I realized early on that the traditional employment path wasn’t for me. I tried and tried again to make regular employment a part of my way of living, but no matter how hard I tried to fit in I often left feeling this is not for me. And I honestly, wondered if something was wrong with me. Now after “giving up” on that way of life and intentionally pursuing entrepreneurship, I’ve realized that nothing was wrong with me, but that I was created to earn creatively.
Entrepreneurship became a part of my life as we were beginning our homeschooling journey. Just like I didn’t know I was to be an entrepreneur initially. I also didn’t know that I would be a parent whose children would learn and grow at home. The great thing about this lack of knowing is we were able to carve a path that works best for our family since we didn’t have anything or anyone to compare our path to.
Three Ways Entrepreneurship Has Impacted our Approach to Homeschooling
The first business I created on our homeschool journey was a tutoring business. I am a teacher at heart. There’s nothing I can do to shake this. Even as I homeschool, I look for opportunities to teach children outside of my own. During this time, I tutored in person which meant I had specific times that I would not be available for my daughters. Entrepreneurship sparked me to encourage my daughters to be more independent even at the young ages of three and five. I encouraged them to try to do things on their own such as preparing their lunch and cleaning up after themselves.
As time went on, my daughters became confident in their abilities. Since they were provided with numerous opportunities to try things on their own, they have less fear about making decisions for themselves. I appreciate this as a parent because I can’t and won’t be there for every decision they’ll have to make for themselves.
My daughters have witnessed me work for myself for nearly their entire lives. They’ve watched me attempt to balance my projects, motherhood, marriage, my faith, and other responsibilities outside of our home. Because they have been firsthand witnesses, I can’t help but think this has impacted them in a positive way, and one of those ways in being a part of the team in our family and in businesses I’ve created.
Both of my daughters take responsibility in our home by contributing to the areas that are most skilled. My older daughter took on laundry duty for her sister and her when she was around ten years old. This initiative took one responsibility off my plate while allowing her to grow her ability to manage a schedule. She now has a routine for doing chores which I didn’t assign to her not only including laundry but their bathroom and loading the dishwasher. My younger daughter enjoys cooking. She cooks for our family several times each week. She doesn’t have a routine and usually, I ask for help, but she is always willing to chip in. Not only do they contribute to the home, but they also contribute to my businesses from helping with photography to clearing out my emails.
I can see the impact of working together in our family has had on them. They both have been eager to volunteer at local organizations and are pursuing opportunities that speak to their strengths and interests.
As a homeschool parent, it’s easy to think you have ample time because you aren’t forced to follow other people’s schedules, but, we don’t have all the time in the world. Our children are growing and changing each day. The time we have together has to be intentional. My pursuit in entrepreneurship helped me to realize that I wasn’t as productive because I suffered from thinking I had all the time in the world.
Having other responsibilities and interests outside of homeschooling forces me to be more intentional with my time. We aren’t finding opportunities to cram more lessons into our day. Instead, we’re conscious of what we are spending our time learning and doing. By definition, we aren’t unschoolers, but we do leave plenty of room for exploration and interest-led learning. We aren’t traditional homeschoolers either because we don’t spend hours at the table learning from curriculum. But I do take time to make sure my daughters have what they need based on the goals they’ve set for their lives as of now.
Lifeschooling and entrepreneurship have helped me be the mom that I didn’t know I wanted to be. As we’ve navigated the past decade of homeschooling, my daughters and I have learned to do life together versus having me decide every aspect of their life for them. They’re continuing to grow in their independence and confidence which are some of my top reasons for homeschooling them.