What can a home educating parent learn from a business management book? Quite a lot. I’ve learned valuable lessons from these books. While I don’t aim to run my home like a business, the principles I’ve learned have helped our household and school routines. Unlike many homemaking books I’ve come across, these business management resources offer practical advice.
We found great value in the Six Types of Working Genius system, created by Patrick Lencioni and The Table Group. Initially, I dismissed it as just another personality quiz. Taking the assessment with Leon changed how we manage our home, making us more efficient. This isn’t to say that efficiency is our main goal. It’s obviously more important to be there for our children, and these business tools help things run smoothly, allowing us to be more present with our families.
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Managing a home and family is not the same as running a business, but it is our work as parents. There are principles that overlap and can be applied to enhance the management of our household and the education of our children. We can apply business strategies to improve the way we manage our home and children’s education. The Six Types of Working Genius focuses on identifying our two strengths (the areas we excel in) and competencies (the tasks we are okay at but find draining). Also, it recognizes that each individual also has two weaknesses or frustrations (tasks we dislike and struggle with). Addressing our weaknesses is important, but this system helps us focus on our strengths, reducing guilt. By concentrating on our strengths, we can compensate for our weaknesses.
These are the Six Working Genius Types:
If you’re curious about this, take a look at the Working Genius website for a quick overview of the six geniuses. There’s also a Working Genius Podcast and a book available for more exploration.
In my case, my geniuses are Enablement and Tenacity. This means I excel at encouraging and assisting people with tasks or projects, and I’m also skilled at seeing them through to completion. My competencies, the tasks I’m okay at, include Invention and Discernment. I can create original ideas and work out what needs to be done, but I’m not particularly exceptional in these areas. On the other hand, my frustrations lie in Wonder and Galvanizing—I struggle with asking questions to improve things, and I find it challenging to motivate others and keep them engaged in their tasks.
It’s important to recognize that we may believe we possess all these capabilities, but in reality, we do not. I have found that tasks aligned with my geniuses fill me with joy and energy, while other tasks drain me of both. I get great joy out of ticking things off a list of things we need to do every day. I also don’t like being interrupted during read-aloud time (just ask the children—ha!) and find it difficult to discern whether we should continue. Empowering our children to discover things on their own gives me joy, but I struggle with asking open-ended questions that foster their curiosity and contemplation.
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These gifts come into play when it comes time to plan for a new school year. There are several approaches you can take:
You can choose a curriculum that has everything laid out for you. They make all your decisions, you just have to encourage and empower your children to do the learning (Enablement, Galvanizing, Tenacity).
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can ask the necessary questions and craft your own curriculum based on what you discern your family needs (Wonder, Invention).
Or you can do what I prefer to do and take a written curriculum and determine what your needs are based on your philosophy and your family values and make necessary adjustments (Discernment, Enablement, Tenacity).
There’s so much more to be articulated about this subject. I think I’ll leave it here for now, though. Using this knowledge has made me more organized and productive in our home education journey. While we still encounter weeks when we aren’t very productive, I now understand why certain things drain me while others give me energy and joy. By discovering your working strengths and weaknesses, you can find more freedom in your home education journey.