Readin’, Ritin’, & Rithmatic
Our initial ideas about our enrichment program mainly focused on after-school care for elementary school kids. While I grew up as a latch-key kid, it’s just not a common thing in San Ramon (and I presume most of the Bay Area). Parents want to be sure their kids are:
- In a safe place after school until they can be picked up after work
- Getting ahead in their education by doing English, math, and other additional work which goes above & beyond their regular school activities
And this business model can be quite lucrative. Parents typically $300–500 per month for their children to spend 4–5 hours a day after school at these facilities. Doing some simple math, you can probably guess that once up and running, such a business has a pretty decent MRR (monthly run rate) just from simple “worksheet activities” and some arts & crafts.
But as I mentioned in our previous post (The start of something new) we wanted to offer something unique. As parents, we see the value in additional English & math practice, but we don’t believe that such practice alone will give our kids a sense happiness, let alone, understand things besides filling out worksheets.
It’s been about a year since we took the first formal steps for our business…in March 2015, we bought our domain name…medium.com
So that’s where our ideas about incorporating STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math) into our program started to build up momentum.
- My wife loved the idea of teaching kids about art & art history; giving kids a sense of the world of art, and not just how to draw a face or a bowl of fruit. She wanted to teach kids about famous artists and how to re-create art in a similar fashion.
- I loved the idea of teaching kids the fundamentals of programming so they understand what it means to code, how to give instructions, how to explain themselves to others, and how to create something of their own.
We started working on more details of what we wanted to teach and building the basic curriculum. Since we had never designed a curriculum this wasn’t an easy task, but we tapped friends, colleagues, and other contacts (and the internet) to help us understand what our curriculum could look like. The whole idea of going with a non-franchise model for our enrichment center was freeing, but it was also scary as hell.