Friday, August 19, 2016

Update on Rockville Location!

We wanted to give an update on our Rockville location. After much prayer and quite a few signs, we have decided take a very different path with opening the Rockville location. We are going to focus on the one school campus in order to create an even more stable school for the future. However, we are exploring several other possibilities currently:

1. Transportation: We are looking at establishing transportation routes to and from the school from the various locations around the DMV AND instead of opening other school locations-we want to open smaller homeschool centers around the DMV. This model of education is so precious to us and we want to make sure we are really taking our time to focus on establishing ourselves and growing in it. We'd rather figure out ways to bring more students to this lovely 8 acre campus, complete with pond, fields, basketball court, play ground and complete seclusion within a nice neighborhood (we are the only place of business back here) to grow and settle into this path we have chosen for education.

2. The Homeschool Center: On the other hand, we realize the great need for a homeschool center for working parents who want to homeschool. We also recognize that the philosophy of the school is not often connected to the mentality of the homeschooling parent, so we want to begin the process of separating the two into separate entities. We will continue to welcome those few unschooling-type homeschool parents into the actual school if they desire it, but we would like to set up locations of homeschool centers around the DMV that do not follow our current model. We also hope to provide a neutral space for families of all backgrounds, faiths, etc. to leave their homeschooled kids in a safe, nurturing, very structured environment (students in these homeschool centers will have to follow a more rigid schedule in order to insure they complete their assignments before the parents pick them up). Also the staff of these centers will not be teachers or tutors, but thoroughly screened/qualified caregivers and proctors as students independently work on assignments. Finally, we will help to organize the working parents into a co-op where they can work together to provide tutorials in different subject areas in the evenings and weekends to the kids who are in the homeschool center (just like regular homeschool parents do during the week day). The entire structure will be created to support the working parent who homeschools.

3. Locations: The Homeschool Centers around the DMV will also serve as pick up and drop off locations for students who need to be transported to the school campus located in Southern MD. Those students who are enrolled to come to our Southern MD school location from wherever they are in the DMV, can be dropped off at the Homeschool Centers. The transport will leave that location around 8 am and return around 5 pm. Parents can pick up their children at 6 pm. Those students who are enrolled in the Homeschool Center will remain behind after the transport leaves and go through their schedule, supervised by a Homeschool Center staff until their parent picks them up. We are exploring 3 locations for opening our first separate Homeschool Centers: Rockville, the Southern MD area, and the Baltimore area. Even though the school is in Southern MD as well, there still needs to be a separate location for a Homeschool Center there.

4. A New Name: The separate Homeschool Centers will also be called The Homeschool Haven. We are changing it to this, because we want this to be a place where every child and family feels safe to pursue the type of education that they want for their child. We are here to support and will provide guidance if you request it, but this is your journey and we do not want to intrude on what you feel God is calling you to do in educating your child. The Homeschool Haven is merely a safe space for the working parent to follow their educational vision for their child. The parent will be FULLY responsible for their child's education. We will just provide the safe space and caring supervision of your child while you work during the day.

We will continue to keep you updated as we progress to setting up these locations. Currently we would like to set up the Southern MD Homeschool Center asap. So if you like the new design of the Homeschool Center..I mean The Homeschool Haven... and want to enroll your child for this coming school year, please contact us. The separate locations ONLY will have full time (all day) students (no part time packages available) and the cost is $4800 a year for 12 months or $4000 for 10 months ($400 a month either way). The Homeschool Centers will also be open year round and only for students in grades 3 through 12 (or students must be able to read, write and work without being taught directly).

Friday, August 12, 2016

Learning to Fly...I mean Swim

Why is it that we are afraid to let our kids go free? We place so many safety nets around them, and yet we clip their wings sometimes. We keep them from progressing further and sometimes quicker. I started teaching my son to swim when he was 3. We placed him in classes and he just did not progress. He was bored. The summer he turned 4 we placed him in his final formal swimming class. After spending about 1k within a year for these "intense" swimming classes, we said enough is enough. The summer he turned 5 I just started taking him to the pool. He began to explore beyond his boundaries. I had his floaties on and then he told me to take them off. He was free. He was in the shallow end, but he was free. He was jumping around, letting go of the wall, putting his head under water and he was happy. He was free. Eventually, we found this guy who was a life guard who was willing to show my son a few things. He talked to Dillon, demonstrated things for him in the pool and Dillon sat there watching and listening. One day he said, "Mom I need to go to the pool now. I've been thinking about swimming and I think I'm ready." So I took him. He literally ripped off his clothes and just jumped into the pool and started swimming. By the end of that summer he was swimming in the deep end for short stretches. This summer he has taken it to a whole new level, he discovered on his own that if he just lets his body go, then he will float. So no matter how deep water is,if he doesn't fight it, he will float. He taught this to himself. Yesterday, as we were swimming a little 6 yr old girl had her floaties on. She looked at Dillon. She took her floaties off and came to me and said, "I can't swim, but I can float, see?" She showed me that she could float. In 30 seconds, while holding my 2 yr old daughter, I simply said, "Well if you can float, you can swim. Dillon show her how you move your arms and legs." Dillon demonstrates for her. IN 30 SECONDS that little girl was swimming across the pool. The grandmother runs to the edge of the pool and says, "She's doing that without her floaties??? She's never done that before. Thank you!" All she had to do was remove her floaties and try a little freedom. I was there to protect the kids, but I let them free and they learned to fly...I mean swim. Now enrolling grades K4-12th.