Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Income Ideas - A.C.T.

Today is another installment of Income Idea Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Because there are many homeschoolers that want to add money to their budget without going out and working a 40-hour-a-week job, I am featuring different types of businesses that can be done to help you make more money and interviewing the people who are working the business.

Even if you only make a few hundred extra dollars a month, that can pay for books, field trips, vacations, and a whole lot more.

Working from home is also great because you don't have to spend gas money on a daily commute!

That all being said, I now take you to our next interview:

Tell about yourself and your family.

Hi, I am Sheri Johnson. My husband and I both work from home full time. We have been married for about 5 1/2 years. We have children from previous marriages and we have a 4 yr old daughter together. I have been home full time since a few days before we got married. I decided I wanted to work from home right away and even though at times I wasn't sure what I was going to do, I am glad I stuck it out and took time to figure out how I could make that work.
What is your business?
My home based business is with a healthy energy drink company called DrinkACT. I have been with them for about 2 years.

Why did you start your business?

I wasn't looking for another source of income when I learned about A.C.T. That is the name of the energy drink. I received a sample of the product and felt compelled to look into the product and the business because I know energy drinks are a HOT business, all you have to do is look around and you can see it is a new beverage category. I decided from the very beginning I wanted to be a leader with this company. I also took my previous 20 yrs of experience in home based businesses to make this decision.

What are some things you love about your business?

I think the thing I love the most of about this business is how simple it is. Anyone with the right mindset and people skills can make as much as they want with this one. I am also thrilled with the company leadership as well as upline and crossline leaders in the field, we all work together to help each other.

Are the kids involved? If so, how?

At this time, my little one isn't old enough to help me with my business, but I know as she gets older she will help. Last week she was offering to help me count the drinks as I was getting an order ready for a local customer.

Do you work strictly from home or do you do parties?

I do work strictly from home on this one. I don't really get into doing parties, but it can be done with this business. It's so flexible that you can promote it pretty much however you want to. If someone wanted to do a party, I would do it in a heart beat and since I have done party type businesses before I am sure it would be great.

How can someone learn more about your business?

To learn more about DrinkACT, go to www.GlobalSuccessMentor.com which is my site or to www.GotEnergyDrink.com which is my company site. I can be contacted through either site for more information such as upcoming conference calls that we hold 5 days a week.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Order your curriculum early!

For most homeschoolers in June, school is the last thing on their minds. They are taking a well-deserved break and enjoying some free time with the kiddos.

However, consider ordering your homeschool curricula in June or early July in order to save some headaches and delays. Why:
  • Companies are less busy, so your order will be shipped out quicker and will get to to you sooner.
  • Many companies offer an "early bird special" for those who order in June. The savings from these specials can be quite substantial. Free shipping is also common if you order early.
  • You can rest easier knowing that you have everything you need.

Some planning is involved for ordering early, but it is well worth it in the long run!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Income Idea - Taste of Home Entertaining

Since I had so many repsonses to the new Income Idea Tuesdays, we are going to have Income Idea Tuesdays and Thursdays for a while! LOL

I know lots of homeschoolers look for ways to make extra income. It is my hope that these interviews will help you find ways to do so.


Shay: Tell about yourself and your family.

Renee: I’m a 38-year-old WAHM, happily married to my college sweetheart. We met the last quarter of college in an Instructional Technology class at Georgia Southern (We were both studying to be high school teachers—he in social studies and me in English). We’ve been married for fifteen years and are the proud parents of two beautiful (and lively) little boys, 10 and 5.

Shay: What is your business?

Renee: For fourteen years, I taught high school English . . . I was passionate about my job and I genuinely loved my students—in fact, I didn’t think I could ever find a more rewarding profession in which to work. Unfortunately, with each passing year, the after-hours responsibilities became so time-consuming that I began spending more and more time away from my family (planning lessons, grading papers, mentoring new teachers, leading team meetings, etc.) . . . I didn’t realize what an impact it had made on my children until my eldest “forgot” to tell me about his Thanksgiving lunch at school—when I asked him about it and why he didn’t invite his parents, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “But, mom, you and dad would have had to miss work and eating with me isn’t nearly as important as what you do everyday at school.” I have to tell you, it broke my heart (and opened my eyes)—I decided then that I wasn’t going to miss another school event!

At the end of that year, I quit my teaching job and decided to look for one with more flexibility—a friend of mine, a stay-at-home-mom with small children, recommended that I look at direct sales . . . after researching home party plans, I stumbled upon a new company called Taste of Home Entertaining. As soon as I saw the product line, I contacted the corporate office and within two weeks, I had joined the company as an independent consultant. Now I’m a director with a growing nation-wide team, and I am passionate about helping other women find alternatives to working away from their families.

Shay: What are some things you love about your business?

Renee: I love everything about my job—from the products I can buy at a discounted rate and the wonderful friends I have made to the vacations I have earned for my family and the home-based business tax deductions, (I’ll stop listing them now; I could go on forever!) . . . I especially love the flexibility that being an independent consultant offers—because you set your own hours, you work when you want to. In the year and a half that I have been doing this, I haven’t missed a single school event for either child and THAT is priceless to me.

Shay: Are the kids involved? If so, how?

Renee: The boys LOVE to help—my youngest is an expert catalog stamper and my eldest helps me assemble hostess packets. When I was working to earn the Disney Trip for our family, the boys volunteered for all kinds of household chores so I could work more parties!

Shay: Do you work strictly from home or do you do parties?

Renee: While the children are at school, I spend two hours each day working my business—I respond to emails, make phone calls, run errands, etc. Because most of my sales come from home parties—I schedule three – five parties a month. When I'm not out partying, I devote my evenings and weekends to my family.

Shay: How can someone learn more about your business?

Renee: They can visit my website at www.rhickman.TOHE.com or email me directly at rhickmanathome@bellsouth.net . I’d be delighted to share the products and/or the opportunity with those who are interested!
Thank you for sharing, Renee!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Teaching Math and Science

This question is asked of me quite a bit, so I think it is worth repeating.

How do you teach math and science if they are not your "thing"? (Or any subject, for that matter.)

I am comfortable teaching math and science. They don't scare me. I majored in Chemistry in college, so science is not a big deal; however, it is for some parents.

The answer to teaching a subject you are not comfortable with is easy. There are SO many options for homeschooling parents these days!

Here are a few ideas:
  • DVD's - These are simply a teacher in the classroom recorded on DVD's and the student watches the DVD's. Most of these programs have live teacher help also available.
  • Online classes - These are available through online private schools and also through community colleges (if the student is old enough). Some community colleges now offer "dual credits" - students earn college credit while also earning high school credits.
  • Co-op teaching - I am great in math and science, but I cannot even sew on a button. The parents in my homeschooling group will tutor each other's children if there is a need. I tutor in math and science; someone else helps my kids with other things.
  • Learn them yourself - Some parents dig right in with the kids and find that age helps make learning things a little easier!

Whatever your method, rest assured that there is plenty of help avainalbe in order to teach your child.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Income Idea - Usborne Books

The next installment of a new feature - Income Idea Tuesdays!


Shay: Tell about yourself and your family.

Dawn: I live in Illinois with my husband of almost 12 years, Mike, and our two daughters, Katelyn 6, and Megan 4. I love being able to stay at home with them!

Shay: What is your business?

Dawn: I am an educational consultant and supervisor for Usborne Books at Home. We carry over 1400 award-winning, beautifully illustrated, edcuational and fun books for ages infant to young adult.

Shay: Why did you start your business?

Dawn: I had been looking for something to do for extra income, and when I found Usborne Books- I fell in love with the attention to detail, the illustrations, and the variety. I wanted all the books in the catalog- so thought I might as well become a consultant and get the discount! I have been with Usborne 3 1/2 years- and love that I have a great income, amazing books for my kids, and get to help families, schools and organizations get the best books for the children in their lives.

Shay: What are some things you love about your business?

Dawn: It is flexible, there are no sales quotas for consultants, I now have an awesome in-home library for my kids! Plus- the perks are outstanding. I just got back from an Alaskan cruise for 2, and last year went to Paris- all earned from Usborne for FREE! :) Plus- our start up kits are inexpensive- often under 50.00!!

Shay: Are the kids involved? If so, how?

Dawn: YES! They are my "testers" When new books/kid kits come out- they read/ do them- and give me feedback. They will help me at booth events, sticker books, and really are part of the business.

Shay: Do you work strictly from home or do you do parties?

Dawn: I do quite a bit from home - but what is nice is that you have the choice of how to run your business, so I also do home shows, school book fairs, reading programs, fundraisers, etc, as well as work with libraries and corporations- so the possiblities really are endless!

Shay: How can someone learn more about your business?

Dawn: For more information please contact me:
Dawn Berkley
Usborne Books at Home Supervisor
Email: dawnberkley@sbcglobal.net
Toll free: 888-202-BOOK (2665)
Website: www.ReadingCanBeFun.com


Thank you, Dawn, for sharing with us on this blog!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Quilts for Kids

My friend Donna is doing some great things for this organization. Here is what she says about it:

"Basically, what we do is make quilts for sick children in hospitals. Quilts for Kids (www.quiltsforkids.com) makes these quilts and donates them to children in the hospitals with life threatening illnesses such as Cystic Fibrosis, Cancer, AIDS, as well as abused & neglected kids. We do what we can to raise money. All of the fabric is provided for those that volunteer to make quilts. It is such an awesome non-profit group! We also make wheel chair bags and bed bags for these kids. These quilts are quilted by machine so that the kids in the hospitals can hold on to them during procedures and they hold up really well when washed repeatedly. The quilts and things that these kids have in the hospital are washed repeatedly with the industrial machines that the hospital use to try to keep them germ free or as germ free as possible."

This is a great organization to volunteer for. If you can quilt, I would encourage you to contact them about helping out or donating.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"I have heard that you homeschool...."

In the last week since public school has been out, I have had 3 different families ask me about homeschooling.

The conversation always starts the same way: "You homeschool, right? I heard from ______ that you are homeschooling...." They then ask the usual questions:
  • "Is it hard?"
  • "How do you do it?"
  • "How do you teach math/science?"
  • "How do you get started?"
  • "Was it hard to adjust?"
  • "Do you like it?"

My answers?

  • "No, it isn't hard. It's not the easiest thing I have ever done, but it is not hard."
  • "I just do it. I made the decision to homeschool and made a commitment to homeschool for one year. If we didn't like it, we would go to private school. We love it."
  • "I started as a Chemistry major in college. Math and science are easy for me; HOWEVER, there are so many resources available to teach math and science that even if you are terrible in these subjects, you can teach them. There are online classes, DVD's, software and so many other options."
  • "Read all you can about homeschooling. Go to http://www.hslda.org/ and find out the legal requirements for your state. Then do what you need to do legally to start. Then just choose a curriculum."
  • "It wasn't really har for us to adjust. We had a very calm school year. (That's not saying every day is flowers and sunshine!) But it has been an easy transition."
  • "We love it. We would never do anything else. My youngest (who is now 3) will never set foot in a public school (or a private one, for tha matter)."

Homescooling is becoming an option for many parents. They are sick and tired of what the public schools have to offer.

I encourage you to explore homeschooling as an option!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Income Ideas - Alicia Bodine

Since many homeschoolers look for ways to make extra money, I will be starting a new feature: Income Ideas.

Here is the first of the series:

I would like to give my thanks to Alicia for being the first to offer her story for Income Ideas.

If you would like to share an idea you have, please email me (Shay) at shaysotheremail@gmail.com.

Shay: Tell me a bit about you and your family.

Alicia: I am a single stay at home, work at home Mom. I have a beautiful blonde 8 year old who is super smart. I currently home school her and she is doing 3rd grade work since she started Kindergarten at the age of 4. I also have a beautiful brown haired 6 year old who has Angelman Syndrome. She attends my local special services school where she can get lots of therapy. I love the school and they take good care of her. She has to visit the nurse daily to keep and eye on her temperature. She also has epilepsy which almost all Angelman children do. She smiles all the time so it is easy for people to fall in love with her. My ex-husband left when the girls were 2 and 8 months old and that was when I was finding out what was wrong with my little one. She sometimes spends two weeks out of each month home sick and there is just no way I could work outside of the home. That is why I turned to the Internet.

Shay: How long have you been home schooling?

Alicia: I have to say I began home schooling since my oldest daughter was born. By the time she was one she knew 50 words. When she was 4 I sent her to my church's Kindergarten which she passed with flying colors. I then proceeded to home school her for 1st and 2nd grade. This year I thought I would give the local Christian School a try, but I hated it. She did the first 2 marking periods there and then I took her out. She received honor roll both times which just proved that I had done a good job at home. I know now that I will be home schooling her until she head off to college.

Shay: What is your business? Tell us about it.

Alicia: I currently run a website called Legitimate Home Based Businesses. I had spent so much time searching for legitimate businesses online and found mostly scams. As I learned how to tell the difference and did my research on each company I decided to add them to my website so that other Moms didn't have to waste time getting started with a business online. I also have a blog for 100% Free to Work at Home jobs and business opportunities. I like doing and getting freebies on the side which is how that blog got started.

Shay: Are the kids involved?

Alicia: My oldest daughter is involved in one of the businesses I do. It's called My Power Mall. She has her own store as they allow any age. She likes to hand out her business cards.

Shay: How do you work your business around homeschooling?

Alicia: When I get up in the morning I check my emails. Then I get my little one ready for her bus which comes around 8:20am. Sometimes I can get an article done before the bus comes, but it depends how early I got up. Then my older daughter and I do a little straightening up. We start school about 8:50 am. When we get to a subject she has to do independently I come over to the computer and get a little advertising done. We usually finish up about 12:30 if all goes well. My youngest gets home around 2:30 so that gives me 2 hours to work while my older one does an art project or plays in her room. I pay attention to my kids through to dinner and then sometimes after dinner they watch some cartoons and I get a little more work done. It really depends if we have church that night or not. So I basically work around my kids and their schedules. I work on Saturday and sometimes if I get a chance on Sunday too. After church of course.

Shay: How can someone learn more about your business?

Alicia: You can visit my website: http://www.homebusinessesthatprofit.com/ or my blog http://workingfree.blogspot.com/. You can email me at bodine_Alicia@yahoo.com anytime if you have questions or need help with anything. I am also on Yahoo IM and my ID is MomofAngelGirl.

Shay: Thank you so much for sharing, Alicia!!

Rod and Staff publishing

Just a mention I want to make.

Rod and Staff has an excellent curriculum, and their prices are quite reasonable.

They are truly a no-frills curriculum. You don't find full-color cartoon characters in their books! (Hahaha) They are very basic in their publications.

However, if you want a good solid foundation for English and Math (I have not seen the other subjects), then this is for you.

Learn more at www.rodandstaffbooks.com.

Homeschool costs

I would love to hear how much other homeschoolers are paying for their curricula!

Please feel free to share your moneysaving tips, etc., too!

Choosing a curriculum

Now that you have made the decision to homeschool, you need to choose a curriculum.

There are several approaches to teaching:
  1. "Unschooling" - This approach does not use textbooks. The philosophy is more of a "life teaching" system. I am not a big fan of this approach, but you can find out more by Googling "unschooling".
  2. Unit Studies - This system uses a particular theme to teach all subjects (not including Math). For example, you might study Japan for 2-3 weeks. In studying Japan, you can study Literature (through suggested books), science (Japan has lots of volcanoes and earthquakes), Geography, writing, etc. Then you move to another subject.
  3. Traditional School-at-Home - This is popular for new homeschoolers because it gives you a guide to follow. Most places offer a "boxed set" - everything you need for the particular grade. This is very convenient for parents and comforting to new homeschoolers.

A fantastic resource for curricula reviews is www.homeschoolreviews.com. This is a great place to get reviews on curricula you are thinking of buying, or you can browse around and find new ones you have never heard of. This site has saved me a lot of money. :o)

Another great tresource is veteran homeschoolers. They will happily tell you what they have liked and disliked! They might even have books and resources they will give you or let you borrow.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Making the decision to homeschool

For most families, school is ending for the year and will start up again in August.

Some parents are breathing a sigh of relief that the year is finally over and are now wondering if they should homeschool next year.

There are so many factors in this decision, but here are some of the highlights to consider:
  • Figure in the cost of that "free" public school you go to. Include school supplies, lunch money, field trips, gas to and from, school clothes/uniforms, etc. We made the decision to homeschool when gas was *only* (choke) around $2 a gallon - now that it is nearing $4 a gallon, we are very thankful we made the decision when we did! Also, with 3 kids in school, $2 - $5 here and there (for each) really adds up. Counting Book Fairs, fundraisers we bought from 2-3 times per year, per child, etc., etc. Count up ALL of the costs of school.
  • School supplies. I put this as an item all by itself because I think it meeds to be brought out. Parents now are being asked to supply items for the entire class and the teachers, not just their own children. Rolls of paper towels, bottles of hand sanitizer, 3-4 packs of pencils, 3-4 packs of pens, dry-erase markers, etc. By the time I bought school supplies for 2 kids, I spent almost as much as I did for one kid to have everything for homeschool! Paying for one bookbag cost as much as 2-3 homeschooling books! Saving money for the school supplies alone almost paid for our homeschooling.
  • Time spent with the kids. This is the best part, in my opinion.
  • Better education. Homeschoolers have a better education than their public school counterparts. For hard data, visit www.hslda.org and there are resources and studies to support this statement.

Now is the time to make the decision and get your paperwork in order!

August is closer than you think! ;)