I’m happy to have Charlene guest posting on the blog, sharing with us how her family has their own unique style of home education, which she calls Hess Un-Academy homeschooling, that will give her children a great head for business while they learn life skills along the way.
How Do You Homeschool?
Hi guys! Charlene here, from Hess Un-Academy. I am so excited to be here with you lovely Castle View Academy readers!
Have you ever been asked what your homeschooling method is? If you’ve been around the world of homeschooling for longer than a few months, odds are good you are at least somewhat familiar with some of the various styles and methods to homeschooling.
Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Unit Studies, Eclectic; the list goes on and on.
Homeschooling families all over the world tend to naturally settle into one (or maybe two) of these homeschooling methods. Different approaches work for different families, and that’s okay! As long as you find what works for you, you’re on the right track!
What is Hess-Un Academy Homeschooling?
If you were to ask me how my family does homeschool, the answer would not be short and sweet. We dabble in a lot of different methods regularly enough that I can’t say we ‘used to do that’ or we ‘currently do this.’ A day in the life of our homeschool family would reveal lots of TJED, Montessori, Unit Studies, Roadschooling, Eclectic and Relaxed homeschooling, and even some Unschooling, with a bunch of Traditional Homeschooling mixed in. It is quite unpredictable here at our house. And yet very structured at the same time.
A better question would be to ask WHY we homeschool. WHAT is our goal with homeschooling our kids? The answer to this question will also explain our homeschooling method.
Why Do We Homeschool?
In order for my kids to obtain a degree upon graduation from our homeschool, they must do a project. I guess you could call it a senior project of sorts, except we don’t expect the kids to finish this project in only one year, and we are not limiting them to starting it during their final year of school.
In order for my kids to graduate from our homeschool, they must start and run a successful business.
You read that right. We expect our kids to come up with an idea, execute that idea, and ride it out until it is successful. We expect them to fail along the way (most start-up businesses fail, right?) which is why we start their training so early.
Spencer (my oldest) is turning 10 this year. He has been dabbling around in different talents and hobbies for the last few years, trying to find something he likes to do enough to start a business. That boy has thought about raising chickens and selling their eggs. He’s thought about making and selling chain mail. Right now Spencer is leaning towards learning to code and building and designing coding projects. He’s got about 2 more years of exploration before we will start really encouraging him to pick something and see where it takes him. (although I wouldn’t be surprised if he sticks with coding).
Why do we want our kids to be able to run a successful business upon graduation?
Do you remember when you graduated from high school? Did you feel ready to take on the world? Maybe you did and maybe you didn’t. But a lot of people don’t feel ready when they graduate.
Look around at the world today. How many people are struggling to barely make ends meet? How many people are stuck in a dead-end job, if they’re lucky to have found a job at all? How many people wish they could start their own business but don’t have the resources or the know-how?
I’m not saying having a successful business at 18 years old will set our kids up for life. There is no way to guarantee a successful adulthood like that. But having a successful business will give the kids so many options.
By having a business of their own, our kids will know how business works – this will give them options and flexibility later in life. They will also (theoretically) have a steady income to fund their next step in life – College? House and family? Bigger investments? Something else? A steady business income will help fund whatever path they choose.
We all know that most startup businesses fail within their first 5 years. If this happens and our kids start a business that ends up failing, they will at least have some real-life knowledge on how to start again and eventually run with a concept that will work long-term.
What if they don’t want to start their own business?
If our kids don’t want to start their own business, that’s okay! I will always leave my kids the option of taking and passing the GED and finishing school that way. But we believe that starting their own business will give them a strong head start on the rest of their peers and really get them set up right.
How Do We Homeschool?
Every day, we school the kids with this end goal in mind. Our homeschooling method may look very unconventional, but the skills they are learning, we believe, will help them on their path to entrepreneurship. We teach the kids to read and write because reading and writing are necessary for running a business. We go through math because math is important in running a business. They are young now and are still focusing on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc, but as they get older, we will teach them how to handle bookkeeping so they are ready for the back end of running a business.
History and geography are a lot of fun and we explore those just to make our schooling more exciting, but we also encourage our kids to read success principle books and business books. They read books like The Go-Giver and How To Win Friends and Influence People, among others.
We teach our kids how to interact with people of all ages and backgrounds. We teach them leadership skills. How to work together as a group. We teach them how money works and how the politics and laws in our country run.
We encourage problem-solving skills and frequently throw our kids into situations we know they will struggle with and then sit back and watch them figure it out. Learning how to solve problems without their parents will help them on their quest to adulthood.
Our homeschool days are not typical. Some days we spend hours hitting the books. Sometimes we’ll go days at a time without any ‘schoolwork’ at all – but on these days, they are learning other skills. So if you asked me what method of homeschooling we follow, I would not be able to give a one-word answer such as Charlotte Mason or Unit Studies. We have our own style because we have our own unique goals for our kids.
We Call This the Hess Un-Academy Homeschooling Method.