Wednesday, April 8, 2009

HomeWork - an eBook review

This ebook consists of over 90 pages, and is available at the TOS Online Store for about $12.

Since I have done a fair amount of working at home over the years, alongside my homeschooling, I am always looking for people who have been there and done that, and who can maybe give me some tips along the way.

This ebook is great... the sections are fairly short, so you can squeeze one in between some of those other gazillion things you are supposed to be doing (home, work, school...), and the stories are inspiring.  

The book is split into a few sections.  The bulk of the sections are stories from over a dozen moms who have that been there, done that perspective.  These are women who are running businesses doing a variety of different things...  making things from old jeans, selling Usborne books, writing curriculum, working as a medical transcriptionist, or helping people to plan their vacations.  Managing networks, or giving people tours of an orchard... there is a wide variety of businesses represented, and while many left me thinking “nope, not for me!” all the stories had something to offer.  

What I loved is that these women are all coming from such different places.  Some have pretty young kids (K and under), some have kids who are now high school age.  Some are getting up at 2:30 in the morning to work until the kids are up, some stay up late.  Some are integrating the entire family in the business, some are doing it themselves.  My favorite comment had to do with a lady who mentioned that her kids roll out of bed fairly late in the morning -- assurance that no, my kids are NOT the only ones not up at the crack of dawn.  Okay, maybe that wasn’t directly related to the subject at hand... but it was assurance that work at home homeschooling moms do NOT need to come from some perfect cookie-cutter mold.

The stories are sprinkled with advice.  Handle things once... if you have a phone message, take care of it, don’t put it in a pile to get to later.  Figure out your priorities, so that you are spending the time with your kids that is so important.  But it doesn’t feel preachy -- rather it is another mom, relating things she has learned.  

And some of the advice contradicts each other... you know, back to that what time do you get up... the moms don’t all agree.  The basic message is that with some things, you need to figure out what works for you - here are some ways it has worked for some of us.  But don’t expect your work/school/home to look like anyone else’s.

There is a section of the book that is specifically related to advice, with articles on finances related to an at-home business and on organization.  It is hard for me to review the finance-related material, as everything in there was just plain common sense in my opinion.  But, as a former CPA, and the child of a CPA... well, I realize that not everyone “just knows” this kind of thing!

The final pages of the book include an appendix with links... links to pages on starting a bed & breakfast, or starting a craft business, about starting a pet business, or becoming a writer.  Lots of very interesting things in here!

Of course, the best part, like any other ebook, is that you order it and can download it within minutes.  No waiting for a book to be shipped, just dig right in!  And if you are trying to figure out a way to earn some money from home, this is one of the more reasonable resources I’ve seen.  An easy read, some ideas as to what other people are doing.. and coming from the perspective of homeschooling moms, so no statements about how much work you can do while the kids are off at school.

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