{Yes, I Work and Homeschool} Meet Melanie

I can’t tell you how excited I am to introduce you to Melanie Mendez-Gonzales, a working homeschool mom and a fellow San Antonio resident. ~ Pamela

Tell us about the work you do. Is it paid or volunteer? Full-time, part-time, or seasonal? How many hours a week do you spend at work? 

I'm a full-time blogger on my own site QueMeansWhat.com. I'm also a freelance writer, social media consultant, and volunteer for my own college-prep non-profit organization as the program director. The amount of hours I work varies each week, but I do work from home. I work a minimum of 30 hours per week and up to 60 hours per week.

Tell us about why you chose to homeschool.

When my oldest was old enough for kindergarten, something just tugged at me that it wasn't his time to go. So, we chose to give homeschooling a try for at least one year. That was five years ago. Today, we appreciate the individualized education I can give both my boys, and we cherish all of our family time together. Selfishly, I'm honored that I get to witness so many learning moments with my kids, who are elementary aged. When they read something, at times, I think to myself, "I taught them how to do that." It still blows my mind. 

{Yes, I Work And Homeschool!} Meet Care

For this week’s parent profile, we’re going to work with a different format.

Since finding convenient ways to earn extra money is an issue for many homeschool parents, I interviewed someone who has been through the process of finding—and securing—a contract gig with one particular company that’s been receiving a lot of press of late.

My friend Care, whom I've known for years through the online homeschool community, found herself looking for extra money earlier this year.

"We ran into a situation where some of our income stopped in-coming. Our expenses didn't, and there weren't many extras at the time to cut. So we cut what we could and started looking for something that I could do, either opposite hours to my husband or from home," said Care, who lives in Canada with her husband and elementary-aged son.

Like a lot of homeschoolers, she briefly considered multi-level marketing ("MLM") endeavors. 

"Naturally, the first thing that people recommend when you're a stay-at-home mom is MLMs,” she said. “But I don't like sales. I never have. And the idea of a huge buy-in to start working was well out of range even if I loved sales."

After a series of false starts, Care's husband emailed her about VIPKID, an international education firm that offers online, American-style classes to Chinese children. 

"So I looked at it. It was an opportunity for part-time teaching. You must have a bachelor's degree, and at least one year's experience working with kids. With a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, yeah, this is right in my wheelhouse, I thought," she said. "But, teaching 1:1 in a flipped classroom, based on US Common Core to China?"

Hesitant to apply—and skeptical that she could make the promised $14 - 22 per hour from her living room as an independent contractor, Care set aside the idea. 

But not for long.

"A friend sent me a link. Her friend had been doing this teaching thing for awhile now, was making pretty good money, and loving the [money]. Did I want to look at it? Sure enough, right back to VIPKID. I crossed my fingers and clicked the link."