From Homeschool Mom to Prenda Guide

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To Sharyn, opening a Prenda Microschool was about much more than supplemental income for her family. It was a way for her to provide her kids with a personalized, safe, and loving school environment. 

I was recently lucky enough to talk to Sharyn Jackson, a military wife, and mother of five girls living in Mesa, Arizona. 

Sharyn’s story didn’t start in Mesa, though… As a military family, Sharyn, her husband, and five girls, have had to move from state to state—ten years of moving, settling, and moving again. One struggle for Sharyn was the ability to provide a consistent education for Maddilyn, Makayla, Mayella, Emmalynn, and Evalynn. Transitioning to a new learning setting takes some time. Sending her girls to new and unfamiliar schools with large student populations didn't feel right, especially when they'd likely be switching schools again soon.

It can be scary for kids. 

Trying homeschool on for size

So, after considering all sorts of schooling options, she decided to homeschool. This would allow her to be there for it all—to help them learn, wherever they were. To make sure they felt safe and loved. To know that they were thriving. And she hoped homeschooling would be the solution she was dreaming of. 

Even though she didn’t have formal teaching experience, Sharyn was passionate about children and maintaining their autonomy. At home, she encouraged critical thinking, do-it-yourself projects, and invited creativity in decision-making. The idea of being at home with her kids everyday was a dream come true.

Something was missing, though. Her kids weren’t involved in the community, and she was scared they would become distant from their peers. They needed social interaction—a community of kids to learn and play with. She also wished she could bring additional income to their large family. But, she didn’t want to sacrifice staying at home. During this internal struggle, one of her daughters, Mayella, was having a tough semester. That’s when something amazing happened.

Discovering Prenda

Her family moved to Mesa, Arizona, where she learned about Prenda through a friend. Sharyn could become a Guide and open a microschool for her girls and several other local kids. And the whole concept checked all of the boxes for her. 

  • Her five girls could be in a small-group, safe, and loving environment.
  • Prenda would provide her with a curriculum, learning model, and support. 
  • She could earn supplemental income for their family while staying home.
  • She could play a role in watching her children grow and develop. 
  • Her children could socialize and create deeper friendships. 
  • She could make a massive impact in the lives of children. 

Oh, and she loved that kids at Prenda are encouraged to learn autonomously. Every school day incorporates collaboration. There are also shorter school days and a massive community of microschools to get plugged into. She especially appreciated the flexibility to create a learning environment that makes sense for each Guide and their students. Prenda Guides are encouraged to bring their hobbies, unique skills, and interests to their microschools. 

Have a talent for cooking? Bring all the kids into the kitchen for a math lesson using fun ingredients.

Enjoy gardening? Live on a farm? Take brain breaks outside with the animals. 

Prenda prioritizes self-discovery and opportunities to try new things. Kids’ interests drive their learning paths. They’re co-creators of their education and are encouraged to pursue their passions. 

Becoming a Prenda Guide

It didn’t take long for Sharyn to become a Guide. Immediately, she applied online, went through our onboarding process, and, in 2020, she opened her very own microschool. Her excitement about Prenda was contagious!

As she shared what she was doing, she realized that parents in her community wanted this for their kids too. In no time, she found students to join her microschool. The fact that her Prenda Microschool was tuition-free was a huge benefit and removed financial barriers for interested parents. So, Sharyn was off to the races with ten students; the maximum a microschool can have. 

In just a year, those students changed her perspective on what learning could look like. What school could be. I remember asking her what she would say to other moms like her. She paused, looked at me, and said...

“I would tell them: JUST START! You’ll be so happy you did. 

Maybe it seems daunting. It’s scary to take on the role of guiding your child’s education. 

Even though I didn’t have a teaching degree or certificate, Prenda supported me with what I needed to be successful. 

I did it, and saw all of my students loving learning and excelling.” 

She didn’t realize this during our conversation, but it was clear… Sharyn wasn’t just empowering her children or the other children in her community. 

Sharyn empowered her entire family. 

What Sharyn’s story means for YOU

Just like Sharyn, you and your family have your own unique story. You’ll have read this and come away with your takeaways—things you relate to and sentiments of Sharyn’s that landed for you. As a parent, you know your child best. You’re their cheerleader, teacher, champion, and protector. You’ve been there for the laughter, tears, sick days, celebrations, milestones, and everything in between. 

When it comes to making choices about your child’s education, many options exist. It can be overwhelming, but it’s something ALL parents experience. And here you are, taking the time to do your research, see what’s out there, and find a just-right fit for your child. 

If Sharyn’s story left you wanting to learn more about Prenda or curious about becoming a Guide and opening a microschool, I’d like to invite you to continue exploring. Prenda’s mission is to empower students but also to empower countless parents to become Guides and get more involved in their children’s learning. Thousands of parents are becoming Guides and staying home while getting compensated for doing this meaningful work. And you can too!

Apply to become a Guide today by clicking this link. 

Applying to become a Guide doesn’t involve a commitment. 

You’ll answer a few questions, my team and I will review your application, and we’ll reach out to find a time to get to know you better on a virtual call. This will be a great time to ask questions, get more information about this opportunity, and decide if guiding is right for you. Let’s team up, empower learners, and make a difference together!