Working and Schooling From Home? 4 Things You Should Know

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I remember the frustration well, wishing I could help with our family’s finances but wondering how I could even attempt that and continue my calling to educate my children at home. I felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. I tried researching ways to work from home but all I seemed to find was multi-level marketing gigs. {I have nothing against MLMs. In my former life (read life before children) I sold candles through an MLM. However, I learned that I am a lousy salesman. I would rather just give you something rather than try to convince you and twenty-five of your closest friends to buy it.} Eventually, the financial pressure won and I took an office job that paid well but came at a cost of neglecting my girls who were still schooling at home.

Thankfully that job didn’t last forever and God graciously provided another that afforded me the opportunity to work from home as a Social Media Manager. I loved being able to work on my laptop while sitting next to my daughter who was doing her schoolwork. Being able to answer her questions and to sit with her brought a peace to our school that we had been lacking. There was no longer a need to hurry through lessons.

As I look back, I realized that I’ve been working from home longer than I thought I had. I’ve dabbled in self-publishing, speaking, freelance writing, crafting, and blogging. All combined, these years of working and schooling from home have sharpened my sense of who I am and what I am capable of doing. Equally, I’ve learned who I am not and what things are beyond my abilities.

In all of life, there are lessons to be learned. I’m grateful my working and schooling from home journey has taught me four things that make working and schooling from home doable.

KNOW YOURSELF

The other day, my daughter-in-law sent me this quote “you can only do so many things completely for the glory of God.” She knows me well! I am still learning to know myself. So much of life is intriguing to me and I want to try it all. However, I am not gifted in all areas.

This winter brought this lesson home to me in a very real way. I have friends who teach for VIPKid. It’s a great company and I began the process of applying for a position. I had a fantastic mentor guiding me through the process and by all accounts, it should have been a good thing. On the night before my mock class, I was a hot mess! I had lost sleep, prepped a total of 11 hours, and made more than one trip to the Dollar Store. In a brief moment of clarity, I thought, “What am I doing?! I am not a classroom teacher!” I canceled my mock class, communicated my regret to my mentor, and slept like a baby that night.

Teaching English to Chinese students is a noble occupation and there are many who do it remarkably well.  I am not one of those many and it is okay.

KNOW YOUR SEASON

Every season of life comes with its own challenges. When you are a homeschooling momma of little people, the challenge comes in recognizing who you are under the yoga pants and ponytail. When you are a mom of teens, moments when you are not the family taxi driver are few and far between. And, when you are a mom of an empty nest, you wonder if your very identity just walked out the door.

I’m convinced that each season has its own pros and cons. A few snippets of time here and there were all I had for writing ten years ago. However, it was enough. Now, in this almost empty nest season of my life, I have more time for speaking and writing but I have less time with my kids.

Recognizing my season of life has helped me narrow down how I want to spend my time working from home.

KNOW YOUR SITUATION

This goes hand-in-hand with know your season. Your situation is where you are living right now. Does your situation allow you to branch out and try something new? Does your position in life today allow for you to spend a little cash on a new computer or do you need to work with what you have? Can you pay for ongoing training events or do you need to look for free education online? By knowing your unique situation in life, you can better determine how to move forward.

KNOW YOUR SAVIOR

I don’t know about yours, but my God is a big, big God who does great and mighty things every single day. He doesn’t waiver or change. Unlike me, He is faithful day in and day out. I am the one who waffles back and forth on things. By putting my faith and trust in my Creator, I can rest knowing He has a plan for me. He often brings me back to this: You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail. Proverbs 19:21(NLT)

My life has been a journey of discovering just how my Savior is. He continues to show Himself to me in the tiniest details and the biggest miracles. Knowing Who He is allows me to trust Him to provide the perfect opportunities to use the gifts and abilities He has gifted me. Often He surprises me.

Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)

 

Knowing myself, my season, my situation, and my Savior have freed me from that stuck place. I have the freedom to try new work from home ideas because I know the parameters of where I work best. I can choose work from home opportunities that fit me and my homeschooling best.

 

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