I have been adjusting nonstop since we moved to Swarthmore in December. There are things that seem small, like getting my son onto a basketball team. But nothing is straightforward. I didn’t know how things work here so we were so late in signing up that they said my son could only be on the team if I’d coach.
Of course I said yes. And then, of course I went to hire someone else. I used CoachUp. One of the gazillion services I could never have used from a rural location. It turned out to be great — we got an incredible coach. The learning curve didn’t stop there though. We had to find a hoop for my son to practice on during the week, and then I had to learn how to find the various locations of his games.
My older son generated the same sort of domino effect of new things I need to get used to. No matter what he wants to study, we can find a tutor for him on Wyzant. But before I could start sorting through tutors, I had to learn which suburbs were close enough to us. And then I had to figure out a way to always have cash on hand because so many people here don’t use PayPal.
People say entrepreneurs work longer hours than everyone else. This is true. But it works well for homeschooling because I can control when I am doing kids and I can control when I am doing work.
Which is all to say that I haven’t been working very much. My business is, above everything else, to be in the business of always tweaking my business. To catch shifts in my arena I have to be thinking about it all the time. And reading all the time.
But with the move, I pretty much had to stop working for a while. Which meant I had to get exceptionally creative about money. Because when you work for yourself, if you don’t work then you don’t get money.
I went through lists of ideas that I thought could make up for a few months of not working:
Then I decided to just start working again. I realized that taking a break was not great and not having as much money was not great, but it worked. And we made it through ok.
I realized early on that homeschooling children means having faith in their ability to learn what they need to learn. And I’m realizing now that working while I homeschool means having faith in my ability to earn what I need to earn.
And either way — earning a lot or not earning a lot — I’m a parent who works and homeschool my kids.