Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Now Enrolling for Second Semester!

It's time for a new experience in Christian education!  January is a great time to start fresh in your child's educational journey!  Info session, Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at 7:00 pm!  Hope to see you there!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Merry Christmas from the
Living Water School!

A Practical Field Trip

For our Christmas celebration, the students voted to spend the day at National Harbor. I owed them a field trip (all field trips are earned), so I agreed. Students had to bring their own money. They got to choose their chaperones (groups could roam freely but had to stay with their chaperones at all times). When I told people about this "field trip" people asked me how this was educational. I will tell you in the words of one of my 4th graders (a discussion we had as we walked to Elevation Burger):
student: Ms. Anika I think I know why you took us on this field trip.
me: (grinning) Really? Why?
student: Because you wanted us to learn how to count and manage money
me: (smiling) yep.
So that little girl was in my group. She wanted to shop and eat, but she was determined to have some money left over. She had only $20. All day she would want me to help her add up her purchases. Eventually she was doing it on her own. She was looking at prices, counting her money on her own. When we got back on the bus she wanted me to see her wallet. She smiled as she said, "Ms. Anika I still have $2 left!" This girl bought a teddy bear on sale at Build A Bear, 2 Peeps, and had a grilled chicken sandwich with water (I shared my fries with her). I love how the math tutor (teachers are called tutors) was standing at the register as kids made purchases and taught a lesson on math and then she said, "Ok, folks this is Practical Math right here!" LOVE IT! 

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Close-Up

Imagine walking into a school and seeing kids hanging out.  Eating, resting on a couch, sitting at a table, playing, talking, laughing, listening to music.  Well that's what it may seem like when you walk into our school, but if you look closely something amazing is actually  going on.  Here's a close-up look at today:
A student bought a locker (with his fake money salary) and rented it out to another student who wanted to move to a new locker. He wrote up a contract and everything and the other student had to sign it. He typed the contract on the computer. A group of girls decided to clean out our storage room and turn it into a sewing room. They created laws for how the sewing room should function. 2 little girls picked up a phonics work book and quietly sat at a table to see how many pages they could do by themselves. A boy organized The Crystal Club and a field trip to the Crystal/gemstone store. He wrote up the sign up sheet and posted it at the student mailboxes. 2 girls decided to do a language lesson on Rosetta Stone (one took Filipino and the other took French), a group of kids made an indoor "neighborhood" out of tables, chairs and blankets. The Judicial Committee met and sentenced a boy to writing a letter of apology for kicking a girl on her shoes. And the boy cried and said, "I wish I can just be punished by a teacher!" A girl cleaned the kitchen so good it shined and smelled so good. Some kids got together and re-wrote a Christmas play script to be more relevant to themselves. They want to perform it before school gets out for Christmas (keep your fingers crossed). A group of girls (and a staff member) talked about crushes, and friendships and trusting and being bullied at other schools and learning to trust again. Some boys went outside to play basketball. A group of little people did an art project with a staff member...they made snowflakes and painted them. A staff member did a math lesson with some students. A girl decided to do a research project on CoCo Chanel on the computer. I could go on and on. When you come in you would probably see something a little chaotic...but if you look closely, you will see some amazing things happening.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tuition is $2700 until December 18!

To secure this price, pay the $50 app fee (scroll down to the bottom to see payment options), fill out the application (on the "enrollment/costs" page) and email it to us...BY DECEMBER 18!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Our Harvest Party

The Living Water School
Harvest Party!

Students dressed up in costumes from the Bible or anything in creation...Chic Fil A outside....Sweets...Fun...Fellowship...ALL planned and run by the students! Even Child Evangelism Fellowship came and told us a gospel story about Harvest Time!  

Open House Tuesdays!

Individualized Learning

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Celebrate Harvest Instead!

Let me encourage you to take your kids to this on Saturday! This is an awesome way to celebrate Harvest in a more positive way! This family is a Christian family that has a farm in Glendale Maryland. I love how they are using God's blessings to bless others!

Saturday, October 17, 2015


talking and playing with toys
playing in the rain
I have found that many people who visit the school use the name "haven" when describing it.  We in no way want to paint a picture that our school is this heavenly place where nothing wrong ever happens and all the students are saints.  However, it is a safe place.  The school community works hard to create a space where peace and harmony reign.  It has not been an easy process, but it is happening.  The students vary.  Some are advanced, some are behind, some are healthy, some have health challenges, some are cool, some are not, some are outgoing, some are shy, some have been bullied and....NONE have been THE bully (they're not allowed). We were blessed to receive a student this year with some  health challenges at just 5 years old.  A regular school was a scary option for his mom, so she brought him to our little space.  Then we have students who are just too advanced for the traditional program.  At our school they are not called nerds, but leaders.  They can go wherever their minds takes them.  If they want to complete Algebra I and II in the same year, then have at it!  I think the very nature of a democratic/free school allows for children to be whoever they are, however they are and within our school they can be that within a Biblical framework.  It's shocking to some when they first come.  An adjustment period usually has to take place, but the moment I see the new student use their words to express themselves and they begin to voice their opinions in a way that benefits the entire community, then I know growth is happening.  As I always say, "We do not live for ourselves, but for the good of the whole school community."

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Very Broken System

Ok, so most of the stories of the students who come to school would make you cry. The terrible things they've gone through at the hands of students, teachers, and administration. All from different schools. All from different districts. Some public, some private. The story is the same. Many times moms crying in my office as they recount what their child has gone through. Many times moms and I up at night talking on the phone about the wounds I see. The thing is I didn't plan for this to be a school for the wounded. I just was trying to create a school that I wanted my kids, family and friends to be able to go to. Instead, I am seeing a consistent pattern within traditional schools that breaks my heart. For example, got a new student last week. Very sweet boy, but whenever he thought someone was trying to hurt him, he would retaliate physically even if the person
wasn't trying to hurt him. His mom kept sayin how non-violent he was. So a group of us (me and students) got together and we all talked. I made this statement, "I don't think John is mean, I just think that maybe he's been hurt so much that he feels he always has to protect himself." The boy puts his head down (he's 8) and says, "Yeah, I've been bullied so much, that I don't trust anyone." Then all the kids chime in with, "Me too! I've been bullied a lot too!" Then they proceed to show each other bruises and scars they got in school. After a while, I say, "Well, there is no bullying here. We don't have bullies here." A high school student walks by and says, "YEP! No bullies here!" I then say, "We may not always agree, and we may get upset with each other, but we do not bully here." A student is not the only kind of bully. A teacher who labels a child and refuses to help the child overcome their limitations is also a bully. Our school is not perfect. We are still growing and developing, but the goal is to be a safe place for every child to grow and be who God created them to be. I've heard stories of how black teachers often mistreat black boys...not just white teachers folks, but BLACK teachers. The struggle of the black boy is so prevalent. I see it! One student came to me with an IEP as being adhd when the only problem is that he never learned to read and his behavior was a way to mask it. So we have him in a class by himself for reading and writing and he loves it. Listen folks, I did not realize how bad it was at first. I've been a part of the system. I often saw things I did not like, but it has not been until I have stepped out of it and have begun to meet individual students from all of the surrounding counties (even
Montgomery county!) that I see something is HORRIBLY WRONG!! One more story: An 8th grader started on Monday. We noticed she would only interact with the 1st to 3rd graders. I pull her aside and I ask why she won't hang out with the older kids. She puts her head down and says, "Older girls are mean. They don't usually like me very much." She starts to cry and continues, "They would talk about me all the time." I ask her mother what's up and she says, "Girl if you only know the pain my child has gone through. The day before she started here she had an anxiety attack. We had to rush her to the emergency room. The hospital staff told us that they'd seen cases like this and they asked the girl if she had been bullied. The girl said she had." Why is going to school making kids have to go to an emergency room???!!! I'm sorry I'm going on and on folks. Please forgive me. But seriously!! Something is wrong!!! My school is too small to fix this. I can only have a small number in order to give each child the individual attention they need, but what can be done on a greater scale????? Schools public and private that follow the same old wack system of educating children have got to change. Something has to change and I so wish I knew how!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Support Group for Working Parents Who Homeschool

WHAT?! (Working Homeschooling and Thriving) meets tonight (THURSDAY, October 1) at the school.  If you are a working parent who also homeschools, please come and join our monthly support group!  7:00 pm at The Living Water School!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sewing and Martial Arts Classes

We will be offering a sewing class and martial arts class and both classes will begin next week. The sewing teacher teaches sewing at College of Southern Maryland and has had her own sewing studio for many years.  The Martial Arts teacher has had extensive training in the martial arts, is a retired marine and has created a program that includes Bible verse memory and meditating on scripture.  He has truly created a Christ-centered martial arts program.  We would like to open this up to those outside of our community. The sewing class is $100 per student for a 5 week intro to sewing class. Students have class once a week for two hours, but can choose to come on either Wednesday from 12 pm to 2 pm or Fridays from 10 pm to 12 pm. The martial arts class begins next week and is held Tuesday and Fridays (students should attend both days each week) from 4 pm to 6 pm and the cost is $50 a month per student. To participate in any of these classes, we ask that families pay a non-refundable app fee of $10 per family/per class so we can secure spots. You can pay that fee by visiting our website, scrolling to the bottom and clicking the drop down menu under "Payments". Choose "Extra Class App Fee". The payments for the actual classes can be made on the first day of the class and paid directly to the instructor.  Hope you guys will join us!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fundraiser and Open House

The Living Water School will be hosting an open house/jewelry party at the school on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 3 pm. Light refreshments will be served.  All money earned will be donated to the school.  So come on out and Buy Some Jewelry. Look Beautiful. Help a School. 

Literature Discussion Rocks!

Our "Big People" are reading The Count of Monte Cristo and enjoying a relaxed dialogue about it...all while cuddling stuffed animals?? LOL!

Literature discussion is foundational to our program.  Through dialogue students build comprehension and learn to enjoy reading in a more relaxed way.
One of those bare feet belongs to the teacher and the other belongs to a 4th grader who asked to join us and she could because our school does not place walls up to prevent young kids from learning with older kids.
Whenever a student makes a point about the book, they have to back it up by sharing evidence from the text.  We always try to bring it back to the text. 

A Happy Child

This picture makes me think of one of our students. When I was a principal at a DC private school, there was a student that had some real struggles with being at the school. He was sent to my office a lot. I met with his family a lot. The difficult thing for me was that he was not bad, he was highly intelligent, he just struggled with the fitting into the framework. He did not have a learning disability, but he did think WAY outside the box. He also had this deep common sense that he often could not help but mention to his teacher, when she did something that did not seem to make sense to him. So he was sent to the office for "disrespecting." I admit that he needed some training on how to best communicate his disagreements with her, but sometimes I could not help but smile because he actually made a lot of sense sometimes! In the end, he was pulled from the school, but the family and I remained close. They continued to search for a place for him and school continued to be a struggle. I was told that almost every day for all of his years of school, he would come with some "reason" why he should not have to go to school. And each of those days, he still had to go and was miserable. When I started The Living Water School & Homeschool Center, his family was the first family I reached out to and they were willing to give my program a try. Last night, they emailed me and told me that he was so happy. These were the little 8 YEAR OLD'S words, "I have been looking for a school like this for 25 years."

Saturday, September 12, 2015

First Week of School Part 2!

A little time to create!
A beautiful day to play basketball!
Students campaigning to be on the Judicial Committee! 
Little people and big people doing art together!
Without us showing them how, theY created the format for our Judicial Committee and did an excellent job!


Friday, September 11, 2015

The First Week of School Part 1!

Some little people randomly decide to practice numbers using blocks.
The Judicial Committee's first meeting and they did an awesome job for the first time!!
Chess is learning right?
One of these girls is in a play at church and asked her new friend to help her learn her lines.
And this 5 year old who LOVES math and has a gift to understand math as high as algebra, took a break from playing soccer to do a math workbook...

More pics to come!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Unique Fundraiser

Because of my beliefs on healthy/organic  eating, I have always struggled with school fundraisers that used chocolate, pizza kits, candy, etc. to raise money for a school.  I looked for an alternative to selling food and other non-useful things that I thought people would really appreciate.  We settled on using Chloe + Isabel as our first school fundraiser because people can purchase beautiful jewelry and at the same time help our school.  100% of what we earn through Chloe + Isabel goes to support the school.  The process is just like when schools sell chocolate, candles, etc. we sell the product and split the profit with Chloe + Isabel.  Except this time, people walk away feeling great because they now have a lovely new product to enjoy and they have also helped a school progress.  Our motto is Buy Some Jewelry. Look Beautiful. Help a School.  Check out our boutique at

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Support Group for Parents Who Homeschool AND Work!

AND THRIVING. This meeting is for working parents (full or part time) who homeschool. We will meet throughout the year at The Living Water School for prayer, support, encouragement, advice and SANITY! Our first meeting is this Thursday, Sept. 3 at 7 pm.  We want to be able to pull the working and homeschooling families together in order to help each other, especially those who are doing it for the first time! Please come out and join us! Parents do not have to be members of The Living Water School to participate.
It is open and free to anyone who needs the support, wants more information to learn how to do it, etc. Hope to see you there and spread the word about WHAT?!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Child-Focused Education

I know it's a weird question to ask a parent who is seeking to place their child in a new school:  "Do you mind if he doesn't finish the math book this year?  Are you ok with us focusing on his heart first?"  When I was the principal of other schools, and I would receive a wounded student, in my mind i would think, "Oh how I wish I had time to heal his/her heart."  In the traditional system there is no time to work on the inside of a child.  There is the curriculum.  There is testing.  There is the deadline to finish the scope and sequence.  There is everything...but the child.  At our school, our view is a bit different.  We are first focused on the child, their heart, their mind, their soul, their being.  Oh yeah there is teaching and learning going on, but even more important there is personal development going on.  I have told parents, "As long as your child is wounded, no matter how many schools you place them in, they will keep struggling until the wound is healed."  These wounds could come from years of being bullied, a loss of some kind, abuse, mistreatment by a teacher, low self-esteem (because no one has taken the time to identify why God made them special), feeling like their giftedness is being stifled so they are not free to walk in their gifts/talents...any number of things can wound a child.  When school is so focused on getting kids to finish "the work" and less focused on healing the heart, then we continue to fill kids' minds with information while their hearts remain empty...scarred.  Our belief is that once a child is made whole, then in no time at all they can learn all they need to learn to make in the next phase of life.  Once the child is whole, with no distracting-haunting memories, no unresolved hurts, no feelings of being held back from their calling, etc. they are free to embrace all the knowledge that is available to them.  They are free to fly as far as the winds of their passion will take them.

A Blessing...

Monday, August 10, 2015

Info Session Tonight!

Homeschoolers Bless Us & We Bless Homeschoolers!

For my homeschooling friends: God has been good in blessing us with the core staff that we need.  At this time The Living Water School & Homeschool Center​ is offering homeschooling moms or dads the opportunity to bring their children to the school for a free day (for socialization, activities, etc) at least once a week (6 to 8 hours a day), in exchange for you giving us the following:  supervision for the kids.  This also allows volunteers to allow their younger kids (ages 3 and under) to tag along since you will not have instruction duties.  We just want to make sure we have enough chaperones for students who may want to go outside, to join in with a group of kids playing a game, to read aloud to a child who needs a reading buddy, to engage in conversation with kids as they freely learn and discuss various topics, to monitor kids who choose to eat at various times (there is no scheduled lunch eat when they are hungry), so every child who has a question about anything can get an answer or help finding it, etc.  Our school is growing beyond the numbers we planned for and we are thankful!  You volunteering will allow us to stay true to our promise to provide a free, yet safe learning environment to every student. The only requirement is you must have a background check, be finger printed and be willing to attend 1 meeting per semester for the volunteers.  If interested, please contact us!  (We also welcome childless volunteers who want nothing in return but the experience of being a part of a very unique school!)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A School Where Children Learn to Lead

In my opinion, the only standardized test that is of any importance is the SAT and colleges are slowly starting to get rid of that (but we want to get them ready just in case, so NOTHING stands in their way).  If we teach kids how to think early and how to be prepared for that, then there is no need for the insane testing that goes on...the 2 hours worth of homework, etc...With that in mind, I start guiding children how to write paragraphs (following the SAT format) in kindergarten.  By the end of kindergarten last year, my students were able to write short paragraphs of 5 sentences....topic sentence, 3 supporting sentences and one closing sentence.  We did this over and over and over until it was habit.  As they get older, hopefully those students will build on it.  At The Living Water School & Homeschool Center​ students will most surely build on it as they do their independent projects.  This is also why we do math and reading small groups instead of formal large class build the skills necessary to score high on the SAT one day (if it still exists).  However, there is no formal SAT practice/test taking practice until junior high/early highschool. Our whole focus is giving them the mind to think for themselves, the initiative to be forward thinking, the ability to lead and innovate and the skills necessary to be successful post high school...but we don't wait until high school to do that.  We start it in kindergarten so that over the years these things are second nature.  So that by the time they have to take an SAT or GRE or whatever, they are not scared or nervous, but so confident that they see it as just another task they can conquer. I am not interested in having my students work for anyone, but the goal is for them to be the employer....that is the goal for my own children and that is the goal for any child who attends.

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Peak into Our Entrance Interview

The School Report (that's what I'll call it and I'll only do it once a day at the most): SO today had a student do his entrance interview. It's a time where I sit with he and his family and get a sense of his education experiences, likes, dislikes, interests, needs, etc. It's a relaxed conversation with everyone and especially the child gets to SPEAK. THEN I do a reading and math diagnostic (so I can assign him to the appropriate reading and math small group). No pressure. They can do whatever problems they want on it, and can stop whenever they want to. I did not isolate the child in a quiet room, but just let him leisurely try some of the work. After all of that I could determine that he was a grade behind. We all create a plan, based on the notes I took from the conversation and diagnostic and we create an educational path that is uniquely his. When it was all done, the family (grandmother, father and aunt) said, "You don't know how long we have been trying to find a school that would relate this way to him. This is the first time we have seen him NOT have any apprehension about school." At one point the little boy (8 yrs old) said, "Sometimes I just needed a break. Sometimes I just wanted to play outside for a little while, but instead I could only sit in my seat all day. Um...Is it ok if I research tornados and cyclones???" I said, "Well of course! How about we make you the school weatherman? You have to come in every day and update us on the weather! And whenever you need a break, feel free to go outside and get some fresh air." He says, "Oh i can do that! I'll make sure to tell you when a tornado is coming and go over with you how to stay safe during a tornado!" So someone tell me why a kid like this could not enjoy school? He LOVES to learn. THIS is why the school must stay small. I may not reach everyone, but prayerfully the few I reach will make a difference. A few slots are still open!

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Upcoming Info Sessions!!

Sunday, August 2 @ 9:30 pm-Conference Call (724-707-2592/ pin# 83023)

Monday, August 3 @ 7 pm-Info Session at the school (2200 Culbera Dr. Hillcrest Heights, MD 20748)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Info Session Tonight!

Looking for Families in Montgomery County, MD!

We have some prospective parents in Montgomery County.  We are wondering if there are any other parents in the Northern Maryland area (Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Germantown, etc.) who would be interested in a Christian school like The Living Water School and Homeschool Center. We are looking at busing student to and from the school. There would be one pick up and drop off point in Rockville. Interested families please contact us.