Disclosure: I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Chatting with other working homeschool moms is one of my favorite things to do.
These interviews are designed to encourage busy moms by sharing what homeschooling looks like while working and juggling other things.
It is always nice to know we aren’t alone.
Join me as we chat about challenges to overcome, what and how working fits into our lives and more!
I am happy to introduce you to Alison Marie.
I’m an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist and the Founder of Living Room Workout Club … but most of all I’m a real, everyday, busy mom.
I live in at 35 foot travel trailer with my fiancé Dustin and 4 (almost 5) year old son Andrew (Drew). We travel full time for Dustin’s work, moving pretty much every Sunday. I run my business from the road while I homeschool Drew. We thrive on keeping things simple and having fun as much as possible; this element is important for my life but also an ideal I pass onto all my clients.
Question 1: Please share with us what made you begin the homeschooling adventure with your son?
A little over a year ago, we decided to take our home on the road and travel full time. My fiance travels for work. In the past he would leave on Tuesday Mornings and come back Thursday or Friday.
One thing that we always said we wanted to do “when we retire” was buy and RV and hit the road.
One day, we still don’t remember whose idea it was we decided, “why wait.” Life on the road and homeschooling are probably not a permanent thing for us, but we are loving it now!
Question 2: What is your homeschool guiding principle?
My son is about to be 5 so we are doing a pre-K/K hybrid curriculum (Your Natural Learner) that is very much lead by child interest, imaginative play and time with nature.
I’d say my guiding principle is that children learn through genuine experience. That’s one of many reasons I’ve been loving our nomadic lifestyle. There are so many experiences out there to have!
Question 3: How would you describe your homeschooling style?
My style is very relaxed. I’m sure I’ll tighten up if we continue homeschooling into the higher grades, but right now I don’t push anything.
I provide a lot of choice (but strategically so that most of the time he ends up doing something I wanted him to do).
I ask him a lot of questions about what he thinks. At this age it’s just about experiences and conversation. I do work out of a workbook for letters and numbers because he struggles with the fine motor and I like to track his progress.
Question 4: What is the hardest homeschooling challenge you have had to overcome?
Managing my own expectations for my son. There are some things he excels and some things he struggles with. There are some things that I plan that he loves and others that he wants no part of.
I have to keep reminding myself he’s only 4 and not take it personal.
Question 5: Share a homeschooling win with us that stood out to you?
I’ve determined my son is the type of kid that doesn’t like to do anything unless he knows he can do it, which does not bode well for learning new things. We butt heads a lot over letter recognition and writing his name.
We now have a new mantra that we say multiple time though the lesson “the more you practice the easier it gets and the more you focus when you practice it gets even easier.” He says “easier” all excited that the end; it’s so cute.
Also, now he can write his name, recognize all the letter and their sounds.
Question 6: If you could go back and redo something in your homeschooling journey what would it be and why?
Coming from a background in teaching middle and high school, I thought I needed to have all the units planned out with themes and daily tasks.
It would really stress me out when he was just not into what I had planned and would throw everything off.
Now my plans are lot more loose and flexible so we can lead with his interests.
Question 7: Share with us how you find time to fit all the moving parts of homeschooling your son, your website and “life” in your day to day?
The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I need to get up before him to get anything done and I need to block out my days into time I’m focused on him and time I’m focused on me (I keep if flexible but set clear boundaries).
An Example Of A “Day In Our Life” Looks Like:
I wake up at 6:30 and take care of some of my work in the morning until he wakes around 8. We play, read and do activities from 8-10. I mostly let him lead during this time.
From 10-11 we do some more formal learning lead by me with games and play mixed in (this is where we complete the workbook pages).
I work again from 11-1 (with a quick lunch break) this is the time I meet with clients (virtually) or work on my website etc.
During that time, 11-12 he has his quiet free play time and 12-1 he play learning games on the iPad (abcmouse most of the time).
After that we go outside so I can get my workout in (he either joins or plays beside me).
The rest of the day is mostly unscheduled. We either to to a museum or park, go for a hike, just explore and talk (he talks A LOT in the afternoon, it’s like a switch).
After dinner I work while he has his TV time, works some more after he goes to bed and try to be in bed by 10:30.
Question 8: What do you wish non-homeschoolers knew about homeschooling?
That kids really can learn (and sometimes learn better) in unconventional ways.
And the homeschool kids can be even more social than “regular” kids with the added bonus that they know how to interact with people of all ages not just their peers.
Question 9: If you could give a piece of advice to a parent who is considering homeschooling, who is also working, what would it be?
Accept from the beginning that the days will not be perfect and ALWAYS still take care of yourself.
Question 10: Your website offers so much information for parents, can you tell us what your favorite parts are?
My online space Living Room Workout Club is a community of moms who want to make time for themselves, lose the baby weight, feel healthy and comfortable in their skin again.
I help busy moms stop the endless scrolling through Pinterest for the next best recipe or the next fad workout, rein it in, get back to basics and simplify their health into less that 30 minutes a day.
My favorite space to hang out is my Strong Mom Tribe on Facebook. We get real, we get vulnerable, and we work together to make our health a priority. It takes a village… (or tribe)!
My Balanced Meals for Busy Moms Cheat Sheet is a great place to start is your eating habits need a little reboot. It’s a simple repeatable formula to put together balanced, healthy meals without having to think about it.
You can get those right here: Balanced Meals for Busy Moms Cheat Sheet
Thank you Alison for joining us and sharing how you’ve managed to balance working, homeschooling and life ♥
As you can see, the working homeschool mom life is very flexible. It is really about finding what works for you and doing that.
Reading interviews like this can be very inspiring. What was your biggest takeaway? Leave it in the comments below!
PS. Alison is also a member of our online community, The Working Homeschool Mom Club. You can find out more about that here!
You can read more examples in the whole series here!