Startup Stories: Homeschooling Help from TargetED
In this series, we talk to student and alumni entrepreneurs about how they are making an impact with their startups. TargetED, created by Sidney Scott ’20, offers homeschooling help during the COVID-19 crisis.
Venture: TargetED offers homeschooling help during the COVID-19 crisis. A weekly newsletter helps parents navigate this new reality by sharing practical advice and resources from experienced teachers. On TargetED’s website, targetedlearning.org, families can find curated collections of free resources for homeschooling, organized by need.
Founder: Sidney Scott ’20
What was the moment when you had the idea for this startup?
A few weeks ago, I was talking on the phone with one of my friends who is a first-grade public school teacher. During our call, I mentioned an incredible reading resource that I had heard was being offered for free in response to the COVID-19 crisis. I was surprised that she hadn’t heard of it yet. That’s when I realized that there were plenty of homeschooling resources floating around, but teachers couldn’t easily find the ones that would most help their students’ families. I realized I could be immediately helpful to homeschooling families by vetting and compiling a set of resources for all teachers and parents to access.
The next day, I spoke with a parent who described the first week of homeschooling his kindergartener as “horrible.” He explained how his kid’s school had sent home some work, but not enough to keep her busy. His family was struggling to figure out how to keep their kindergartener happy and learning, with both spouses working full-time jobs. That’s when I realized that parents could use additional guidance from experienced teachers to help them along the way. As an elementary educator, I learned how to structure kids’ time and motivate them to complete schoolwork. I realized that my skills and knowledge, and those of other educators, could be immediately helpful to parents who are homeschooling right now.
What’s the problem you’re trying to solve or the gap that you’re trying to fill?
There are so many free homeschooling resources available right now, but parents don’t have the time to sift through all the company announcements and massive resource lists to find and determine the high-quality resources that will work for their family. Parents can quickly find what they need on TargetED’s website because the resources are vetted by teachers and organized by need.
I also realize that resources aren’t enough. At TargetED, we hope to fill what I’m calling “the guidance gap.” The newsletter gives families practical strategies to make homeschooling easier, and each resource on the website is accompanied by how-to instructions and teacher tips. TargetED’s newsletter and website are designed to help families who have kids between the ages of four and nine, because we know that homeschooling little kids presents unique challenges.
What was the most important resource Yale SOM contributed to your startup?
I’m currently in the SOM class for student founders called Startup Founders Practicum. The class has given me access to incredible resources, community support, and faculty mentorship.
What’s the biggest milestone your startup has hit?
Our site had 1,500 unique visitors in its first week!