School of the Minds, located in Irmo, S.C., is a leading homeschool support group committed to quality high-level secular education and to developing a dedicated inclusive homeschool community.
Our FREE homeschool co-op focuses on gifted kids and we welcome families from all different racial, religious, social, economic, and political backgrounds. We are a fearless and committed bunch: not afraid of having friends with different views and not afraid of difficult topics. We are dedicated and we are up for a challenge. This past year alone, we built and donated a Little Free Library to our park, we baked bread for Meals on Wheels, we invited a Muslim lady to talk to our students about her religion, we continue to spread our ideas in our TEDEd Club, we formed our first Division B Science Olympiad Team, we hold weekly classes for elementary and middle schoolers, our students present in monthly academic project fairs, we love field trips, and we have park days for our families to bond and just have fun. We like to keep it small and have had a growing wait list. This year, we had shirts done for the very first time. We are School of the Minds.
Our group has evolved with our families. We have discovered that our children’s projects flourish when they take the lead in pursuing their own passions. Not only do they find joy, self-motivation, and collaboration in their work, but their confidence also grows in sharing their knowledge with their friends and community. Today, School of the Minds distinguishes itself from other coops in the area in that it is less an “instructional” coop but more a “passion” based homeschool center. Not only do our children discuss ideas with their peers, but we allow them access to converse with the community in which they live, and even with others worldwide.
We also provide our state’s only regional Gifted Homeschoolers Forum support group. Our Facebook Group Page is here. Free Range Park Days, Field Trips, and a Facebook Group Page encourage camaraderie among our homeschool families.
Interested in School of the Minds? We are a FREE group, but require that our homeschool families maintain a high level of responsibility, diligence, devotion, and involvement in their education and our community. Our politically and religiously diverse families also vary in homeschool styles from unschoolers to very structured homeschoolers, but our camaraderie is unparalleled. Our children are a mix of asynchronous/ accelerated/ independent learners who enjoy delving deeply into their interests. Project based learning, unlike instructional learning, requires a different approach to education. There is much less explicit teaching coming from parents/facilitators, but more exploration inspired directly from the children themselves. This project based learning makes classes at School of the Minds more meaningful to the children because we provide them with a space to share their interests with their peers and with a bigger community. Unlike instructional based coops where learning ends at break time, you will find many of our students continue with their “work” even during break. If you think this is the right fit for you and your family, check out our schedule and join us!
Some photos (please click titles below) and video clips of the things we have done: