Friday

Homeschool Mom Superpower


Homeschool mama's have a superpower...or two...or three!

What's yours?

I think mine was multitasking.  I say 'was' because mine are graduated and nearly graduated.  YAY!!

(Feel free to copy and share this photo!)

Thursday

Turn Your Homeschool Experience into a Business - Guest Post by Carol Topp



Turn Your Homeschool Experience into a Business 
By Carol Topp
The most successful businesses spring from using the skills, talents, and experiences of the owner. Why not use your knowledge and understanding of homeschooling to create a business? It can be done! Here are some business ideas that use your experience as a homeschool parent, as well as tips from those who make their livelihood in the homeschool marketplace.
Tutoring
Many homeschool parents find they are qualified to become private tutors earning money from tutoring math, reading, or foreign languages. My friend, Cynthia, tutors Spanish to individuals and small groups of students. She has also has been hired to teach Spanish at several homeschool co-ops. Katie tutors online with Tutor.com in the evenings after her children are in bed. She could earn more with face-to-face tutoring, but the online model fits better with her schedule.
Editing 
Why not use all that grammar and punctuation you've been teaching your kids to good use. Offer your service as an editor to bloggers, novelists, and writers of all kinds. Mary Jo Tate raised her four sons on her income as an editor while homeschooling. To learn how she did it, read her book Flourish at Home available at FlourishAtHome.com. She explains, “I didn’t know much about running a business, but God providentially led me to some conferences for entrepreneurs where I began learning principles that could help me grow a home business while continuing to teach my children.”
Testing
If your state requires annual testing, then offering standardized testing, diagnostic testing, and even personality testing to homeschool families can be great sources of income. You may need training and a license to offer some tests, so do your research to see what it takes to be able to offer testing services.
Parenting Advice
Many homeschool parents need advice from experienced homeschoolers. You could consider sharing your wisdom by offering phone counseling or webinars. Hal and Melanie Young offer a five-session webinar called Boot Camp 9-12 for parents with pre-teen boys at RaisingRealMen.com. As parents of six sons (and two daughters), they offer helpful, practical advice and get paid for it! Melanie told me, “It's important to stop and ask yourself, “Is this something I would have paid for in my homeschool journey?” People won't pay for things they can easily get free, so you need to make sure that what you are planning to offer is marketable. Involve your family as much as you can in your business; that way it becomes “our family business” and not “Mom and Dad's business” that takes time away from the family.”

Homeschool Consultant
Lee Binz (TheHomeScholar.com) applies what she knows about homeschooling through high school in her consulting business. She offers her time to parents who need help with transcripts and college admissions. You could also convert your experience into a home-based business. By the way, Lee’s website and products are an excellent model of how to run an online business. Take a look and copy any of her ideas that fit your service and your style.
Learning Disability Specialist
Kathy Kuhl (LearnDifferently.com) is a specialist in learning disabilities. She consults with families who need help adapting their homeschool to a child’s learning challenges. She advises on planning, curriculum, support, withdrawal from school, and transition to high school level work, employment, and college. Kathy, advises, “Many people enter this field because they have a child with special needs. While your own experience is an asset, strengthen your usefulness and marketability with personal study and training. You may do this work out of love, but remember that your time is worth something. A wise woman—who had seen others burn out from years of giving their time away in this work—advised me to charge for my work. But I do some pro bono work every month.” 
Foreign Language Translation
If you can read, write, or speak a foreign language, you could be hired as a translator. Email and Skype has made translation easier to do from home. While Spanish is a popular language, Asian and Middle Eastern translators are more in demand and therefore pay better.  
Art Lessons
Art classes were always in demand at my homeschool co-op, and parents were frequently willing to pay an additional fee for art classes.   You can approach co-op leaders in your area and see if they will let you teach a class. Accept payments from parents to make the process easier for the co-op leaders. 
Music Lessons
If you play an instrument, consider teaching beginning students. Piano, guitar, and drum lessons seem to be the most popular. Offering lessons back-to-back for siblings or teaching music lessons at a local homeschool co-op is convenient for parents and makes the best use of your time, too.
Childcare 
You take care of your own children all day, so it may be possible to run a daycare from your home without too much additional work. Offering before and after school childcare would be a popular service in many neighborhoods or offer to be available on snow days and charge a premium price for the short notice!
Writer/Author
Many homeschool parents write their own curriculum because they couldn’t find what they needed. That’s what I did when I wrote the Micro Business for Teens series. It’s easier than ever to self-publish and distribute your curriculum to homeschool parents using services such as Amazon’s CreateSpace.com and CurrClick.com
Bookseller
Stroll through any homeschool convention hall and you’ll find homeschool families running bookstores like Jay and Maria Asplin who own JM Cremp’s: The Boys Adventure Store from their home in Minnesota and travel the country during homeschool convention season. Other booksellers stay home and run their stores completely online. 
Speaker
Popular speaker Heidi St. John of TheBusyMom.com speaks to huge crowds about homeschooling, parenting, and marriage. If you have a unique topic and an encouraging word, begin sharing your wisdom. You could start by doing radio interviews, podcasts, and local speaking engagements. Offer to be a guest on one of the homeschool podcasts in the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network
Homeschool Group Administrator
Some homeschool groups, especially co-ops, are so large and active that they hire an administrator to run their programs. The homeschool group may be a nonprofit, but it operates like a business and needs someone with administrative skills to keep the group flourishing. Be sure to brush up on the laws regarding employer taxes. Visit HomeschoolCPA.com [http://homeschoolcpa.com/] for details. 
Turn your homeschooling experience into a successful business. Most of these ideas can be run completely from home and are flexible enough to allow you to balance homeschooling and business. I hope the examples from other homeschool parents have inspired you. 
Tips to Get Started
1. Create a short business plan. Put it on paper. Writing things down seems to make us think more carefully. Include sections on the need for your product or service, who your customers are, how you will find them, your price, and the cost to get started. Then show your plan to several people, including current business owners and potential customers. Ask them for honest and helpful feedback.
2. Conduct a mini market survey. Ask three to five potential customers if they are interested in your services and what they would pay. Their feedback can help you set a price and determine what services to offer.
3. Consider how you will be unique. Ask yourself, “Why will a customer buy from me and not my competition?” Maybe you offer top quality, speedy service, or the cheapest price. Typically a business can offer two enticements to a customer, but not all three, so you can offer high quality quickly, but not inexpensively. 
4. Test your business idea by offering free services or products to a few initial customers. Ask for their feedback. If they give you positive feedback, ask their permission to use their comments in your marketing materials and on your website. 
5. Set up a website. Collect emails so you can communicate with interested visitors to your site. Offer some information such as a short ebook or a blog post series in return for an email. 
Carol Topp, CPA (www.HomeschoolCPA.com and www.MicroBusinessForTeens.com) operates a home-based accounting practice helping business startups and nonprofits. She is the author of Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out and the Micro Business for Teens series. Carol and her husband live in Cincinnati, Ohio and have two daughters, both homeschool graduates.

Copyright, 2015. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine, Fall 2015. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

Monday

Homeschool Moms Love This!

I am a homeschool mom who is also an entrepreneur.  I have a shop on Etsy and run a business from my home while I homeschool!  
I love it!


Customize any design with YOUR quote!






Homeschool MAMA necklace

I am a homeschool mom who is also an entrepreneur.  I have a shop on Etsy and run a business from my home while I homeschool!  I love it!

This is a necklace that I made for us "homeschool MAMA's"

We ♥LUV♥ homeschooling and sometimes we want to show that to the world!


Everything Beautiful Etsy Shop (link)





Made-by-Hand Education By Lindy Abbott

I am so excited to put this article on my blog considering I have my own Etsy business and I also homeschool! (Come visit me! Link at bottom of page.)  

I LOVE the ideas presented here so check it out:

Made-by-Hand Education 

By Lindy Abbott

“It’s better homemade,” is increasingly a sentiment many young homemakers, especially those aged 20 to 30, believe. Thankfully we still have our older generations who happily share their skills with those who are increasingly seeking lessons.

Several months ago it thrilled my heart to have my spiritual mother teach my daughter and me how to knit. As she sat between us on the sofa, she guided us between the giggles and missed stitches. We learned how to knit, and the time we shared together created a precious memory in our hearts. The benefit of knowing that a lot of love goes into a product makes it worth the extra time it takes to have something homemade.

 Teaching home economics is becoming more popular than it was in the 1980s. My generation, in the late 1970s, was probably among the last that was required to take home economic classes in high school. We learned to plan attractive, balanced meals one semester. I actually learned how to make a perfect chocolate meringue pie in a fully equipped kitchen. In the second semester, everyone had to sew a buttoned shirt and a skirt with a zipper. In yesteryear, schools considered these skills as important as academic classes. I think they still are today!

Most colleges still offer a major in home economics, but it has been renamed “human science.” My early childhood education degree was taught within the College of Human Science, along with degrees in nutrition, interior design, and textiles. Thankfully I was exposed to classes in each of these areas. As a homeschool parent you are blessed with the opportunity to teach your children valuable skills to be used in their home, and you can also encourage entrepreneurship.

The virtuous woman in Proverb 31 sold her goods to assist her family, and we can too. Teaching your children home economics naturally fits into homeschooling, and it is much easier to sell your items worldwide with several Internet sites like Etsy (www.etsy.com) and Artfire (www.artfire.com), which provide very easy-to-set-up shops. I have obtained permission from several shop owners to introduce you to their wares in this article, to give you insight into what others are making. I strongly encourage you to include your children when you plan activities and work together in designing unique, sellable items.

In my twenties, I learned that the Bible instructed women to be keepers of their home. Titus 2:3–5 charges older women to teach younger women to love their husbands and children and to be keepers at home. The Greek word oikourous, translated “keepers at home,” is derived from two Greek words. The first, oikos, means “a house, dwelling, a family or household.” The second, ouros, means “to be a keeper, watcher or guardian.” I simply love that women are called by God to be guardians of the affairs in the home! In 1 Timothy 5:14, Paul exhorts women to “guide the house,” using the verb oikodespotein for guide. Do you see despot in this Greek word? Yes, women are to rule the home in the sense of being wise, diligent managers running households efficiently. Sewing and cooking serve as the foundation of home economics, and individuals can use skills in these areas to produce numerous marketable items.

The Internet provides a wide variety of instructions related to creating quality homemade products with do-it-yourself videos, blogs, and websites. The hardest part may be trying to focus on only one or two projects at a time so that each can be thoroughly developed. Think about what types of products naturally appeal to you and your children, but also try a few things that you have always wanted to do but may have no experience with. I am looking into taking pottery classes this coming year, and after recently seeing all the beautiful pottery in artisan shops in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, I can’t wait to start. Visiting craft fairs and small specialty shops can be a good place to see what is selling.

Hopefully a few examples of online shop owners will spark your interest and inspire your family to create your own unique ideas:

• Kelli of Desert Soapstone started making soap about five years ago after the birth of her first child. She uses only natural oils in her soap. She confesses, “Olive oil and coconut oil are my favorites to work with . . . .” Her husband, an artistic architect, helps her decide on scents and designs. “I am mostly inspired by nature as far as design goes and color combos. There are a lot of amazing designs in nature,” explains Kelli. Excellent online sources about making soap include these: www.teachsoap.com and www.soapqueen.com. You can visit Kelli’s store at www.etsy.com/shop/desertsoapstone.

• Long before April thought of homeschooling, she had started her home business of sewing homemade items. “Time management is key . . . . I treat my business as a business and not a hobby,” shares April. “It takes a great amount of discipline to keep this business running, profitable, and fun!” April focuses on quality, and therefore her 11-year-old homeschooling son does not help her sew, but he helps with pricing and other aspects of business. I simply love the beautiful materials April has chosen for her products and the wide variety she offers. Her stand-alone website is www.forsheedesigns.com.

• Laurie has a shop called Gifts and Talents in which she sells items that are decoupaged. She says: “I started doing art before I could write. Even at 3 years old I was putting the smallest details into my drawings.” Recipe boxes, key hooks, and light switch plates are among the many items she decoupages, and all can be made to match your colors or patterns. You can find her beautiful array of items at www.etsy.com/shop/GiftsAndTalents.

Your home economics can include beading jewelry, card making, photography, collage art, mosaic tile, woodcrafts, costume design, candle making, creating soup or cookie mixes, and making fresh baked goods. Of course, home repair projects are always available and perfect for home economics lessons; if you have older children, you could complete a building project like making a bookshelf or a stone walkway.

Homeschool families can easily find ways to incorporate a home business into the school day. Today the tools and information to build an interesting course that might just result in a home business are at your fingertips, and maybe you will find a passion or talent you never knew was within.

Lindy Abbott is a passionate follower of Jesus with a strong understanding of the Biblical, Christian worldview. She is a certified teacher and a homeschool mom of three teens. From childhood, she discovered writing as her way to express what she felt and learned. Lindy is a published author, freelance writer, editor of a homeschool newsletter, and avid blogger. Read
her regular post at www.lindylou-abbott.blogspot.com.

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the September 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.


Come visit my Etsy shop!  
Jewelry by Janet Powers
Homeschool Mom
Entrepreneur
Pastor's Wife/Minister/Worship Leader 



Tuesday

School's...in! What are you looking forward to the most?


So, what are you most looking forward to this school year?  Is it a new curriculum?  Field trips?  Unschooling with no curriculum?

Leave a comment and let us know!




Monday

I Am a Lifelong Learner ~ Are You?

 Something I do OTHER than make jewelry: LEARN

One of my plans for today (other than getting some orders out) includes learning. I am a lifelong learner...homeschool mom... who is showing my kids how to be lifelong learners as well.

On the agenda for today is: The Power of The Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf. I've already watched part of this video. (Oh yeah, and I will watch it while I fold laundry! LOL)

Dr. Caroline Leaf is:
*An amazingly smart woman
*A Christian
*A scientist
*Interesting
*A captivating speaker
*A beautiful, amazingly smart woman!

This video isn't just for adults. I recommend it for teens as well. My 17 year old was enjoying it as well. She offers amazing insights that all can learn from.

Let me know if you decide to watch and learn!

The Power of The Brain




Wednesday

Printable Maps - Large World Maps, Country Maps

I found a GREAT resource!

This is from Owl &  Mouse at YourChildLearns.com Print Large Maps Homeschool

"Print maps large or small; from 1 page to almost 7 feet across; PC or Mac.  For classroom and student use.  MegaMaps requires Adobe Flash. Free online software - no downloading or installation."

You can even print mega maps! Super huge!  So big you can walk on them.


Check out my map!


Yes, I am a homeschool mama AND and entrepreneur.  
I run a business from my home.

A bunch of my international sales have been 
marked with a dot on this map.
It helps me to keep my vision of my jewelry 
going all over the world!!

Find my shop here:
Everything Beautiful





Friday

My fam team!

Son 1 the photographer / videographer 



Husband the preacher



Son 2 the... whatever hat he is wearing at the timer



My mom & me





Tuesday

Kitchen Lab: Edible Experiments and Other Mad Scientist Recipes ~ Guest Post By Tamara Christine Van Hooser



Kitchen Lab: Edible Experiments and Other Mad Scientist Recipes
By Tamara Christine Van Hooser

“Who—me? Teach science? You must be joking! I barely passed science when I was in school. I’m certainly not qualified to teach it now!” The prospect of teaching science brings to mind names such as Einstein, Newton, and Bernoulli, along with the complex equations and scientific theories they espouse. Thus, it is easy for a homeschool parent with no science degree to view science as a daunting challenge and to shy away from teaching science. It’s easy to become even more discouraged by the price tags found on numerous materials required for science experiments, especially if you have a limited budget.

The truth is that science is all around us, and it takes no special training, knowledge, or extra expense to introduce your elementary-aged children to basic scientific principles right in your very own kitchen with common household ingredients. As The Magic Schoolbus’s Miss Frizzle likes to say, the key to making science come alive for kids is to “take chances, make mistakes, get messy.” Conducting science in your kitchen lab is an excellent vehicle for tying in cross-curricular skills such as measurement, nutrition, responsibility, and following directions, as well as kitchen safety and the scientific process. Select recipe experiments that end in an edible treat to motivate your kids’ scientific curiosity, and reward the junior mad scientists for a project well done.

Homemade Root Beer
Combining root beer and science will be an instant hit for all root beer lovers.1 While many recipes call for ingredients that the average family does not have handy, a simple recipe of brewer’s yeast, root beer extract, sugar, and warm water is enough to teach kids about fermentation and carbonation.

Mix ¼ teaspoon yeast in a cup of warm water. Dissolve 1 pound of sugar in ½ gallon of water heated to 180 degrees F. Stir in 4 to 6 teaspoons of root beer extract and let cool.

Mix in the yeast solution and carefully pour the mixture into a plastic gallon-sized jug. Pour in enough warm water to fill the jug, leaving 2 inches empty at the top, and twist the lids on securely. Keep the bottles at room temperature for three to four days, and then refrigerate for an additional four to seven days.

For young children, a quick version of this experiment substitutes dry ice for yeast. Simply place the dry ice in the root beer liquid in an airtight container, such as a portable cooler. It should be carbonated and ready to drink in one to four hours. Add ice cream for a root beer float celebration, or hold a taste test to compare commercial brands to your homemade version.

Ziplock Ice Cream
For a completely scientific treat, make your own ice cream to go with your homemade root beer.2 In addition to being a tasty project, making ice cream is a good way to learn about freezing, melting, and changing states of matter. In a quart-size ziplock bag, mix ½ cup milk, ½ cup heavy cream, ¼ cup sugar, and ¼ teaspoon vanilla. Seal the bag securely and place it within a 1-gallon size ziplock bag filled with 2 cups of ice and ¾ cup rock salt.

Seal the gallon bag and let the child squeeze and shake the bag vigorously until the mixture thickens like ice cream. Spoon the ice cream into your float or a bowl, and enjoy your tasty treat. Optionally you may substitute other flavors for vanilla, such as adding mashed berries, chocolate syrup, peppermint extract, or food coloring for a colorful snack.


To finish reading click "read more."


Boiling Water Science Experiment ~ Our Homeschool

video



Brrrrrrrr.....!! Baby it's cold outside!

Here in Chicago-land it is -2* and with the windchill it is -22*.

Yesterday, my boys thought it would be great to do a science experiment that they found online.  The temp with windchill yesterday was -54* !!! No kidding!  We have NEVER experienced this before.  The boys were greatly intrigued to say the least.

Of course, a warning is issued because boiling water is involved.
WARNING! Children should NOT do this experiment without a parent or guardian!

Materials

You only need two things:
  • freshly boiled water
  • really cold outdoor temperature
Basically, you toss the boiling water into the air (NOT above anyone's head!!!!) and watch it turn into snow!

Why does it turn into snow? 

This is what Live Science has to say about it:
"When it's cold outside, there's hardly any water vapor present in the air, whereas boiling water emits vapor very readily that's why it's steaming," Seeley says. "When you throw the water up in the air, it breaks into much smaller droplets, so there's even more surface for water vapor to come off of.
"Now, cold air is very dense, and this makes its capacity to hold water vapor molecules very low. There's just fundamentally less space for the vapor molecules," Seeley explains. "So when you throw the boiling water up, suddenly the minus 22 air has more water vapor than it has room for. So the vapor precipitates out by clinging to microscopic particles in the air, such as sodium or calcium, and forming crystals. This is just what goes into the formation of snowflakes."


Here is Weather.com's version found on YouTube:







Let me know if you try it and link back so we can watch your experiment!

Copyright

Copyright © 2012 Janet Powers

The content (including photos) within this blog are not to be used without my permission.

You are welcome to post about this blog with links back to it, please take a moment to leave a comment and link back to where you did so, I'd love to see your blog or website!

If you would like to use a photo in a reference with a link to this blog, please contact me, and I'd be happy to have you do so with my permission. (Please do not use any photos that contain pictures of kids.)