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Thread: how to begin -- timeline?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Bel Air MD
    Posts
    117

    Default how to begin -- timeline?

    Does HLS/MP offer a timeline, sort of a "first do this, then do that" list? I saw that ACCS sells a notebook along those lines. I need some concrete plans -- starting a school is an overwhelming concept!

    If something like that is available, how can I get one?

    If not, what have others done at the earliest stages? I would like to offer Latin, Classical Studies, logic, and high school literature next fall. I know of no one else in my area doing MP.

    I set up a website but am unsure about content. Can I use content from the cottage schools page?

    This ISTJ needs a checklist! :-)
    Melanie ~ www.waymel.wordpress.com
    2017-2018 4th year using MP
    DD14: some 8A, French, Pre-algebra, IEW
    DD11: mostly 6M, IEW, Trees/Biology
    DS8: 3A with 4M Lit
    Me: First Form Latin (still)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: how to begin -- timeline?

    Quote Originally Posted by melaneesa View Post
    Does HLS/MP offer a timeline, sort of a "first do this, then do that" list? I saw that ACCS sells a notebook along those lines. I need some concrete plans -- starting a school is an overwhelming concept!

    If something like that is available, how can I get one?

    If not, what have others done at the earliest stages? I would like to offer Latin, Classical Studies, logic, and high school literature next fall. I know of no one else in my area doing MP.

    I set up a website but am unsure about content. Can I use content from the cottage schools page?

    This ISTJ needs a checklist! :-)
    We do have "A Guide to Establishing a Highlands Latin School" in the works. I would expect it to be available this fall/winter. In the meantime, the same information is available in beta form if you email me at ryan@memoriapress.com.

    Best Regards,

    --Ryan
    Ryan Weston
    Director, Cottage Schools and Distributor Relations
    Memoria Press

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: how to begin -- timeline?

    I know that Ryan gives great advice.

    I was unsuccessful in my attempt for one reason, which is why I advise others look at this first.

    Location. As in, can you get one. Around here, unless you know somebody, you aren't going to have a location large enough to pull it off. We have a TON of homeschoolers in our area, and a ton of co-ops; most of the major churches already host co-ops. The churches that do not already host co-ops, often have campus schools (we're Catholic, for example, and almost every parish here has a parish school attached, and are maxed out on space). Others require you take everything with you when you leave, and you can't bring anything back until the day of your classes... which is a huge pain when you're talking about everything from setting up tables to visual aids, etc. The vast majority, though, simply told us that they had NO available room -- even if we offered rent.

    The one thing that nobody was able to tell me (even though they gave great advice otherwise!) was how to secure a space -- I think most just assumed you could use a church that you're a member of, or one of the parent's is a member of, and that isn't the case here. Renting otherwise unused space outright (say, actual office space), for only one or two days weekly use, isn't practical at all when you consider the tuition you'd have to charge to cover that rent is much more than most physical full-time private schools in our area charge.

    Anyway, not necessarily helpful, but my two cents -- for no other reason than that it's the one thing (in my opinion) that can make or break your plans before things even really roll out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Goodlettsville, TN
    Posts
    3,286

    Default Re: how to begin -- timeline?

    How is this going, Mel? I didn't see your post originally. I'll add a few things here-

    Yes, website and location are very important. Do you have the location settled? Next, small interest meetings might be a good step, even one on one with other mothers you think would be a good fit. You gain momentum when you find a few families who want to join you and then they start marshalling their resources and connections to help get things going. Next, teachers. Will you be teaching a the classes or are you planning in hiring? If so, recruiting teachers is next up. It's very hard to recruit teachers to a school that doesn't exist yet, but there are likely many out there who can't teach full time but would love an opportunity to get back into the classroom. This is usually just prayer that you find each other. Again, word of mouth helps as well. Latin might be your hardest subject you find. It remains a challenging one for us year by year. Usually we can find interest, but it's hard to match up the times/days they are available with when we are offering classes.

    Next, some sort of legal structure, LLC or non-profit. Next, after you get an idea of the classes, you'll need to set fees and go for it with interest meetings, etc.

    Since you never know which dominoes are going to fall first, you have to be agile, which is hard. If you don't already have one, I'd pray for a partner to help you. It can be a big job, even when spilt between two, and having someone else to work with, bounce ideas off, cheer you when you are feeling down and cool you of when you are feeling hot can be a sanity saver.

    Most likely, it's not just a cottage school, it's a business. If you don't already have a CPA or bookkeeper in your crosshairs, perhaps start looking for friends who do this.

    And, it's hard and it's a lot. It's taken most of my free time in the last two years. I think it's good to acknowledge and embrace that. Things are going to change personally and in your family life. The new can be good, and, it'll likely be different than things are before you started a business on the side. I was surprised to find myself a working mother after 11 years of no outside work. Calling it a job (to myself and to others) from the outset would have been helpful to me, affirming what I was doing was building something and worthy of my time.

    Need to run...hopefully this is helpful. I'm so excited for you! Starting up is definitely a challenging phase. You have my encouragement and prayers!
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    Fall 2017
    DS: MPOA 4FLatin, 8A // DD: 6A // DD: 3A // DS: K

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, www.nashvillelatinschool.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Bel Air MD
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: how to begin -- timeline?

    I met with someone about location today. This church had already made the decision to allow homeschool groups on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Groups already use it on W and F, which leaves Mondays available for us! I went today and took a tour of the facility. It's so hard to know what I need when I have no idea how small/large our enrollment will be! Does this sound like enough room?


    - The main level (new this year) has 3 classrooms. (accommodates 2-3 six-foot tables/chairs.)
    - large lunch/kitchen area.
    - The sanctuary is available to us, although I'm not sure how it would work as a classroom.
    - a small room with one table. Either a very small class or a teacher's lounge/prep area?
    - 2 basement classrooms, one for younger kids (smaller tables and chairs) and one pretty large.
    - 2 nursery rooms, should we need them
    - a choir room that could be used as a classroom if we brought in tables and set it up that way

    So 6 classrooms, although most of them on the smaller side. I think the location is good, it's just outside Baltimore and near the interstates so hopefully it would be convenient for people in and around the city. The rent seems very reasonable. I love that they're already hosting pros and have thought through what they will allow for homeschool groups. There's plenty of parking.

    This is the first location I contacted. I don't know if I should contact others and compare? Or go forward with this.
    Melanie ~ www.waymel.wordpress.com
    2017-2018 4th year using MP
    DD14: some 8A, French, Pre-algebra, IEW
    DD11: mostly 6M, IEW, Trees/Biology
    DS8: 3A with 4M Lit
    Me: First Form Latin (still)

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