Last Updated June 11th, 2019

How Can Pharmacists Work At Home?

How Can Pharmacists Work At Home?

When you consider pharmacy work, the idea of working at home may not come to mind right away. Surprisingly, there are remote pharmacist jobs available. That’s because pharmacists do more than count pills. So how can pharmacists work at home?

The simple answer, of course, is technology. You use a lot of it when working at the pharmacy already. A pharmacist at home uses a little more.

Most work at home pharmacist jobs require experience, usually a couple years or more. Employers want people who know the work, after all.

What Do Work At Home Pharmacists Do?

There are a few possibilities you can consider when looking for remote pharmacist jobs. Some are pretty obvious.

You could be a telepharmacist, for example. This is much like other pharmacist positions, in that you review prescriptions and provide remote patient consultations.

Pharmacists may do centralized order entry or remote order entry of prescriptions. This involves verifying prescription orders, confirming dosage recommendations. and making sure the medication is appropriate for the patient. Catching errors is important, just as it is in any other pharmacist job.

Remote pharmacists may also screen and verify prescriptions to ensure that they’re accurate and that there are no unsafe interactions with other medications the patient is on.

home office setup

Some positions may require that you get your pharmacist license in other states.

Your experience can also help you land freelance writing or consulting jobs. Get creative in your job hunt. You may even decide to leave the field entirely if the right opportunity comes along.

Who Hires Work At Home Pharmacists?

Remote pharmacists can work for a variety of companies, including insurance companies, online pharmacies, the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, clinical research, and more. Even some retail stores use remote pharmacists.

Often, the challenge is figuring out who is hiring work at home pharmacists in your area. Even companies that hire them won’t be hiring all of the time. You may need to be persistent.

Here are some places you can search for work at home pharmacist jobs:

Aetna – May allow for partial telework, such as three days in office and two at home, for established employees.

Cigna – Has a variety of work at home pharmacy positions. Some may require travel.

HCA Healthcare – Search for “work at home pharmacist” or “centralized order entry pharmacist.”

Humana – May offer work at home positions that require experience as a pharmacist. Search for pharmacist jobs, then check the Work At Home box.

Magellan Health – Clinical pharmacist positions may allow you to work at home.

PipelineRX – Offers telepharmacist positions.

Walgreens – May offer occasional work at home pharmacist jobs in certain areas. Most jobs are in stores, not remote, so pay attention to the details.

Sites Which May List Remote Pharmacist Jobs

What Will You Need In Your Home Office?

A completely private home office is vital for a work at home pharmacist. You’re dealing with people’s medical information, after all, and that means you need to respect all the laws dealing with that, such as HIPAA.

comfortable home office

Your home office will need a door you can close. Your computer may need to be dedicated to the job, and not used for other things. Appropriate security software is a must.

If you do consultations on video, your home office must present a completely professional appearance. Your employer will no doubt have standards for what you can have visible in the background, and of course, you can’t have background noise.

And finally, make sure your home office is as comfortable as the rules allow. Consider the ergonomics of your workstation. Put up appropriate decorations to make it a more comfortable space.

What Are The Disadvantages?

Now, one disadvantage of being a work at home pharmacist is that you don’t get that direct patient interaction, which some pharmacists value. You might talk to them on the phone or online, but it’s just not the same as being face to face.

The other disadvantage is that many view remote verification pharmacy jobs as where pharmacist careers go to die. I saw that many pharmacists have a very negative view of such work. Not all work at home pharmacist jobs are of that nature, however.

It is also possible that you’ll earn less in remote positions than you would in other pharmacist jobs. Only you can decide if the convenience of working at home is worth that.

Overall, if you choose wisely, finding a home based job as a pharmacist can be a good way to continue your career while being there a bit more for your family. You won’t be able to have anyone right there in your home office, but you won’t have that commute eating up your day either. If you can handle the challenges, it may be a good career move for you.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated June 6th, 2019

Romance And The Stay At Home Mom

Romance And The Stay At Home Mom

It can be difficult to feel romantic after spending all day with the kids. You’re often worn out by the time your husband gets home, and there are probably still the dinner dishes to be done and the kids to get ready for bed. It’s often no wonder romance falls by the wayside for stay at home moms.

We can’t all have the grand romance of a Disney princess or Gomez and Morticia Addams. What we can do is find ways to add bits of romance into our lives. It takes effort, of course, from both of you.

Why Are You Too Tired For Romance?

Many stay at home moms are simply exhausted by all of the things they have to get done every day. This is especially true when you’re chasing after babies and toddlers, although older kids can be exhausting too.

If sheer exhaustion is a part of the problem, make sure your husband understands that. And then tell him if you need more help when he’s at home. His job has definite hours. Yours does too if you consider 24/7/365 definite. Make sure these things are well balanced.

That doesn’t mean hand your husband a long list of chores the minute he walks in the door, of course. But things like doing the dishes together and putting the kids to bed together are quite reasonable to ask.

Make Time For Touch

holding hands

Take the time for touch in your relationship. It doesn’t all have to be overtly sexual – holding hands or just leaning on each other counts. It’s a little reminder of the closeness the two of you share.

But when you have the energy and the kids are in bed, haul out the massage oils and take turns massaging one another. Even if you’re too tired for more than massage, you will both feel better for it.

Of course, if you’re not up for touch because you’re all touched out, make sure you express that feeling too. There are times when the kids will leave you too tired of physical contact to really enjoy massage. Don’t put pressure on yourself to do things you really aren’t up for.

Try not to neglect the sexual aspect of your marriage too much. If you’re not interested in sex often, you need to have a talk with your spouse and possibly your doctor. Depression and hormone issues are real possibilities when your sex drive drops.

Remember The Everyday Romance

flowers

Romance in a relationship isn’t all about big dates nights. It’s in the little things too.

If you pack his lunch, leave little love notes in it. If he doesn’t, how about sneaking a note into his pocket or wallet. Just a little something to make him smile, nothing that would embarrass either of you should a coworker get a glance.

Don’t forget to kiss each other every day. Really kiss, not just a peck on the cheek. And tell each other “I love you” every time you think of it.

Don’t be embarrassed about showing your affection for each other in front of your kids – appropriately, of course. They should see that it’s normal and healthy to be physically affectionate with your spouse.

It can be tough keeping those romantic feelings going when you have children, rougher when you spend your entire day caring for them and just feel wiped out. But romance does not need to disappear from your marriage just because of that. Take the time and show your husband that a stay at home mom still knows her romance. You’re not only a mom, after all – you’re a wife too.

Romance Doesn’t Have To Mean Going Out

Date nights are tough to come by when the kids are little. You’re tired, the budget is tight, and it’s just hard to find the right time to do things together.

But you can make it easier if you take away the pressure to go OUT for date night. Staying in is a perfectly valid option.

cooking together

If you can get the kids out of the house, plan a special dinner for just the two of you. Haul out the good china you got for your wedding but rarely use. Make something special for dinner. Light candles. Dress for it. Try to have everything ready before he gets home. And try to have most of the cooking mess cleaned up. You don’t want dirty dishes to ruin the mood.

If you can’t get the kids out, make dessert special after they’re in bed. Make or buy something just for the two of you.

If you have a fireplace, take advantage of it. Light up a fire and cuddle up together in front of it. No TV, no interruptions. Chocolate covered strawberries are a nice touch for this one, and super easy to make so long as strawberries are in season.

On the other hand, the right movie makes for a great date night at home too. Find something you both really want to see. Depending on the streaming services you subscribe to, you may even be able to get this for free. If not, Amazon Prime has lots of movies available to rent or buy on their streaming service.

Love to dance? Put on some music and dance together at home. Enjoy each other’s company.

Going Out Can Be Cheap

picnic

Going out on a date night with your spouse can be quite affordable. You can get out without the kids for cheap if you know how.

Childcare is often the most expensive part of date night when the kids are little. Sitters don’t come cheap. If you have friends or family who are willing to trade date night babysitting, however, you can cut this cost right out.

Look for free and cheap things to do in your local area together. My town has a market night on Friday nights during the summer. There’s live music too. It’s pretty small, but it’s an excuse to get out for a little.

The free summer movies in the park are fun too. Yes, they’re geared mostly toward the kids, but we get there early, send the kids off to the playground and have some time together.

If you’re short of ideas, ebooks such as 300 Creative Dates can help you come up with fun and interesting ideas for dates.

Have Fun

Sometimes it’s easy to forget to have fun in your daily life when you have kids. Being fun is one of the ways stay at home moms can keep romance alive in their marriages.

Make jokes together. Tease each other – nicely, of course! Flirt.

walking together

This takes communication, to make sure that what is a joke to one person isn’t hurtful to the other. There’s nothing romantic about hurting your spouse’s feelings.

You can also have fun just talking. If you can’t think of what to talk about, 1000 Questions for Couples may be a help.

Talk Your Problems Out

When you have a problem with your spouse, talk it out! Don’t let the problems fester. Ignoring problems and letting them fester is a sure romance killer.

Sometimes this means asking for what you need. It’s not fun when you have to ask, but it can be necessary. Odds are that you did not marry a mind reader.

If you need more help around the house, ask for it. Household chores are not yours alone just because you’re a stay at home mom. It’s too easy to make being a SAHM a 24/7 job if you don’t plan out an appropriate division of household labor.

I don’t mean have a gripe fest of all the problems you’re having, or all the faults your spouse has. That’s not helpful to either of you.

Instead, work on having an adult conversation about the problems you see and what you would like done about them. You should both be able to acknowledge the hard work each of you puts into the family, as well as the weak points you may each have.

Ideally, of course, you don’t want one parent taking on all the mental and emotional labor of keeping your family running. If you’ve fallen into the habit of handling everything of that sort, it will take time to make a change, but nothing will ever change if you don’t point out the problem and work together on fixing it. Once again, figure out an appropriate division of labor.

You may find out that your spouse is dealing with things you weren’t aware of. Working outside the home has its own stresses, and while it doesn’t excuse anyone from helping out at home, there are times when work stress means you need to let them have a little more relaxation time for a while. Just make sure you don’t overstress yourself in the process.

Consider reading books such as 50 Secrets of Blissful Relationships to get more ideas on how to improve your marriage. It rarely hurts to get advice from someone who has a lot of ideas on how to keep a marriage happier.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated May 28th, 2019

6 Ways To Encourage Your Children’s Creativity Over The Summer

6 Ways To Encourage Your Children's Creativity Over The Summer

Everyone admires a child’s creativity. It’s amazing seeing what they come up with, especially when they’re young and utterly uninhibited about expressing themselves. How can you encourage your children’s creativity over the summer?

Encouraging your children’s creativity is a great way to pull them away from electronic screens. These can be useful in coming up with ideas or learning a new skill, however. My kids love looking up how-to videos on things they want to learn to do, for example.

The other key is to have plenty of supplies waiting for them, of whichever sort your kids prefer. We have a craft cabinet which is full of paints, different types of paper, pens, crayons, crafting foam, and much more. They are also encouraged to use age appropriate tools.

1. Encourage them to read.

child reading

Reading is a great way to encourage the imagination, whether you’re helping your child learn to read or they’ve long since mastered it. Let your child pick the books he or she enjoys for the summer – time enough for required reading during the school year.

Take advantage of any reading programs in your area that may encourage your child. Many local libraries have summer reading programs. Barnes & Noble usually has a program over the summer where children in grades 1-6 can earn a free book by reading 8 books and writing the titles in a reading journal. The free book titles are listed on the reading journal.

Don’t push your child to read something they don’t want to over the summer, even if it means they read very little or at all. Do keep looking for what they want to read – even comic books have value as reading material.

2. Encourage them to make things.

kids painting

There are so many ways your children can use their imaginations while making things, and so many different toys that make it possible, from the long-popular Legos and K’Nex to programs such as Minecraft. You don’t want your kids to overdo it on the computer all summer, of course, but Minecraft and similar programs offer a great deal of flexibility and much less mess than toys which can be left on the floor.

Don’t forget traditional tools and materials as well. Once your kids are ready, they can learn to use a drill, screwdrivers, hammers, saws, and other such tools to make more challenging things.

For younger kids, you can check with your local hardware store, such as Home Depot, to see if they have any kids’ workshops available. Some do, some don’t. These are mostly geared toward younger children and are a great way for kids to learn some of the basics.

Arts and crafts are a good choice as well. You can get cheap crafting supplies at most dollar stores. Older kids and teens may want better quality supplies, of course, but younger kids can be so hard on them that cheaper markers and such can make a lot of sense.

3. Encourage them in music.

child guitar

Learning to play a musical instrument is good for kids in many ways. Let them choose the instrument they’d like to learn if at all possible – they will enjoy the lessons more this way.

Even if they don’t want to learn an instrument, you can encourage their enjoyment by having music play during the day. Turn on something they’ll enjoy – they might sing or dance along.

We keep a variety of musical instruments available. We have the inevitable recorders they learned to play at school, of course. But they can also play on a keyboard or a small harp.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to let kids make music. Even if they don’t want to sing, you can teach them how to blow across the top of a bottle to make sound.

If your kids are really into music, you may want to encourage them to learn about electronic music production. This could be a great creative outlet for them.

4. Encourage them to play outside.

sandbox

It may be hot outside in the summer, but your kids can play outdoors anyhow, just as you probably did. Have cold drinks and treats available so they can cool down as needed, but get them outside. Encourage them to catch bugs (at least the non-stinging sort), have water fights, climb trees and play with friends. Let them roam the neighborhood as they get old enough.

Bikes are a great way to get your kids out and exploring. My son love to go out riding in the wash near our house. I usually have him go with a friend, as there’s poor phone reception in that area. Usually, they’re so tired at then end that they text for a ride home, even though it’s less than a half mile back.

It is, admittedly, hard to get kids out when it’s miserably hot outside. You probably don’t want to leave the nice, cool house either. Just remember that playing outside in the evening is perfectly reasonable – plus you don’t have to worry about sunburn.

There are also lots of fun summer night activities you can do as a family. Get everyone out and have fun together!

5. Don’t overschedule them.

child dress mask

Don’t overschedule your children’s summer days. Give them time to just be themselves. Classes of various sorts can be good for your kids, but more important is that they have time to do whatever they want.

Free time is truly one of the best ways to encourage your children’s creativity, so long as you don’t let them sit in front of a screen the whole time. Let them be bored. Boredom is good. Kids who are bored are kids who will come up with something interesting to do.

This can be one of the more difficult things to avoid, as kids who are in activities are busy kids, and that means a nice break for parents. Also, many kids want to take fun classes over the summer, to learn things that are of interest to them.

You don’t have to deny them that. Just make sure that your children have a significant amount of time over the summer with nothing on their schedule. That downtime is healthy.

My personal suggestion for summer classes for kids includes swimming lessons. Even if they don’t have regular access to a pool outside of class, it’s a good idea. You never know when a friend will have a pool or you’ll have some other opportunity as a family to go swimming. It’s more fun when everyone knows how.

6. Spend time together as a family.

family climbing

You don’t have to do anything big, but do things as a family. Have game nights. Watch a movie together. Have a picnic. Go camping. Go on vacation. Have a water balloon fight. Read. Talk about things you’ve done and dreams you have. Big or little, do things together as a family.

You can also take on a family project for the summer. Work on a garden. Build a fort. Make it fun for everyone.

Volunteering over the summer can also be good. You don’t have to sign up for anything formal if you don’t want to – cleaning up the trash in a local park is always an option. But you can also see if any local retirement homes need volunteers, or animal rescues, or whatever you want to do. Get together and do something to make the world just a bit better.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated May 21st, 2019

10 Tips To Get Started On Pinterest

10 Tips To Get Started On Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the most popular social media sites for bloggers, reaching more than 250 million people each month. Better yet, more people on Pinterest say they find content from brands useful than on other platforms. Used right, it’s a great place to drive traffic to your blog or home business. So how do you get started on Pinterest?

It’s not complicated, but there are some things you need to be careful of. It’s easy to make mistakes that will limit your reach on Pinterest or even get you in trouble.

1. Get started on Pinterest with a great Pinterest profile.

Your Pinterest profile can help you look more professional. The first thing you need to do is make sure that you verify your account as a business account. This will give you access to tools and statistics you won’t have otherwise.

Ideally, you want your business name as your user name and your account name. These will show up to visitors. If this is already taken, find a similar alternative.

pinterest profile

Include a personal photo or business logo as your profile picture. Which one is most appropriate depends on the kind of image you want for your business. Are you focused on building your brand or are you more personal?

You will also want to fill in the about your profile section of your profile. Use it to describe what your business is about.

2. Separate your personal and business Pinterest accounts.

Pinterest allows businesses to have their own Pinterest accounts. This is a good thing. You can make your business account focused on items relevant to your business while keeping your personal pins to yourself.

If you don’t want to have multiple accounts, you can hide your personal boards by making them secret. This way you can keep saving all the fun pins you want while maintaining a professional image.

3. Make your boards relevant to your niche.

Set your Pinterest account up with a variety of relevant boards to pin your content on. It is often recommended to have 4-5 related but not identical boards per topic.

Let’s take parenting as an example. You could have a parenting board, but there are several related boards you might want to include as well, such as:

  • parenting teens
  • stay at home moms
  • parenting toddlers
  • working parents
  • kid activities
  • parenting styles
  • kids and chores
  • parenting books
  • single parenting.

Having a range of board subjects means that each pin you make may fit on more than one board. That gives you multiple opportunities to promote each blog post.

Make sure you give each board a relevant description and category. You can do this by clicking on the pencil button that you see when you hover over the board, or when you’re on the board itself.

pinterest boards

4. Be sure you have permission to pin images on Pinterest.

Many people assume that they can pin just any image they want. That’s really not the case.

If you’re pinning from someone else’s site, check for a Pin It link or other indication that it’s okay to use. It’s kind of a drag when you really want to pin something, but if there’s no indication that it’s okay, you could be committing copyright infringement if someone doesn’t want their images shared on Pinterest.

If it’s a photograph you took or a graphic you created from scratch, obviously it’s fine to use on Pinterest if that’s what you want. This has the advantage of being unique to you, rather than an image several other people have used.

If it’s a stock image you got on another site, it may not be okay. Check your license. Some stock image licenses significantly limit what you can do with them.

There are sites that offer photos and graphics that should be free to use. Just be careful, as you can’t be absolutely certain that the person sharing it on the site actually has permission to declare it free to use. Look for Creative Commons Zero and public domain images on trusted sites.

5. Use images on your site with Pinterest in mind.

Make sure the images you place on your site are Pinterest-friendly. That not only means using images where you have the copyright issues under control, but that will help draw people to your post when they see it. Make it relevant, and use text in your images to help people know what it’s about.

This doesn’t mean you have to make huge images on your site, even though long images tend to do better on Pinterest. You can control which images are pinned to Pinterest so that the images which show on your site are sized to go with your style, while the associated pinnable images are optimized for Pinterest.

You should create multiple pinnable images per blog post if at all possible. They don’t all have to be visible – you can even hide images if you need to.

6. Use keywords in your pin descriptions.

Use relevant keywords as you write descriptions for your pins. This makes them easier for people to find when they search Pinterest.

If you aren’t sure which keywords to use, do a little research. Type your main keyword into Pinterest. Pinterest will give you the pins that come up for that plus suggested words to add onto your keyword. Use the relevant ones as appropriate.

You can add Pinterest descriptions to your images by adding

data-pin-description=”your description here”

to the HTML of your images. In WordPress, you can do this by clicking on the three vertical dots near the top of the block and selecting “Edit as HTML.” WordPress editor isn’t terribly fond of this code – it always tells me there’s an error – but it works just fine in the actual post.

waterfall

7. Use hashtags.

Pinterest did not support hashtags for a long time, but they do now. But unlike Instagram, they don’t want you to use a ton of them. They recommend no more than 20 hashtags, but I’ve seen others suggest as few as 2-3 per post. Given the character limitations on Pinterest descriptions, I would suggest balancing your descriptions with your hashtags.

Hashtag search is displayed in mostly reverse chronological order – that is, the newest pins will show first. This means their benefit may be limited. Use them right, however, and you might give your pins an early boost.

8. Pin regularly.

Building the habit of pinning regularly to Pinterest may be one of the hardest parts of getting started on Pinterest. It’s something I struggled with for a long time, being just one more thing on top of everything else I had to get done.

These days, I use Tailwind to schedule my pins. It’s much easier. It takes just a few minutes to schedule pins out for each post.

I still have to go to Pinterest regularly to pin content other than my own, but that’s fine. Many people believe that pinning directly from Pinterest has advantages, but that’s not something I’ve tested.

Do not do all your pinning all at once. This is one of the things I love about Tailwind – that it spreads my pins out throughout the day. People use Pinterest at different times of the day. Scheduling means I don’t have to figure out for myself what the best times are. Tailwind does that for me.

Especially do not pin the same blog post all at once. Not only does it look terrible on your profile, Pinterest may view it as spamming. Schedule your pins out. I prefer to go about 24 hours between pins of a particular post.

night sky

9. Share more than stuff from your own site.

As a blogger, you’re probably using Pinterest in part to promote your own stuff. Share more than that – it makes your account more interesting for people to follow.

If you join any group boards on Pinterest, sharing from them will likely be required. Group boards are a way for your pins to get in front of people who don’t already follow you. It can be difficult to get onto the best ones, but it’s worthwhile.

You can also join some Tailwind Tribes. These are groups on Tailwind that share pins based on a particular subject and require that for every pin you add, you have to pin one or more of someone else’s. You can try it out for free!

10. Don’t expect immediate results.

As with any other free promotion method, it takes time to see results for Pinterest. You have to build a following and get a feel for the things that do well on Pinterest.

Remember that all those people you see with thousands of repins on their posts were once in the same position. They had to develop a following. The post may have been updated and reshared, so that it has been gaining pins for years, not just a few days.

Give yourself time when you’re just getting started on Pinterest. Test styles and use the right tools to make it easier. It won’t be fast for most people, but Pinterest can be an extremely valuable source of traffic.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated May 16th, 2019

How To Prepare For Summer As A Work At Home Mom

How To Prepare For Summer As A Work At Home Mom

Summer break is getting close for schoolchildren. That means all too soon the kids will have many extra hours in which to express their boredom. It pays to prepare for summer as a work at home mom if you want to get some decent work hours in.

Not all of my ideas are about making things fun for the kids. Fun is good, and children need plenty of it, but you have to expect them to help around the house too. They don’t have school over the summer, and that means they have more time to help you, like it or not. And so…

Plan Ahead

The very first thing you need to do to prepare for summer as a work at home mom is plan ahead. There are several things you need to consider:

  • Will you make any changes to your regular schedule?
  • What do you need from your spouse?
  • What do you need from your kids?
  • How are you going to keep the kids out of your hair when you need to work?
  • What will you do when the kids say they’re bored?
  • Do you need to put the kids in daycare?
  • Are there vacations or events you need to plan around?
  • Of the things the kids want to do over the summer, which are realistic?
  • What could possibly go wrong?

Depending on what you do from home, you may have to keep to much the same routine or you may be able to change things around to suit yourself. Not all work at home jobs have flexible hours, after all. Be realistic when making your plans.

The changes you have to make to prepare to work at home during the summer will depend on the ages of your kids, of course. Kids who are too young for school won’t change much at all. School age children will have a more significant change, but their needs will change as they get older. A time will come when they won’t need all that much from you aside from rides and such.

Talk With Your Family

Once you know what you need, it’s time to talk things over with your family so that everyone’s on the same page or close to it. You can’t assume that they’ll understand otherwise.

Remind the kids of the rules regarding your work hours and interruptions. This is especially important if you’re going to be on the phone or if distractions are a major problem for you.

Be sure your spouse or significant other is on your side and ready to help. If they’re home during your work hours, they should be the one to help the kids with whatever – the kids should not be interrupting you at all if there’s another responsible adult available. They should also know how much background noise you can handle while working.

Once everyone understands your expectations and needs, you can think about the other things your family can do over the summer. You don’t have to manage every minute of your kids’ days, but you can make some plans.

Add New Chores To The Kids’ To Do Lists

child cleaning

Children are quite capable of helping around the house, and they should do it often. How many people have stories about the college freshman they knew who had never done his or her own laundry and was at a complete loss, or the friend who didn’t know how to cook even the most basic of foods?

Summer is a great time to encourage your kids to start cooking, even if they don’t want to. It’s an important life skill. If you have any doubts about how well kids can do in the kitchen, watch shows such as Masterchef Jr. Those kids are amazing.

If they can cook already, consider having them cook more often.

Think about what your kids are capable of cleaning, even if they won’t immediately do it to your standards. Dusting, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, laundry, all that fun stuff. Surely some of it can be made at least partially a chore for the kids.

Keep Their School Skills Fresh

One big problem with such a long summer break is that children forget what they learned in school. Then their teachers have to go over all over it again at the start of the new school year. Summer learning loss is a real problem for kids.

There are plenty of websites which can help you help them retain the things they learned at school. You can find printable math worksheets and more online. Khan Academy has only a little suitable for elementary school aged kids, but it gets better as they get more advanced. Prodigy is better for younger kids, as it’s more game based.

You can also make up your own assignments for them. I prefer to keep summer work within the interests of each child when I can. The child who loves cats, for example, will read books about cats or with cats in them much more willingly than other books. Comic books and other easy reading are perfectly acceptable too. Reading anything is better than reading nothing.

I don’t suggest hours of schoolwork a day or even necessarily doing schoolwork every day. Even a half hour once or twice a week may be plenty, depending on the skills you’re working with.

Summer Camps And Classes

You don’t have to do all the educational stuff on your own, and it doesn’t all have to be educational anyhow. Look into summer camps and classes for your kids that fit into your budget and their interests.

When my kids were younger, for example, I insisted on swimming lessons for them every summer. My older ones have aged out now, but the youngest still gets them. My main reason for this was because their grandparents had a pool, as did some friends. These days we have less pool access for them, but it’s still a good idea to teach kids to swim. It’s a big part of water safety.

If camps and classes don’t fit into your budget, don’t feel bad. There are lots of other things your kids can do. Believe me, I know how hard it is to afford these things at times. There have been times where getting the money for swimming lessons was hard, and they’re relatively affordable. Fortunately, there are lots of free and cheap things you can do as a family that will be lots of fun.

Go To The Park

playground

Getting out to the park regularly gets the kids away from the electronic forms of entertainment, and if you have one young enough to nap yet, encourages naptime later on. If your kids are old enough to only be lightly watched as they play, you may even be able to bring your laptop and work while they play.

I suggest going either early in the day or in the evenings after dinner, as those are the cooler times of day. You’ll also have to worry less about sunburn.

We like to go to the movies in the park our local parks do in the summer. Free movies and a good chance of running into friends makes for a great evening for all concerned.

Trade Time With Other At Home Parents

If you know other stay at home or work at home parents, consider trading times where you have each others’ kids come over. If the kids are friends, this works great! They’re excited to see their friends, and no matter which house they’re at, they’ll probably be more focused on having fun together than on you.

Obviously, if you need quiet because you have a work at home customer service job or other phone work, don’t schedule your turns with the kids when you have to work. They’re going to be loud.

Alternatively, you may be fortunate enough to have family who can help you out. My kids sometimes spend a part of the summer with their grandparents. My sister and I will sometimes trade kids around, although that’s a 1:1 trade which means I still have kids around. But the cousins get along well and generally enjoy their time together, leaving me out of it.

Get A Mother’s Helper

I loved it when I had a mother’s helper when my oldest was a baby. It made life much easier. My helper was too young to be a babysitter, but quite aware of how her older sisters made money with babysitting. Of course she cost less to hire, as I was right there, able to change diapers and so forth. She just had to keep the baby entertained.

If you have a toddler and an older child, you can also pay the older child to have more specific duties toward the younger, beyond what you expect simply for the fact that you’re all family. It’s a good way to teach them responsibility and the value of earning money.

Go To The Library

child reading

If your kids love to read, heading to the library is a great way to encourage the habit without spending a fortune on books. Younger kids in particular have changing tastes which can make it difficult to keep a decent selection of books for them. The library, on the other hand, should have lots of books available.

Libraries can have a variety of programs for kids over the summer. Many have reading challenges, but they may also have events. We’ve seen magic shows at our library, for example, as well as many other fun programs. Check your local library’s website to see if anything interesting is coming up.

Have Arts And Crafts Supplies Available

Just how available you make the arts and crafts supplies depends on how much you can trust your kids to use them properly. You may need to keep some out of reach of younger children who might misuse them, while older children should have more or less free access. You know how far you can trust your kids.

As kids get older, the supplies should allow for their greater skills. We have a soldering kit for my kids, tools they’re allowed to use, good quality paints and more.

If your kids aren’t sure how to do something, encourage them to find resources. Library books can be a great place to start. YouTube videos are available on all kinds of subjects. It’s much easier to pick up a fun skill than it used to be.

Get Them Playing Outside

I know summer is hot and kids will grumble about it, but they should still play outside when possible. The trick is to make sure that they will have fun.

backyard soccer

The first thing to do is to have lots of fun things they can do outside. Consider all of the fun things you could have ready for them:

  • Bikes
  • Skates
  • Skateboards
  • Water toys
  • Soccer balls, baseballs, footballs, etc.
  • Sandbox
  • Swing set
  • Sidewalk chalk

If the days are too hot or you’re concerned about sun exposure, encourage your kids to play outside earlier or later in the day. Many outdoor games are more fun at night anyhow.

If you’re ambitious, set up the barbecue to cook dinner outside some nights. Dinner outside makes for great family time and gets everyone outdoors. Don’t forget the marshmallows!

Have A Dedicated Play Area

Just as you are better off working in a dedicated home office space in most cases, kids are often better off in an at least somewhat dedicated play area. It might be their bedrooms, but at least they’re playing someplace where they’re out of your hair. Just be sure to check out that suspicious silence. They’re either up to something or being so cute you’ll need a camera. Maybe both.

You don’t have to do all of these suggestions, of course. These are simply ideas that can help make your summer as a work at home mom better so you can be productive while letting your kids have fun.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Pinterest Feedly
Home With the Kids on LinkedIn

Are you ready to work at home? Subscribe to learn about blogging and other ways to earn money from home.

Email:



Ads

Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.