{Book Excerpt and Poll} What Makes a Homeschooler an “Entrepreneur”?

How to Work and Homeschool

My book,  How to Work and Homeschool, “officially” debuts this week! (Some folks have already found it on Amazon.) To mark the occasion, I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite paragraphs from the Introduction.

To learn more about the book and related topics, visit the book’s site and Facebook page.

By definition, successful entrepreneurs take inventory of their assets and opportunities, organize, coordinate, tailor, lead, motivate, and, most importantly, take calculated risks with their undertakings. In fact, in the business world, the absence of risk aversion is arguably the clearest mark of an entrepreneur.

All homeschoolers take on risk when they pull their kids out of school (or never place them there in the first place) against convention, norms, and the tsk-tsks of neighbors, family, and school administrators. They pursue home education, uncertain about which curriculum book or teaching style will work for each kid or how long they can teach at home before some unknown, unforeseen variable (the kids, the job, the marriage) changes and derails plans. They come up with the best action plan they can muster and dive in.

However, when parents homeschool while working outside the home, they risk further judgment by bosses, coworkers, and clients. They may reduce hours and salary, give up plum projects and assignments, or sacrifice long-term financial plans in order to place emphasis on fulfilling their children’s educational needs in the near run.

Basically, it takes moxie to work and homeschool.

It also takes a willingness to be a social change agent simultaneously in one’s home (by redrawing the lines of education and day-to-day living), one’s community (in organizing and/or participating in educational, social, and cultural activities targeting homeschoolers), one’s workplace (in openly pairing work responsibilities with home education), and in the wider culture.

Again, all this potentially sets one up for being regarded as “different” and inviting open, uncomfortable criticism or even outright contempt for one’s lifestyle choices. Again, there is risk.

Yet over time and with the efforts of people like those profiled in this book, I predict that much of that risk will wane. It already has in many places. As the number of homeschool families rise and become more visible, we’re introducing other adults to a viable educational alternative. In communities which serve as vibrant incubators of home education, homeschooling has practically become just another education choice, regarded as simply the third option beyond public or private education. The stigma is gone and the risk is diminished, thanks to the parents who went before us, many of them never dreaming that they might both homeschool and work openly and comfortably.

Therefore in their ability, in the aggregate, and to redefine the status quo, we must ultimately regard modern working homeschool parents as social entrepreneurs, people who bring change close to home and within the larger structure of society.

For an extended excerpt of the book, click here.

As an added bonus, here’s a copy of the Table of Contents:

Table of Contents

Foreword

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Chapter 1: Meet the Parents

Chapter 2: Myths and Realities

Chapter 3: Hard Lessons for Modern Homeschool Families

Chapter 4: The Path to Homeschool Entrepreneurship

Chapter 5: Nuts and Bolts

Chapter 6: Troubleshooting

Afterword

Appendix A: Resources for Entrepreneurial Homeschoolers

Appendix B: Sample Schedules: Full-Time Employment

Appendix C: Sample Schedules: Part-Time Employment

Endnotes

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