Ten Rules for Homeschool Convention Etiquette

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I believe every situation calls for some etiquette, and homeschool conventions are no exception. Often, vendors represent small, family-run businesses, and sales at conventions provide their largest source of revenue. When customers follow these ten simple rules, everyone benefits.

Ten Rules for Homeschool Convention Etiquette

The next time you enjoy a homeschool convention, I encourage you to practice these ten demonstrations of courtesy. As you do so, you can be sure that you will bless and encourage the vendors and your fellow attendees.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #1

Make sure checks or credit cards are good, or pay in cash. Most vendors are able to authorize credit cards at their booths. However, if your credit card does not go through, valuable time will be lost in rectifying the situation, so make sure your accounts are in good shape before you go to a convention. If a check bounces, fees are charged and both the vendor and the customer have to deal with the account balance problems. Many vendors prefer cash, which sometimes helps vendors pay for immediate needs associated with convention expenses, such as such as food, gas, hotel expenses, etc.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #2

Handle all products carefully and respectfully. The vendor’s inventory is expensive and should be handled gently. If items are damaged, vendors may not be able to sell them. One way to appropriately inspect books would be to open them up gently, not spreading them completely open, thereby keeping their spines intact and preserving the “new” feel of the book. Of course, it is always best to peruse sample copies when they are available.

After reviewing a product, put it back in the same location where you found it. If you don’t know where it goes, hand it back to the vendor, or ask where to put it back in its proper place.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #3

Don’t shop before the vendor hall officially opens. Many vendors are scrambling to “set up shop” right up until the moment the convention sales officially begin. Honor the starting and ending times posted for sales, and don’t rush the vendors. They are eager to serve you, but they need to get organized first.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #4

Diligently supervise your children at all times. Take advantage of the wonderful children’s programs that convention coordinators have provided for your children. The convention sponsors may also offer babysitting services, or the hotel may provide those services. You can also share “babysitting duty” with another mom: one of you watches all the children while the other mom shops; then you trade off. If you prefer to keep your children with you, be sure to keep them within reach—literally—at all times, for their protection and for the protection of the vendors’ products as well.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #5

Shop, don’t study. Vendors understand that you would like to browse through a book before buying it, but to stand in front of the booth and read through the entire book is rude. Not only will the booth be less accessible to other potential customers while you are there reading, but it’s likely that the book will look “used” after you have read it from cover to cover, and no one else will want to purchase it. If you are thoroughly “sold” on a product, buy it and use it at home.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #6

Keep the traffic moving, as much as it is in your power to do so. Don’t congregate with friends (new or old) directly in front of a booth, especially with your shopping carts or strollers in tow. Vendors are dependent on person-to-person sales, so be polite and congregate elsewhere; avoid creating traffic jams that can rob vendors of business.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #7

Remember that the vendor needs to talk to as many potential customers as possible. Vendors love to talk with you, especially when homeschooling is the topic, but remember that the time they have available to interact—hopefully with everyone at the convention—is limited. Be friendly, ask your questions, and step aside so that the next guy can ask his questions.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #8

Expect to pay for good customer service. Vendors who don’t deal with high-volume inventories are often more willing to discuss their products and personally answer your questions. If a vendor “sells” you on his product, buy it from him—not from the high-volume-sales vendor on the next row, who was too busy to answer your questions. Pay for what you get, and don’t take unfair advantage of helpful people—instead, support their businesses with your purchases.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #9

Support the speakers. Most speakers at homeschool conventions receive no compensation for their contributions to the event. In fact, many speakers are required to pay a fee in order to conduct a workshop, demonstration, or class at a convention. Take advantage of the information and encouragement the speakers can offer, and if you like what you hear and see, seek out their booths and consider trying the products that impress you the most.

Homeschool Convention Etiquette Rule #10

Please honor the established closing time at the convention sales. When the vendor hall is closing, make your purchases and leave on time, like the way you “kindly make your way to the circulation desk” (sound familiar?) when the public library announces it “will close in fifteen minutes.” You can be sure that most vendors are very tired after a long day’s work and are eager to get off their feet too. Make your final purchases . . . and come back tomorrow, bright and early.

Most convention vendors love what they do or they wouldn’t be there. Many regard the hours they spend interacting with, and explaining their products/services to, potential customers as ministry. I encourage you to practice these ten rules of etiquette to enhance not only your shopping experience but the vendors’ experiences too!

See you at the conventions!

 

Linda Brodsky and her husband Mark have owned Brodsky Ministries for more than ten years. They sell curricula, T-shirts, U.S.-made toys, natural health products, and more. Their children can be found at homeschool conventions painting faces and making balloon sculptures. They have five children on earth, three in heaven, and are praying for more. Visit their website at www.brodskyministries.com.

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade magazine for homeschool families. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free TOS apps to read the magazine on your Kindle Fire or Apple or Android devices.

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Living Simply Series: Maintaining a Decluttered Home

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I may the be odd one, here, but I really do love cleaning house and organizing things. The problem has always been the upkeep after I’ve organized everything. It’s taken a bit of “new-habit-forming” but I feel like I’ve (finally) got ahold of things.

Do you find it difficult to keep up with the maintenance of decluttering? If so, you’ll find our third installment of our Simple Living Series helpful!

If you didn’t grab your FREE Living Simply Bundle last month you can still get it! (link at the bottom of this article)

Maintaining a Decluttered Home

So you’ve followed all the advice and decluttered your house. But all too soon, you realize that you have clutter creep. Stuff is starting to build up again. Maybe you ended up replacing some of the stuff you got rid of or maybe everyone isn’t pitching in to keep the house decluttered. Here are a few simple, quick habits that all family members can do to keep the house decluttered.

Deal with mail immediately — The last thing any of us wants to do after a long day at work is deal with the mail. But since it has to be done, do it immediately. Throw ads and other junk mail directly in the trash or recycling bin. Put bills and other important papers in the specified place and shred sensitive information that doesn’t need to be filed. To make this even easier, make all your bills, banking and other statements paperless and get your name on the “no junk mail” list. Before long, there will be very little mail to deal with at all.

Nightly pick-up routine — As you gather in the living room in the evenings, each family member brings stuff with them—a mug, a glass, a snack plate, an iPod, a hand-held video game or homework. Have you ever noticed how frequently that stuff stays in the living room, making it cluttered? Set a new rule that each night before heading to bed, everyone picks up everything they brought into the room that evening and puts it back where it belongs, in their out-the-door basket, for example. It takes 2 minutes to do and keeps clutter creep to a minimum.

Add a coat rack and baskets — As soon as the family walks in the door, they are likely to take off coats and backpacks, set down lunch boxes and briefcases, all right in the entryway where they will be tripped over for the rest of the evening. To keep this area decluttered, add a coat rack and a basket or cubby for each person in the entryway. Get family members used to hanging up their coats and putting the other stuff they bring home in a designated place, like their out-the-door basket. It will take a little time and a few gentle reminders, but everyone will eventually appreciate the new peace that a decluttered house exudes.

Eliminate your junk drawers — This may sound undoable, but it really isn’t. Have a place for everything, including the small items that tend to end up in a junk drawer. Get small containers or better yet, upcycle some with the kids, and keep these small items separated and organized in drawers. Things like batteries, paper clips, rubber bands, twist ties, etc. all have their own place in a drawer or two. Take a rubber band off the Sunday paper? Put it immediately in the correct cubby hole before sitting down to enjoy the paper.

As promised, here is my free gift to you, so you can start living simply right away. Sign up below and you’ll receive the FREE Simple Living Bundle. This includes a checklist, eBook and a guide with tips to you start living simply in just 15 minutes a day!

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Living Simply Series: 5 Ways to Start Simplifying Today

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Last month, we began our series on simple living by talking about the benefits of simplifying our lifestyles. Today, we continue by giving you 5 ways you can start simplifying today.

If you didn’t grab your FREE Living Simply Bundle last month you can still get it! (link at the bottom of this article)

5 Tips for Living Simply

Get the right mindset—While you can make definite headway in a weekend, simplifying your life is going to be a process and that’s okay. Get your mind in that place where it’s okay to take one step each day toward your goal. A plan to simplify should be simple, right?

Spend just 15 minutes—In just 15 minutes a day, you can reduce clutter, put filters on your email, make a phone call to implement an auto-payment, unsubscribe from newsletters that clog up your email or cancel a credit card you don’t use. If you are feeling like you just don’t have time to simplify, it’s a sure sign you need to! Decide on one small task to complete each day. Set a timer for 15 minutes and see what you can accomplish.

Chose one place—What room or area makes you the craziest when you walk into it? What have you been meaning to clean out and declutter the longest? Start there. It’s taking up mental energy you can use for more important things.

Get your family or housemates involved—the common areas of your house are not going to stay decluttered if you are the only one maintaining them. Sit your family down and have a chat about why simplifying is so important to you and how it will benefit everyone.

Keep a “donate” boxOnce you’ve made that first (or second) big trip to the donation location of your choice, you will still come across stuff that you didn’t notice on the first go-round. Keep a donation box in an out-of-the-way place so that you can toss things in as you find them. When the box is full, take it to your donation center.

Buy one, toss oneMake a new rule for the household: when you purchase a non-consumable item and bring it into the house, you must get rid of something. For example, if you buy a new pair of shoes, either throw out your old, disgusting running shoes or place a pair that is still good, but that you don’t care about keeping,  in the donate box. This rule works in two ways—it helps you maintain the minimalist lifestyle you are creating, and it cuts down on impulse shopping. You’ll probably be surprised to discover that there’s no pair of shoes you currently have that you are willing to part with in order to have the new, shiny pair. Problem solved.

As promised, here is my free gift to you, so you can start living simply right away. Sign up below and you’ll receive the FREE Simple Living Bundle. This includes a checklist, eBook and a guide with tips to you start living simply in just 15 minutes a day!

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Living Simply Series: Why You Should Live More Simply

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As homeschoolers, it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle of life and trying to have it all, do it all and give our kids our all. All of these things sound good but in practice, it can be draining and in the end, we’re not living the life we want to lead and actually causes more damage to our families than good.

That’s why, this year, I want to help inspire you to live a more simple life.

Today, I’m starting the “Living Simply Series.” At the beginning of each month, I will provide you the tips, inspiration and help you need to live a richer life by simplifying it.

I’ve also got a FREE gift for you! Find out more about it below!

Top Benefits of Living More Simply

There are many benefits to living more simply, and everyone has different reasons for choosing to simplify their life. But there are definitely some reoccurring benefits that you see on almost everyone’s “reasons to simplify” list. See which of these could motivate you to choose a simplified lifestyle.

More time—Everyone would like more time, but 24 hours each day is all we get. So using this time on the things that are really important to us is of the essence. When you say no to more activities and obligations and have less stuff to maintain, you end up with more time to live the life you want to live.

Less stress—Along with more time, people are desperately seeking ways to lessen the amount of stress they have in their daily lives. Fewer obligations, less doing and fewer possessions mean there’s less overall to deal with. You can even simplify the number or types of people you hang out with. People who are always stressed out and complaining can be weeded out so that you have more time to spend with people who bring real value to your life.

More focused energy—Much of our limited time seems to be eaten up by responsibilities and obligations that add very little, if anything, to our lives. Once we simplify how much we do and have, we have the time and energy to focus on the things that are the most important to us, like family, lifelong learning or hobbies.

Less debt—In our materialistic world, we are constantly bombarded with ads telling us if we only have this product, we will be happier. In an attempt to gain that elusive joy for ourselves, we “buy into” sales gimmicks that leave us with little but debt. Dedication to living more simply means we have less desire to impulse spend because we are spending our time doing fun stuff, so our happiness naturally increases. And since we are hanging onto less stuff, we are no longer willing to “own” things we don’t need… especially on credit.

More freedom—When you start to let go of the mountains of burdens you have taken on in the form of overworking, overspending and overextending yourself, you suddenly feel free. Maybe for the first time in your life! You begin to recognize the trap that you’ve been in, simply because society told you it was the way to happiness and fulfilment. True happiness comes from the freedom of doing less so you can be more.

As promised, here is my free gift to you, so you can start living simply right away. Sign up below and you’ll receive the FREE Simple Living Bundle. This includes a checklist, eBook and a guide with tips to you start living simply in just 15 minutes a day!

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Mint-Infused Coconut Oil Body Butter

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Homemade gifts are just the best! They are really fun for the giver to make and the receiver knows that much time and love went into the gift. This recipe for Mint-Infused Coconut Oil Body Butter fits the bill quite nicely! It’s easy enough to make with the kids and delectable to use!

Ready in 50 minutes.

Makes ¾ cup of body butter.

Ingredients:

        • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
        • 2 tablespoons of mint-infused coconut oil
        • Dried rose petals
        • 2 tsp of vitamin E
        • 7 drops of lime essential oil
        • 4 tablespoons of solid shea butter
        • 7 drops of lavender essential oil

Instructions:

Melt the coconut oil and shea butter in a double boiler. Add in the olive oil and the dried rose petals. Heat the mixture for ten minutes then remove from heat and let it cool.

Once cooled, add the vitamin E and essential oils and whip the butter until it becomes airy. Transfer the butter to an airtight jar.

Note: You may find more great recipes here: http://amzn.to/1Qv1LB1

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Building Bricks of a College Fund Plan

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College costs continue to skyrocket– at a pace that far exceeds the rate of inflation. But there is a bright side to planning for college expenses, and it’s getting a little brighter all the time – thanks to federal tax breaks that can make paying for college more affordable. The key point to remember is that you can create a college funding plan brickbybrick, by combining a variety of investment accounts, tax benefits and financial aid sources. Here is a quick guide to get you going:

  • 529 Plans[1]—State-sponsored versions of these plans are now available in all 50 states, and you aren’t limited to the plan of your own state. In a 529 Plan, you set aside after-tax dollars[2] on behalf of a beneficiary, and earnings grow on a tax-deferred basis. Distributions are not taxed, if taken for qualifying education expenses. As the account owner, you maintain control of the account and may change beneficiaries, subject to restrictions. In addition to state-sponsored plans, private colleges also may set up a form of Qualified Tuition Plan that allows tuition to be prepaid.
  • Education Savings Accounts—These accounts allow annual contributions of up to $2,000 per child per year. Distributions made for qualifying education expenses are taxfree, and the costs of high school or elementary school tuition may qualify.
  • Loans or Withdrawals from Permanent Life Insurance—Parents often find it convenient to fund part of college costs by taking loans or withdrawals from permanent life insurance contracts – i.e., life insurance with a cash value. In most contracts, loans may be taken taxfree.
  • Traditional IRA Withdrawals—If you have a Traditional IRA, you can make penalty-free withdrawals for purposes of paying qualifying colleges expenses for your child, grandchild or spouse (or even yourself). Ordinary income tax will apply on the amount withdrawn.
  • Roth IRA Withdrawals—If you have a Roth IRA, you can make penalty-free withdrawals for qualified higher education expensesonce your account has been in place for at least five years. There is no income tax due on the amount withdrawn.
  • Federal Tax Credits—Many parents can use federal tax credits to meet a portion of the children’s educational costs. The American Opportunity Tax Credit applies in the first four years of post-secondary education. It’s a tax credit of up to $2,500 and applies to the cost of tuition, fees and course materials. Up to 40% of the credit (a maximum of $1,000) is refundable – meaning even if you owe no income tax for the year, you can get up to $1,000 back from the government if you qualify for this type of credit.
  • Deductible Interest on Student Loans—If your child needs education loans and you repay them, you may qualify to deduct up to $2,500 of the loan interest per year.[3]
  • Employer-provided Education Benefits—Some companies have set up programs that allow the organization to contribute education benefits on behalf of workers and their children. Federal law currently allows up to $5,250 of employer-provided education benefits to be excluded from taxable income.
  • Financial Aid—Today, more and more students are applying for financial aid. In most cases, students must demonstrate financial need to qualify for this type of assistance.

Time Is On Your Side

The more time you have available to save money for educational expenses, the better your chances of meeting your financial goals may be. Keep in mind, too, that the tax benefits and financial aid mentioned above may not be available to everyone. Your qualification for some of these may depend on your Modified Adjusted Gross Income.Your financial professional can help you learn more – and help you identify specific solutions that may work best to help you reach your long-term financial goals, based on your personal situation.

 

The post was written by Allison Hoyt, JD, CLU, Associate Consultant, Business Resource Center for Advanced Markets at The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. The information contained in this article is for general, informational purposes only. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents or employees do not give tax or legal advice. You should consult your tax or legal advisor regarding your individual situation.

[1]Before investing in a 529 plan, please consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. The official disclosure statement and applicable prospectuses, which contains this and other information about the investment company, can be obtained from your financial professional. Be sure to read the prospectus carefully before deciding whether to invest.

[2]Some states allow a state income tax deduction for 529 plan contributions.

[3]The individual who is legally obligated to repay the loan is the only one who may be eligible for any available interest deduction. Consult your financial or tax professional for details.

 

[1]The individual who is legally obligated to repay the loan is the only one who may be eligible for any available interest deduction. Consult your financial or tax professional for details.

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Easy Ways to Earn Extra Money

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There are tons of money-making (online and offline) opportunities available today; it’s just a matter of finding the best ones for you and your family’s schedule and needs.

Consider these simple tricks to help you earn some extra money this month. Go on — get your side hustle on!

Easy Ways to Earn Extra Money

 

1. Join Focus Groups (share your opinion and get paid)

Focus groups are a great way to earn extra money by helping companies improve their marketing efforts and by sharing your thoughts about their products and services. Companies are willing to pay you for your insight as a consumer and sometimes they’ll even arrange to come to your home. The companies listed below are looking for panelists now.  Note: Companies that ask you to pay a fee to access their focus groups are usually scams.  

Register with one of these trusted companies to get started:

Vindale Research – ($5+ per survey)

PineCone Research – ($3 per survey usually 20-30 minutes)
Harris Poll Online – ($30 to $50 average per focus group session)

2. Get Paid to Watch Cooking, Parenting, Crafting ++ Videos

Swagbucks offers its users the chance to earn gift cards and cash by watching a variety of shows through their Swagbucks Video Channel including cooking, crafting, home and garden, fitness and more – the content comes from dozens of partners like Hulu, Reuters, and the Food Network so there is no shortage of interesting things to watch.  It’s really simple, if you don’t have an account just sign up here check out their huge video selection and start earning cash “Swagbucks” by watching your favorite short videos.

3. Work Your Skills as an Online Freelancer

Do you have a hidden talent? Then check out Fiverr and Freelancer – they are very popular site where you can sell your products or creative skills.

Fiverr is a network where people seek out graphic design artists and other professionals for assistance on creative projects. Jobs start at just $5 with customized pricing for more in-depth needs.  You can do anything ranging from data entry, to researching tasks, to graphic design and even some truly bizarre marketing projects.  Earning $5+ a pop for quality work doesn’t sound like much, but it can easily add up to thousands of dollars or more a year when your projects start to be customized!

Freelancer.com is a good site too; it has tons of current side jobs available from Graphic Design, Virtual Assistant, Technical/Programming, Content Writing and lots more.  Expose your talents to thousands of employers and get paid without ever leaving your home!

4. Fill Out Online Surveys

All you have to do is register, and these companies will contact you when they have a survey that fits your profile. You must meet certain criteria to qualify so don’t get frustrated if you don’t qualify right away. Be patient and they will email you in a few days as more positions become available.

Register with these surveys companies that represent the biggest brands:

Swagbucks –  ($5 just for signing up)
ProOpinion – (cash and rewards for filling out surveys)
Pinecone – ($3 for each survey you complete)
MySurvey – (Take surveys and earn rewards)
Opinion Outpost – (cash for filling out surveys.)
Reward TV – (get paid to play games and fill out surveys about TV shows!)
Points Club – (Earn points for filling out surveys which you can redeem for gift cards)

5. Become an Uber Driver

One of your greatest “hidden assets” is your car and Uber can help your four door sedan make you $500+ a week!  Plus as an Uber driver, you set your own schedule and keep 80% of everything you earn by driving people around town.

Here are a few things you need to get in order to started driving: smartphone, newish four-door car, be at least 21 years old, personal auto insurance, clean driving record and be able to pass a criminal background check.

6. Become a Mystery Shopper…Shhhh

Mystery shoppers pose as regular shoppers and frequent retail stores, restaurants, and other places of business and report on their experiences to help company’s measure customer service and other info. Shoppers make their own schedules and take as many or as few assignments as they would like and can make $300+ a week.

Typically you use your own money then get reimbursed after filing your report and after all expenses you can expect to make $10 to $30 per gig – AND they are a lot of fun!

Our savings experts say these are the best Mystery Shopper companies:

Mystery Shoppers
Best Mark
Market Force Information
IntelliShop
Feedback Plus Inc
National Shopping Service
About Face Corporation
Trend Source
Bare Associates International

7. Baby Sitting

This can be a great gig for teenagers or stay-at-home moms, especially if you have a kid or two at home, why not take on one or two children for a few hours and make some money out of it? Sittercity and Care.com are reputable tools to find people looking, plus Care.com gives you the going rates of babysitters in your area. HINT: The average rate is around $15 to $20 per hour.

Use common sense when meeting a family for the first time. Set up an interview in a public place, if possible and ALWAYS tell someone else where you’ll be. 

8. Pet Sitting/Walking

If you love animals, pet sitting can be a great side gig.

Here’s what you need to know: for day and overnight visits, typical pet-watching services ranged from $35-65 a day/night if you make house calls, while a 20 minute visit or dog walk typically pays around $25.

Normal house calls include letting dogs out in the backyard or taking them for a walk, refilling water dishes, feedings, scooping litter boxes and sometimes giving pets medications. To get started you can check out Craigslist, Care.com and PSI.

9. Get Paid to Test Websites and Apps

Did you know that you can get paid for reviewing websites and testing apps?  Website owners love user feedback, and sites like UserTesting will pay you $10 to visit a website or app, complete a series of tasks that take about 20 minutes, and submit a little feedback. Payments are typically made via Paypal.

10. Become a Virtual Assistant

Are you organized and enjoy writing, social media, and blogging? Become a virtual assistant and help other people run their companies and websites?   VA’s ”virtual assistants” can charge anywhere from $20 to $50 per hour.

Check out some beginner sites to land some VA gigs like Zirtual.compeopleperhour and Upwork.

11. Sell Your Extra Stuff

eBay is a great place to sell stuff your old stuff and earn some money, especially if you have something collectible. If you are crafty, check out garage sales and find items that you can purchase for cheap, fix them up and then resell online. Also be sure to check out local Facebook garage sale sites.

If you have old books and DVDs and even textbooks from your kids lying around then consider selling them on Amazon. It’s incredibly easy to list your items and you’d be surprised how much you can get for your old stuff.

YOUR TURN: What’s your favorite way to earn extra cash?

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links. Thanks for reading!

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Keep Your Sanity While Working from Home and Homeschooling

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A homeschool mom’s most important job is raising her children, overseeing their education, getting dinner on the table and administering an ample dose of hugs and kisses at bedtime. Homeschool moms pull off minor miracles to get this done. Add in earning money from home and it can get overwhelming! A work-at-home mom really is working two jobs at once and the biggest challenge for a mother is learning to do both in harmony.

There are some tips and tricks every work-at-home homeschool mom could utilize. It is important to understand that each person is unique and in a work-at-home setting what may work for others may not be what works best for everyone. Yu should feel free to experiment and discover what works for you and your family.

Home Business Setup Tips

When operating a business from home it is important to do so from a designated area. Making sure this area is clean, well-organized and well stocked with essentials will alleviate frustrations, which may be caused by trying to find the phonebook or stapler in a hurry. This should be carried over to the lives of the children in the home as well, after all if Johnny can find his crayons easily he will be less likely to bug mom during work hours.

An office area should include any tools necessary to complete daily work such as a computer, Internet access, a telephone, cell phone and fax machine if applicable for the particular job being done. Along with all of these things perhaps the most important tool needed is privacy and freedom from distraction.

Tips for a Successful Work-At-Home Day

There are some simple steps that can be taken in order to enjoy a productive work-at-home day. The first is to set a schedule and stick to it. In order to have a stress-free day the work day should begin at the same time every day, focus on objectives, schedule breaks and plan ahead for any foreseeable variations to that schedule.

It is important to understand that children will be more accepting of schedule changes if they know they are coming and they know the game plan for the day. If breaks are normally taken at 2PM for homeschool or story time, be sure to discuss any changes in advance. For example, Jenna will be less agitated if she knows in the morning story time will have to wait until 2:30 and then is reminded of this again at lunch. By keeping them apprised of the situation children realize they are a priority and their special time has not been forgotten.

What Every Work-At-Home Mom Must Remember

Above all else, a work-at-home mother must make time for her own well-being and her own personal life as this will help to keep the stress factors to a minimum. Parents must remember to get a good night’s sleep each night, exercise each day, make time for themselves, say no to clients in unrealistic situations, and network. There are many groups designed specifically with networking for work-at-home moms in mind, they are a great resource for advice, support and even clientele.

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What Inspires You? Enter to Win a $25 Target Gift Card

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What Inspires You_

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by A&E’s “Born this Way.” All opinions in this post are my own.

 

Whether it’s seeing someone come through a major life struggle or something as simple as seeing a rainbow after a storm, there is inspiration all around us. Sometimes it comes in the form of a Facebook quote, sometimes it’s much deeper than that.

Every day, we are challenged to be the best we can be. Sometimes, though, I forget. Some days, I lose my cool. Some days, I’m too busy thinking about my own struggles. Some days, quite honestly, I’m too busy having fun and thinking about others is the farthest thing from my mind.

A few years ago, I was in New York City with my best friend, Melissa. Do you know how much I love NYC? Broadway, the food, the shopping!!!! I was so. incredibly. excited. as we were walking towards the garment district (hello, accessories!), and chatting it up with my friend.

On our way to NYC

 

If you’ve ever been in Manhattan, you know the hustle and bustle of the city. If you haven’t been, it’s exactly like it appears in movies and television. While the city is jam-packed with people, you pretty much keep to yourself. In fact, it’s kind of weird if someone smiles and says “hello.”

 

On our way to NYC 2

So, here I am, in my favorite city, on my way to do my favorite thing (shopping!) with one of my favorite people in the world and not really paying attention to anything or anyone else. We’re walking along, chatting it up and laughing and do you know what happened next???? My friend, Melissa, stopped walking and stopped talking because she noticed an elderly gentleman struggling to open the door to a CVS. And she stopped to help him.

We weren’t going into the CVS. But still, she took the time to help him. In this busy city, during our fun jaunt, she stopped to help someone else. This might not seem like the biggest gesture in the world but to me, it was. My jaw dropped (on the inside anyway). She didn’t open that door to feel good about herself. She didn’t open the door to receive the reward of acknowledgment. She just did it out of kindness. It was like second nature to her.

In that moment, I was reminded that there is more to life than, quite frankly, me. In that moment, I was reminded that the simplest act can have the biggest impact on someone else’s life. In that moment, I was reminded how great Melissa is and how much she genuinely cares for other people. In that moment, I was inspired to be more like her.

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Melissa has so many inspirational qualities by what I admire about her the most is how much she genuinely cares for others.

What Inspires You?

Have you ever had a moment like that? Where a small act done by someone else inspired you to be a better person?

Maybe your inspiration is watching your child learn to write or read? Or maybe it’s seeing how others overcome their challenges?

I’d love to hear your story! Please share it with me in the comments section below. If you do, I’ll enter you into a giveaway to win a $25 Target gift card (just be sure to complete the form too).

This giveaway is inspired by the heartwarming hit series BORN THIS WAY which premieres Season 2 next Tuesday, July 26 on A&E Network.

BORN THIS WAY chronicles the lives of a group of young adults born with Down syndrome as they pursue their passions while defying society’s expectations. The series also follows their parents who share their own journey of joy, sacrifice, and unconditional love.

Enter to Win!

Leave a comment, telling me what inspires you and fill out the form below.

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