How to Homeschool and Work as a Copywriter

Homeschooled child

Last week, career blogger Penelope Trunk posted 4 tips for working and homeschooling. I didn’t find her tips particularly helpful, and I know many homeschooling moms who would be put off by her writing style, which tends towards ‘oversharing.’ For the last two years, I’ve been homeschooling, working at least 12 hours a week, and making a decent income while being a full-time mother to my five kids. How do I do it?

1. I work at odd hours.  I get up at 6:30 and do a bit of work before the kids wake up and want food. I work in the evening, after my husband comes home from work. If I get unexpected quiet time in the middle of the day, I fix myself a cup of coffee, sit down at the computer, and work.

2. I remain interruptible. One of the wonderful things about my business is that clients pay me based on my results, not based on the time I spend in a chair. That means I can interweave kids and work throughout the day. One minute,I can be immersed in a press release about a factory’s new client, the next I can break up a fight about sharing the red legos. I can also take my work with me as I complete mindless chores. I’m not just sorting laundry, I’m also composing a blog post.

3. I avoid business calls. Occasionally, I have to take a call with a client. These calls are fraught with peril, as I try to find a quiet place in the house. My kids aren’t badly behaved, but their games are often very loud. As a result, I use email for most of my business communications. I enjoy writing more than I enjoy talking, and when you’re typing no one can hear the screams of the aliens who’ve just been slaughtered by the space pirates.

4. We all write together. My first grader and my third grader have to write every day. They also have worksheets and quiet reading time. I’ve set up my laptop in the school room. When they’re working quietly, I work quietly too. It’s almost like being in a traditional office, but with more questions about fractions.

I’ve discovered that copywriting is one of those careers that lends itself to homeschooling and working from home. That, at least, is one point on which Penelope Trunk and I can agree.