October 26, 2014

Ten Questions to Ask Before Starting a Home Business

By Marcia K. Washburn

Many families are struggling as a result of today’s economic challenges, and homeschooling families are not exempt. Uncertainty in the job market and spiraling
food and gas prices concern everyone, especially those of us known as SILKS:  Single Income, Lots of Kids.

Many women wonder if they should supplement the household income by starting
a home business. There are many factors to consider before jumping into a
business, however. Here are some questions to ask yourself before going down the
entrepreneurial path.

The Why of the Business

Why do you want to start a home business? To supplement the family income? To
get out of debt? To build a nest egg? For personal fulfillment? To be able to give
more generously to the church or missions?

It is important to determine the mission of your business. Without a goal in mind,
it will be impossible to write a good business plan and to make decisions about the
daily operations.

The Who of the Business

Address the question of who will be involved in this business. Would you and your
husband run it together, or would this be something that you do while he continues
to work at his present job?

Is the business family-friendly?

How will this endeavor impact your children?

Your homeschool? Will you be able to meet your family’s needs and still run this
business?

Will your children be able to make a contribution to the business in some way? Is
your family strong enough to bear the weight of this business, especially during the
early years when you are just building it?

Does the business you are considering require you to have a quiet workplace? Will
your children have access to you all of the time or only when your office door is
open? Will you need to arrange for childcare? Will a sitter come to your home, or
will you take the children elsewhere? What will you do if a child or the sitter is sick?

How will you pay for the cost of childcare during the time before your business
becomes profitable?

How strong are your management skills? A business won’t improve an already
chaotic household. How will you handle your household tasks? Business owners
still get only twenty-four hours each day, just like the rest of the human race. Will
you need to drop some of your present activities, hobbies, or ministries in order to
devote necessary time to your business?

How will this business impact your marriage? What does your husband say about
this idea? Do you have his full blessing or simply his permission? Will your business
help him or conflict with his vision for your family?

The When of the Business

Is this good timing for you to start a business? What else is going on in your life
right now? Are you a new homeschooler? Do you have a newborn or a newly
adopted child in your family? Are you caring for a health-challenged person?

How many hours each day or week can you devote to this business? When will
you work on the business? When the children are sleeping? When you should be
sleeping?

Do you have time to run a business? Is this a good season of your life to undertake
this endeavor? Don’t compromise your ability to perform your work with excellence
in this season of nurturing and homeschooling by taking on the responsibilities of
a business prematurely. Meditate on Ecclesiastes 3:1: “To every thing there is a
season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

The What of the Business

Are you thinking of starting a particular type of business? Will you sell products or
provide services? What do you really enjoy doing? Do you like spending time with
people, or do you prefer to work alone? Is the product or service God-honoring and
something of true value to your customers?

Ask yourself if you really want or need to start a profitable business or if you just
enjoy doing this activity as a hobby. The Internal Revenue Service has very specific
guidelines for what qualifies as a business. There are generous deductions for
those who are actually running a business with intent to earn profit, but there are
strict guidelines defining whether a business is truly a business or merely a hobby.
Research these guidelines carefully.

The Where of the Business

Are there zoning laws related to operating a business in your home? Sometimes a city or county permits certain kinds of home businesses, but the homeowners’ association does not. Research these issues. Also find out if your type of business
will require a special license.

How will you adapt your home to accommodate your business? If clients will come
to your home, what rooms will they have access to? Will you need a waiting room?

What arrangements need to be made for their safety? What arrangements need
to be made to protect the safety of your family and your possessions from your
clients?

Visit with your insurance agent to determine whether you need to purchase
additional coverage to cover loss of inventory or additional liability insurance if
people will be coming to your home.

The How of the Business

Have you developed a business plan to help clarify your thoughts? Exactly how will
you make money doing this business? How much do you anticipate making in the
first month? In the first quarter? The first year? Five years from now? Why do you
think you can earn this much? Is this enough to be worth the hours you will invest
in the business?

How much will it cost to start this business? What equipment or changes in your home will be necessary? What services will you have to pay for each month, such as additional phone lines, Internet, website, or credit card processing? Will you
need a business or tax license? How will you cover your start-up costs?

How will you grow your business? Who is your target market? How will these people learn about your products or services? How much does advertising cost?

What about business cards, flyers, brochures, signs, and other tangible advertising
pieces?

Will you need special training? Do you know someone who can mentor you in your
business? Check the Small Business Administration’s website for dozens of helpful articles for small businesses.1

There are two ways to have more money: you can increase your income, or you
can decrease your outgo. It is much easier to keep money that is already in your
pocket than to earn more money to put into it. Could you keep more money in your
home by more carefully budgeting the money you already have?

Ask the Lord to lead and direct you as you discern His will about starting a home
business. Then, if He directs you to move ahead, ask Him to give you a head for
business, a heart for ministry, and hands for service so that your business can be a
blessing both to your clients and to your family.

Marcia K. Washburn homeschooled her five sons for nineteen years. She has operated a piano studio for many years and is the author of Talent to Treasure:

Building a Profitable Music Teaching Business. This article is adapted from her new E-Book, Managing Your Finances, the third in her Management for Moms series. To view her resources, visit www.marciawashburn.com/

MarciasMall.html.

Endnote:

1. See the Small Business Administration website for a wealth of free information at www.sba.gov.

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the September 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

 

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“The Quest for The Cures…Continues”: 48-Hour Replay Marathon is Happening NOW!

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

 

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Aren’t you keeping them out of the real world?

From: An Ordinary Life

Aren’t you keeping them out of the real world? 

This is a question I was asked yesterday during a conversation on Home Education started by an acquaintance, my inner thoughts went…
THE REAL WORLD! I cannot believe how many times I have heard it and how many more times I am sure I will hear it. Why do people think that sending their children to school will teach them about the real world, about real life challenges?  
SCHOOL IS NOT REAL LIFE.
Being in school does not teach a child how to deal with trials in life…
If you are a child in school
Read what An Ordinary Life says about having our children in school here…
So what real life situations are in school?
To me there are no other real life situations. Think about it, if there were why would children in schools need those field trips to supermarkets, the butchers or even play areas in parks if that were true. They are kept out of the world so much the schools have to educate them about these things. That is a truly sad thing I think.
What is real about having to sit tests? Being forced to learn a certain way.  People trying to mould you to believe the governments way is right; society is just planning on building a robotic world where very few are truly autonomous in their living – that’s what I think anyway. Why should we believe everything we are taught? Why is it when a child questions a teacher’s teaching, does the child have an attitude problem? We as adults question each other all the time. We are just learning from each other aren’t we? When my children questions what we are learning we research it out together. They are not squeezed into a box they don’t fit into. Ever.

Read the rest of the article here…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

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“The Rift never would’ve happened had I not been home-schooled”

The Smithsonian Magazine hosted its third annual American Ingenuity Awards Thursday night in Washington. The event honored a group of remarkable individuals, perhaps none more interesting than Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey. The 22-year-old — who sold Oculus to Facebook for $2 billion earlier this year — was recognized for his breakthrough work in virtual reality.

As a teenager Luckey’s parents gave him half of the family’s two-car garage to use as his personal workshop. He played with Tesla coils, lasers — once briefly damaging his vision — and virtual reality headsets that he purchased at government and online auctions. Luckey credited his unusual education with how far he’s gotten:

I’ve had the blessing of growing up with supportive parents, who didn’t actually financially support my hobbies. I had to do odd jobs and stuff to make all the money myself, but they were at least very supportive of me, being flexible with my time. They home-schooled me in a way that let me prioritize my schoolwork for certain days and my other stuff for other days. And I started taking community college courses when I was 14. That gave me a lot of freedom to choose the classes on the days I wanted. I think it’s pretty safe to say that the Rift never would’ve happened had I not been home-schooled.

When you have to be a self-motivated learner, and you are not in school because you’re legally required to, but you’re there because you’re taking community college courses and you want to succeed, you want to get a grade that’ll apply for a transfer. All of the sudden you care about what you’re learning a lot more. So I wasn’t there just to get through the daily grind. I was doing what I did to learn and also learning a lot of things on the side. I learned a lot more on my own outside of school, at least when it comes to what’s relevant to what I’m doing now.

I asked Luckey to explain how a teenage kid in his parent’s garage could make a superior virtual reality product to all of the world’s tech companies, with their huge budgets and staffs:

It’s because nobody cared. Nobody was paying attention to virtual reality. That is the only reason the Rift did not exist earlier. I’ve actually done some analysis of the components used in my earlier Rift prototypes, and the prototype that [Doom creator] John Carmack used could have been built for under $1,000 in 2007 and under $500 in 2009. The exact same components or very very similar performing components. Carmack didn’t show off at E3 till 2012. Between three and six years had gone by between when the tech was finally there and when it all of the sudden caught on.

The components I was using even were relatively old — they weren’t the most cutting edge thing because they were things that I was able to obtain off the shelf and modify, so it’s just kind of interesting. You’re right, there’s all these companies — millions of dollars — you think that one of them would’ve had a VR R&D project that was going somewhere, and it turned out none of them did. Our Kickstarter proved that people wanted VR, and our hardware that we shipped proved it was finally good enough, and now you have all of these big companies like Sony and Facebook and Google and Microsoft all getting into the augmented reality and virtual reality game in a big way.

Luckey also talked about what Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is like:

Mark’s pretty cool…

Read the rest of this article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2014/10/17/oculus-founder-palmer-luckey-the-rift-never-wouldve-happened-had-i-not-been-home-schooled/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

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Is it possible for children to ‘learn a different way’?

Home-Education is About Learning, Not Schooling

August 2011 sm_067

An excellent article by Contributing Editor with JUNO magazine interested in science, tech, the environment, green and gentle parenting

I wonder whether approaching the subject a different way would have been more tactful. First, a barrage of questions washes over me; ‘What do you mean, you’re going to teach them yourself? How will you know what to teach? But you’re not qualified to teach that subject?’ Then, more adamantly stated, ‘Are you sure it’s legal?’

These are the incredulous comments of a teacher friend of mine after hearing that my husband and I plan to home educate our children. She studied for four years in order to teach in a school, and she strongly believes that teachers who study for less than two years are not ‘properly qualified’ to impart knowledge to young people. So, I’m having trouble conveying to her our decision not to send our children to school. To say that we plan to ‘home-school’ our daughter does not offer much explanation, as the term implies that teaching will take place in a structured fashion, in the home instead of the school, with a strict timetable, exams and homework, and to a strict curriculum. If this was the case, there would be little difference between home education and school education.

Thankfully, there is another, more natural way of learning, which is perfectly legal and does not require ‘qualified’ teachers. This type of ‘life education’ is known as autonomous learning, and it is not restricted to a specific building or term times and timetables of learning. Life-learning is what most passionate individuals do naturally every day, every hour if not every minute, thanks to an innate thirst and a passion for learning, or self-educating, which is with us from the moment we emerge from the womb into the sounds and smells of the world. Humans are born autonomous learners.

But we treat children differently. At school, they are forced to learn subjects that may not come naturally to them and which, in some cases, they will never use again. This is demoralising for any individual and it creates a passive mind and voice in a young learner. It also makes learning seem dull and monotonous. In the school setting, criticism of teaching methods, individual opinions, independent thought and asking too many questions is frowned upon, often because teachers simply don’t have the time to deal with them. Facts are absorbed, parrot-fashion, but a certain passion for the subject is missing, which is an inevitable outcome of forced learning for both children and adults alike. Children look forward to ‘holidays’ away from school, where their minds are free to roam and grow without constraints, and they no longer have to worry about retributions for what is deemed as poor work, or about making the grade. Few children ever make the grade in every class.

Another common misconception about home-schooling is that it is anti-education, or against the education establishment. The distinction that is missing here is that the autonomous learning movement is entirely pro-learning, but anti-formal education, which is, by its very nature, draconic and cannot suit every child’s needs.

Home educating parents recognise that attending to every child’s individual needs is an impossible feat for any teacher with a class of 30 children to get through exams, coursework and so on. Home educators are able to offer one-to-one guidance, knowledge, and resources whenever they may be required. When children learn ‘at home’, they are free to learn autonomously instead of being sent to a large building where unknown individuals prescribe their learning. They can choose their own routes into education, whether through visual and audio aids, hand-on messy experiments where the kitchen becomes a lab for a week, through reading and Googling, and by asking questions and absorbing the answers- which all children naturally do. Through taking charge of their own learning, they acquire the skills they will need in later life; the skills that will make them good at their vocations, without the negatives of subjects they were ‘no good at’ hanging over them. They are also free to pursue specific areas of interest as far as they want to…

Read the full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/zion-lights/home-education_b_1937272.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 1 October 2014:  Three years on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here

*****

Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttp://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemptionhttp://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Coming Events: http://hef.org.nz/2013/some-coming-events-for-home-education-during-2013-2/

Beneficiaries: http://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/

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