Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Homeschooler or Entrepreneur?

I was in high school the first time I heard a gas station pump jockey referred to as a Petroleum Distribution Engineer.  It was about that time that janitors became custodians.  I was a custodian during college, although I never figured out what I was in custody of besides a broom, a mop, and a toilet brush.  Sales clerks became associates, stewardesses became flight attendants, and the personnel department became Human Resources.  When I enlisted and chose the glamorous position of submarine cook, I quickly learned that according to the Navy I was a Mess Management Specialist.    I suppose that was apt.  I created a few messes during my time in the galley.  Now John Edwards and Ignaty Dyakov have taken the renaming of job titles in an entirely new direction.  Are you a homeschooler, or an educational entrepreneur?
Don’t fret!  I am not writing about the philandering former vice-presidential candidate, US senator, and deceased-child channeling lawyer John Edwards.  This John Edwards is “an education professional with nearly 30 years experience of teaching in schools in the UK, 12 of these in senior leadership, the last 5 years of which were as a Head Teacher of an 11-18 mixed secondary school in the South East of England.”  His educational writing is distributed by PR Fire, a press release distribution firm in England.  John’s co-author is Ignaty Dyakov, “an educationalist with more than 9 years experience of teaching in schools and Universities in the UK and abroad, 5 of these in education management working with secondary and university students.” 
Misters Edwards and Dyakov compared the qualities of an entrepreneur with those of a homeschooler.  Both the entrepreneur and the homeschooler are creative risk-takers, leaders, “vital contributors to the wealth and prosperity of the nation,” and people who do not “follow convention.” They wrote:
Entrepreneurs have been shown through research to be less likely to sacrifice their personal values than employed managers. So too, homeschoolers will often point to strongly held values and personal conviction to back their decision. Entrepreneurs, like homeschoolers also desire    independence, they often want to challenge themselves and, occasionally, entrepreneurship, like homeschooling, is borne of circumstances where there is little other choice.
I was afraid that the authors had wandered of their rather creative analysis of home education when they wrote that “homeschooling unquestionably involves risk, with obvious questions arising such as: Will the children lack socialization? Will they achieve as much as their peers?”  I would argue that sending our children to a public school involves far more risk than teaching them at home.  My fears were short lived.  They answered their own questions when they wrote that “research again suggests they suffer no ill effects on either count, with some compelling evidence pointing to much more positive outcomes.”

You can read the entire article here.
So, are you creative?  Independent? A risk-taker?  A leader?  Do you follow convention?  Are you a homeschooler, or an educational entrepreneur? 


  1. Educational entrepreneur career guidance counselor with a touch of drill sergeant.

  2. I have realized as an adult that I am a born leader. Most people are not. One of the (thousand) advantages of home-schooling is that we can train our children to be leaders. The educational institutions, whether they are public or private, teach children to be followers.

    Some might be surprised how easy it is for our children to turn into followers, even after years of home-schooling, if they are by nature followers. We do all have a tendency to be one way or another. I've been home-schooling over 20 years and 2 of my children are college grads and I could write a book about training your children to be leaders but obviously this isn't the place for that! :)

    As for the article you reference, I can totally get the connection between home-schooling and entrepeneurship. And yes, my reasons for home-schooling are values-driven.

    And if I didn't make it clear, it IS possible to train your children to be leaders even if their tendency is to be followers. It takes work and dedication and years. But it is so worth it.