In 1970, at the age of 20, Richard Branson founded a mail-order record company by the name of Virgin Records. Since then, he has founded eight different billion-dollar companies in eight different industries. Oh, by the way, he doesn’t have a degree in business.
Branson is one of the most unconventional entrepreneurs of the 20th century. He has started a space tourism company and plans to be on the first commercial flight into space along with his children. He’s been known to participate in dangerous publicity stunts for his companies.
Richard Branson’s management style and philosophy have made him one of the most successful businessmen in history. Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics of his management style and apply them to homeschooling.
Have Fun. Don’t Do It If You Don’t Enjoy It
Homeschooling should be something you enjoy. It shouldn’t be looked upon as an obligation. If it’s not fun then consider other alternatives. When your 8-year-old son would rather run around the kitchen shooting people in the face with Nerf guns it’s not fun. When you’re sick and can barely get out of bed it’s not fun. Those should be exceptions to the rule. Make homeschooling fun.
Take Risks. Explore Uncharted Territory
It’s really easy in homeschooling to buy a packaged curriculum and use that to educate your kids. They’ll turn out OK but there’s more to education that book-work. Homeschooling gives you the opportunity to explore education in a way that ignites the imagination and cultivates creativity.
You Can’t Obtain Perfection. Stop Trying
You’ve seen the pictures. You’ve read the stories. You’ve thought to yourself, “I’ll never be as perfect as Suzy Homeschooler.” Guess what? Suzy isn’t perfect either. Homeschooling and social media have created a monster: perfection. Parents post pictures of their perfect little school rooms and well-dressed kids and put up a façade of perfection. I recall Jesus saying something about white-washed tombs. Stop it. You can’t be perfect. Those people aren’t perfect. I’m not telling you to air your dirty laundry but you also shouldn’t think you need to hang out your white linens all the time. The perfect homeschooler doesn’t exist and you should stop trying to be that person. Strive for excellence instead of perfection.
Beware an “Us vs. Them” Mentality
Some homeschoolers have an unhealthy “Us vs. Them” mentality. It’s us against the public schools or Christian homeschoolers against secular homeschoolers or unschoolers against traditional homeschoolers. There are many factions in homeschooling and it’s important to remember why you started homeschooling. Hopefully, you started homeschooling because you wanted to provide your children with the best education possible in a positive environment. Focus on your reasons for homeschooling instead of homeschooling against something.
Don’t Be Afraid to Dream Big
Sometimes we can get so focused on the daily and weekly grind of homeschooling that we fail to dream or let our kids dream. It’s OK to have crazy ideas and big dreams. Let your kids fantasize about their future and come off with big plans. Don’t tell them it’s impossible. When your kid comes up with a big idea talk to them about what it would take to accomplish their dream. It might be hard and they will have to have a lot of willpower but don’t tell them it’s impossible.
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Music for the podcast is “RetroFuture Clean” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
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