Interview Feature with…is a new feature that I am so excited to introduce. Designed to encourage busy mom’s and dad’s by sharing interviews with homeschoolers that are not only homeschooling but juggling other things as well.
Today I am happy to introduce you to Melissa from both “Sweet Spot Bookkeeping” & “Violet & Willow” on Etsy. She currently is homeschooling two girls, ages 7 and 8, while running a small bookkeeping business & Etsy shop from home.
Psst-in a hurry? Drop down to the end to grab your discount code. Good to the end of April 2016!
Question 1: What led you to homeschool your girls? Or have you always wanted to homeschool?
It was a variety of factors that lead us to this decision. I had never planned on homeschooling my girls, originally I was actually quite against it.
I wanted to ensure my girls were able to stand up for their personal beliefs, be well socialized and well educated. (As all parents want of course!) I mistakenly thought that traditional public school was the only way to accomplish this.
And to be honest – the thought of being home all day long every day teaching didn’t appeal to me, especially as one of my children is extremely “active” to say the least. She is extremely social, always needs to be busy and moving!
My opinion all changed after the girls were in the traditional school system for a few years. They started traditional public preschool when they were 3 and continued in the school system until this past school year that started in 2015.
So I feel they and I had, at least, a really good feel for how the public school system was working for us for the past 4 years. Over those 4 years, I kept seeing many areas that were frustrating – they would be in school for 8 hours a day, then come home with at least 30 or more minutes of homework every night! This was Kindergarten and Grade 1!
We saw so much wasted time, and class sizes that were so huge and crowded, making it impossible for the Teachers to be able to help each student effectively. (They always had wonderful teachers – we loved them – but they just had so many students to look after!)
After about a year of researching options and talking to lots of homeschool moms and researching what our city has to offer, in September 2015, we started homeschooling (grades 1 & 2)….And are LOVING it!
Since I knew I had, at least, one “challenging/ energetic” daughter to keep busy – I made it my mission right away to have a predictable, lively and very social school schedule – or we would both go crazy!
Our city has a very active homeschool facebook group, and our city is very supportive of homeschoolers – so there is plenty of programs that we are enrolled in. We would never have the time or finances to be able to be involved in all these activities if it wasn’t for homeschooling.
Question 2: What does your weekly schedule look like right now?
The outline of our weekly schedule runs roughly like this:
Monday mornings we all do volunteer work as a family. Monday afternoons my husband takes the girls to a music class for an hour, then back out in volunteer work until 5pm I use this time to do my bookkeeping business or Etsy shop work.
Tuesday – Friday mornings we homeschool from about 9:30 – 12, then every afternoon they are in some sort of class (and I use these afternoons to do errands or work)
They are in gymnastics, science club, sewing, cooking, swimming, ceramics, guitar and piano lessons currently. It works out to about 2 classes outside the home every afternoon.
They love it and so do I. It not only satisfies their desire to be with other kids and socialize (there’s about 15 – 20 other homeschool kids in these classes), but they are learning skills they wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to learn in traditional school.Finding balance, Q&A with Bookkeeping, #Etsy store, and #Homeschooling mom Click To Tweet
Question 3: Why did you choose both bookkeeping & an online Etsy printable shop?
Bookkeeping is something I had done years ago on a small scale, and I really enjoyed it. I just needed to upgrade my skills and get certified, which I did online.
I also love doing anything creative & planner related (I’m a planner addict), so I have a small Etsy shop (Violet & Willow) where I design printable home decor & printable planner stickers.
Both businesses are flexible time-wise, which is perfect for homeschooling.
Question 4: What was a challenge that you had to overcome in order to take a course in bookkeeping?
Finding the initial time to upgrade and certify my bookkeeping skills.
I found an excellent online course certification that let me work at my own pace.
So before the girls got up in the morning, after they went to bed in the evening and any other spare time I got, I worked on my bookkeeping business.
Question 5: You just launched your website for your bookkeeping business, which takes time and effort. What led you to this decision?
The awesome thing about how my bookkeeping business is set up is that everything is done virtually.
I service clients worldwide, so a website was vital to my success. I created the logo using a free site called Canva and designed the website myself using Wix.com
Question 6: How are you able to balance homeschooling with launching a business?
By being super organized as best as possible, so that any free time I have after all the important things are done can be used to do whatever work I need to do in my business. I make sure I have dedicated work time, as I alluded to earlier.
I”m one of those crazy planner girls, so everything is scheduled in my planner.
Sunday afternoon and evenings I use to prep a bunch of food for the week and menu plan. It saves me so much time for the rest of the week.
We have the girls on a good daily chore schedule, which is really helpful so that all my extra time isn’t spent cleaning the house – we all contribute.
I also don’t do any of my work at all during morning school time – I just focus on their school during that time – otherwise, I seem to constantly be frustrated trying to multi-task.
Question 7: What tips would you pass on to anyone who wants to run a business from home while homeschooling?
-Set a dedicated time to devote to learning/creating your business. If you don’t have a specific time reserved for working on it – it won’t get done.
– Before you choose a business, think of the big picture and your family goals. I choose being a virtual bookkeeper and my printable sticker Etsy shop because it would easily fit in and around my schedule. It’s not the type of business that requires me to be serving clients during particular hours.
Question 8: What type of services do you offer?
For bookkeeping, (Sweet Spot Bookkeeping ) regardless of where a business owner lives, I offer a variety of bookkeeping services for small to medium sized businesses in both Canada & the US. I also offer business budgeting services for business owners.
For my Etsy shop, (Violet & Willow), I offer printable planner stickers and printable art.
Thank you Melissa for spending some time with me and answering questions.
Places around the web you will find and please feel free to follow are:
And her Etsy shop, Violet and Willow:
Bonus for Practical, By Default readers:
I am also offering your readers an exclusive coupon code to use in my Etsy shop -use the code JENSFRIENDS for 15% off everything in my shop! This code expires April 30 2016.