“You are an anthropologist,” Penelope Trunk wrote to me in an email after I took the plunge five short months ago to begin this blog.
I am someone who looks for solutions in everything I do. I am fascinated by why people homeschool and how rethinking work is making it possible for more and more people to do just that.
I seek solutions in every project I am working on and the reason I do this is that I am an entrepreneur. It is as much a part of who I am as the fact that I am 7/8ths Irish, as my mother likes to remind me of as often as possible. I am not sure if you are born an entrepreneur or not, but I am quite sure anyone can become one. It just requires a leap of faith.
Jeff Walker newest book Launch is a great example of someone leaping into entrepreneurship out of desperation. It is a great read, and more that that it will help you shift your thinking. Many of us are leaping into homeschooling for the very same reasons, but we need a vehicle to change the way we work.
I read blogs and forums, lots of them, about homeschooling and working. The one recurring theme is people looking for a way to help their children love learning. We all essentially want the same thing, just the vehicles are different. Some want homeschooling, others to unschool, others still want a private school for their child. We all want the best for our children. This one united goal makes us stronger if we are brave enough to tell each other the truth.
So here I am telling you the truth about working and homeschooling. You can do it, but not until you change your mindset.
You have to let yourself think like an entrepreneur. You already do deep down think like an entrepreneur if you are even considering homeschooling.
- a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
I think the same can be said for homeschoolers, unschoolers and educational disruptors. We all know that it is easier to work, and put your children in something that is free, but it is not better so we cannot. We might go along for awhile, but the nagging feeling that there is a better way always wins. It shows up in stress with our loved ones, and postings on messages boards asking for advice on how to teach our kids from 6-9 pm at night after work.
I remember the first time I read a comment online from a mom seeking help a couple of years ago. She wanted to know how to continue working her full-time teaching job (ironic isn’t it), but she wanted to homeschool her kids. I was a reader of Penelope Trunk’s career advice blog, and so I thought I would send the question to Penelope and see what she thought was the answer.
Here is why her advice is so valuable. She tells the truth. She is not afraid of it, and I think when someone posts a question like that online they really need someone to tell them the truth.
Here is Penelope’s answer, “She CAN”T!”
She is right, you cannot teach in a broken system all day and come home and be the kind of teacher or guide your kids need. What she can do is rethink work. She can start thinking like a free agent with an enormous amount of skills, and redefine her work.
Yes it will be scary. Yes, she will have to leave her “teaching job”. Yes, she is putting her kids future above her fear of thinking bigger.
There, I said it.
If you find yourself wanting to homeschool and work, you can do this. I found myself giving into this fear, but I am pushing through it. Why? Because we have to. As I get busier with my work, I have to remind myself, “I am an entrepreneur. I am in charge.” If I want to teach my kids this, I have to model it first.
If I can do it so can you.
Put it in a sign somewhere in your house. You are a warrior in the world. You define your life and your work,. If only you will take the first step and commit. You will find the solution, but first you must commit to think like an entrepreneur and the rest as they say is details.