Would this work?

(6 Posts)
Decisionsagain Mon 17-Feb-14 00:58:07

Hi there

I am currently trained as a headteacher but thinking of changing direction as I have four small children and feel I would not be able to devote myself to both jobs as much as I would want to.

I am thinking of offering teaching to pre-school children. It would involve learning in maths and English, steered by the school and scheme they would be later joining. I know many people are anti such formal teaching at such a young age. I also believe play is key at that age. But I do feel strongly that laying the foundations at an early age in a fun way is so beneficial.

I have also wondered whether there might be a gap for workshops helping parents to understand how they can integrate learning and play at home, exploring various resources, schemes, games etc.

I was also thinking of holding fun sessions for young children and focusing on the whole self. This would involve some focused learning, both formal and fun, and then followed by some yoga and meditative activity, which I am passionate about, healthy snack given, energising smoothie etc etc - you get the picture....

I wondered if others felt any of these might tap into a potential market. Or should I give myself a shake and carry on aiming for headship. I am passionate about teaching children and helping them develop a love of learning. I have always dreamt of being a headteacher but the flexibility and scope of having my own enterprise to steer in any direction I believe in is also hugely enticing.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

redshoespurplehat Mon 17-Feb-14 13:42:12

might work well with certain groups! NCT and Montessori types of parents probably. good luck with it all.

CommsWhizz Tue 18-Feb-14 16:45:31

Happy to give some feedback which I hope is of some use.

My initial thought was wow, great idea. But then when I thought about my children, I wasn't so sure. Right now they are very little admittedly, but I like their activities to be physical and fun, with far less emphasis on learning. But, they are very small (my two youngest are 3 and 19 months) and I would imagine this would be of great benefit for children a little older, or in the weeks/months leading up to them starting school perhaps?

It may be a silly thing to worry about, but I'd potentially be a little concerned about my child if they started school at a more advanced starting point when it comes to basic skills. Would they be encouraged to progress or would they coast a little while others caught up? A ridiculous worry, perhaps, but I'm just mulling this over as I'm not sure all schools would be so good at handling this (I say this as a mother of a child who was considered 'gifted' and it wasn't particularly encouraged or supported).

Perhaps this could be something you tweak and offer in holiday times? I know so many parents who despair of finding something fun, learning and wholesome, if you don't mind me describing it that way, for their children in holiday times. If you offered it to early years foundation level children, it could be a brilliant solution for parents who need childcare and if it's a great blend of learning and fun, it could keep little ones entertained and improve their school experience too?

One idea is to offer something that helps support the younger children in the class, though I appreciate this is quite niche. My youngest will start school having only just turned 4 which worries me as she'll be one of the youngest there and I've read lots of research that shows that this can be to their child's detriment. Just a thought? Or, as I wrote before, maybe something that supports children who show a particular aptitude for something, whether it's maths, science, English? Not tutoring but something more celebratory, perhaps?

Also, re: parenting classes/workshops, my initial thought (and please don't judge me too harshly for what I'm about to write) is that for those parents who really need that extra support, they may not have the money or the inclination to do a workshop like this. For those of us who do, we're already doing this, albeit in a haphazard, ad hoc kind of way.

Sorry - lots of ramblings, but I wanted to give you some feedback. I know how hard it is to make the leap, so good luck with whatever you decide to do. Oh and kudos to you for being a mum of four, holding down what must be an incredibly stressful tough job, and also for wanting to create your own business. Way to go!

Decisionsagain Tue 18-Feb-14 21:03:58

CommsWhizz - thank you!!!! What a helpful reply - some great thoughts. And you talk a great deal of sense. I did actually post under primary education and got some good feedback should you be interested.

I think your ideas of a holiday club would be great. And the idea of younger children. And I do agree with what you say about parent workshops.

So thank you!!!

And seeing as you talk so much sense - have you gone over to the other side? And if so, how does it compare to being an employee? Any regrets.

Thank you so much for using your valuable time to write to me : ))

Decisionsagain Tue 18-Feb-14 21:06:53

Oh, and I'm not as successful as I made out : (. Have trained as a headteacher via a 5 year MBA but am only at the beginning of that road. I'm a bit lost at the moment.

CommsWhizz Wed 19-Feb-14 09:28:20

Oh I'm so pleased my rambling thoughts made sense and were useful to you. The more I think about it, the more I think the holiday clubs would be a great idea. Where I am there's virtually nothing for school holidays except the standard school kids club which, in my village, is pretty poor, and the odd sporting camp but that's not for everyone. If I had the option of an activity day/week where my children would have a fab, fun creative time with stories, word play, games, activities and a bit of learning snuck in for good measure, along with the yoga element and healthy snacks, I genuinely would leap at it.

As for me, yes, I finally made the leap last year and I absolutely love it. I have three children and, like you, I wanted the flexibility and freedom to do my own thing and make it as big or small as I wanted to suit my family's needs but, just as crucially, I wanted to be able to achieve far more than I was in my part-time job where I couldn't climb any higher without committing to full-time hours.

I'll be honest, it's absolutely great, and I just wish I'd done it sooner. The only downside is that it's not as 'free' as I'd imagined, if that makes sense. No, I don't have a boss looking over my shoulder and I don't have to work set hours, but I do have deadlines and obligations to my clients, and if the kids are sick or I'm ill, or for whatever reason I can't work, the pressure is still on to deliver. But, despite that, I wouldn't change a thing - it's been the best thing I ever did, bar marry the husband and have the smalls.

I know how hard it is to make the decision and get things started, so if you want to bounce ideas off someone, I'll happily lend an ear, or some advice if you think it could be helpful. Just message me on here.

Oh, and don't play your achievements down - you have an MBA and four children, that's a pretty darned impressive accomplishment in my book!

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