By Carol Topp, CPA
If you are a homeschool parent, have you ever considered starting a business using what you’ve learned by homeschooling? There are many reasons to start a home-based business including spending more time with your children. Here are some home based business ideas that use your experience as a homeschool parent.
Home Based Business Ideas
- Private Tutoring
Many homeschool parents find they are qualified to become private tutors earning money from tutoring math, reading, or foreign languages. My friend Cynthia tutors Spanish to individuals and small groups of students. She has also been hired to teach Spanish at several homeschool co-ops. Katie tutors online with Tutor.com in the evenings after her children are in bed. She could earn more with face-to-face tutoring, but the online model fits better with her schedule.
- Editing Blogs and Books
Put all that grammar you’ve been teaching your kids to use. Offer your service as an editor to bloggers, novelists, and writers of all kinds. You can pick up a copy of the AP Style Manual or Chicago Manual of Style (either hard copy or an online subscription) to become familiar with the two most common publication standards. Find customers by visiting Facebook and LinkedIn groups for authors and Craig’s List.
You can also put those writing skills to use starting your own blog or website. You will need a website hosting and I recommend you use WordPress to build your site. WordPress is free and has lots of features. There are tons of tutorials so you can start your site in a flash. Go with a highly reputable hosting provider like WPEngine. Their Startup Plan – Annual is a good value. They set up WordPress for you and have great support.
Some parents need an ear to listen and sage advice from someone older and wiser. You could consider offering phone counseling or webinars. Hal and Melanie Young offer a five-session webinar called Boot Camp 9-12 for parents with pre-teen boys at RaisingRealMen.com/bootcamp. As parents of six sons (and two daughters), they offer helpful, practical advice, and get paid for it!
Offering standardized testing, diagnostic testing, and even personality testing to homeschool families can be great sources of revenue. You may need training and a license to offer some tests, so do your research to see what it takes to be able to offer testing services.
- Learning Disability Specialist
Kathy Kuhl of LearnDifferently.com is a specialist in learning disabilities gained from her education and her homeschool experience. She consults with families who need help adapting their homeschool to a child’s learning challenges. She advises on planning, curriculum, support, withdrawal from school, and transition to high school level work, employment, and college. If you have experience in helping special needs students, it could become a viable business.
- Homeschool Consultant
Lee Binz, of TheHomeScholar.com, has kept very busy applying what she knows about homeschooling through high school in her consulting business. She offers her time to parents who need help with transcripts and college admissions. You could also convert your experience into a home-based business.
- Foreign Language Translation
If you can read, write, or speak a foreign language, you could be hired as a translator. Email and Skype have been making translation easier to do from home. While Spanish is a popular language, Asian and Middle Eastern translators are more in demand and therefore receive better pay.
- Teach Art Lessons
Art classes were always in demand at my homeschool co-op and parents were frequently willing to pay an additional fee for art classes.
- In-Home Childcare
You take care of your own children all, so it may be possible to run a daycare from your home without too much additional work.
- Teach Music Lessons
If you play an instrument, consider teaching beginning students. Piano, guitar, and drum lessons seem to be the most popular. Offering lessons back-to-back for siblings or teaching music lessons at a local homeschool co-op is convenient for parents and makes the best use of your time, too.
- Writer or Author
Many homeschool parents write their own curriculum because they couldn’t find what they needed. That’s what I did when I wrote the Micro Business for Teens series. It’s easier than ever to self-publish and distribute your curriculum to homeschool parents using services such as Amazon’s CreateSpace.com and CurrClick.com. Molly Green has several articles about self publishing including how to publish your book and why you should publish your work rather than use a third party publisher.
Stroll through any homeschool convention hall and you’ll find homeschool families like Jay and Maria Asplin who own JM Cremps: The Boys Adventure Store. They run the store from their home in Minnesota and travel the country during homeschool convention season. Other booksellers stay home and run their stores completely online.
Popular speaker Heidi St. John of TheBusyMom.com, speaks to huge crowds about homeschooling, parenting, and marriage. If you have a unique topic and an encouraging word, begin sharing your wisdom. Start by doing radio interviews, podcasts, and local speaking engagements. You might also consider speaker training to improve your craft and command higher speaking fees.
- Homeschool Group Administrator
Some homeschool groups, especially co-ops, are so large and active that they hire an administrator to run their programs. The homeschool group may be a nonprofit, but it operates like a business and needs someone with administrative skills to keep the group flourishing.
Turn your homeschooling experience into a successful business. Most of these ideas can be run completely from home and are flexible enough to allow you to balance homeschooling and business. While this article has focused on homeschooling related skills you might also want to consider exploring other business ideas by looking at what other interests you have.
Carol Topp, CPA (www.HomeschoolCPA.com and www.MicroBusinessForTeens.com), operates a home-based accounting practice helping business startups and nonprofits. She is the author of Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out and the Micro Business for Teens series. Carol and her husband live in Cincinnati, Ohio, and have two daughters, both homeschool graduates.