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    Start up cost and ordering of days

    Hello! I'm new to posting in the forums but I've been browsing for a few years now :-)

    My friend and I are opening a cottage school in August 2021 (hopefully trademarking with HLS, that meeting is this week).

    We have already secured a building, we know our insurance options, LLC, and are ready to move full speed ahead with planning as soon as we know if we can trademark with HLS.

    I have two questions, the first being the initial costs associated with opening a cottage school before families pay fees and tuition- how did you, or do you, fund the early expenses? Such as advertising, website hosting, office supplies, printing costs, signage, etc. Thankfully these are not big-ticket expenses (although signs maybe?). Did you self fund and consider it investing in your vision? Did you use your money upfront and then "pay yourself back" once registrations begin coming in? Did you pay for it and then subtract that amount from your own children's tuition? Did you take a business loan out, or use a credit card? Fundraisers?

    All of these seem like they would be ways one could go, I just wanted to see if there was a common/general way most people do it. For those who don't mind talking about money ;-)

    My second question is about scheduling for cottage school. We had envisioned meeting on Monday and Wednesdays or Monday and Thursday- the "vital" day being Monday, the start of the week to set precedence for the days to follow. However, our building is not available on Mondays. So we're choosing Tuesday and Thursdays but now are unsure how to "start" the week on a Tuesday when the children are home the first day? Any ideas would be helpful.



    #2
    Welcome!

    Question 2 first:
    Simply make your Day 1 in your plans Tuesday instead of Monday. This is easily tweaked by white-ing out the days of the week at the top of the plans and rewriting in the actual days of the week. Many homeschoolers do this already, and many schools also start on a day other than Monday. My third grader is currently doing his "Monday" work on Tuesday. Monday each week is our "Friday" in the plans and makes it a review day. No problem. Shift everything by one day.

    Money: We funded initial costs ourselves which were minimal (website which I made myself cheaply on Wordpress--five years in and we still pay less than $200 a year on all website and email, one email address which we share, and state business filings ...not much else) and we reimbursed ourselves once non-refundable enrollment money came in. You may need money to send teachers to training in the summer--make sure that enrollment fee is non-refundable! Insurance will not likely be due until right before you actually start, so that may be a deferred expense. Advertising can be done for free using social media and friends telling friends (word of mouth or by social media as well). If you have money to spend, I'd recommend a CPA right out of the gate to get your ducks in a row from the start. Maybe you'll have a CPA join the school and volunteer their skills. There were seriously very few up front costs--I hope that encourages you! Do not feel like you have to spend a lot of money now--get creative, ask for help or donations, and think about what you can do that doesn't cost anything so that you keep as much enrollment and tuition as possible in the bank to use on your primary expenses for next year: payroll/taxes, rent, insurance, teacher training, materials, classroom supplies. Most of your upfront "costs" will be your time.

    If you have not already, I strongly recommend an in person visit to another tutorial/cottage school that runs on a similar model to your ideal. Seeing one work in person is a huge advantage to thinking things through with your particular situation. Size of the school, ages/grades of students, number of teachers, size of the building, background of homeschooling and paid "tutorial culture" in your area--there are so many factors! Each situation has a general vision and form that you will want to follow, but your city will have its unique set of benefits and hurdles for you to navigate based on your local expertise. In our area, there are no other schools (of any kind) that are completely curriculum-centric. It's a completely alien model to most. It's also very refreshing and provides a way for families to take a long look at the curriculum and decide if it's a good fit or not for them. This gives everyone some distance so that it's never a personal decision (do they like YOU personally?)--you either like the curriculum and want it for your kids or you don't.

    I hope it works out for you to pursue the trademarked school! Working from within an accredited body gives you an anchor for support and expertise to call on when you get stumped.

    Best to you in your efforts!

    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    2020-2021
    11th year HSing · 9th year MP
    @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
    11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

    Comment


      #3
      Just realized my answer to scheduling may not have been clear. Here's what I was suggesting:

      Week 1
      Day 1: Tues
      Day 2: Wed
      Day ​​​​3: Thurs
      Day 4: Fri
      Day 5: Mon

      Week 2
      Day 1: Tues, etc.
      Festina lentē,
      Jessica P

      2020-2021
      11th year HSing · 9th year MP
      @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
      11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

      Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

      Comment


        #4
        pickandgrin Thank you so much. I’m sharing your response with my partner! I do have another question, does your HLS have a board? Would we need a board? Do HLS schools in generally have boards? Someone brought it up and we both really just don’t know.

        Comment


          #5
          I'll send you a PM. 👍
          Festina lentē,
          Jessica P

          2020-2021
          11th year HSing · 9th year MP
          @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
          11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

          Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

          Comment

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