From Homeschool Mom to Prenda Guide

 minute read

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 her 5 girls. Transitioning to a new learning setting takes some time and 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.

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. 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 supporting 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 as involved in the community as she would have liked. She felt like they needed more 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 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 realized that she could become a Guide and open a microschool for her girls and several other local kids. The whole concept checked all of her boxes...

  • Her 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 maintain the strong role she was playing in supporting her children. 
  • Her children could socialize and create deeper friendships. 
  • She could make a massive impact in the lives of children. 

Sharyn loved that kids at Prenda are encouraged to take ownership of their learning. She loved that every school day was deeply collaborative and engaging. She also valued the shorter school days and a massive community of other microschools to get plugged into. She especially appreciated the flexibility to create a learning environment that makes sense for each of her students.

Becoming a Prenda Guide

It didn’t take long for Sharyn to become a Guide. She applied online, went through our onboarding process, and 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 and was running a unique and personalized microschool with 10 kids and making an income that helped her family.

In just a year, those students changed her perspective on what learning could look like. What school could be. Here's what Sharyn said wehn I asked her what advice she would give 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.” 

Sharyn wasn’t just empowering her children or the other children in her community. 

Sharyn empowered herself and her entire family. 

What Sharyn’s story means for you...

Over the years, Prenda has helped over 1,000 people, like Sharyn, start microschools.

Our goal is to make microschooling easy for you and empowering for students so thousands of kids can rediscover their love of learning, find their personal purpose, and build lasting relationships with their parents and guides.

80% of Prenda guides are parents or homeschoolers who decided to use Prenda's model to create the learning environment they wanted for their children (the other 20% are teachers looking for more flexible ways to empower their students!).

If you're curious about becoming a guide and opening a microschool here are some great next steps...

- Take our 30 minute quick course The Beginner's Guide to Microschooling. This free course will give you an overview of Prenda's philosophy, your role as a guide, and the tools and resources available to you through Prenda.

- Reach out to us by filling out this quick form and we'll answer your questions and connect you with an experienced guide who can coach you through getting started. There's no better way to learn about microschooling than to talk to someone who has done it!

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