goals of my starting mentoring new virtual assistants is to help them find that marketable skill, have the confidence to sell it, and watch them take on client after client. 

(Shameless plug for the VA BluePrint below)

If you are thinking to yourself…how do I get in on this…check my programs or reach out today!

10 Things To Tell a Stressed-Out Teen

10 Things To Tell a Stressed-Out Teen

When you have a stressed-out teen it can really cause a huge uproar in an otherwise happy home.

You know those days…where one of your teens is showing signs of distress. The mood is shifty. Eyes are squinty. Various doors throughout the house are being closed much more abruptly than normal. 

In short, emotional fluctuations were causing disruptions in the force. 

You’d be surprised what simply sitting down with your teen and asking “Are you alright?”

Let me be super clear that I am not a parenting expert, I do not have any superpowers other than motherhood, I work too much, and make at least one parenting mistake a week. 

BUT I have had enough experience by now to know that there are a few things that I need to say and tell my teens when we have days like this. 

I love you

Reminding them that I love them is the first and most important thing I can say.  It’s the most important thing you can say. Even if everyone in the home knows they love each other, saying it out loud is incredibly important to any difficult situation. 

Take a deep breath

Slow breath in and out. Repeat. You might have to force yourself to do what feels like the exact opposite of what you want to do but it helps to hit the pause button. When we reset the racing mind we can fix the problem, not feed it. 

I’m Already Proud of You

How I feel about you does not hinge on this test, this paper, or this situation. I’m proud of you regardless of the grade you get or whether you get the job you want. 

Apart from any of this, I’m proud of who you are and who you are becoming. I’m proud of how far you’ve come and the effort you put into everything you do. 

I’m proud that you’ve come to me with this issue, problem, or mistake to ask for help.

This is not your whole story

Whatever is going on right now is only happening right now. And it is not all that will ever be in your life. This may be a really rough time but there’s more today and more to tomorrow than this.  

There may be consequences to your current situation but this is only a chapter in the novel of your life. And I will walk this path with you as long as needed. 

How you feel in this moment is not how you’re going to feel forever

You’re not going to be stuck here for the rest of your life. This is not your new normal. Getting to the other side may feel like an eternity, but at some point, you’ll suddenly realize you’re looking back at this instead of straight at it. 

You will be stronger for walking this path, feeling these moments, and overcoming these struggles. 

Remember how you’ve gotten through tough times before

This isn’t the first time you’ve felt this way. And it won’t be the last. But so far, you have a success rate of 100% of surviving things you thought you’d never get through. 

Don’t let this current situation make you forget your past success. 

Just do the next thing

Do the next reasonable thing you can figure out to do. The next thing that NEEDS to be done. The next thing that seems to be wise and productive. Do the next ONE thing, not the next ten things. 

Take this overwhelming problem and split it into tiny digestible bites that feel conquerable. 

Is there anything I can do to help?

I know you have to figure this out on your own. I know that I can’t do it for you. I know it’s not my job to fix it. 

But if there is something I can and should do to help you get from here to there, tell me, and I’ll try to do it. I’ll be right here waiting for you to tell me exactly what you need. And if it’s in my power to help, I will try.

How about some ice cream?

Or pizza? Or ice cream and pizza? They’re called comfort foods for a reason. 

Use these. Save these. Remember. You can’t solve all of your child’s problems. You can’t even solve some of them. 

Building and maintaining a relationship with teens can be incredibly difficult when they are going through so much growing and reaching. There is never a bad time to work on building that relationship with your teens. Being present for your teen when they are stressed-out will form stronger relationships.  It’s never a bad time to start. And no matter how many mistakes you make as a parent there is never a bad time to try. 

What do you tell your stressed-out teen and who needs guidance?

Big mistakes that can cost virtual assistants

Big mistakes that can cost virtual assistants

When starting your virtual assistant journey you are probably not focusing on any mistakes or roadblocks that will come with this business.

But that’s why you have me!

There are obviously different kinds of mistakes. Ones that cost money. Others that cost time. And unfortunately, some that cost clients. 

By knowing what these mistakes might be before they happen, you can work to ensure that they won’t ever be an issue in your business. 

The mistake of thinking you’ll remember it all as a virtual assistant

Are you the type of person who needs lists? Are you a paper person or a digital person?

Either way, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to think that you are going to remember every little detail of a project or request. 

There are some very simple steps you can take to be sure you won’t fall into this trap:

Record meetings

Always ask your client if it is okay to record any meetings. Whether over the phone or a program like Zoom, you can easily record and store the meeting on your computer or cloud. This allows you to reference anything that was mentioned and…

Take digital notes

Use a program like Google Docs to keep a running record of any meeting notes from previous meetings. You can create an outline or a narrative so that it is easily digestible and quick to reference. 

Paper notes work too

If you are more tactile and need to have things written down, by all means, continue with the paper notes.  

The mistake of getting too comfortable

So, your calendar is booked out for a month. You have all of your payments. Life is looking pretty good. 

But wait!

What happens at the end of a month? Are you sure all of your current clients are going to renew? Even the ones that are committed for 6 months? 

Unfortunately, even with a contract, sometimes they just drop you. 

This mistake is easy to avoid by sending proposals and inquiries constantly. I, even with a booked-out calendar, still send proposals with a date when my services will be available. 

By continuing the practice of sending proposals, I recommend ten per week at the very least, you will be able to keep your client base firmly rotating so that you never have a slow month. 

Don’t make the mistake of not having an accountant or tax help

While you may not be making the big bucks yet, you should still reach out to a tax professional!

It is essential that you know what your tax liability might be so that you are prepared once you are bringing in a large amount of income. 

This isn’t just putting the standard 30% back to pay taxes but also what you can keep track of for deductions or if there is a benefit of forming an LLC or S-Corp. There are many that will do a free consultation, give you pricing for a retainer, and let you know how much it will cost to have your taxes completed. 

This is not a complete list of all mistakes that can be made. This is just a handful. Be prepared if you are just starting to think about virtual assisting and invest in The VA BluePrint.

4 Common Mistakes New Virtual Assistants Make and how to avoid them

4 Common Mistakes New Virtual Assistants Make and how to avoid them

Mistakes are easier to avoid when you know what they are before you make them as a new virtual assistant. 

It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of sending a proposal and landing a new client! In order to have a great relationship with your new client, you’ll want to be sure to avoid these common mistakes both before you start with a client and during the contract period. 

Experience level misrepresentation mistakes

That first discovery call with a client who you really gell with is just the most magical feeling ever as a new virtual assistant. You’ve truly hit it off and feel like you would be able to work together very well. And then you ask the client the question…which apps and programs do you use most frequently that I will be expected to use? 

And the client names some random app that you’ve never touched before! Internally, you’re cringing in disappointment, outside you are nodding and saying you’ve used that program before, right? 

No. No. You should not do that. 

When it comes up that you have no skill with a certain program or app – you should be honest and optimistic. 

If it is an app that you feel is similar to one that you already know or one that you feel confident you could learn you should say :

I’ve not worked with that specific app before but can see that it is similar to xxx and feel confident I could learn it very quickly. 

If it is an app you don’t have a clue about you’ll want to say something like: 

I’ve never worked with that app or that type of app. Would you mind if I take a closer look at it before we decide whether we should move forward? 

Most potential clients will be impressed with either response. They will appreciate your transparency and even if they decide to pause talking you will stick out in their mind for a referral. 

The mistake of unclear boundaries

It’s very tempting to be available for anything a client needs and want to go the extra mile and a half to keep the new client satisfied. 

By the start of the contract, you should have made clear your working hours, a preferred method of communication, and how soon to expect a response from you. 

This should be sent once the contract has been signed and the invoice paid, prior to any work starting.

Imagine starting with a new client and within two days the client is texting you at all hours, demanding to know why an email wasn’t replied to within an hour, and why you aren’t responding to their text messages. 

If you had sent your boundaries prior to work starting, your client would be clear on the fact that you only communicate through email, that you work evenings only, and that they can expect a response within 24 hours, not two. 

Obviously, there will be exceptions, and I’ve listed some of them here, but generally, you should stick as closely as possible to the boundaries you established when the relationship began. 

Unclear expectations of working with a freelance or independent contractor

Independent contractors are not exactly a new concept but there are a lot of people who have never experienced working with one.  And many business owners are not very clear on the relationship between client and virtual assistant either due to the amount of misinformation out there about using virtual assistants and remote independent contractors.

You can see that by reading this article which obviously blurs the line between employee and independent contractor. And considering it is being published by an agency…well even some virtual assistants don’t understand what they are. 

The expectations should be clearly laid out prior to a discovery call and you definitely don’t want there to be any confusion about the difference between an employee and an independent contractor. 

Employees are given a W-2, the employer tells the employee when to work, and what the wages are. 

Independent contractors, or freelancers, pay their own taxes and are given 1099 at the end of the year. They also name their own working hours and wages. 

You should clarify what type of hours your client believes they will need assistance, what their budget is, and that they are clear on what their responsibilities are when it comes to taxes. 

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is taking on a client who needs you to be available more than you are or one who expects to treat you like an employee as opposed to a business peer. 

Lack of transparency about client load can be a mistake

Once you’ve established yourself as a virtual assistant you’ll find that you might have time to take on two or three clients at a time. This is a good thing! 

For example, some clients might need you for only a handful of hours per week and if you are available for up to twenty hours per week – that’s a lot of time to fill. Most virtual assistants take on a couple of clients at a time once they have their time management down. 

The one mistake you can make when speaking with potential clients is not being honest about your “bandwidth”. Your bandwidth will be amount of hours you are available per week. 

A new client will need to know that you will be sticking to your 10 hours per week work with them because you have other clients that you work for. You don’t need to share any other information but be sure you are not breaking any type of non-compete or NDA agreement. 

For example, if you have one health and wellness client who is selling vitamins and supplements, it might be sticky doing the exact same work for another client who specializes in the same thing.

All of these mistakes can be avoided by keeping communication open, being transparent, and having an awareness of what clients believe virtual assistants are responsible for.  And, luckily, most of these can be rectified by opening communication and being apologetic. They are a lesson that is hard-learned, yes, but will set you up for success later as you move forward. 

Have you made any of these mistakes with your first few clients? 

The benefit to refusing to make a New Year’s resolution

The benefit to refusing to make a New Year’s resolution

The benefit to having no New Year’s Resolution this year…

It’s that time of year again…seems to come every year about this time…the New Year

Social media is full of that wonderful and terrible question…

What’s your New Year’s resolution? 

I don’t remember if there was a time in which I made any type of resolution at the beginning of the new year but I’m fairly certain that I never kept one. 

Why do we make New Year’s Resolutions? What’s the benefit of NOT making them? And what can we do instead? 

Why do we do the New Year’s resolution anyway?

New Year’s resolutions are probably beneficial to someone out there. But over 90% of people do not keep their resolutions. That’s right, only 10% of people who make them, actually keep them. 

And I can see some benefits to saying,

“I’m going to do x by y to get to z”

It’s awesome to have goals, right? What could possibly go wrong with setting a goal and sticking to it? Especially at the start of a squeaky clean new year? 

The Benefits of Ditching the New Year Resolution

Any moms out there know what their state of mind is currently. We are exhausted, burnt out, and pretty much ready to sign off for the weekend…on any given day of the week. 

These past two years we have guided our children through isolation, virtual learning, virus eliminating protocols, and, even worse, the loss of loved ones. 

Seems like the perfect time to set some big-ass goal, right? 

Nope. Not here. I’ve taken an almost two-month break from posting consistently on social media, spent time with my girls, and have tried to find a good balance in this new normal of life. I can honestly say that any resolution I spit out right now will be half-hearted and completely meaningless. 

And let’s talk about the pressure!

When you announce on some friends post that you are ditching negative thoughts – will you really feel open about also talking about when you feel down because you’ve failed? 

Or claiming that this is your year to travel! But all the travel restrictions make the world look less than shiny and you feel like you’ve let yourself and your family down because you couldn’t do the amazing trips you’d anticipated.

Maybe you’re a business owner and throw the resolution of meeting some huge goal, earning a large amount of money, some awesome new course out there…and when it doesn’t materialize feel imposter syndrome to the max. 

You feel like the whole world is watching, holding their breath to see all of the amazingness that is coming your way during the year and any hint of failure will make you feel even more depleted and frustrated than before. News flash, I’m pretty sure the only person that remembers your resolution will be yourself, but that’s bad enough sometimes. 

But things happen. Life happens. Random endless pandemics tend to derail even the most well-thought-out plans. 

What we can do instead of making new years resolutions

I mean, it is a sparkling new, amazing year, right? We want to mark it with SOMETHING! So I’m offering you a new way to honor the New Year. 

This year, I’m not setting up resolutions. I am…

  • Creating a vision board of things I’d like to happen this year.
  • Thinking of all the things I am going to leave behind from last year
  • Remembering the positive things I’ve learned from last year and making it a priority to carry those lessons into next year. 
  • Focusing on building Business From Home Mom’s audience
  • Help other moms learn virtual assisting, and freelancing in general, to change their lives

I’m reframing resolutions into ideas that are pleasing to me, that I can conquer in little bits and those that won’t make me feel completely disappointed if I can’t complete something. And, this is very important, these are all things that I can control no matter what is going on in the world or in my house. 

So this year, tackle the New Year with joy, no-pressure ideas that make you feel good about life, the world, and in general.

And most importantly, keep dreamin’

 

If you’d like to become more involved in the Business From Home Mom Community of moms who are learning new ways to parent, become successful virtual assistants, and mix business and parenthood with graceful chaos, follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or check out this to learn more about virtual assisting.

Creating Boundaries as a Virtual Assistant

Creating Boundaries as a Virtual Assistant

Creating and maintaining boundaries can really make or break your relationships with clients as well as your mental health as a virtual assistant. 

When you are fantasizing about working from home, I’ll bet you are not dreaming of interrupting family time, late or unpaid invoices, or demands for quick turn-around projects that will impact you getting any sleep.  This is why it’s important to set and maintain boundaries with clients. 

Why boundaries are essential as a virtual assistant

When you first start out as a virtual assistant, and sometimes even as a very experienced virtual assistant, it can be a struggle to create and maintain boundaries because of the fear of upsetting clients. 

I’ve found that the opposite is actually true. By setting clear expectations, you’ll be able to help support your clients even more.

Setting simple, clear, and easy limits on your work sets both you and your client up for a more comfortable relationship for you. (No more 12 pm texts with urgent work)

Let’s say that you set a clear expectation that you answer emails between 9 am – 5 pm EST and will respond within 48 hours. Your client then knows that they don’t have to check in with you four or five times when you don’t answer in 10 minutes. 

Your responsibility as a virtual assistant is to save time and mental energy and setting a boundary such as clearly stating when you answer emails, saves a client time and mental energy. It also comforts them because they know you are finishing up other tasks before responding (because you’re amazing!)

Setting these limits on your work also protects you from overbearing or very demanding clients. Once you start getting those additional emails from a client checking in on a task that’s still within your provided response time, that can be a red flag to watch out for other deal-breakers. 

Virtual Assistant Boundaries to Set with Clients

Office Hours

Office hours are the simplest and easiest boundary to set and communicate when working on client projects. 

Working hours will look different for everyone based on where you are and what you want your workday to look like. For example, your working hours might be 10 am – 12 pm and then 4 pm – 8 pm if you have young children and need to work based on their schedules. You can state your hours to be whatever you need them to be when working as a virtual assistant. 

Communicating these times will let clients know when you can be reached in an emergency and when you can schedule meetings. 

Uniform contact procedures

You’ll want to clarify the one way that all tasks will be communicated to you. Whether it is email, a task management app (I love Trello and Asana), or even text messaging. 

This will help you to avoid missing tasks, misunderstandings about due dates, and keep communications streamlined. 

Response Time

Response time is the amount of time from the time a client sends you a message to when they can expect you to respond. 

Your response time will tell your client when they can expect to hear from you, which is important when working remotely. You can’t just walk down the hall to ask a question as you could in an office, so making sure that clients know how long a response might take is essential. 

creating boundaries as a virtual assistant

When to communicate your boundaries

I recommend sending your boundaries as a virtual assistant in a welcome packet

This welcome packet can either go out to your client with the proposal or with your contract. By sharing your boundaries right away, your client has the opportunity to ask questions before the tasks even begin. 

If your client has questions about your work process or client boundaries, you are giving them an excellent opportunity to communicate, immediately. 

When to consider flexibility with your boundaries as a virtual assistant

There are certain times and situations when being flexible with your boundaries can really show your dedication to your clients as a virtual assistant. 

As you work with more clients, you will build strong, long-lasting relationships and retain long-term clients. 

When one of your long-term clients has a busy travel schedule and can’t make a meeting on your usually scheduled meeting days, you might find yourself easing some of your boundaries. 

That’s a good business practice. Here are some other examples of situations where you might want to make exceptions for:

  • When a meeting is canceled super last minute due to a health emergency
  • If a client is learning a new platform – such as Trello – allowing them to communicate via email or text until they feel comfortable on the new platform
  • Answering an email or working on the weekend when your client is experiencing a true business emergency or launch. This means a real emergency – not a broken link on an Instagram post. 

You will always want to communicate with your client that this is an exception and not a typical response. It both reminds clients of your boundaries and makes them super appreciative that you Have taken the time to help them. 

If a high-paying client reaches out to me and needs to meet asap, you can bet that I will be on that phone trying to make a meeting work. Within reason, of course. 

Non-negotiable boundaries as a virtual assistant

While we’ve talked about flexibility, we also need to talk about the boundaries that are non-negotiable. 

These are the things that you will not budge on under any circumstances regardless of the situation to protect your family and your lifestyle. 

For example, if your kids are usually off of school on Mondays, you may want to be clear about not taking client calls, ever, on Mondays. That way you don’t have to double-check that you have no meetings on days that the kids are home with you. 

It is okay to set a couple of firm boundaries for clients. 

The entire subject of boundaries comes down to what you are personally comfortable with. There is no right or wrong. The biggest takeaway to remember is that by creating boundaries you create long-lasting, strong client relationships. 

 

Important tools for a virtual assistant

Important tools for a virtual assistant

If you are starting your virtual assistant business on a budget, like I did, you’ll be looking for the least expensive tools to help you.

The following are some of the tools that I’ve used since I “opened” the doors to my own virtual assistant business. This is not written in stone. You’ll find your own way and your own tools, these are just the ones I recommend if you are starting on a budget.

Least expensive tools for a virtual assistant business

CRM tool

A CRM is a customer relationship manager tool and you would use this type of program to track and follow clients as they move from leads to relationships. CRM’s are wonderful for tracking everything from inquiries to quotes, proposals to contracts, and emails to invoices. They are incredibly valuable and I recommend getting one set up as soon as you decide you want to take your virtual assistant business full-time.

Dubsado is my ultimate favorite of those I’ve used. This CRM allows you to do everything from sending proposals to invoices, communicate via email, keep track of workflows, tasks, and deliverables, along with collecting leads and sending out questionnaires. Dubsado does take a minute to set up.

You won’t need to use all of the tools that Dubsado offers right away. You can use it just for the basics until you get things up and running. Then expand as your business does. Dubsado is free for your first three clients and then $45/month after that which is great because you don’t get charged until you have enough clients to pay for it!

Task Management tools

Task management tools help you visualize the tasks that need to be completed and allow you to put a date, time, deliverables, and communicate with the client on task-specific questions.

Asana is one of the original task management tools and is perfect for those of us who think in lists. You will be able to hop right into this task management tool without much training. If you do need some training you’ll be able to find help in the hundreds of YouTube videos or even their own training within the program. Asana is free unless you want fancier bells and whistles

Trello is best for those who need to visualize tasks moving through a system. This task management tool uses a Kaban style layout (Google it) and allows you to create cards that you can move from the start of the task to finish.

Graphic creation tools

Canva is my total go-to when it comes to creating great graphics for clients or myself. They have tons of templates to choose from for social media, flyers, business cards, and basically everything you can imagine. You’ll be able to start out with a free account on Canva.

These tools will help you while also being free as you get started out!

What other tools have you run into that have made your life easier?

 

Choosing to homeschool while running a business from home

Choosing to homeschool while running a business from home

I’ve had questions about how to homeschool while running a business from home and I’m hopeful this answers some of them. The information specific to homeschooling is dependent on your state…most of the information I’m including is for the state of Ohio…so please check with your local homeschooling group if you decide to go this route. 

How do I get started with homeschooling? 

First, the state of Ohio is an excusal state…not an approval state. This means that I only need to notify the superintendent of my school district that I intend to homeschool and they excuse my child or children from attendance at their school. 

You’ll want to check the local ordinances for your specific state so that you can follow the letter of the law. 

Every year I send in my NOI or Notification of Intent to Homeschool for whichever children are homeschooling that year. The superintendent then sends back an Excused from Compulsory Attendance Letter. You will also need to decide if you are going to test your kids at the end of the year or have a certified teacher look over a portfolio of their work. 

What the heck do I teach my kids?Running a business from home with kids

The beauty of homeschooling is that you literally get to teach them whatever you want. If you have a kid interested in science, they can do a heavy science schedule with just a little bit of writing. If you have a writer, you can do more writing projects than science projects. 

There are a lot of homeschool resources out there these days. I always recommend getting involved in a local or virtual homeschool group. A lot of the information I get on homeschooling in Ohio has come from Ohio Homeschooling Parents. You may have to dig around for your state’s best information resource but it will be worth it. 

Picking homeschool curriculum 

It is super tempting to buy all the things that claim to make your child smarter, more successful, learn a skill quicker, or are accredited. Don’t. Do Not. 

Take a month off. Figure out your kid. Are they visual or kinetic learners? Do they do better with workbooks or video? What are their absolute favorite subjects? It won’t matter what curriculum you buy if your child learns in the opposite way of what that curriculum teaches. 

Homeschooling and running a business tips

Be Flexible

The most important part of homeschooling and running a business is to stay flexible. You want neither the business nor the child to fail but you need to remember that flexibility is key. 

This is why being a virtual assistant and focusing on writing and social media has been a great niche for me to fill. These types of business tasks can be completed at odd hours mostly, or mobile from my phone if needed. 

Find a schedule that works for you and your child

It took me a long time to realize that my kids did not need to be engaged in specific learning activities for eight hours per day to be educated. We developed a schedule that worked for us where I would help with school work for an hour, work on the business for an hour, then switch all day. 

Set boundaries

Be firm about times that you absolutely need to not be disturbed. If you have meetings scheduled or a huge project deadline, give them work that they can do independently or reinforce work that is just practice. 

Hang a sign up, or if your kids can read yet, a red sticky note, so that they know to hold the questions and work on something else until you are finished. 

Consider block scheduling your homeschool 

Block scheduling allows for a student to learn one or two subjects per day several times per week. For example, you’d do language arts and history on a Monday for however many lessons and then the next day maybe math and science. 

This schedule sometimes makes it easier because you know which days your child will need the most assistance. A strong writer may not interrupt at all on language arts days but you’ll know you need to be fully present on science days. 

You’re going to need a planner

I have a teacher planner for my homeschool kiddos and a regular planner for my business. THEN a whiteboard that holds all of the daily things – meetings, sports, important things like that. This makes it a sure thing that everyone will be aware of when free time is and when we need to hoof it. 

Overall, homeschooling while running a business CAN be done – but it’s best to be prepared, know your boundaries, and have a lot of patience as you all learn your way!

 

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The end of the journey – together

We’ve concluded RockingMama Journeys together but we have not ended the story. Taking what you have learned about yourself and your kids will keep you focused on a strong relationship for years to come.

This week we tackled having pride and celebrating who our kids are.

Journey #17journey 17

Use the time in your car for a good conversation.

Summer activities are in full swing. We’ve got swimming, ball games, vacations, and family time planned. That means a lot of time in the car.

I love chatting with my kids when I’m driving. When we aren’t staring at each other so many things come out and real quality conversations happen.

So today, chat with your kids while you are driving them to one of their millions of activities, to the store, or on the way to church.

𝚃𝙸𝙿𝚂
📝 Don’t try to get too serious on short car rides
📝 Keep it casual and loose; ask open-ended questions
📝 Save serious questions for longer car rides or if there are tears…

Journey #18journey 18

Give time, money, or attention to something that your child is passionate about.

What is your kiddo enthralled with? What makes their eyes shine and their souls sparkle?

Today, take some time to think about how you can invest something in that thing that your kiddo loves.

Sometimes, and we all do this, we hear so much about their favorite Minion, sport, or animal so much that it’s nauseating. But that thing that they are so passionate about might change and we’ll all miss the conversations about unicorns and rainbows or the pitching in the game.

𝚃𝙸𝙿𝚂
📝 Something as simple as a conversation and you listening to them talks about their passion counts
📝 Ask your child what they need to feel supported in their passion.
📝 Be creative. Surprise them with something they need for their favorite thing.

Journey #19

Go outside together!

It’s a beautiful day so make it a priority to go outside together, as a family. Enjoy the sunshine, play a game, and connect in the fresh air.

𝚃𝙸𝙿𝚂
📝Take a walk so that you can all chat while walking
📝 Play an outside game that everyone enjoys
📝 Even sitting on the porch before bedtime counts

Journey #20journey 19

Pick up their favorite treat and celebrate!

Do you ever celebrate with your kiddos on a random day of the week? If not, make today the first of an amazing tradition.

If you’ve been following along all these weeks – this is it! The end of the road! The last #rockingmamajourney …for now…

So grab that special treat and celebrate even if no one else knows why you are celebrating 🥰

𝚃𝙸𝙿𝚂
📝 Pick a treat that you rarely treat your kids to – make it special!
📝 Make a big deal out of the kids for this treat – they may not understand but you all deserve a treat!