Two things you should know:
1. God has been leading me toward a home-based business.
2. I'm a TERRIBLE non-fiction reader.
Before our boys were born, I had a small business in a field related to my career at the time (computer training). After our first son was born, I lost all interest in being an entrepreneur. For the most part, I have remained strictly a homemaker since then. It has been a very quick 12+ years cooking, cleaning, and educating two yound minds. I really wasn't looking to do anything outside of the home to earn money. My husband always said that I was "busy enough" and didn't need to take a part-time job or seek other ways to bring money into the family. Then a few weeks ago, a girlfriend and I took a course on how to take old sweaters apart for the yarn. As I was taking the class my mind was filled with ideas about a recycled yarn shop on-line. I began to wonder if God wasn't using something I'm passionate about, knit and crochet, to spur me on to business.
THEN I received a copy of "HomeWork: Juggling Home, Work, and School Without Losing Your Balance" an e-book by TOS. Ugh...non-fiction! Remember point number 2? I'm a terrible non-fiction reader. I usually think I want to read something to learn more about a subject, but then I get a few chapters into the book and I never finish! I just can't keep my concentration on non-fiction. But, I printed a copy of the book and dove into it.
My first thought, "This isn't your typical non-fiction!" HomeWork is a series of testimonies given by homeschooling mother's who also run home businesses. Each mom's story is 3-9 pages long. If you, like me, have a problem concentrating, this book will not be a problem. You can read one mom's story at a time, or you can read an entire section. Each story was so interesting that I found myself reading entire sections at a time!
The book is broken down into the following sections:
HomeWork: A Labor of Love
HomeWork: Computer Based
HoweWork: Creative Writing
HomeWork: Business Support
HomeWork: Tricks of the Trade
Although I was familiar with two of the contributing mom's, (Martha Greene wrote the prologue and I am familiar with Rebekah Wilson's "Hope Chest Legacy" as well as Jill Novak's products on writing and nature journalling) most of the mom's were unknown to me. Their stories covered many areas of home business. Some worked for others out of their homes. Some supported other businesses out of their homes. Some had started their own businesses and some were contractors for other businesses. Each story was unique and presented me with a different aspect of home-based business to consider.
Another thing that I loved was their perspectives on home schooling while conducting a home-based business. Most, but not all, of the authors considered their businesses to be a family outreach. Their children were involved in the business even it if was to help with shipping product or answer the phones. Running the business is an extention of homeschooling for most of the families represented in this book. But they also talked about their homeschool days and how they do manage to get homeschooling, home-based business, and home making into one day. If you enjoy reading those articles in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine where a family tells about one of their homeschooling days, you will enjoy HomeWork. It is 16 stories from moms just like you and I. They tell us how they get through their days and do as much as God has lead them to do. Please note, I did not say they "do it all." They don't. And they told me, in the pages of "HomeWork", why they don't do it all and how they manage to do ANYTHING at all. It was a great read and very interesting.
I want to leave you with my favorite quote from "HomeWork: Juggling Home, Work, and School Without Losing Your Balance" This was in the Creative Writing section of the book. One of the four articles in this section was by Jill Novak of Remembrance press. She wrote:
"What are you passionate about? Is there something that you just have to share with others or you'll burst? What creative discoveries or time-saving methods have you made while homeschooling your children that could help other homeschool parents on their journey? Those are the kinds of questions you should ask yourself if you are thinking of writing a book or publishing any kind of homeschool curriculum. Your products should be an outflow of the work that the Lord is doing in your life and the lives of your family members."
If you want to hear the stories, advice, pitfalls, and triumphs of homemaking, homeschooling, home working moms, get a copy of "HomeWork" today.