|The cutest logo ever. I have an amazing designer friend.|
Homeschooling for the first time ever. Also, starting a new business (BigLittleBrain, in case you're wondering) that opens in the fall. Also, no "village" to speak of to help raise my child. Oh, and my awesome nanny is leaving and while we are getting another awesome nanny, her hours are essentially my office hours (so good-bye Lush bomb afternoon bubble baths). :(
Send coffee/money/help. SOSOSOSOSOSOSOS!
Anyway, running a bricks-and-mortar SOI/IPP clinic is *nothing* like running an IT corporation from a home office. SO. DIFFERENT. First of all, this one is a partnership between my dear friend and business partner Pepp and I, not a corporation of two directors (at least, not yet); there are tax implications to this difference in set-up, as well as a learning curve in how we bookkeep and do accounting. Secondly, we now have overhead; rent, insurance, equipment, furniture - the initial outlay is so much more costly than what our home office cost to set up. Third, we need to market; we won't get clients unless we advertise or promote through word-of-mouth; in our previous company, Hubbs had such an established reputation that we didn't need to hustle or even set up a website. That's right, folks; my full-stack software guru Hubbs stayed gainfully employed for 12 years in a corporation that didn't even have web presence, period. In this new business, the website was the first thing I set up! The business blog is coming soon.
We aren't quite up and running at the clinic yet, either; our proprietary equipment and software have yet to arrive, and we still need to get that whole insurance and furniture thing sorted out. Our goal is the end of September. *fingers crossed*
I have to tell you, though; this is kind of a dream come true. Being able to exact meaningful change and progress in the lives of people has always been at the heart of my work; being able to make a difference that supports and prepares struggling learners to become lifelong learners? Priceless. It speaks to our hearts as educators, and also to our wonder at how our brains work, particularly as it relates to neuroplasticity.
There have been many studies done in just the last decade, focusing on how the pairing of cognitive work and physical activities helps rewire the brain to learn more effectively. We're not just talking about fourth-grade kiddos, either; we are also talking about undergrad students about to go to university, senior citizens fighting dementia and Alzheimer's, stroke victims who have lost their abilities to communicate, and people with designations like ADHD who simply cannot focus enough to retain information. In a society that is increasingly sedentary and cautious about letting kids play and explore outside in nature, we are only seeing increases in learning difficulties that are the direct result of underdeveloped proprioceptive and vestibular systems. Kids who don't balance well, or who have a hard time figuring out their body positions in space, will also have difficulties tracking words and holding information in their minds. Don't ask me how that works; it just does (or in this case, doesn't). I don't think this is a case of possible correlation, either; I'm guessing that there is a direct causation between stunted physical development and impaired intellectual function.
And while it is largely preventable (such as by letting kids play outside and play often, or by encouraging tree climbing and other physical activities that require crossing the mid-line of the body and doing alternating arm/leg movements), I don't think we live in a culture that supports this Finland-esque, outdoor play-is-work model anymore. Instead, (at least where I live), you see kids as young as 3 attending language classes and supplementary Kumon-style learning centres on Saturday mornings. Instead of playing in the dirt, many of our young kids are playing on iPads or completing workbooks all summer long, and a lot of the sensory things that help grow our brains is getting replaced with sensory information that is fairly unidimensional, like a touch screen.
Clearly, I am passionate about this topic. But that's not even the point of my blog.
My point is, I'm super duper excited about BigLittleBrain, and the things that Pepp and I will be doing to help people become better learners. I'm excited for the challenge and to make a positive difference in our world.
But, I am also feeling slightly overwhelmed, because businesses are hard to run and it's not easy to make money when you start with overhead costs and a deficit. I'm also not particularly business savvy, and haven't a clue about how to market or advertise in a way that is effective and authentic. Thank God for my accountant, because tax is a whole other thing that I don't know. Add to that the homeschooling challenge, and I have a feeling that it will be a miracle if I can even blog once a month come September. After all, someone still needs to do laundry and dishes and pay our home bills and clean and feed the family. That's all on me too.
My life is chaotic right now, but it is also wonderful and exciting. I just hope lemon season is finally over ;)