Homeschool Leadership is Like Marriage Part 1 (podcast)

DSS#56Graphic

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

Homeschool Co-ops Cover_400

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

DSS#52Graphic

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

 

Homeschool Co-ops Cover

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.

3 traps homeschool leaders need to avoid

TipsTrapsVieo2

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 book updated and has lower price!

HS Co-ops Cover_400

I’m please to announce the new edition of Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out

What’s in the new edition?

When I wrote Homeschool Co-ops in 2008, I was still homeschooling my daughters. Now, they are homeschool graduates, both in college, and I am no longer homeschooling, so I switched from the present tense to the past tense.

I still interact with homeschool leaders every day though my website, leader online groups and by meeting leaders at homeschool conventions, so I added some additional information based on what I learned from these leaders.

Website links have been updated and several changes from the IRS in Chapter Ten are included. Additionally, some of the uniquely Christian content has been adapted to appeal to all audiences.

New cover and Kindle version

The book has a new cover to match some of my other books and so you know that you are reading the latest edition.

The book will be available in paperback, pdf and Kindle format. (The Kindle format is new and long overdue!)

New lower prices (I thought you’d like that!)

The paperback was originally $12.50, but is now $9.95

The ebook (in pdf format) was $10.00 and is now $4.95

The Kindle version is also $4.95.

 

 

So if you have never read Homeschool Co-ops before, or your original edition is tattered and worn, order a copy today!

Carol Topp

 

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

A budget can bring relief

My friends Kristen & Denise at Homeschool Group Leader have been running an interview they did with me as a blog series on leader burn out.

This last portion is on budgets titled Budgets Can Bring Relief
Here’s part of the interview:

A lot of leaders think, “What?! I hate dealing with the numbers. I am a people person.”

But what those numbers on a budget do is help you plan, sit down and look to the future. That can do a lot to reduce stress.

If you make a plan and know what might be coming, it will help you set priorities. What is important to us in our group? Is it important that we keep the cost extremely low? That is going to be a very different budget than saying our priority is top quality. It helps you focus, plan and set your group’s priorities.
So, believe it or not–having a budget might sound like it is a limiting thing, and some people don’t like budgets. But instead a budget can bring great freedom and relief from a lot of stress.
If you need help establishing a budget, start with my article  Budgeting basics
MoneyMgmtCover
Then consider ordering my ebook, Money Management for Homeschool Organizations.
Price $7.00. Available for immediate download.  Read more here.
Carol Topp, CPA

Are you burned out? Know the symptoms

As a guest blogger at The Homeschool Classroom, I wrote a blog entry about leader burnout.

Here’s an excerpt:

It is important to distinguish between temporary “busy-ness” or fatigue and full fledged burn out, which is accumulated strain and stress that affects other areas of your life. After nearly every co-op day, I feel exhausted. One fellow board member takes a nap after co-op, but she is only temporarily fatigued. We joke that we love when co-op starts, but we also love when it ends!

A symptom of burn out would be the loss of the initial enjoyment and anticipation that co-op day should bring. I know that I am tired at the end of a long co-op day because I have invested so much into my students. I really enjoy teaching and I experience a “good” type of fatigue.

To read the entire post, go here: Leader Burnout

HomeschoolCo-ops

Need help avoiding burnout? Read Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them , Run Them and Not Burn Out.

Available as an ebook or in print here.

Carol Topp

The benefits of a board to avoid burn out

My friends Kristen & Denise at Homeschool Group Leader have been running an interview they did with me as a blog series on leader burn out.

meeting

This session is about how a team of people or a board can help leaders avoid burnout
Here’s part of the interview:
Having a board means you are sharing the responsibility for that group. You’re sharing the decision-making. Who wants to make all these decisions themselves about what classes will be held or where they’re going to find a meeting place or do we need insurance or a million other questions?

But the most important thing a board does is to help you avoid burning out, because you’re sharing that load. And also, having a board means that you can replace yourself–that no one person is doing it all–if she is, then she is making herself too difficult to replace.

There are lots of times when a leader may have to step down. Maybe because she is burned out, but also it could be that her family moves out of town. We’ve had that happen. Or maybe she becomes ill or someone in the house becomes ill, and she has to step down from her responsibilities for a while. Every group out there and every leader out there ought to be saying, “If one of us had to leave, could we keep going?” Who could step in—always have that in the back of your mind.

The next session is on how a budget can help avoid burnout:
Carol Topp, CPA

A lesson in leadership from Moses

The Ten Commandments was on last night.  It’s a great film, but it ends too early with the Israelites leaving slavery in Egypt.  There are a lot of wonderful stories about their life after Egypt and one in particular is a great lesson in leadership from Moses.

My friends Kristen and Denise from HomeschoolGroupLeader did an interview with me recently about what we as homeschool leaders can learn from Moses.

HGL:
What is the TOP way you’ve discovered that homeschool group leaders can avoid burning out?

Carol:
I think the best way is to learn from other leaders.

We’ve got a great example in the Old Testament of the leader Moses. What Moses failed to do was to delegate responsibility. So, the first way to avoid burnout is to get help.

What Moses was guilty of doing was sitting around all day basically listening to everyone’s complaints and dealing with them all himself. His father-in-law came out there into the desert where Moses was leading the Israelites, saw what he was doing and said, “What you’re doing is not good. You will wear yourself out. The work is too heavy for you. You cannot handle it alone.” He goes on to suggest a plan to Moses of how to delegate responsibility to trusted leaders and then they can entrust it down a level, too.

We should be following that Biblical model of leadership. It’s almost unbibilical for a leader to think, “I have to do this all myself.” That comes from pride. Sometimes it comes from a perfectionist tendency, and sometimes it comes because they can’t get any help. I know, of course, your book helps a lot with motivating members to help, but we also have to make sure that the leader doesn’t have the improper attitude of thinking, “I have to do this all myself or this is the only right way to do it.” That’s probably what Moses thought: “There’s only one way to do it—my way.” And he was corrected in that and we need to follow his example of getting help and delegating responsibility.

(the full interview can be found at http://hgleaderblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/wednesdays-wisdom-lesson-from-moses.html