You’d think I’d be writing a post about how to work full-time while you homeschool. I might write that post one day. But here’s fair warning: it’ll look like this picture. My son is trying to tell me about the Bionicle he built. I am telling him I need to write. He is telling me I always say that.
I ignore him and then he takes my phone and starts taking photos of his Bionicle and then he takes a movie of his Bionicle. He narrates the landscape of the feet, torso and body and then he says to the camera, “Don’t look at the stuff in the background. That’s my mom working. She is pissing me off.”
He loves to use the word pissed. He’s pissed all the time. He understands that it is not a nice word, but also not a swear word, so it falls into a lexicological problem area. He is so jubilant about the debate about whether we can use the word pissed and in what context that I have just given up.
So the post about working from home while you homeschool would be a mom who is pissed that she’s not working and a six-year-old that’s pissed that she is working.
Instead, I’m going to suggest that you don’t need to work from home. You need much less money than you think. For one thing, people are homeschooling on just about nothing. But even if you don’t want to homeschool on an extremely low income, you still don’t need a ton of money. The number most psychologists and economists toss around today is $75K. Wherever you live (yes, NYC and San Francisco too) you need $75K to raise a family (one kid or four kids – the number is the same). Beyond that, the increase in happiness you get from spending time with family is much bigger than the increase in happiness you’d get from earning more money. So if you’re honest with yourself, $75K is enough for you to homeschool.
This makes sense because the median income for stay-at-home moms is $64K. This means that most people reading this post have a partner who can earn enough to have the other parent stay at home.
I used to feel sheepish about writing statistics like this, because I have made six figures every year for the last ten years. I’m not really sure how I did it. I mean, my income is sporadic and unpredictable and often times life-threatening. Or at least it feels that way. But somehow, I always make a lot of money in the end.
Then I saw my tax return for this year and I realized that most years, my taxable income is around $50K. The rest is running through my business—it’s a messy tax return when you mix your personal and business money, believe me.
But now that I realize that my taxable income is so low, I feel fine telling you that you don’t need a lot of money to homeschool. You mainly need a lot of confidence so you can lower your expectations about your standard of living. But most homeschoolers already have that. Homeschooling defies so many expectations that a low cost of living is just one more item on the list.