Why Public Schoolers would benefit in learning from the Homeschool Model
This is a guest blog post written by Don Sevcik – President of MathCelebrity
Four years ago, I attended my second homeschool conference and learned a valuable lesson from families who were exhibitors. The lesson learned is one I most certainly will use as I raise my daughter. What was the lesson you ask? Business savvy.
The children in the booths helped perform various tasks for their parents’ business. Some would greet people, some would pass out literature, and some would even answer questions from attendees. Another booth I visited had kids as young as 10 handling financial transactions.
If you are in sales or marketing, you already spotted some of the vital business lessons learned above.
- Greet people = Opening dialogue
- Pass out literature = Marketing and Lead Generation
- Answer questions = Overcoming objections and helping close the sale
What amazed me is that some of these kids were not even teenagers, yet they were already getting vital business experience at these conferences. They were dealing with the public, assisting in day to day operations, and learning what works and what doesn’t work. These skills, unlike test taking, are adaptive and constantly growing. Being a business owner myself, I’ve learned the most valuable skill you can possess is salesmanship.
As adults, I’m certain most of us at one time or another have thought, “If I knew then what I know now, I would be light years ahead of the game.” Imagine the lessons a 12 year old who helps out with a family business learns. I’m talking about things they don’t teach you in standard textbooks and classrooms, priceless street smarts that can only be gained from real time experience dealing with the public. Let’s fast forward 10 years. Now an adult, that same kid who helped Mom and Dad at the homeschool exhibit is in the workforce or running their own business. How much is the adaptive learning and business savvy that our homeschooler learned worth in the marketplace? How much stress is now avoided having that vital knowledge?
Looking back, if I could change one thing, it would be immersing myself more in business rather than just taking classes for a grade based on textbook knowledge. I would love to have learned more about things that really matter at an earlier age. Riggs Institute had a nice article about the child’s brain having the ability to absorb information like a sponge. You can train and rewire the brain with enough practice and discipline. What better way to encourage real world learning and business knowledge than the child helping Mom and Dad run a business? A homeschool conference is a hectic event, and these kids were holding their own, learning as they go. There were no robotic tests at this conference. Let’s face it, taking robotic tests teach you how to pass an exam. Dealing with people at a busy conference while running a business is a constant learning experience requiring adaptation and intuition.
Adaptation is vital for brain growth. BrainHQ has a nice article on brain plasticity which is a hot topic right now, and for good reason. It turns out, as our abilities change and improve, so do our neural connections in the brain. This creates a positive feedback loop which encourages more learning and improvement in that skill. When you run a business, there are multiple skillsets and moving parts that are learned at once. Many of them are related, so brain wiring would grow multiple connections, the best part being that all of the skills relate to one another. Think of this as a multiplier effect in the brain, where the end result is greater than the sum of the parts.
The lesson to take away from the Homeschool family business approach is to have our kids learn more street smarts and real world skills. That is why I will commit to bringing my daughter to a homeschool conference to work with my wife and I in the exhibitor booth. No matter what field of study she is passionate about learning, the real world skills she attains will be valuable and transferrable. Her brain development demands it!
Don Sevcik – President of MathCelebrity
Don is the founder and creator of MathCelebrity, an automated online math tutoring and education website. Don has been a math tutor for 20+ years and a programmer for over 10 years.