Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Homeschooler to entrepreneur: How home-based education helped prepare successful entrepreneurs

Homeschoolers lead; they change the world. They don’t train to adjust to a system; they invent the systems that run the world. Leaders, initiators, and creators are the ordinary output of a home-based education environment. The homeschool student learns earlier in life than their publicly educated counterparts to turn ideas and dreams into reality – or cash. This typically starts with a small enterprise conceived at home with goods or services delivered to extended family, neighbors, or friends at a community center or place of worship. Marketable skills and social experiences developed through these miniature business endeavors turn young entrepreneurs into natural leaders and influential public servants. Young students learn to lead, influence with confidence and vision while putting a little walking around money in their pockets.

Parents control the education experience. Home educators have a fabulous edge over public educators. The instructor doesn’t say good–bye to the student after eight or nine months and then start over with students the following autumn. The parent continues with the child and tailors the curriculum to the student.

Home educators have no outside obstacles to providing an excellent education. They’re motivated to provide nothing less than first rate for their own flesh and blood. Conversely, K-12 teachers within public institutions fight an exhausting, uphill battle to provide the superb schooling students deserve because they’re tasked with educating so many. The numbers served are too high. In many cases, the best that can be provided in a communal educational environment is mediocre, sub-standard or run-o’-the-mill. Not the stuff needed to development a young entrepreneur. These are words that illustrate the average make-it-through-the-week-shift-worker. When parents have the power, they rarely let their kids dip below excellent.

Public education teaches the basics of history. But a deeper look into the characters that have shaped history over the past two centuries reveals a cast of men and women our culture holds in high esteem; homeschooled the lot.

Few deny that George Washington was anything less than the greatest U.S. president. The father of our country was a farmer turned soldier turned general. This founding father was trained at home.

Thomas Jefferson, another founder of the United States was both a lawyer and a farmer. Men do not get out of bed one day and decide to be incredible leaders. These people are crafted over time like a work of art in the hands of a skilled artisan.

It was a home educated man that navigated this country’s bloodiest storm; the Civil War. Lawyer Abraham Lincoln held this country together through the tempest. Unbroken determination wasn’t instilled in him through institutional learning; it was wrought in him in a rural Illinois cottage.

Ansel Adams’ name is known to more than photographers, artists, or lovers of nature. His work is known to the average person on display around the world. This photographer/conservationist was not forced with his craft into anyone’s system. His creations whetted an appetite for brilliant photography and opened the doors for so many to follow in his footsteps. People that ma never leave the concrete and steel of the city have the majestic beauty of landscapes at their fingertips.

Writers Agatha Christie, Mark Twain, and Charles Dickens, also household names, are products of homeschooling. Libraries are full of books written by the authors influenced by these literary giants.

Chronicles of Narnia creator, well known scholar C.S. Lewis was taught at home; a fact not so well known. Lewis was a broadcaster and writer. His widely published lectures and books about the Bible, God and Christianity continue to influence preachers, philosophers, religious thinkers, and students some 45 years after his death.

Booker T. Washington, educator, author, and African American Civil Rights Leader was homeschooled.

Inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Edison was schooled at home. As was scientist, writer, and politician Benjamin Franklin.

Famed businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie credits home-based education to be the genesis of a long list of entrepreneurial enterprise and philanthropy.

Home-based education teaches an individual to flex circumstances to fit his life instead of forcing an individual into a mold cast by an institutional structure. Its monolithic constitution is the greatest obstacle to producing entrepreneurs. Remove the structure, and potential soars.


Kushmama said...

Thank you, Bryan, for posting the truth about home education! It's a shot on the arm for me, a homeschool mom, to read your words of encouragement that one day it will all pay off...

Kat said...

I'm a teacher and I agree with you. I'm currently in a long-term substitute position. I teach a class of 32 kindergarteners with no assistant. I share the class with the afternoon teacher and we each work with 16 students at a time. The stress level is off the charts, we do the very best we can, but it's heartbreaking that I can't work individually with the students who are struggling. I work far beyond my paid time, but still, there are kids who will slip through the 'cracks'. I cry alot over this because, in spite of 'just' being a 'sub', I care...I want these kids to succeed, but I'm a poor substitute for a loving parent who is able to stay home with, and homeschool their child.
I wish I could disagree with you, Pete, but you're absolutely right.

Kat said...

sorry....BRYON......I was just on another mixed up. Bryon, you are sooooo right!

Anonymous said...

During my short teaching career at our community college, I had a home-schooled kid in at least one class, nearly every semester. They were, without exception, the best or among the best two or three students in the class. I got them as young as 15 yrs., and they had a maturity and self-confidence that most of my somewhat older--and some who were much older--students did not have.

Those "educators" who insist that homeschooling parents must be licensed by the State to teach are showing their ignorance of history.

My only beef with homeschooling is the insistence by homeschoolers that the State should not require parents to use any curriculum or set any standards. I would not want the State to mandate *which* curriculum parents must use; but in AZ, parents are required only to register their child(ren) with the School Superintendent's office as homeschooled. The police have a time with children out, riding bikes, loitering, getting into trouble or just having a good time, during normal school hours, with the parents at work. But all a kid has to do is say, "I'm homeschooled"; the police check it out, and if it's the truth, they can do nothing. So we have many children who are signed up as homeschooled students who are not, in fact, being schooled, at all. And there's never any means of determining what, if anything, they have learned. How many more ignorant, functionally illiterate people do we need??

I do think Florida is one state that has some standards to be met. More power to them!