November 24, 2014


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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.

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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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How to Have the Perfect Home School and Other Myths


Mar 7, 2014

By Tracy Klicka

I never wanted to have a perfect home school. I’ve never wanted to be perfect at anything actually. It’s not that I don’t work hard or don’t set high standards. I do confess, regular exercise has never come easy to me, and my home has probably never been spotless (how do we EVER do that when we and our children live in our home 24/7 anyway?!)

I have spent countless hours, however, organizing our home, divvying up chores among my children, and then planning our curriculum out in each summer for the next entire school year. Our days were always full—busy with training, follow-through, teaching, spending time reading to my kids and teaching them life skills.

Each school day we had time for independent reading, time for creativity, time to develop personal interests, and time to play outdoors and get exercise. We started our school day doing devotions—reading the Bible and often a character story, singing hymns, and praying together.

With seven children, I covered all the basic school subjects and some extra ones too. I love living books, hands-on math, and fun field trips that cement concepts we’re learning in school. Surely, though not perfect, I should have felt confident that I was doing enough, right?

The fact is I always wondered if my kids were missing something. Oh, not in the area of academics, however, nor in the area of life skills. No, I wondered often if I was giving them enough of myself. I’ve spent almost 24/7 with my kids when most moms send their kids off to school for several hours a day.

I’ve always enjoyed running my household of nine, even though it took a lot of this mama’s time trying to keep up with the constant daily needs—don’t we feel often like we get done making one meal and it it’s time to start the next one? And then there’s laundry…mountains of laundry!

Then there’s the cleaning, fixing and replacing the stuff of our home life. That TO DO list never got completely checked off! That’s all beside our school time…several hours each weekday. My head would hit the pillow each night, and after my husband’s prayer and a kiss I’d be out like a light, only to repeat it all again the next day.

Some years into our homeschooling, my husband Chris was diagnosed with progressive MS. That changed everything and added a huge dimension of responsibility and care I thought my plate was already too full for. I realized, more than ever before, that our home school experience would never be what I had hoped and dreamed it would be. I stared directly at my finiteness in the mirror every day.

Before my feet ever touched the ground getting out of bed each morning, I knew I was at the end of my rope! Find out how Tracy kept going and why she can say “Enjoy the journey…there’s no place like home”  here…

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From the Smiths:

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

Updated 2 February 2013:  One year 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 started: http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemption: http://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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Evaluating your Marriage

Alright, husbands and wives. It's time for some marital homework.</p><br /><br />
<p>Set aside some quality time and go through this 22-part questionnaire to evaluate your marriage: http://trpp.pl/1fmToQR
.
Alright, husbands and wives. It’s time for some marital homework.Set aside some quality time and go through this 22-part questionnaire to evaluate your marriage:

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Please feel free to repost, forward or pass on  this email

Please do so with the whole post. Thankyou

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

From the Smiths:

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

Updated 2 February 2013:  One year 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 started: http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

Information on getting an exemption: http://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/

Please like & share:

NZ statistics: beyond homeschooling

So you were homeschooled. What do you think of that now, looking back? You can still have your say, but be quick… I am writing this up in the New Year so you have this week to complete the survey.
 Hi Guys, I am a homeschooling Mum of seven from Waipara, North Canterbury. We have been homeschooling for 25 years (only 6 more to go!). I am a foundation member of Canterbury Home Educators.
I am keen to generate some NZ statistics, and to find out what all our homeschooling children are doing now as adults. It would be great to have some quantitative “results” to share with parents who are contemplating the risk of homeschooling, to counter the worries of grandparents and to challenge statements made by education professionals.
Eventually, (say by mid 2013), I plan to write up the results and make them available to homeschool groups and anyone else who is interested. If you would like a copy of the results email me at j.taurewa@gmail.com with “beyond homeschooling” in the subject line.
The only requirement for this survey is that you have been homeschooled in NZ for at least one year, and have now finished your  secondary education.
Thank you so much to Oliver Fisher, for putting this on line, and Michael Redepenning, for coaching me on the editing process.
Thanks also to Brian. D. Ray, Ph D, who gave me permission to use his questions from “Home Educated and Now Adult”, 2004.
Please pass on this info to eligible folk you are in contact with.
sincerely Jenny Barkley.
There has been a fantastic response to this survey but Jenny doesn’t want to miss out on anyone who would like to be a part of it. So the survey is open for another week. Please fill the survey out today or if you, or your children have filled out the survey already please encourage your friends to fill it out. Thankyou.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Smiths:

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

Updated 19 December 2012:  One year 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:

http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

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

*******************************

Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill

Make a submission: Reject compulsory Early Education for 3 year olds

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Rainbow Resource would like your opinion

From Rainbow Resource:

We’d like your opinion!

Here at Rainbow we are always trying to think out of the box. One of the discussions that always comes up when rethinking what we do is “how important IS the print catalog?” When I first started here it was less than one inch thick; it has now tripled in size and contains quite a bit of information on all of our 40,000+ products. As the catalog grows, it becomes more expensive to print, more expensive to mail … all in all, a costly endeavor! While we want to continue to provide you with some of the best information AND best prices, we are exploring alternatives. One of these is sending customers a PDF catalog on CD. Before you recoil at the idea, keep in mind there have been several advancements in PDF technology that has led our customer service to use the PDF catalog exclusively. These include the ease of searching and the overall improved stability of using PDFs on a PC. The latest feature in Adobe X actually lets you “sticky note” pages with notes to yourself! As most of our staff use the PDF version exclusively, we would love to make this a compelling option for our customers. However, before we make any moves we would love to get your feedback. Would you be willing to try to use a PDF catalog this coming year? How important is the entire printed catalog to you? Are there parts of the catalog you can do without? Send us your feedback at Rainbowresource.com, we would love to hear from you.

-Steve Listwan

The print copy of the Rainbow catalogue will be coming out late June or early July.

Visit Rainbow’s website as soon as they post the 2012 version in early June.

or

Head to Rainbow’s catalog request form anytime to request a PDF copy on CD. CDs will begin mailing in early June.

CDs will be the best option for those of us living outside of the USA – much cheaper postage.

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

From the Smiths:

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

Updated 22 May 2012: Life for Those Left Behind (Craig Smith’s Health) page 6 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:

http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

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

Please like & share:

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)