Homeschooling is increasingly becoming a viable option for parents looking for alternatives to traditional classroom learning. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), for example, showed a 54% increase in the practice from 2002 to 2012 (1), and stories like the wunderkind twelve-year-olds starting their engineering degrees at Cornell University (2) inspire other families looking to nurture their gifted children.
However, rather than looking at homeschooling programs as competition for your private school, look to them as you would any other “feeder school”—as an opportunity to expand the pool of prospective students. This month, let’s discuss the ways in which you can leverage the unique opportunity of homeschooled students.
Two years ago, The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association ran an extremely successful fundraiser that encouraged people to donate to their organization, film themselves dumping buckets of water on their heads, and challenge others to do the same. We wrote about the lessons to be taken away from the viral episode and filed it away as a one-and-done subject.
We were wrong to dismiss it so easily, as The ALS Association beautifully leveraged their previous success to offer those of us in the development world another great lesson: Remind your donors what their sacrifices have accomplished, and so grow the relationship.
In the last issue of The Source for Private School News, we discussed the impact that the new mobile game Pokémon Go may have on the private-independent school community. The Admission Office, in particular, could leverage the gaming sensation to great benefit during its recruitment sessions this fall.