Meet Ryan DeRoche, Owner of Youth Movement in Mountain House

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Describe your business

At Youth Movement, we specialize in offering homeschool classes and programs for students who are home-schooled. We have been providing these classes for about 10 years now. Our aim is to provide a wide range of classes and programs for home-schooled students that may not be available in public schools. We have recently expanded our offerings to include academic and workshop classes as well.

Our curriculum complements and enhances what is taught in homeschool. We offer core math, science, art, and history classes. However, our forte is Physical Education (PE). Our classes typically have a broader age range of students, blending together ages 6-13 years old. In comparison, classes like math or history may be more segmented by age and ability levels.

We understand that some students may be more advanced in certain subjects than others. That is why our classes cater to a wide range of ages and abilities. We used to hold classes in Mountain House, but they are currently on hold. The closest class to us is in Tracy.

At Youth Movement, we take pride in providing a safe and engaging environment for home-schooled students. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our programs and expand our offerings to meet the needs of our students.

What made you decide to open this business?

We used to work at a local gym, where we started doing personal training. Eventually, we decided to start our own training business outside of the gym. As our business grew, we started offering group classes. However, we wanted to do something specifically for youth either after school or during winter and summer breaks.

One day, we met a parent who was homeschooling their child and was interested in our classes. This encounter inspired me to offer classes specifically for homeschoolers. Within a year, we had 20 to 30 students per class. We split the classes into different groups to cater to different age ranges.

As the classes grew in popularity, neighboring cities expressed interest in joining. Word of mouth played a significant role in spreading awareness about our classes. Currently, there are classes in Yuba City, San Jose, and Fresno, and one in Southern California. It’s amazing to see how people learn about our classes and start a trail of interest that grows.

What has surprised you most about owning a business?

We find it interesting how important word of mouth is in growing my classes. Despite our efforts to advertise, it seems that families telling other families about our classes holds more weight than any video or picture we could share.

Seeing how powerful word of mouth can be in attracting new students is remarkable. It’s a testament to the quality of our classes and the positive experiences that students and families have had with us.

Having studied at the school of marketing and entrepreneurship, we’ve learned that word of mouth is important.

What was it like when you first started?

Our experience has primarily been in public school settings, so we had no prior experience with homeschooling. In order to develop and improve our program, we relied heavily on feedback from families who were involved with us. By doing so, we were able to gain a better understanding of what families were looking for in a homeschooling program and what was important to them.

One of the things we found was that having more students in a class can positively impact the energy and atmosphere of the class. We also believe that it’s important to prioritize creating a positive and enjoyable learning experience for our students rather than simply focusing on the financial aspect of running a program.

What sets your program apart from other programs for homeschooling, after-school, and unschooling students?

When we were gathering feedback from families, we learned that there weren’t many options available for students when it came to PE classes. Often, the only options were specific sports or lessons, such as golf or swimming, which limited the choices for students who may not be interested in those particular activities.

To address this, we strive to provide a variety of games and activities that are suitable for a range of ages from 6 to 15 years old. We believe keeping our students active, engaged, and having fun throughout the class is important. We aim to create a positive and relaxed environment where students can move around and learn new skills without feeling any pressure or stress.

Our goal is to provide a general PE class that is both enjoyable and informative for all students, regardless of their skill level or interests.

Can you describe a success story or memorable moment from one of your classes?

We had a moment where we realized that we had something special, and it was all thanks to the feedback from a family.

One of our students was initially shy and hesitant to participate in class, but after the first semester, they showed up with a newfound energy and confidence, eager to play all the games they loved and participate in class.

This change in confidence was inspiring, and it made us realize the importance of providing a safe space for students to build their confidence and tackle anything. As we continued to teach classes, we noticed this transformation happening with other students as well, especially during our first full year of classes.

What is your vision for the future of the program?

Our future vision is to establish ourselves as a leading brand in homeschooling programs, much like the Boys and Girls Club. We have expanded from humble beginnings in one small city to multiple cities, but we want to take it further and expand to other states. We want to understand how the different states operate in terms of homeschooling and tailor our programs to meet their needs. Our ultimate goal is to provide quality educational and recreational programs to homeschooled children across the country and become a recognized name in the field.