Are you an entrepreneur that also homeschools or unschools your child? Can this actually be done? Find out in this episode how one family in Florida successfully does this, as well as helps other entrepreneurial parents reconnect with their own children and families. Not to mention takes time to surf.
Jim Sheils lives in the beach community of St. Augustine Florida with his beautiful wife Jamie and their 4 children. He grew up in north New Jersey.
Family Board Meetings
He is a real estate investor and owns another company, Family Board Meetings where he and his business partner work with families doing specialized retreats for entrepreneurs and their children. The retreat focuses on ways to strengthen your parent/child relationship, have fun together, and open your eyes to some of those important lessons not taught in school. In this episode Jim tells the story of how Family Board Meetings started even before he had his own family. It has now grown into a transformational time for families to reconnect and grow their bond.
Jim talks about the important topics and activities that take place at the Family Board Meetings around personal development, relationship skills, and better knowledge of finances. The time away is an intensive 3 days to talk and be real. Everyone is equal.
Unschooling and Alternative Education
Jim is a believer in alternative educational options and has a strong belief in what traditional schools are and are not able to accomplish with students. As an active learner, he found his style of learning did not always fit with school. School missed teaching the skills he uses the most now. Skills he learned on his own- providing for his family, deepening relationships and going after what is most important. He talks about the One Specialized Skill Principle. No one ever told him in school to get good at one specialized skill he enjoyed, which would have taken off so much pressure in school.
Once he left school Jim quickly realized that the way to find more meaning and happiness is to go deep into a unique gift or talent. “We don’t need a ton, and if you start with one, you can leverage another”. Jim talks about how this works in his own life, and how they have incorporated this into their children’s education. With the exception of their infant, their 3 older children are being educated uniquely; Eclectic unschooling, public charter Montessori and a Waldorf playgroup. In learning and education he believes “loyalty has to stay to the children, not to one form of education”. There are different options for different needs.
How They Home Educate
Jim’s family has a rule in their home education model. “Know Thyself”. He elaborates on this and the exact tools they have used as a family to better understand how they work and process things. These tools have been an important part of their education and worked so well that every member of the family has used this. They now have a better idea of playing to their strengths and therefore inspiring to learn, not forcing.
He also talks about why they decided to homeschool their oldest child and will do the same soon with their next child. He details the process he used when making the decision to homeschool and the key advice one mentor and experienced homeschool dad gave him. “Find out what they are passionate about, dump gasoline on that and set it on fire.”
We then had a chance to dive into their homeschool schedule, what has worked for them and how they’ve changed and improved. This includes the wonderful Pioneer Experiential School that their son attends a few hours a week, their homeschool core curriculum of personal development, relationship skills and financial intelligence and how they implement it.
Jim shares with us myths around education, our beliefs as parents and how much we can truly educate or teach our children, the steps parents can take if they are ready to play a bigger part in their child’s education, major challenges they have faced homeschooling and how they have overcome those challenges.