Dear Channie

Dear Channie: What is Village School Anyway?

Dear Channie,

I have recently discovered your blog and really have enjoyed reading your articles. Several times you mentioned Village School, and I am curious to know what that is exactly. Is it an actual school? Co-op? Do tell. Did you create it–if so how did you do it? I am homeschooling and would love to find something like a Village School.

Curious in Long Island, Deborah

 

Deborah,

Thanks for the question. Believe it or not, I get asked this question a lot and I was shocked that I have never explained what our Village School is. So thanks!

My sister, Cherie and her dear friend, Pam home school our children together grades 11th – Happy Pre-K, you can meet everyone here. Our oldest, Natalie is finishing her 2nd year at West Point. The three of us work strength to strength to help organize and implement homeschooling. With my background in education (classroom teacher, instructional coach) I am kind of like the principal. I also construct the English course for all the kids. Once a week, we gather at my sister’s house to do ‘Village School’. Even prior to homeschooling we believed in communal living and that it, “Takes a Village to raise a child  family”. Many folks refer to us as ‘The Village’ so when we started homeschooling it just became Village School.

We are not a co-op and although people  have asked (some time pleaded) to let their child join in, it is really just our kids. We are trying to launch kids not gain more (not a least at this point). We have tried in the past (for different reasons) adding a child or two to the mix but it just didn’t work and was more work for the adults and more of a distraction for the kids.

We don’t really belong to a co-op as well, simply because we haven’t found one that fits. I am a huge fan of co-ops, and basically sharing the load any way you can. I do encourage every homeschooling family I know to somehow, someway build community–not just for the children, but for the adults as well. Be mindful not compare yourself to anyone else–that is hurtful when you do.

Oh, and let me be perfectly clear about our reality–we are so very far from perfect. Although we try to be organized, we really aren’t that organized and somewhere between keeping up with the two-year older, and trying to teach SAT grammar to the 11th grader, while sipping a hot cup of tea (sister is always good at having tea), we all manage to  survive thrive through the experience. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that it takes place in a DC row house –six kids, two adults, two dogs (golden retrievers who really try to stay awake for the lessons) and one very old and cranky King cat (who never does).

I hope this helps and again, thanks for the question!

Have a question for me? Need some advice? Please email me at VillageSoapBox@gmail.com. In the subject line put ‘Dear Channie‘. Please allow 48 hours for me to respond, as I try very hard to respond to ALL questions. Thanks for your support! And remember to…

Be Encouraged! Spread the Word!

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