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Opening a holistic learning centre - opinions please

(9 Posts)
homeedmama Thu 22-Nov-12 10:16:21

Right heres my dilema! I HE my two children - they are happy, healthy and learning. They want to continue to be HE, despite me assuming that they may well go to school at around 7 or 8. I am happy to continue HE for as long as it meets the needs of our family. There have been some changes in our lives recently and DH is very unhappy at work. Financially, I need to earn some money so that perhaps later down the line DH can re-train or change jobs. I currently earn a little by childminding, but I dont find this to be ideal for a few reasons. I am a trained and experienced teacher and I would love to open a holistic learning centre. I have some specific skills which I feel are going to waste (I know that sounds egotistical, Im not like that atall) & I have a strong feeling that I have something to offer on the education scene which is wider than just HE'ing my own children. Education is my absolute passion.
Now obviously I would like my own children to benefit from my opening this potential business, infact my DD is one of the reasons I thought of it to begin with. She loves being HE, but Im not convinced she is really reaching her full potential at the moment. She is the kind of child who needs to work with other kids. She kind of thrives on the competition or something. I dont actually think she'd be happier in school, so that is not a consideration atm. We have loads of local HE groups and they are great, we are lucky, but somehow they dont quite fullfill what I believe she craves.
So putting these two factors together, my need to earn money & my duty to ensure my children reach their full potential, I am considering opening some kind of learning centre on a very part-time basis, say 2 days a week.
I have looked into free schools but they still have to adhere to the kind of testing of children that I am so against etc Even the alternative provision school criteria does not really allow for the kind of thing Im thinking of.
Just for clarity, have a look at and this will give you a rough idea of what Im thinking of.
I figure there ARE people who would pay for this kind of thing. What do you think? Honest opinions please!

homeedmama Thu 22-Nov-12 10:22:54

Sorry that link didnt work, try:

homeedmama Thu 22-Nov-12 10:23:28

Cant get it to work......!!!!!

Saracen Thu 22-Nov-12 23:12:35

I am pretty sure that in any well-populated area there would be a demand for what you have in mind. And people should follow their passions. So this sounds like a great idea to me.

The only thing I wonder is whether this is going to provide the income you need at the time you need it. I always assumed that in places such as EtudEO, there was a huge amount of unpaid work going on behind the scenes. Possibly some of the tutors are able to swan in, make their money, and leave again (no disrespect intended toward them). But the actual organisers, do they make money? Much of it? And if so, will they have had to invest massive amounts of time before there is any financial return?

Where I live, much of the work done to facilitate HE activities is provided on a cooperative and voluntary basis. I think there has come to be an expectation that it should be so. When a newcomer to the HE community proposed to offer some classes and charge for her time in doing so, people were a bit hmm. I don't think she really understood why. Interestingly, she too was a childminder. I guess she was accustomed to charging for her CM services and didn't immediately understand that local home educators identified themselves as a "community" within which money only tended to change hands when external providers or other costs were involved.

If the whole idea hinges on you being able to derive a decent income from the centre then it might not be viable. I don't have any knowledge about this myself; I'm only hazarding a guess. Why don't you talk to people who have started such ventures and ask how much work was involved and whether they are able to pay themselves a wage?

homeedmama Fri 23-Nov-12 13:52:37

Thank you for your reply. Yes this is something I would be concerned about & I agree about the expectation of HE parents giving their services for free. I have already done a lot of that (like everyone else) by running groups from my house and also an outdoor group. Both these groups I did for a long time & it was a lot of work. i wont say it was for nothing because at the end of the day my own children really benefitted, and obviously that is the whole point.
Youre right too that the next step is to contact the organisers of a similar venture.
If Im being totally honest then personally I dont care about being paid, Id do it anyway, as long as I didnt lose money. I believe in free quality education for all, and am therefore pretty anti independant schools. Its just everything I do is voluntary, which is fine, but we have got to a point where my DH would really like me to stop working so hard for free all the time and start getting paid!!!

tiggy114 Sun 25-Nov-12 13:41:25

I don't have much advice but i would love to see something like this. A kind of drop in centre with tasks set out montessori style or something where kids can socialise and learn together. Also a space for outside classroom and a treehouse classroom. Am i getting carried away???? grin i would love this for my own son. The price would have to be carefully thought out though i know we couldn't afford more than say £10-15 a day although reduced fees for some in exchange for staying and helping as a volunteer member of staff would be good. Did i mention chickens running around? I am getting carried away. Lol

homeedmama Tue 27-Nov-12 18:45:42

Tiggy114, sounds like youre thinking what Im thinking! Whereabouts do you live??? How lovely it would be if you were nearby!

tiggy114 Tue 27-Nov-12 19:01:20

grin i'm in yorkshire. You're in devon right? Lol. I did playgeound design and outdoor classrooms for my dissertation and we went to copenhagen to look at their play settings. Amazing. Honestly. The kids climb trees, run amongst chickens in the yard, they have total freedom. But then they don't have the health and safety restrictions we have over here.

homeedmama Wed 28-Nov-12 15:45:44

Oh well, bit far to join forces sadly! Yes Ive heard about those amazing playgrounds smile

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