The a/c blares in my face as I watch the brake lights in front of me. Cars are stacked in the drive-thru, and wrap clear around the building. There isn’t a parking space to be found. You would think that perhaps there was a national shortage on chicken or something crazy like that, but it’s just another day at Chick-fil-A.
As I sat in line watching the near-empty parking lots of the competitors right across the street, I just smiled at the success that this business has had. And then I got to thinking…could I apply Chick-fil-A’s philosophies to my life? Could it be that Chick-fil-A has advice for new homeschoolers? Yes, I think so.
Advice for New Homeschoolers
It’s my pleasure
Regardless of how busy it is or how a customer behaves, the response from a CFA employee is always…”it’s my pleasure.” My homeschool should be the same way. It’s a pleasure to have this freedom. Even on the hard days when no one is listening or the baby colors on my new dress.
Rest on Sundays
Being closed on Sunday is a standard that defines the success of CFA. Am I willing to rest on Sunday? Putting family first will always bring successful results. I long to enjoy God’s day. To rest in Him, worship, and to worry about those lesson plans later.
CFA is always the first to donate and support ministries. I want this to be a part of my homeschool. Who can we give to today? Does the elderly lady down the street need a meal? Does the church need some repair work? Perhaps the greatest advantage to homeschooling is the ability to integrate service to others into our daily lives. I don’t want to miss this.
Reading is a PRIZE!
Most of the time, kid’s meals come with a book. What an amazing prize! We are a privileged people that we own even one book. Am I teaching my children that reading is a prize and a wonderful privilege? (See growing readers for ideas on how to encourage readers.)
Quality is worth the cost
I don’t think anyone would argue that CFA is an expensive fast food restaurant. Yet, again, we keep coming back. A large part of the reason for that is quality. I’m willing to pay a little more because it tastes good. And that’s exactly what my homeschool should be. I’m willing to do a little more because the benefit is good. While some days homeschooling is a daunting sacrifice, I must remember that it’s worth the cost.
Be clean and neat
One of the few restaurants that actually hires people simply to walk around and clean, CFA sets the bar high. I won’t eat in a dirty restaurant any more than I will school in a dirty room. If my space isn’t neat and organized, I feel overwhelmed or uninterested. Cleaning and organizing must be a priority. (Check out last year’s school area.)
Always make sure there is a place for play
My children know Chick-fil-A for their play places. It adds a little excitement into a seemingly mundane activity–eating. I want this excitement in my homeschool. How easily I can become trapped by the lesson plans and forget to enjoy. A valuable benefit of homeschooling is this freedom to simply play. To explore and create. May I not squelch that desire with a long to-do list or stack of worksheets.
I’m picky and I love that I can ask for something specific at CFA and know that the employee will be thrilled to help with it. I want my children to have the same confidence–to know that when they express interest in a subject, I will try to make it a part of our studies, if at all possible. I want them to give feedback on what works about a book that I have chosen and when they are older, help me select from the various wonderful choices out there.
One of the most talked about components of the CFA business model is their manager and owner training. The corporate office relies on this training to set up every aspect of their business. Without it, everything crumbles. As a homeschool mom, I have the same need for training. In order to sharpen my skills, I need an annual convention full of ideas, mentors, and curriculum…such as my all-time favorite, Teach Them Diligently Convention.
Go the second mile
This is actually Truett Cathy’s number one business principle. You see it written all over the restaurant, from refilling drinks at your table to carrying trays for busy moms. Truett challenges his employees to think beyond the first mile and go a second. How does this look in my homeschool? Am I just doing enough to get by or am I giving my kids the second mile? For me, going the second mile is about doing those little things that my kids love, rather than just doing what needs to be done to finish the book or topic. And yes, paint is usually involved!
Disclaimer… Chick-fil-A did not approve, endorse, or compensate me for the ideas in this post. It’s simply my fun way of offering up some helpful advice for new (or even not so new) homeschoolers. If you happen to work for Chick-fil-A, I hope you enjoyed it. (And if you feel so inclined, I’d love to have some pens. I know, silly request, but I love your pens.)