Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Only Accepting School Aged Kids

It was a hard decision, but we are no longer offering The Play Room for ages 2 to 4.  The interest in this program was not as much as our school aged program.  The Living Water School is first and foremost a Sudbury school for students ages 5 (and sometimes 4!) to 19 (or completing highschool).  This will always be priority to us.  We do feel that offering a preschool program prepares children for becoming independent learners.  One day this dream will be realized.  Until then, we will focus on providing a school where students GROW in their Christian faith, LIVE for the good of the community, THRIVE through small group mentoring, and DESIGN their educational path!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Inspired by Marva Collins

Marva Collin's thoughts on engaging students in Socratic dialogue about the Great Books is one of the highlights of The Living Water School. Students are free to learn but the book clubs are a time where we build community, literacy, comprehension and grow the mind simply by talking about books that have stood through all of time. The book clubs are not required and students have the option to sign up for a book club if the book we are discussing is of any interest to them (we do not invite students to come). The staff does not lead these discussions but the discussions begin with anyone in the group presenting a question to be discussed about the book.  It snowballs from there. The staff will join with students in seeking understanding and connection to our lives through discussing the literature.

My dream is that this school (in these times of racial unrest, especially) would be a place where all races come together to grow in our faith, learn, discuss, and live in a community of harmony. My experience at St. John's College taught me that this dream can be a reality. In the dialogues I had there with people from every race and background (even though I was a minority many times) caused the racial lines to disappear and we related to each other based upon the soul and not the color of our skin.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Who We Are

The Living Water School is a school where students ages 2 to 18
GROW in their Christian faith,
LIVE for the good of the community,
THRIVE through small group mentoring, and
DESIGN their educational path

Some Quick Facts

Here are some quick facts for those still "thinking" about The Living Water School:
1. We are open from 7 am to 6 pm with no extra charges for before and after care...it's all included in your tuition. Of course if you arrive later or leave earlier, your tuition does not decrease.
2. We have created scholarships so that no child will have to miss out on this opportunity. These are partial scholarships that can cut tuition down as low as 50%. One parent is interested in a scholarship for her 3 year old and realized that the $170 a week that she's been paying was cut down to almost half after scholarships were applied.
3. Our school is a Christian yet non traditional school where students learn independently with our support and guidance. There are no grades, grade levels or standardized tests. High school students who want to enter college can design a path where a transcript can be created, but they have to choose their classes, etc. Going to college is their responsibility. We just provide the resources they request so they can reach that goal. High schoolers can also opt to take classes at a college or community college for dual enrollment
4. We enroll ages 2 to 18 (the 2 to 4 year olds have a more structured program, but are still free to play, create and learn in a non traditional way)
5. We place a great deal of emphasis on building community, ours and around the DMV....
6. Bible is not taught as an academic subject but we have devotions together. We don't force memorizing scripture but we encourage students to learn scriptures that speak to their hearts. The entire environment of the school is Christ-centered
7. We offer elective classes that the students request, such as dance, piano, art (although the art studio is always open and free for students to use), cosmetology, whatever they request we help them to learn it and if needed we will help them raise the money to learn a more expensive course. Students can also opt to do an apprenticeship in a field that they are interested in learning more about.
8. All academic instruction is done in small groups and are at the students' request. We offer book clubs, writing clubs and math clubs. We have found that when the pressure is removed, students express a desire to learn in all of these areas. All other learning is done at the students' request and is experiential...through field trips, independent research and projects that the students create. We mentor them through that process.
9. The deadline to enroll is July 31.
10. All high school graduates are required to do a thesis before a diploma is given on any research interest and in their thesis presentation they must be able to answer the question of why they are ready to graduate and how they will impact the world positively.(and a high schooler can decide when they are ready to graduate)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

We are Official!

We are officially registered with the state of Maryland's church-exempt schools!  All paperwork has been accepted and we are ready to go.  It has been a long hard process but we made it! This means we will open our doors to select students in grades K to 12, we will offer homeschool supervision to families and we also provide an online school for those outside of the state!  The Homeschool Center is also available to working parents who want to choose a homeschool program for their child (it does not have to be ours) and want a safe place to leave their child while they are at work.  We will provide supervision and some work help.  They can also utilize our facilities.  The Living Water School is open for business! Yeah!