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.
What are some of the challenges you face balancing working while homeschooling? What are some of the delights?
One major challenge is that 'it' never stops. If I'm not teaching, I'm planning, or working or cooking or cleaning. Another challenge is that teaching my kids when mommy is working and not available to them. As time has passed, they have learned when I need to close the door to take a work phone call or to sit and write.
The biggest delight is that I can include my kids in my work. My son and I just returned from a social media conference that we both attended because there was a track for kids his age. He was able to learn more about what I do and how he can do it, too. It was both working and homeschooling at its best.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received about homeschooling? What are your favorite homeschool resources?
The best piece of advice I've ever received is that homeschooling doesn't have to look like school at home. That came in handy five years ago when I found myself, and my son, in tears at the end of the day because I was forcing him to sit at a desk for 7 hours. We don't 'do school' like that any more.
With regard to my favorite homeschool resources, they include PBS LearningMedia website, our local children's museums, and our local city parks.
What's your best advice or tip for someone who wants to work and homeschool?
It's not going to look how you think it is and that's okay. Give it your best shot and find your groove. That groove will change and, again, that's okay. Oh, and ask for help.
Thanks, Melanie! Readers, you can learn more about Melanie and her work through her website and social media accounts (Instagram | Facebook | Twitter)