Why Combining Homeschooling and Freelancing Isn’t Crazy

Yes, it is possible. No, you’re not crazy. Well, maybe a little.

Some people will think you’re crazy for freelancing. Others will think you’re crazy for homeschooling. And after the pandemic, what if you double down on the cray-cray and CHOOSE to do both?!?! Welcome to the Dark Side!

Whenever I’m at a business function or interpreting out in the community, the reaction to learning that I homeschooled my kids for 11 years is always the same: “You homeschool?!?!” “I could never do that!” Well, I’m happy to report that homeschooling and freelancing actually play very well together. Here’s why:

Freelancing can help pay for homeschooling

Earning freelance income can actually finance your ability to homeschool. Many households require two incomes to function, leaving parents with two choices: either they survive on one income, or both parents work and homeschooling remains a dream. Freelancing actually opened the way for our family to thrive, because we can live off both incomes without sacrificing a personalized education for our children. Helping people communicate is a well-paid essential role and if you freelance, you can contribute to or sustain the family finances.

Mix-and-match school and work schedules

You can work your freelance translation and interpretation assignments around your children’s learning or activity schedule. As your own boss, you can decide to work on the translation at the table while you’re supervising math drills, or waiting at soccer practice. You can interpret while they’re doing their independent reading or are in an online class. And since a lot of language services are location-independent, you can work on the road (or on the plane, or abroad). But not at the beach. Too much sand and glare. Trust me!

Sharpen your skills by teaching your kids

Teaching Language Arts in both languages will make you a better translator. Since you are your child’s living dictionary, you’ll acquire a lot of vocabulary. Your editing skills will improve as you explain the whys and why-nots of grammar and composition. Providing a bilingual homeschool environment beyond Language Arts, where they are exposed to content areas (Science, Math, Social Studies) in both languages, will ensure that they are functional in both languages.

Be more than “just a mom”

  • I LOVE being a mom. But I also really enjoy working on non-kid stuff. As a translator, I get to read, learn and write about clinical trials, corporate social responsibility, and even translate TV scripts!
  • Learning that “Mommy’s working right now” teaches kids that they are very important, but they’re not your only priority. As they grow, it is healthy for them to see that you have work, commitments and interests beyond meeting their every need.
  • Our society values earners. (You are raising bright and caring members of the community, but you won’t get paid for that.) It’s important to develop a professional identity beyond “Sweetie’s Mom” and be valued not only as a mother, but also for your contributions to society. Helping people communicate is essential work, and it’s well-paid.

Model lifelong learning

Your kids will be proud of you! I always talk about the types of projects I’m working on with my kids. If I’m proofreading client work, we’ll talk about how important it is to review our work before sharing it with others. When I translate TV scripts, we’ll watch the show together six months down the road when it’s streaming. If I’m invoicing a client, we’ll talk about how to calculate tax. Sometimes, we’ll take a course or learn a new skill together. That’s the beauty of homeschooling. When I finish a new course or earn a new certification, I’m modeling lifelong learning that they can practice too.

You’re not crazy for thinking that you can combine homeschooling and freelancing. Yes, it does take planning, but the flexibility you gain is unmatched. You have the freedom to travel and be location-independent, develop a professional identity and earn money in a creative and respected profession. At the same time, you can take charge of your children’s education and model life-long learning and entrepreneurship. You just need a plan. I can help you with that!

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