{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."

{Yes, I Work and Homeschool!} Meet Caitlyn

Tell us about your work, Caitlyn.

I volunteer between 30 and 40 hours a week. For my paid work as a freelance writer, homeschool blogger, and transcriptionist, I average 10-20 hours a week.

Tell us why you homeschool.

We made the choice for a variety of reasons, but what it really boils down to is this: the public school system failed my husband and myself when we were children. Also, our children are gifted, and our local school system (like many others) comes up short serving that population.

What are some of the challenges you face balancing working while homeschooling? What are some of the delights?

Finding time for it all. Also, finances are an issue, especially since I spend more time per week at my unpaid volunteer position than I do at my actual paid employment.