Learning environments can make a great deal of difference in the quantity and quality of things a student learns. A student’s comfort level in that environment makes a great deal of difference as well. Many successful traditional school students mastered their classroom environment early on. They almost subconsciously found the keys to be successful students and then simply continued to expand on those skills. They listened attentively, took good notes, memorized information, asked the teacher questions, and worked hard to complete the assignments that would earn them good grades.Not everyone finds success in a traditional classroom. Many students never learn the skills necessary to be successful and often fall through the cracks. Many simply fade away, some drop out, and some limp along as best they can. Many families make the choice to avoid traditional classrooms altogether and opt to homeschool their child. Homeschooling affords families the ability to create the learning environment they feel is best for their child.Homeschool learning environments can be tailored to the individual learning style of each student. In general, homeschool learning environments are dynamic and active. Many homeschoolers thrive in a hands-on environment with much tactile and kinesthetic learning taking place. A close relationship develops between the student and the parent/teacher in such a setting, due to the intimate nature of the classroom. Students are able to discuss issues and questions much more closely in a homeschool learning environment. This often leads to greater understanding of material. In a homeschool environment, students are not left behind if they don’t get something the first time. They have the ability to stick with an issue until it’s mastered. That ability to master a topic or a concept and then move on helps to foster a greater sense of confidence in a homeschool student, therefore creating a stronger student in general.Homeschool learning environments have the ability to create genuine learning situations that often just aren’t available in a traditional classroom. Often in a homeschool setting, learning one concept can lead to a natural question about another concept or a related idea. That idea can be explored thoroughly in a dynamic homeschool environment, where in a traditional classroom it might need to be pushed aside in order to meet the next learning objective on time.Homeschool learning environments can be enhanced in many ways, through collaborative efforts of homeschool groups. Often students will join groups and form small classes in order to gain the benefits of collaboration and to capitalize on the knowledge of an expert. This learning environment can be further embellished by the addition of a distance learning environment. Distance learning environments can open up new worlds to the homeschool student, where he can find challenging and dynamic learning opportunities that suit his learning style and capitalize on the expertise of teachers everywhere.The learning environment for the homeschool student is now nearly unlimited. With homeschool collaboration groups and distance learning schools added to enhance the learning experience, the homeschool learning environment is undeniably rich.
What is the difference between living healthy and not living healthy? More importantly, in business, what is the difference between a healthy, productive company and an unhealthy, unproductive company? There actually isn’t a very drastic difference in action. There IS a very drastic difference in results. The difference is goals. Small steps in action make a big difference in results.We’ve discussed setting goals in the past, but let’s go deeper with it to see how small changes lead to big results. It starts with the difference between goals that are supported and goals that are not. As you may be able to tell (by logic or personal experience) goals that are supported are much more likely to be reached.As I begin work with each of my clients, I see a clear issue that needs to be addressed before anything else. The issue is the environment. I’m not saying that everywhere I go has an unhealthy environment. I just need to ask the question, how healthy is the environment? Often, when we start the conversation it goes something like this:Client Company: “I want to save money, so how can you help me get my people healthier?”
Me: “First, let’s look at what is causing the current health situation.” “What are you doing now to support the health goals of your employees?”The business owner may or may not already be doing some things. Regardless, the point is to ask the question to get the environment at the top of the priorities list. If we know what the issues are and what employees’ goals are, now we can start to change the environment that they work in. As we alter the environment, people are able to make changes within it.It only makes sense to make sure that goals are supported by the environment. No one woke up this morning wanting to be unhealthy and not feel good. We all want to feel good, so if the environment can support this, we all will.One way to illustrate this is by looking at goals strictly from a business viewpoint. If I ask the question: “What are you doing to support the performance goals of your employees?” it is much clearer for most employers.The following scenario will illustrate this, but also show how to use what is common practice in business to create new possibilities.Sales Goals- your company requires each sales rep to close 20 clients per month. You don’t care how they do it, between calls, in person meetings, networking, or otherwise, but their goal is twenty clients by month end. If this is to be realistic, you have to look at the time they will be spending and how they will be spending it. If they have 30 hours of internal meetings, it will be difficult for them to devote much time to external communications that will lead to sales. Therefore, this would not be an environment that supported 20 clients for the sales rep. As an owner/manager, you would not set this up because the conflict would be clear.Health goals are not quite as clear to see in business. That is where I come in! It is easy to say: “Get healthy.” It is more challenging to set up an environment that will create and support health. Challenging, yes, but impossible? No. It starts with that simple question:What can I do to support the health of my employees?This may lead to more questions, but the answers reveal themselves quickly and clearly. You know your business needs and what each employee needs to do in order to keep things going. The health of your employees is no different. They each have goals and a certain amount of time and energy to devote to them. By creating a realistic sales goal, your sales team is able to work toward it, accomplish it and your company sees the benefit. In order to do this, you need an environment that can support these goals. If your environment doesn’t support the goals, your company and everyone in it will suffer.By creating realistic health goals and an environment that supports them, your employees will be able to work toward these goals and of course, your company sees the benefit. Best of all, your sales goals will improve as well. (See my article: Health Strategy, Appearance and Performance)How does this happen? Goal setting is a habit. Success is a habit. Anyone that can be successful in one area can also be successful in another. By creating the environment that supports success, your employees and of course, your company will achieve more success. A healthy environment helps you create a healthy business and clearly a healthy business is a successful business.