Homeschool Leadership is Like Marriage Part 2 (podcast)

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Leading a homeschool organization can be like marriage. It’s helpful to know what you’re getting into!.

Carol Topp shares insights on leadership from Hebrews Chapter 13 with a group of homeschool leaders in this 2nd part of a two-part episode. She shares three warning of attitudes to avoid.

Listen to the podcast.

Listen to Part 1. where Carol warned against trying to meet everyones’ expectations.

For more help in leading a homeschool organization check out Carol’s book Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out.

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Homeschool Leadership is Like Marriage Part 1 (podcast)

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Leading a homeschool organization can be a lot like marriage. They both take time, money, and sacrifice, but can be hugely rewarding.

Join Carol Topp as she addresses a group of homeschool leaders to encourages them in the important work they are doing, but also reminds them not to try and meet everyone’s expectations.

Listen to the podcast

For more help in running a homeschool organization check out Carol’s website, HomeschoolCPA.com where you can purchase her book Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out

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Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out (podcast)

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In her most recent podcast  Carol Topp, CPA, the author of Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out, covers tips to starting a homeschool co-op.

Listen to the podcast

Carol covers the 4 W’s and 2 Cs that leaders need to answer in launching a new co-op:

What, Where, When, Who, and Cost and Curriculum

 

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Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out has helped more than 1,000 readers run their homeschool co-ops. Get your copy here.

Carol has more podcast episodes for homeschool leaders. View the topic list.

Coming soon…how to motivate every member in your homeschool group

Way back in 2009, I was asked by Denise Hyde to review her book One By One: The Homeschool Group Leader’s Guide to Motivating Your Members.

It was fantastic! Really good. Really helpful. Here was my review:

“One by One is a book that every homeschool leader needs, but does not realize the need until it is too late! Every leader has difficulty motivating members or getting volunteers, but they only ask for help when it’s too late and they are tired, frustrated and want to quit! Instead, leaders should read Kristen and Denise’s very practical and encouraging book.

Inside you will find the three secrets to successfully motivating every member and then practical, real-life ways to apply those skills to everyone from moms to teenagers. I especially appreciated the true stories of how Kristen and Denise implemented everything they suggest.

They know their stuff and have a heart to share what they know with others. Take some of the advice, share it with your fellow leaders, apply it and you will find happier members, a more relaxed leader and a successful group!”

 

Well, now I’m pleased to announce that Denise is updating the book and I will be helping her get out the word about this terrific resource.

She’s going to set the price a bit (well, a lot) lower and offer it in print and in ebook format.

There is a little more work to do on the book, but it should be ready  in a few weeks.

I’ll send out an email when it’s ready. And I’ll probably have Denise on my Dollars and Sense podcast to help you motivate every member!

 

Carol Topp

 

3 traps homeschool leaders need to avoid

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At the Indiana Association of Home Educators 2014 conference, I spoke to homeschool leaders about

Tips and Traps for Homeschool Leaders

In this video I discuss the 3 traps the homeschool leaders need to avoid.

In the video I mentioned a handout. You can download it here: http://wp.me/aF6pa-1c4

I hope the video is helpful.
For other videos for homeschool leaders visit HomeschoolCPA.com/Videos

 

Carol Topp, CPA

HomeschoolCPA.com

Homeschool Co-ops (the book) helping reduce leader workload

Sarah Andrews  did a nice review of my book Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out at the The Home Educating Family Association website.

 

“an excellent resource for co-op leadership”

“anticipates and discusses most issues one might encounter while leading a co-op”

“wise and insightful”

“Topp’s advice could save a lot of mental energy and stress.”

“Our co-op was able to implement some of Topp’s suggestions in Homeschool Co-ops, and our leadership and teachers have seen an improvement from last year in our workload.

 

– See more at: http://hedua.com/reviews/homeschoolco-ops/

Homeschool Co-ops
Learn more about the book, read a sample chapter here.
Available in print $12.50
Electronic version as a pdf  file $10.00
Coming soon: Kindle format!

 

Thank you, Sarah, for your wonderful comments! I’m so glad the book helped your leaders reduce their stress and workload!
Carol Topp

 

Does permanent leadership work in a homeschool group?

 

Does there  need to be a limit to how many times that person can serve on a homeschool group’s board, if she is still willing and the members still want her leading?

Has anyone had permanent leadership in a homeschool group and seen it work?

 

I have concern about a director or chair staying too long because it can create founder’s syndrome (“we always do it her way because she’s done it for so long”).  But I have seen groups run successfully with the same leaders for 10+years. But,  I would be concerned about burn out for the leader.

I’m less worried about a secretary or other members staying on indefinitely.

I do not think a treasurer should serve more than 3-5 years, even if she is doing a good job and wished to continue serving.  Too many mistakes, or even embezzlement, can occur if a treasurer is not changed frequently.  A treasurer unwilling to step down is a red flag signaling misappropriation of funds.
The pope is appointed for life, but Pope Benedict just resigned. He’s just too tired and old (at 85 years) to continue to do his job. It’s the first time on 600 years a pope has resigned!

In the USA, only the supreme court judges are appointed for life and it is debatable as to whether that system works!

Your homeschool group is not the supreme court nor the papacy, so I would not recommend permanent leadership for a board member.

Carol Topp, CPA

When you are criticized for being a homeschool leader

My (virtual) friend Denise Hyde runs the Homeschool Group Leader blog over at http://hgleaderblog.blogspot.com/

She recently received some criticism for being a group leader. Denise shares how she dealt with the sting offers encouragement to other homeschool leaders.

 

  • First, you don’t take it personally. I know, it’s very difficult! I had to swallow a couple of times, send a prayer-flare, and focus on trying to learn from the problem instead of internalizing it.
  • Then ask a few clarifying questions while you settle your feelings and get a handle on the true cause of the discontent. I started with the fellowship, asking her to describe when she felt left out. Ended up it was on a FYI field trip where everyone took their families through the displays on their own. It was a misconception about the type of field trip. Then I tackled the religious view differences and the homeschool philosophies that she had encountered.
  • As we discussed each one, I realized that most of these were things that I couldn’t change her mind on. At that point, I just reassured her of her welcome, pointed out a couple of things to counter her viewpoint, and let her go.
  • Yes, I ended it. I wished her well, telling her I hoped she would find a perfect fellowship for her and her son. Sometimes that is the best policy. Don’t beg them to stay, or try to fix it perfectly. Let them go with genuine care and kindness.
  • Next, realize what you can learn and improve. Put your energy into doing what you truly can do. Nurture the strengths of the group. Follow your God-given goals for the group and the purpose of your homeschool group.
  • Remember, you can’t please everyone, so again, don’t take it personally!
  • Oh, and yeah. . . . focus on the compliment again! Look at all the families that ARE receiving strength from your group. You are doing a great service! Your ministering IS making a difference.

See the entire post at http://hgleaderblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/best-and-worst.html

Hang in there homeschool group leader! Take Denise’s advice to heart and know that what you’re doing is important work!

Carol Topp, CPA

Unplug the Christmas machine

 

About 18 years ago, I read Unplug the Christmas Machine by Jo Robinson and Jean Staeheli.

It changed the way I see and celebrate Christmas.

 

I created a mini ebook to share what I learned about having a happier, debt free Christmas.

Carol Topp’s Plan for a Debt Free Christmas (click to download)

I include tips, a funny poem and a recipe that eliminates holiday baking.

  • Give yourself permission to break old habits and discover new traditions.
  • Eliminate or greatly reduce Christmas baking. This will save time, money and gym fees in January! I quit baking
    Christmas cookies several years ago. I now bake a less fattening Christmas bread from my grandmother’s native country of Finland called pulla (recipe in the ebook). I will bake cookies only if I know they will be given to someone else or taken to a party within one day of baking. I keep less than one dozen for my family.
  • Don’t kid yourself that homemade cards or gifts are less expensive. They cost in time, frustration, supplies, etc.

I hope you enjoy the mini ebook Carol Topp’s Plan For A Debt-Free Christmas.

 

Merry Christmas!

Carol Topp, CPA

 

Where does a homeschool leader go for support?

Homeschool leaders need support and encouragement as they seek to serve other homeschooling families.

Two places that support the group leader are:
The Old Schoolhouse (TOS) magazine Leadership Yahoo Group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TOSHSN_Leadership_Group/join

and the I am A Homeschool Group Leader Facebook group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/72534255742

Both are great places for you to ask questions, get tips and share advice in running your homeschool support group or co-op!

Carol Topp, CPA