Mark and Stacie Blubaugh are longtime MPE members and homeschool business owners. Following is a Q-and-A on how to balance homeschool and work.
Note: If you’re an MPE member and homeschool, you’re eligible to include your business’ information in our directory. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with: Name of MPE member, name of business/service (and if needed, a description in five words or less), address, telephone, website, and section of choice (Educational Services, Home Maintenance & Contracting, Medical Services, or Professional Services). Companies with websites will also be listed on our Members’ Only website section. Deadline to submit information is Sept. 10.
What made you decide to start your business?
Mark grew up on the family farm, and I (Stacie) grew up around the restaurant business. So we knew we wanted to also have businesses ourselves.
We knew it would allow us to teach our kids a work ethic and keep the family together while providing several benefits both personally and financially for the family unit, and we could be more in control of our time rather than someone else always controlling our time.
What’s a typical day for the Blubaugh family, homeschooling and running your business?
We fit it all in each day as we could. Some days we got more school done and some days we had more work to do.
We have been running our business for nearly 16 years. So when we started we had 2 little girls. Now we have 6 kids! So it really all changed and evolved as we added more children.
When we had 3-4 kids we all went to work together and traded off working and babysitting and doing schoolwork at the jobsites.
As 5 and 6 came along and the business grew I stayed home more and took over running the schedule and office work from home and the older ones would work with Mark as needed. We also added more employees and subcontractors.
Do your children help you in your business? If so, how?
Yes, in new construction cleaning we detail an entire home. Their main jobs were shop vacing all woodwork and then helping wipe it down. Also shop vacing and cleaning out air vents. Those are both good first jobs in this line of work for kids.
Today our two oldest daughters work in the field running crews as needed and also one of them helps me with office work as well. Our 14-year-old also works with Mark part time also around his lawnmowing business, and we help him as needed with his mowing business.
What has it been like balancing homeschool and your business?
Challenging many times as every day is different. We have to be very flexible and constantly be adjusting work schedules and school schedules as what we do depends on the other subcontractors to get their jobs in the homes done as scheduled so we can come in to clean. That doesn’t always happen 🙂
So flexibility is necessary and a good thing to teach our kids at an early age! And working until the job is done and finding satisfaction in a job well done!
What have been some of your greatest challenges?
Not having a consistent schedule day in and day out each day. We always have a plan in place for school/work, but know that it will probably need to be adjusted and reorganized on some days and to do our best to adjust and keep moving all in the right direction with a good attitude! LOL.
What have been some of your greatest accomplishments?
Teaching our kids about free enterprise and the entrepreneurial spirit! Teaching the whole family to work together as a team while strengthening our family relationships. We have so many wonderful memories and feel we have been able to teach them all a work ethic and doing whatever it takes to get a job done.
We do have other family businesses also. Our two oldest daughters, Mark and I are developing an e-commerce business.(www.msbusinessdevelopment.com, password: interview)
Our 14-year-old son started his lawn business this summer and is mowing 20 yards, and one of our daughters is starting a baking business. So passing on the belief that you can pursue your passions and control your time and schedule and make an income for themselves while doing so.
Which resources have you found most helpful?
Homeschooling: MPE conferences and fellowship with other homeschool families. Good to be connected with likeminded people.
For our business, we have a self-development program introduced to us through our e-commerce team that helps us in all areas of our life and especially in our new construction cleaning.
Besides first spending time in God’s Word, also reading positive books and motivational audios and associating with like minded people on how to stay positive and focused.
The saying goes by Charlie Tremendous Jones: “The only difference between where we are now and where we will be in 5 years is the books we read and the people we associate with.” That applies for both homeschooling and business.
Any tips for homeschoolers who are interested in starting their own business, but afraid it might not work for them?
It’s important to learn about what you want to do, make your plan, work your plan and don’t ever give up! Very important to be a team and work together and support each other through the ups and downs.
We LOVE to hire homeschool kids and families. We have had homeschool family teams work for us also. Also had dads and moms work part time as well. It’s a great way to test out working together part time as a family to make extra money for the family.
Even though working together as a family with family businesses can be a challenge many times, the rewards of building strong lasting relationships, teaching our kids to work hard, but always keep the Lord first, has been a huge blessing in our lives. We are so thankful to our Heavenly Father for the opportunities he has given us.
Thanks, Mark and Stacie Blubaugh!