Working and Homeschooling

[This is the start of what might be a series on this topic. Already I am splitting my original post into smaller, more manageable bits!]

I keep wanting to write about working and homeschooling, but one thing about working and homeschooling — I never have to time write about it.

But I’m going to start, because dang if it isn’t hard, and if anyone else out there wants to discuss it, well, I’m here. [Except if you want to pull some mommy-war crap out. Then I’ll delete you with extreme prejudice. Let’s take for granted that moms of all stripes, spots, whatever, get full respect.]

Part One: What do I do, and Whither This Topic

What’s really motivated me to think about working and homeschooling is some of the beautiful blogs I see (some of which are likely maintained by moms who do some paid work in addition to being a homeschooling mom). I love the idea of contributing to a “Lives of Loveliness” carnival. I love reading about meandering days, an afternoon spent pursuing an unexpected activity, a long field trip to a living history site.

And I’ve spent a fair amount of time feeling confused and even down about why I never do those things. (Though of course I do, but infrequently.) Why was I falling short when I was working so hard?

Duh — I’m “falling short” of copying other people’s lives because I’m living a different life with a different set of parameters.

Here’s what I do for a living: I’m an “Independent Publishing Professional,” according to a networking website. Here’s the summary I put there:

Project manager providing oversight of publications from initial research to prepping for typeset or online publishing. Personally write and conduct research for each project, in addition to overseeing a team of writers, copyeditors, and proofreaders. Strong specialization in research in literature, history, and culture; nonfiction/academic writing; editorial services. Interested in providing research services or contributing content to production companies, publishers, and individual authors for historical fiction, documentaries, and educational books, films, or software.

So you know, that keeps me pretty busy. I hesitate to say that I couldn’t take more work if you offered it to me on a silver platter, so let’s just say that I’m at a point where I’m selective about new clients.

The world of the Independent Contractor opened up before me just as my first child was born, allowing me the opportunity to do two things I really wanted: be with my child, and live somewhere other than a cardboard box. (Eggmaster was a student at the time; I liked to say that we were a 1/2-income family.) That’s still the case: Eggmaster can keep a family- and homeschool-friendly schedule with his work in part because I also contribute around half of the family income.

What started nagging me as I was comparing myself to other homeschoolers was whether I was maintaining a family- and homeschool-friendly schedule.

On which, more in part two: What it Looks Like and Why We Do It



Filed under Oh Mother, Our Philosophy (such as it is), Schoolday Doings, Why Homeschool?

2 responses to “Working and Homeschooling

  1. Another job I never knew existed until I met someone who did it. Very cool. And sounds very flexible but busy.

    One of the things that made homeschooling the “lazy” option for me at the point where school became unbearable for Tigger was that I had stopped working for other people and was working as an “independent contractor” from home. I hadn’t built up much business at that point and didn’t work hard to do so. This fall, my reputation has meant that more clients have appeared. But that gave me 18 months or so to work out in a quite relaxed way what the homeschooling thing entailed.

    And I’m not bringing in anything like half the income these days. We are way past student-hood. And not long after the homeschooling adventure started, Mat got a full professorship. But that’s still a flexible job and times when I need to travel a lot tend not to be in term time.

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your thoughts on this topic. I have found that being self-employed has a lot in common with homeschooling.

  2. I’m impressed. What a cool job! I always admire mothers who work AND homeschool, especially because I can’t seem to manage it. 😉 I am really, really looking forward to reading about how you fit it all in.

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