How to make money as a homeschooling parent

If homeschooling is on your heart chances are that one of the things that may be holding you back is expenses. Or possibly you already home school and you’re looking for a way to make some extra cash. Personally I was a couple years into homeschooling when I began to feel the need to help my family financially. However, I had been a stay at home mom for 10 years by then and I really didn’t want to give up my personal convictions to home school my kids to start working, so what was I going to do? I did what I know to do and I took it to the Lord. I prayed a very specific request, that I thought was really asking a lot and would be hard to come across. My prayer was that God would present me with an opportunity to help out my family, that would allow me to bring my children, and would also allow me to continue homeschooling.

Several weeks into praying this prayer, I was browsing through one of my local home school association groups online and saw a post that peaked my interest. The post was from another local home school mom and it went something like this, “Is anyone interested in a job that you can bring your kids and still home school?” … Um, yes! Me! That was literally my prayer almost verbatim. I was not about to turn away the blessing! So I responded for more information. She was looking for child care teachers for their church before and after school program. She explained to me the hours would be mornings and afternoons, with several hours in between leaving me time to home school my kids, and of course being a child care facility I would be able to bring them with me for a very good employee discount. I see you Lord! This was an answer to my prayer. I applied for the position, and got the job. I have since been promoted to Ministry Assistant of the child care program and work just a few more hours then before, but I am still able to do school with the kids.

Since I started working I have collaborated with many other working home school moms and learned that its not all that uncommon. There are plenty of opportunities to earn extra income for your household as a home school parent. So I am going to share with you a few of the ways that I personally know other home school parents make it work. Some are great for making side cash when you need it, others are steady income opportunities, but the important thing to keep in mind is that all of them are actual jobs that take actual work. You may have to put in some elbow grease, but it CAN be done! As an effort to sound extra cheesy I will end this part of the article with this quote, “If you believe it, you can achieve it.”

Without further ado, here’s a few ways to make money as a home school parent:

1. Starting with what I know, Child Care
Child care comes in many forms. You may want to be a weekend babysitter to make some pocket cash. Or sign on to be a full time nanny for a family that allows you to bring along your own kiddos. You can set up a care.com profile or sign up with a provider company. I know there’s one in my area called angel fish services that basically acts as the middle man between parents and providers. If required by the parents, most babysitting or nanny jobs will require a minimum of CPR certification and first aid training, and most likely a clean background check.

Then there’s the early learning jobs, which include in home day care provider or working as an early childhood teacher in a day care facility. Day care providers specialize more on the education side of child care, and these jobs require by law for special training. Like sitters and nannies, day care providers will also be required to be CPR and first aid certified. They will be required to pass a clean background check, and depending on whether they are in home or in facility teachers the training will very. However generally the training covers subjects such as, In Home or Facility Rules and Regulations, Health Safety and Nutrition, Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Growth and Development, Safe Sleep Practices, and Early Literacy, just to name a few. Going the Day Care teacher route will require you to pass exams on these skills to continue practicing, but don’t let that deter you, the training only takes as long as you make it take and the exams are pretty common sense stuff.

The most important thing to be said about this option is that it is more than just a job. It is a calling. If you don’t feel called to take care of children I definitely do not suggest this route. These are people’s children, to be cared for and protected at all cost. Chances are as a home school parent, one of the very reasons you may have decided to home school was to keep your children safe from outside sources, because we have all heard the horror stories. So as a home school parent we of all people should understand how hard it is for these parents to leave their children in the care of basically a stranger. It is a trust between parents and providers and of course the children. Not to be taken lightly. If you’re just simply wanting to make a buck, there is nothing wrong with that but I suggest moving down the list then.

2. Sell your closet-
I know quite a few home school parents who actually make a good bit of money doing this. Most of them suggest starting with what you actually have in your closet. Clean out what you no longer wear, including clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. You can also do this for your kids stuff. Seeing as there’s a huge market for children’s clothing, I highly suggest this. Once you’ve got your stuff to sell post it on apps like “letitgo” or “poshmark”. Of course you can always go the oldie but goodie way of ebay!

Once you get the hang of it, you can start doing reselling. A couple moms I know will spend a few hours every week going to thrift stores and flipping things they find for a good chunk of change!

3. Makers and Crafters-
If you have a niche for making things that can be useful to others, someone will buy it! Sites like etsy make it easy to set up shop where all of you talented home school parents can turn your hobbies into profit! Don’t forget flee markets and art shows. Get yourself a booth and sell your crafts! I buy from my maker friends all the time.

4. Homesteading-
Not only can this save you money, but it can also earn you money. Homesteading involves growing your own food, farming animals, making your own soaps, detergents, etc. Contrary to popular belief you do not have to have a lot of land to do this. I suggest looking up the popular trend called “urban homesteading”. I actually dabbled in homesteading myself before. All you need is a box/container garden to get started. Farming animals is not required but if desired, a small chicken coop doesn’t take up much room. Once you get established you will be saving lots of money on produce, eggs, and other household goods. Then you can take your stuff down to your local farmers market and turn it into cash!

5. Find a job that allows you to bring your kids to work-
They do exist, and they’re not all working as daycare providers. I have a couple friends who work in gyms as personal trainers or yoga instructors. The catch is they work for a gym that provides childcare and allows them to utilize the childcare while they’re on the job.

There are also other companies who have learned the importance of on site child care for their employees, such as Home Depot and Publix. Get yourself a part time job at the grocery or hardware store, and home school with the other part of your time!

6. Uber Eats Courier-
So Uber came out with an awesome program that delivers food to people from anywhere. So if you want something to eat from somewhere that generally doesn’t deliver, you can call Uber Eats and they will bring it to you! This is also awesome for a home school parent who wants to make some side cash. Unlike regular Uber, that you definitely should not bring your children while you transport strangers, as an Uber Eats Courier you can bring your kids along for the ride to drop off some burgers! Awesome!

7. Photography-
This one is pretty popular among home school parents, but if you have what it takes you can make really good money doing photography. However you definitely need to have a talent for it, otherwise you will waste a lot of money in the process. The initial investment to be a photographer is a pretty good cost, so be sure it is something you are going to stick with. You don’t want to have a bunch of dusty equipment sitting in the corner never being used.

If you do stick with it though, it is worth it. I actually have several friends who support their households as the main source of income by owning their own photography business.

8. Direct Sales-
Though I honestly don’t know many people who get rich with direct sales. I do have friends who bring in a couple hundred extra dollars every month through their direct sales businesses! Do your research and find out what works best for you. My advice is make sure that you are selling something that you will use. Its really hard to sell a product that you’re not really passionate about, and people can tell if you’re faking.

9. Private Cleaning business-
You do not have to have specialized talents to start your own business. Everybody is good at something! If you are good at cleaning and organizing put it to use! Start a cleaning business cleaning vacation homes or condos. You’ll be more likely to be able to bring your kids to these places than someones daily home, but those jobs are out there too!

10. Online tutoring or teaching-
If you are a teacher, or you have an area that you can offer private lessons in, this is a good option for you. Below is a list of options to look into for online teaching and tutoring jobs.
Teaching jobs-
▪ K12
▪ Educate-online
▪ Connections Academy
▪ Flex jobs
Tutoring jobs-
▪ Tutor.com
▪ Sylvan Learning
▪ Chegg

11. Baking-
If you’re great at baking use that! I know a few home school parents who bake special cakes or cupcakes to order, for events. You could even use this as a teaching opportunity. I can see a home economics class coming out of this!

12. Beauty Services-
If you can do hair, makeup, nails, or if you are a massage therapist, this one is for you! Again, I know a lot of home school moms who have gotten their cosmetology or massage credentials and offer services from their home on their off time. It brings in extra money and allows them the flexibility to keep home schooling their kids!

Well, that concludes my list for now. What do you guys think? Can you think of anything to add to the list? I am always looking for new ways to help the home school community. Leave your comments below.

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My Top 5 reasons for Homeschooling

First let me start with a little disclaimer. This is an opinion post, my personal reasons for homeschooling. If you don’t agree that’s fine and I am in no way stating that my reasons should be taken into account for every family. My convictions are mine.

So, my children weren’t always home schooled, in fact my oldest did public school for four years. He loved it at first, and so did my daughter who did two years in the public school system. So why did we jump ship? Here are my top five reason that my family quit public school and boarded the home school bus… (get it “school bus”? Okay… bad joke.)

  1. State standards- If you’re like me then you don’t come from a home school background at all, and the idea of getting away from state standards is actually quite frightening. In public education we grow up believing that everyone has to meet the same state standards to achieve any level of success in life. Like, how can you amount to anything if you don’t know the same 4th grade vocabulary words as everyone else, right?

    The problem for me when it comes to state standards is that it is like a one size fits all education policy. State standards don’t leave much room for students who have a different learning style. For my family state standards were not a good fit. Especially when our state adopted Common Core, which is being adopted by many states. In fact if you do a quick Google search you’ll discover that “Forty-two of the fifty U.S. states and the District of Columbia are members of the Common Core State Standards Initiative”. Going further it seems that the only states left that haven’t adopted common core are Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, Alaska, Nebraska, Indiana, and South Carolina (insert surprise face emoji)! I could go on about common core, but that’s another post all of it’s own.

    That being said, the only two options for anyone to get away from state standards are either the private school option, or the home school option. Personally, at the time that I first became convicted about making the switch, private school was not an option for us ($$$) so home school became a serious consideration. There are many wonderful home school curricula to choose from that do not follow state standards and can be adjusted to meet the standards of your family!
  2. The health of my children- This one is definitely specific to my family. First of all, my daughter deals with a few different health issues. She is severely asthmatic, she has eczema and several allergies. Mainly the big one is her anaphylactic allergy to peanuts. The school that my children attended was not peanut free, which would have been okay if they had some sort of policy in place to protect the children who suffer from severe peanut allergies, but they didn’t.

    Every day at lunch my daughter was sat at the same table as all of her classmates, and all the glory of their PB&J’s. We even had incidents of other children taunting her with their peanut butter covered fingers, waving them in her face in the annoying “I’m not touching you” kind of manner. Her allergy is so severe that if she even touches an object that another child touched who ate peanut butter, she will have a reaction. Let me put it this way, for children to be waving their peanut contaminated fingers in her face is the equivalence to pointing a loaded gun at her. If you’re a good parent and you teach your children gun safety (ie. don’t point guns at people) do me a favor and take a moment to teach your children the dangers of anaphylactic allergies. You may think I am being dramatic if you can’t relate. It wouldn’t be the first time I have encountered this response. I once had a mom (we’ll call her Janice) exclaim to me that her daughter has a lactose intolerance and can’t have milk and that I was just being dramatic. To which I replied “Okay Janice, your child gets a tummy ache, my child CAN DIE!” Please people, for the love of all things good in the world, learn the difference between an intolerance and an allergy.

    The school policy also would not let her have her EpiPen, on her. Which I understood that it was for the safety of other children, but for my daughter this meant that if she had a reaction she had to try to get all the way to the nurses office at the front of the school, by which time she could be in anaphylactic shock.

    Also, her teacher was another one who did not understand or take her allergy seriously. According to that schools policy, although the school couldn’t be peanut free, the classroom that contains a peanut allergy is supposed to be peanut free. Her teacher did not enforce this and every day students were bringing peanut snacks anyways. Finally toward the end of the year she put up a peanut free sign on the door just to appease me, but even still she did not enforce it. The fact that even the small policy that the school did have in place was not even being enforced was enough for me to figure out that the only way I could keep my child safe was to keep her home.

    Moving on to my oldest son. He always struggled a little bit in reading, and fell behind because of it quite a bit. He was the one who really made me realize the error of state standards and how to some kids (kids like my son) they can be more harmful than helpful. He is a brilliant boy, he just learns differently then the “standard” child. Its also no secret to anyone who has ever spent five minutes with him that he has a very hard time focusing for very long. Eventually in about first grade we talked to his teacher about the possibility of him having A.D.D. By second grade we had a diagnosis. This didn’t come as a surprise to us because I myself have A.D.D. and it is thought to be hereditary.

    After the diagnosis I met with his teacher to talk about any possible extra help that the school may have available to him. Possibly some special reading class for kids like him with learning disabilities, or just in general a hard time learning. She informed me that day that the school has no such program for the kids, no special class, no tutoring, no after school programs, nothing. She told me that the school policy only offers extra help to kids after they fail the third grade. Wait a minute? So they will push my kid along even though he is struggling, let him fail the third grade and THEN they will offer him the help that he’s obviously needed since kindergarten… got it… No, not okay. So other than everything that his teacher could do for him within her power, and the best efforts we could do for him at home, the only other option that the school left me with was going to be to medicate my child.

    Now, I am not anti-medication, in fact some days I still consider it (sarcasm). But that is not the road that I wanted to take for him. This was another deciding factor that pushed me to consider homeschooling as an alternative to what was offered in the public school system. I wanted to explore other learning styles to help him learn before pushing pills on him if I could help it. Which by the way he is now no longer struggling in reading and is doing pretty well in his school work!
  3. Freedom from schedules- Another thing that was appealing to me about homeschooling was that my family would have the freedom to take school with us wherever we go. This means that we could visit Disney when it’s not so crowded if we want to. We can take a day trip to the beach if we choose. The kids can stay the night at grandma’s house on a week day. You name it, the world is ours for exploring. We also don’t need doctors notes when the kids have sick days, and we never have to worry about truancy because of the many days my daughter has to spend seeing specialty doctors, who only schedule kids during school hours (I’ll never understand this by the way). When my daughter was in public school, in kindergarten I literally got a call from the truancy officer to let me know that even though most of her absences have been excused for illness, her name had come across his desk. Wow, even with excused absences I could have possibly faced a penalty for my child missing school because I have to prioritize her health? My bad, for keeping her alive I guess… I was pretty shocked.

    Now, just because we are not bound by scheduling around a traditional school year, doesn’t mean that we don’t have routine. We may not have to do school every day, but we do have a general flow of how we do things and for the most part we stick to it.
  4. They’re MY kids- In the midst of my battle with the public school system, I began to feel as if I had no control over what happened with my children’s education (and from some aspects even their well being, see number 2). I couldn’t wrap my brain around the concept of giving birth to these kids, raising them up this far to the best of my abilities, teaching them everything they know, and then just relinquishing them over to the public school system as if it was my debt to be paid to society or something. To me the public school system ties parents hands behind their backs. No matter how involved you are, the state standards and school policies won’t change for your kid. The more I had no say, the more I felt this way, and the more I considered homeschooling. It just made the most sense. If I wanted to have a say in my children’s education, I had to take matters into my own hands.
  5. Jesus- Like I said in the disclaimer, this is an opinion piece so if this isn’t your belief that is okay. I understand that not everyone believes the same way, and I am okay with the public school system not teaching Christianity in school. As a Christian I wouldn’t appreciate someone teaching my children the ways of other world religions, so I get it. However it is important to me that my children have a Christ centered education. Again, the only way for that to happen is to enroll in private school or go with the home school option. However if that is not your thing, there are plenty of secular home school curricula to choose from as well. Personally Jesus is a part of our every day life, in everything we do, and it just didn’t feel right to me that we upheld this standard in our family except when it came to education. My kids now get to learn math, science, language arts, social studies, AND BIBLE, something that would not be offered to them otherwise. That matters to me, it just does.

So these are my top five reasons that I chose to home school. I’m sure I probably forgot something important, but hey I can come back if I need to. Let me know what you think in the comments. If you are a home school parent, I would love to hear your reasons! Are they different from mine, or do we share a reason or two? Let me know in the comments!