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?
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
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.
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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