Tell us a bit about your story and where you are in your process of starting a self-directed learning community.
Originally from Philadelphia, my family moved to Vermont four years ago. In Philly, we had a robust community of self-directed learners and lots of drop off day programming. Vermont has few of these resources and all of them are spread out. We finally enrolled our kids in a progressive private school, where I worked as an administrator for tuition exchange. But that hybrid model didn’t work for us. This past year, we tried public school, which didn’t end up well. After my 8 year old ejected herself from PS after 8 weeks, we returned to homeschooling. I started to dream of creating a space for learning together– but through self direction. In the winter I polled the local homeschool community to see what was possible and received a lot of criticism and decided it wouldn’t work. When I announced I wasn’t going to build something, a few families popped up and wanted to go for it.
So now we are 3 families. We’ve been offered an entire house for free for the year. We are scheduling for an ALF to come train us in late August and plan to open about August 27.
Why do you want to be an ALC Member?
I want access to the tools, knowledge and resources of the network. I want to learn from those who are practicing. I’d like support for when things get challenging. I’d love to share our work, experience and space with others.
Which aspect(s) of ALC membership are most appealing to you and what kind of support do you desire/need?
Since we will be a parent coop– at least for this year, I would like our parent facilitators to be able to learn the tools, processes, methods, etc through those with more experience. Given we have the space, I’d love to think about hosting a training for our community next year– so having access to skilled ALF’s who are willing to come work with us would be awesome.
We live in a spectacular place. I’d like to network with other families and ALC’s who want to visit us and experience rural life. In turn, our rural young people would love access to those who live in other places, as well.
Being part of an educational model that is fully legible, documented and readable is important to us. The methodology has the gravity of the full network of ALC’s, which I think legitimizes it in important ways.
Anything else we should know?