You guys I am blessed to be able to stay home and raise my kids. I owe so much of this to my hardworking husband. He’s often felt excluded from some of the fun things we do over the long summer days while he’s working hard at the office. It’s a sacrifice he makes for us. I often feel guilty when we are enjoying walks in the park or picnics without him while he comes home stressed from work. I wish things could be a little more even, but it really comes down to the society we live in and well the need for money. Each year, things get more and more expensive while paychecks stay the same. So that’s why I am grateful for the ability to work from home, especially when summer camps are like 3 grand per child! That’s outrageous to me.
Anyway, since I am not subbing for the next two and a half, maybe three months, I have started a virtual assistant business. In all honesty, I’ve had this little side business for the last ten years, I just never made it official with its own website because I thought I wanted to move in a different direction. That direction really didn’t pan out, so I’ve gone back to it and I’m glad I have. I have a website, HJonesVirtualSolutions.com, it’s in its beginning stages of development, I don’t even have a logo yet or business cards, but I have to focus on the work that’s already coming in first before I jump into doing that. I’ve helped some mom and pop companies start websites over the last 12 years. I’ve designed the graphics they needed for those websites and maintained their websites so they could focus on their business…but for some reason I never thought until now about turning it into a legit business. I don’t know why! I could have really done well with it. But now I’m going all in with it this summer. I am currently working for my foster parents’ church in CA designing graphics. This is what I loved doing in College and at KNAZ so this is what I will focus on in the years to come as a home business along with some other virtual assistant services.
Anyway, to do this, I have to have the kids on a schedule! Much like school, when kids do things at certain time blocks, I have the same thing going on this summer.
It starts off with the kids getting themselves breakfast in the morning, and then starting on their morning reading. Each kid must read for at least 20 minutes. They are already enrolled in two summer reading programs. I also am journaling with them on important social skills topics that both my boys desperately need to learn.
Each day a kid pulls a quote out of the jar and writes the quote down in their journal, and then we discuss what it means together as a family and how they can apply it to their lives. My younger son was in a program at school called “Superflex” and I believe it helped him with some of the things he struggled with like being offended by everything and having to have everything go his way. My little one is a leader and a control freak….maybe a little like me. I’m not so much of a leader as I am a control freak, so he exhibits some of those personality traits that often get him into conflicts with friends, his brother and his parents. Teaching him to calm down and pick his battles is really tough, so I hope this journaling will help him with that.
After that, the kids get to choose what online program they will do that day. We use Zearn and Readworks.org to keep their brains thinking over the summer. I’ll probably throw in some grade level math sheets to work on a couple times a week, some essays or book reports to write, along with outdoor play time with our neighborhood friends and some mindful time in their rooms. Let me tell you, my kids hate this part. Playing alone, quietly in their rooms is like torture to them for some reason. Why? I have no idea. It’s like I’ve quarantined them and sent them off to a deserted island. This is the biggest pushback I have, but I’ve got to be able to fit work time in, so this is the way it has to go. I also think it’s really good for them to have this time to themselves. I think they need alone time. I believe it helps them develop who they are, it develops their imagination and teaches them that they can be happy by themselves.
Even with all this structured time, we are still finding time to be outside and enjoy all there is to love about summer. Yesterday on the first warm day of our summer break, we finally got outside. We had a picnic in the park and took a walk around the lake in between working.
If you work from home as well, what are some things that you have your kids do that makes your work schedule easier. I’d love to hear them and maybe incorporate a few new ideas into our schedule?
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