Kids and home biz: Bringing them together

Did you start your home biz so you could be home with your kids? I'm betting you did. It's a common reason for starting a home biz.

But do you feel sometimes like you're spending more time in your office, sewing room, or workshop than you spend with your kids? And you're not sure how to get that balance back?


Most blog posts about this topic say things like you need to set boundaries, or your work will overtake the rest of your life. And delegate tasks to a virtual assistant, so you spend the most time on what earns you money, and less on things that don't. Both of which are true! But what about a solution a little outside the box?

What about involving your kids in your biz?


Put yourself in your child's shoes. Every morning (or afternoon, or evening - whatever time you work at home) your mum or dad goes off into this room of the house that you're not allowed into. They shut the door, and for a couple hours, you don't see them.

They could be doing anything in there! What if it's fun, and they're not letting you in on it? What do they do in there by themselves?

Kids are curious. Just think of all those awkward questions they've asked you in public. They love to learn new things, and to show how competent they are.

What if, instead of locking yourself away every day, you brought them in to help you once in a while? This way, they get to see what you're doing, and spend time with you while you do it.

How your kids can get involved in your biz

  • Modeling children's clothing

  • Product testing (toys, books, other children's items)

  • Packing orders & going to the post office (I know mine love putting things in the postbox!)

  • Stuffing envelopes

  • Unpack & help put away new stock

  • Stocktake - ask them to count how many of a certain item

Older kids, of course, can help in more advanced ways. They often want payment for their services, however. ;-) Younger kids are usually happy enough to just help Mum or Dad with whatever they're doing.

Do your kids help out with your biz? In what ways?

Home biz + homeschooling: A typical day

Most of you, I assume, take your kids to school in the morning, pick them up in the afternoon, and the hours in between are your working hours.

My family is a little different. We're homeschooling. Now, the reasons for that are many and varied, but the main thing you're probably thinking right now is "How the heck do you manage to work at home when your kids are ALWAYS there?!"

Or, maybe you're considering homeschooling, and wondering how the two can fit together.

So I'd like to share a typical weekday in the Smith house.

A day in the life of a homeschooling family

8 am: My alarm goes off. I get up, check social media, emails, and play games on my tablet for a few minutes to get adjusted to the day. I know a lot of people recommend against this, but it works for me. Also, I usually make myself a cup of tea, and try to remember to drink it before it goes cold!

Anywhere from 7-9 am: My kids wake up. If I'm lucky, they wake up AFTER I do, and I get a bit of peace & quiet to start the day off, which REALLY helps. If I'm not, they wake me up with their fighting at 7:30, and I know a miserable day is ahead.

9 am: My 8 year old starts his lessons in my office/sewing room. We use workbooks for most of his learning. Until this week, he was working on them in the lounge, whilst his younger brother was playing nearby. This week, we began letting him use my office, and things go much smoother. He doesn't complain as much, and it takes him half as long!

10 am: My husband gets up. He's a bus driver and works the night shift, so he HAS to sleep late. This is the point where I can go off to the shops if I need something, even if it's just a half hour break from kids fighting! (Yes, even homeschooled kids fight. Can't get away from that one, I'm afraid.)

11 am: My husband spends about an hour with the kids, teaching maths, science, or geography. While they're doing this, I usually tackle the dishes and cook lunch.

12 or 12:30: we all eat lunch together and watch something on TV. The 8 year old likes Megastructures at the moment, but if Dad has his way, it's Top Gear. Actually, any engineering show goes over well with most of us. What can I say? We're geeks. ;-)

1 pm or so: I go into my office and work until my husband needs to go to work. This doesn't happen every day. My husband's schedule varies, and he starts work anywhere from 2 pm to nearly 5 pm. On the late start days, I get a lot of work done in the afternoon.

After Dad goes to work: mostly we all just potter around, play on computers/tablets, watch a bit of TV, play. Sometimes, if the kids are quiet enough (but not TOO quiet!) I can get some work done while they play. On Friday afternoons, we usually meet up with our homeschooling group at a local park.

6-7 pm: dinner time. The kids & I are pretty laid back about dinner. Sometimes I just tell them to grab their own (if there's enough grab-able food in the fridge), and other nights I cook something for all of us.

8 pm: Start bedtime routine. (I've never understood why people think kids should go to bed at 7. That just means they get up earlier!)

9 pm: In bed listening to music with the kids. Once the 3 year old falls asleep, I'm free to do whatever I want.

Sometimes I work after the kids are in bed. Sometimes I'm so knackered from getting them to bed that all I want to do is curl up on the couch with whatever TV show I'm currently watching.

Then, anywhere between 10:30 and 1 am, my husband gets home from work. I'm in bed at 12, but rarely asleep when he gets home. So we chat a bit about how our nights have been, then he usually watches something on TV and comes to bed later.

For the moment, this works for my family. I know that things will change as life goes on, and we'll adjust. I'll still make time to get my work done.

Homeschooling doesn't have to mean the end of your biz. It can actually be an educational tool too!

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