Why Prenda has the Best ESA Options for Homeschool Families

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When I was in 5th grade, my mom made one of the hardest decisions of her life… She could no longer homeschool her three kids and placed us in a local public school. 

My mom isn’t alone; there are thousands of homeschool parents every year who quit homeschooling and place their children in traditional school… But why? What makes the burnout rate so high in homeschool parents? I could tell you, but I'm not a homeschool mom, am I? So I called my mom, we chatted, and here’s her answer.

“Homeschooling is tough. I was responsible for educating you, sourcing curriculum, parenting, and more. As a homeschool parent, you are faced with imposter syndrome and an overwhelming sense of isolation.”

You see, my mom didn’t have a college degree, and once we got to a certain age, she didn’t feel like she had adequate knowledge and support to keep homeschooling…

“Slowly, as you all grew up, I didn’t have answers to your difficult questions. I couldn’t afford a tutor and didn’t have a support system. Plus, we were going through a difficult financial time, and I realized I needed to work.”

My mom was the most selfless, intelligent woman you’d meet. She didn’t have a college degree, but she raised three kids who adored being homeschooled by her and who grew up into capable, kind human beings (at least I hope people think so;). 

My family visiting Niagara Falls when I was in 5th grade.

In the call with my mom, I realized I should ask her why? What was it about homeschooling that made it worth it? 

“The public school I was required to put you all in was rough. It had the worst test scores in the county with the largest class sizes. Bad test scores + large class sizes + rough area + underpaid teachers = an experience I didn’t want for you kids. Plus, I wanted you to be able to learn at your own pace. You were specifically a very hyper child, and I knew your energy would be looked down upon in a traditional setting. You needed a personalized education with more one-on-one attention.”

Besides finding out I was high maintenance as a child on our phone call :), I also felt this immense gratitude towards my mom and her decision to homeschool me during such formative years. So, after I was done asking her all these questions, I walked her through Prenda’s new ESA option... I told her we designed it so parents like her could homeschool confidently.

I showed her how parents will have access to world-renown curriculum providers like Lexia, Zearn, Brittanica, etc.

I demonstrated how we have combined those research-based curriculum providers into our own software and platform called Prendaworld.

I explained how easy it was for students to navigate Prendaworld and learn at their own pace because technology allows us to adapt the learning to each student’s level. 

I showed her the physical workbooks and materials we send each child for their grade level. 

I told her that Prenda is providing each student with on-demand math tutoring and that each parent has access to a dedicated coach for help and support.

My mom was silent for a while as I was walking through all of this so I paused and asked her what she thought. She paused, the phone went silent, and  she just said “I just wish this existed thirty years ago.”

My mom holding my older sister at a park near our house in Eden Prarie, Minnesoata

I finished by telling her about how parents could use this offering. They could use it to homeschool their kids (we call this familyschool), or they could homeschool their kids + others from their church, community, or neighborhood… My mom interrupted me and asked, 

“Why would someone start a microschool instead of just homeschooling?”

My response was to point her back to her story. If my mom had started a microschool with other children from the community, she would have been paid for each student she brought into her microschool. The microschool option would have allowed my mom to stay home with her kids and earn an income. She could have found like-minded parents from her church, started a small-group microschool of 5-10 students in her home, and gotten paid to do it. Each student would be supported by Prenda’s team of certified teachers and our personalized learning experience so my mom could focus on building connections with each kid and worry less about setting schedules, curriculum building, tutoring, or anything like that.

My mom loved the idea but had sort of a sad response…“Honestly, Nathanael (It’s Nate btw…she just still calls me Nathanael).. there’s a chance I would have kept homeschooling if I had all of this.”

My brother, sister, mom, and dad. I wasn't born yet ;)

While ESA for Prenda may not be available for my mom thirty years ago, it’s available for you right now. Familyschool (homeschool) and microschool are both great options for homeschool parents. Whether you want to homeschool your kids or start a microschool with other kids in your community, we know you will love Prenda for ESA. But before we jump into how you can use our core package, let’s talk through everything it includes...

💡 Core curriculum for all K-8 students, including Math, Reading, Language, Writing, Science, and Social Studies.

💻 Our innovative educational platform (called Prendaworld). Access and licenses to world-renown curriculums like Zearn, CTC, Mathseeds, Knowre, Lexia, NoRedInk, Lightsail, Brain Pop, Britannica, World Book Online, Squid Books, and lots more..

📑 Physical curriculum including Treasure Hunt Reading, handwriting, cursive, and printed workbooks

👪 Access to Prenda Community and ongoing events (virtual and in-person)

Regular individual student academic progress reporting

🔢 On-demand math tutoring for students

🧑‍🤝‍🧑Access to Prenda Academic Coaches

All for only $2500 a year.

Now let’s talk about TWO ways you can use this $2500. 

Start an ESA Familyschool

Think homeschool but with the help of Prenda’s knowledgeable support staff, renown curriculum, and your own academic coach to help you through everything! You invest $2500 a year per child, and Prenda gives you everything you need to feel confident about homeschooling. We built our offering this way so parents (like my mom) can continue homeschooling, not get burned out, and continue to make an impact on their children for a long time to come. 

Find out more information at prenda.com/esa/familyschool

Familyschool is an excellent option for parents who would feel more comfortable with just their own kids. But, for parents who want their children to have more social interaction and community, consider our microschool option. Plus, with our microschool option, you can earn an income while staying home. ⬇️

Start an ESA Microschool

With Prenda’s help, you will find 2-10 children and parents interested in joining your little microschool. Then, these parents will sign up for Prenda and enroll in your microschool. They will pay $2500 to Prenda for each child, and then you will set your microschool fee on top of that for each child that joins your microschool. Prenda will handle all the payments and processing. Hold on; you might be confused, so let’s bring this back to the story of my mom. 

Let’s say my mom opened a microschool with her own three children and four others from her local church. Each child will need to pay $2500 for Prenda’s ESA core package. But, my mom (the Prenda Guide) will set an additional amount that each parent must pay for their child to join her microschool. This can help you cover the cost of your own students. Our ESA Guides and families have complete freedom with their microschools. My mom could set any pay she desires and create a microschool based on her religion, culture, or more. She is NOT required to participate in state testing or screeners.

Suppose my mom provides longer days, before/after care,  or a specialty curriculum or enrichment (like piano, bible study, or foreign language) is added. In that case, she (microschool Guides) should consider charging more for their efforts.Your microschool is yours to customize based on what your families and parents are wanting in an educational experience. 

Find out more at prenda.com/esa/microschool

Join an ESA microschool.

Joining a microschool isn’t as simple as signing up or just raising your hand. If you are not in the position to homeschool your kids (familyschool) or start your own microschool, help us bring Prenda to your area. How?

Look around you. Consider the individuals in your life that would make incredible Guides for your kids. Then, talk to them about Prenda. Maybe send them this blog! Bring them to Prenda and then enroll your child in their microschool. You can also get connected to other local parents interested in bringing Prenda to their area by joining our Facebook groups. 

Let’s wrap it up

I hope I (with the help of my mom) helped to answer some of your questions and give the reasons why you should consider Prenda for your ESA funds. If you have any further questions or would like to speak with someone about using your ESA funds for Prenda, please reach out to us at support@prenda.co. Before I let you go, here’s one more thing my mom told me that hit pretty hard...⬇️

“If you ever have children, you’ll understand that each child learns so differently. While one may seem more advanced than the other, children are on different paths toward different futures. That’s why I homeschooled, so I could give each of you kids the attention you needed and ensure you would never feel “behind” or inferior just for being different.”

Even though my mom didn’t know all of the scientific and psychological reasons for doing what she was doing, she still had a gut feeling that she was doing the right thing. And she was right. She set all of us (her children) up for happiness, success, and most importantly, becoming capable adults confident of tackling this crazy and volatile world around us. 

So with that… 

Go empower the learners in your life.

- Written by Nate (and his mom)

Our whole family together at my wedding in 2022.