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Literature Fair Spring 2017

J. K. Rowling

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Dolly Parton

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Good Luck Ivy

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Aloha Kanani

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Biscuit

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The Inheritance Cycle

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Literature Fair May 2016

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

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Don Quixote

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Diary of a Pleo

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Judy Moody

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For Boys Only: The Biggest, Baddest Book Ever

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Mark Twain

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Big Nate

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Literature Fair January 2016

SF’s NaNoWrimo Project is this script entitled The Dolls’ Life: A Christmas Adventure. We read this out together, readers theatre style, with parents and kids as different characters. What Fun! Check out her other projects here.img001img002img003img004

 

Moving Joystick‘s NaNoWriMo Project is his novel entitled The Adventure of Galaxies. He created a movie trailer, as well as a read aloud for the first three chapters of his book. His book is available on Amazon.

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Our Schedule and Classes

School of the Minds

Each class will have a minimum enrollment of 5 students. Should there be less students enrolled, parents can decide to make up the class price difference in order to keep the course available. Although we use Grade Levels for our subjects, we understand asynchronous learning and that each child is unique. We urge homeschool families to talk to our instructors in order to comprehend what each course requires academically and kindly place their children in their appropriate grade levels. Parents are welcome to sit in any classroom to help their child(ren) behave, read, write and/or work academically. Homeschool families can pick and choose from our class offerings. Staying for the whole day School of the Minds is in session is not necessary.

2017-2018

Our schedule for Fall 2017 (starts first week of August) is as follows:

Monthly Project Fairs: our kids are allowed to present to the public on different topics, including Science, Notables, Literature, Geography presentations, and more. These will be announced monthly on our Facebook Group Page. They are usually on the last Tuesday of each month.

Pokemon Club is once a month and usually coincides with our Monthly Project Fairs.

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Thursdays

Virtual SOTM TED-Ed Club with presentations week before Thanksgiving 2017.

12:30-1:30 Classes are as follows:

August – SC History with Ms. Mary Beth

September and October – Poetry with Ms. Jennifer and Ms. Ashlyn

September and October – Travelling with Doctor Who with Ms. Carissa and Spanish/Science with Ms. Casey

November – practice SOTM TED-Ed presentations before THE DAY

1:30-3:30 Homeschool Recess! (a.k.a. PLAYDATE!)

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Various Days and Times: Mandarin (various times for Beginner and Advanced Beginner)

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High Schoolers: TEDxYouth@ColumbiaSC for next school year. TBA.

Our schedule for Fall 2017 is as follows:

Monthly Project Fairs: our kids are allowed to present to the public on different topics, including Science, Notables, Literature, Geography presentations, and more. These will be announced monthly on our Facebook Group Page. They are usually on the last Tuesday of each month.

Pokemon Club is once a month and usually coincides with our Monthly Project Fairs.

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Thursdays

12:30-1:00 SC History, Poetry, and TEDEd Club.

1:00-1:30 DIY Club

1:30-3:30 Homeschool Recess! (a.k.a. PLAYDATE!)

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Various Days and Times: Mandarin (various times for Beginner and Advanced Beginner) and Spanish

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2016-2017

Our schedule for Spring 2017 is as follows:

Monthly Project Fairs: our kids are allowed to present to the public on different topics, including Science, Notables, Literature, Geography presentations, and more. These will be announced monthly on our Facebook Group Page. They are usually on the last Tuesday of each month.

Pokemon Club is once a month and usually coincides with our Monthly Project Fairs.

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Thursdays

12:30-1:00 Chinese Culture in January, Engineering for Middle Schoolers (Bioinspired Gear and Vertical Farming) in February and March, Introduction to Philosophy and World Religion in April and May.

1:00-1:30 DIY Club

1:30-3:30 Homeschool Recess! (a.k.a. PLAYDATE!)

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Various Days and Times: Mandarin (various times for Beginner and Advanced Beginner) and Spanish

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Our schedule for Fall 2016 (starts September 1) is as follows:

Monthly Project Fairs: our kids are allowed to present to the public on different topics, including Science, Notables, Literature, Geography presentations, and more. These will be announced monthly on our Facebook Group Page. They are usually on the last Tuesday of each month.

Pokemon Club is once a month and usually coincides with our Monthly Project Fairs.

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Thursdays

12:30-1:00 SOTM TED-Ed Club

1:00-1:30 DIY Club

1:30-3:30 Homeschool Recess! (a.k.a. PLAYDATE!)

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Various Days and Times: Mandarin (various times for Beginner and Advanced Beginner)

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2015-2016

Our schedule for Spring 2016 (starts 7th January 2016) is as follows:

Monthly Project Fairs: our kids are allowed to present to the public on different topics, including Science, Notables, Literature, Geography presentations, and more. These will be announced monthly on our Facebook Group Page. They are usually on the last Tuesday of each month.

Pokemon Club is once a month and usually coincides with our Monthly Project Fairs.

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Thursdays

12:30-1:00 Engineering is Elementary: A Long Way Down: Designing Parachutes and Mystery Bag Science

1:00-1:30 DIY Club

1:30-3:30 Homeschool Recess! (a.k.a. PLAYDATE!)

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Various Days and Times: Mandarin (various times for Beginner and Advanced Beginner)

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Our schedule for Summer/Fall 2015 (starts 6th August 2015) is as follows:

Dissection Workshop TBA

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Monthly Project Fairs: our kids are allowed to present to the public on different topics, including Science, Notables, Literature, Geography presentations, and more. These will be announced monthly on our Facebook Group Page. They are usually on the last Tuesday of each month.

Pokemon Club is once a month and usually coincides with our Monthly Project Fairs.

~~~

Thursdays

12:30-1:00 SOTM TED-Ed Club (Elementary and Middle Schoolers will meet for 30 minutes, High Schoolers will meet for 1 hour)

1:00-1:30 DIY Club

1:30-3:30 Homeschool Recess! (a.k.a. PLAYDATE!)

~~~

Various Days and Times: Mandarin (various times for Beginner and Advanced Beginner)

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2014-2015

Our schedule for 2015 Spring Semester is as follows:

Various Days and Times

Mandarin (various times for Beginner and Advanced Beginner)

Thursdays

12:30-1:00 DIY Club (January 22 on)

1:00-1:30 It’s Up for Debate! (January 22 – March 12)

1:30-2:00 onwards Homeschool Recess! (January 22 on)

Every month

Project Fairs include Science, History, and Literature Fairs.

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Our schedule for 2014 Fall Semester is as follows, starting on 11 August: 

Tuesdays

10-11am Science on Stage: Chemistry of Color and Physics of Light

Thursdays

9:30 Mandarin, Advanced Beginner

10:00 Taking the Plunge: Designing Submersibles for first 7 weeks and Learning Math through Games for the next 7 weeks

11:30 DIY Club

12:30 RECESS!

Fridays

10-11am Mandarin, Beginner

VIRTUAL CLASS: Doctor Who Script to Screen

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Our schedule for 2014 Summer Semester is as follows: July.

10-11am Science on Stage: Superheroes (July 11, 14, 18)

1-4pm 3D Art: Superhero Action Figures (week of July 14)

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2013-2014

Our schedule for 2014 Spring Semester is as follows: Week of January 6th to April 7th.

Independent Work at Home Minecraft History (All Ages)

SCHEDULE on Wednesdays, January 8 to April 9 2014

10:00-11:00 Advanced Beginner Mandarin(All Ages)

1:00-3:00 D.I.Y. for Kids (FULL)

SCHEDULE on Fridays, January 10 to April 11 2014

9:00-11:00 Comics by Kids: Sequential Art and Character Design (Waiting List Only)

11:00-12:00 Jr. CSI (FULL)

1:00-2:00 Film: Special Effects and Animation (FULL)

2:00-3:00 Atomic Theory (Middle School)

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Our schedule for the 2013 Fall Semester is as follows:

SCHEDULE on Wednesdays, 21st August to 20th November 2013

9:00-12:00 Art of Storytelling at the Nickelodeon

3:00-5:00 D.I.Y. for Kids (All Ages) Registration is now closed as this class is full!

SCHEDULE on Fridays, 23rd August to 22nd November 2013

9:00-10:00 Mandarin Stars (6 to 10 year olds)

10:00-11:00 Build to Express LEGO (ages 6-10)

10:00-11:00 Mandarin Middle Schoolers

11:00-12:00 Catching the Wind: Designing Windmills for first 7 weeks and An Alarming Idea: Designing Alarm Circuits for the next 7 weeks

12:00-12:30 Lunch

12:30 – 1:30 Atomic Theory – From Greeks to Current Geeks (Middle School)

1:30 – 2:30 Darwinism and DNA – Can we create Superman? (Middle School)

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Our schedule for the 2013 Winter Semester is as follows:

SCHEDULE

Grades K – 3

9:00-10:00 Junior FIRST® LEGO® League

K5 and K6

10:00-11:00 Storytime and Creative Play

11:00-12:00 Kindermusik

Grades 1 – 4

10:00-11:00 Mandarin (Advanced Beginner)

11:00-12:00 Mandarin (Beginner)

11:00-12:00 A Sticky Situation: Designing Walls

Grades 4 – 8

12:30-1:30 Electrical and Environmental Engineering (8 week split)

12:30-2:30 Engineering is Art (off-site)

Grades 5 – 8

9:00-10:00 Mandarin (Advanced Beginner)

Grades 7 – 8

10:00-11:00 Atomic Theory – From Greeks to Current Geeks

11:00-12:00 Darwinism and DNA – Can we create Superman?

12:30-01:30 How to Make Money in the Stock Market

* We are looking for homeschool parents who can teach other fun STEM classes! Please contact us if you are one of them!

SPECIAL EVENTS:

The Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math of Magic Show and Workshop: April 26. 2013 9am-12noon

Top 10 Things I Learned about Forming a Gifted Homeschool Coop 

I started School of the Minds, a local gifted homeschool coop, about 5 years ago with a few students. We now have over 50.  We focus on extra-curricular classes and opportunities that enrich our students. We meet regularly at least once a week.

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What have I learned these handful of years?

1. Membership in School of the Minds is Free; however, membership requires a high level of commitment to our community. This personal commitment has created a more vibrant organization because:

  • families actually show up regularly (no slackers here),
  • parents volunteer readily,
  • students contribute to create a lively learning environment (yes, they do their homework).

Additionally, there is a selection process to join to make sure all understand what is expected and there is a wait list should a member’s commitment wane.

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2. Use Facebook to communicate with the group and set up events. It makes life so much easier. You can even use the LIVE FEED option to hold classes and post projects to share, which we used when Hurricane Matthew visited town and we could not meet.

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Pokemon Club at the Library

3. Securing a place to meet at little or no cost can be difficult. Inviting people into members’ private homes is not a good idea unless the member has space (including for cars) and does not mind the extra cleaning and mess after every visit. Consequently, our favorite places are public and free:

  • local libraries,
  • local parks.

 

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K-12 Book Club at the Park

4. Multi-Age classes only work to an extent:

  • K to 12 students together work for most field trips and art classes, but K to 12 students together in a classroom is trickier for more academic settings. For academic work, we divide our classes into 3 groups according to ABILITY, and not AGE:
    • elementary,
    • middle school, and
    • high school.

 

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10 minutes of facilitator-led discussion before doing Art works well for this Multi-Age Class


5. For the most part, instructional classes have not been the best long-term classroom option (with exceptions) because:

  • not all the students are interested in the same topic,
  • asynchronous development/accelerated learning naturally means gifted students arrive to class with varying degrees of knowledge and focus,
  • most gifted students are independent learners and want to learn for themselves,
  • the homeschool teacher quickly burns out if he/she tries to cater to each student in the class.

 

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Instead of learning to bake together, each student learned to bake separately at home and could choose what to bake. Then, they all came together to donate their choice of bread to our local Senior Resources Center. They learned at home, but presented their donations together.


6. Flipped Classrooms work because:

  • the gifted student can work at his/her own pace at home,
  • the student can focus more time on topics of his/her choosing,
  • on coop days, students are able to present the projects they worked on,
  • the students are motivated to lead discussions with their peers,
  • sharing and learning from peers has become an integral part of our coop culture.

 

7. Project Based Homeschooling is essential to how our coop runs and requires a different approach to education. We offer Pokémon Club, DIY Club, TEDEd Club, and monthly Project Fairs. Our Notable Fair contributions are shown in the YouTube Playlist above as an example. We also have Literature, How-To, Geography/History, Science Presentation Days. These clubs and fairs are not run by adults. There is much less explicit instruction from parents/facilitators, but more exploration inspired directly from the children themselves. These clubs and fairs allow the students to work at home and delve deeply into their own projects. Then, they come together to share and present what they have learned weekly and/or monthly and/or once a semester to their peers, local homeschool community, and/or even the world. These offerings allow the students to:

  • practice communicating meaningful ideas with others,
  • teach and learn from one other,
  • experience sharing and presenting their projects with their larger homeschool community and even the world. One of our students was highlighted by TEDEd Club Picks, for example!

 

8. Document what you do as a group on your blog or website because this will establish your presence in the community, as well as your reliability as a group. Take a look at our blog here and our YouTube channel here. We have been able to avail of many resources because of the credibility of our group through simple documentation.

 

9. Our Free Range Park Day is as essential to our coop as any academic event or course we offer. Some parents believe it is the most important time we share as a coop. It is where and when:

  • gifted children create, hone, and develop deep friendships,
  • they encounter various types of situations: both good and bad,
  • they learn how different families handle these situations,
  • they experience being with a set group of people regularly for years,
  • and most importantly, parents get a chance to talk with other parents. Sometimes it is the only prolonged adult conversation our homeschool parents get during the week.

 

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We know how to have fun!


10. Gifted Families enjoy the company of a diverse group of people. School of the Minds is a small group of families who are racially, politically, religiously, philosophically, and educationally diverse. We have unschoolers and very structured homeschoolers and everything in between. Our conversations are never dull. They can push buttons at times but we respect each other and the camaraderie is exceptional. We make sure we are inclusive and welcoming of everyone.

 

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Our Homeschool Day at the Beach.

Running a Gifted Homeschool Coop takes hard work, organization, patience, and persistence, but the community you build becomes like a second family and creating a place where gifted/asynchronous/accelerated/independent learners can interact at a meaningful level makes your time spent all the more worthwhile.

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I am participating in the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum October 2016 Blog Hop: Gifted Children: Academic and Career Planning Beyond K-12. Check out the other amazing GHF bloggers!

 

 

 

Fall 2014 Week 14

MANDARIN

BEGINNERS

Memorize 4 transportation: 飞机 火车 轮船 汽车

ADVANCED BEGINNERS

1. Exercise book A Monday-Wednesday
2. Use “在” “教” “喜欢” to write an essay.
3. Exercise book A Thursday and Friday
Week 15
BEGINNERS
Practise song 新年好
ADVANCED BEGINNERS
Exercise book B lesson 2 MondayWednesday

MATH GAMES

MINECRAFT MATH

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DIY

ILLUSTRATOR CHALLENGES

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

Our next project fair is on the 24th November 2014 from 1:30-3:30pm. Presentations start promptly at 2:00pm. So far, we have a few literature presentations and one on Thanksgiving.

Fall 2014 Week 13

MANDARIN

BEGINNERS

ADVANCED BEGINNERS

T.B.A.


SCIENCE 

DRY ICE EXPERIMENTS

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These were based on this video clip:


DIY

SUPERFAN CHALLENGES: Minecraft and Doctor Who

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

Check out our recent Notables Presentations.

Our next project fair is on the 24th November 2014 from 1:30-3:30pm. Presentations start promptly at 2:00pm. So far, we have a few literature presentations and one on Thanksgiving.

Fall 2014 Week 12

MANDARIN

BEGINNERS

1.  practice “头” “ 眼睛”“ 鼻子” “耳朵
2. practice the song: 大象歌


ADVANCED BEGINNERS

No homework


LEARNING MATH THROUGH GAMES

More Shapes, Cubes and Shrinky Dinks

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DIY

I picked up my package of dry ice from the freezer and found it completely empty. Needless to say, we didn’t do dry ice experiments this week, but here is a video!

One of our kids wanted to do a Halloween Video. Caution parents: this video contains werewolves, zombies, a dinosaur, and a robot.


ANNOUNCEMENTS

Check out our recent Notables Presentations.

Our next project fair is on the 25th November 2014 from 1:30-3:30pm. Presentations start promptly at 2:00pm. So far, we have a literature presentation and one on Thanksgiving.

Fall 2014: Notables After Noon

Congratulations to all the Notables!

Their presentations were wonderful!

We learned so much from you!

A BIG thank you to all the children and their families who have contributed to make this event possible.

Tomie dePaola

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Helen Keller

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Eliza Lucas Pickney

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Cleopatra

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Nerfertiti

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Leif the Lucky

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Matt Smith

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Matt Smith

ANNOUNCEMENT

Our next project fair is on the 25th of November. Same time. Same place.

This will be open to ALL projects. A few of us will be presenting our NaNoWriMo literature-based projects.

WELCOME

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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.

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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:

DIY

 

ENGINEERING

FILM

 CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY FAIR

HOW-TO FAIR

LITERATURE

MATH

MUSIC

NOTABLES/HISTORY FAIR

SCIENCE FAIR

TEDEd CLUB