It’s time for a change.
Over the past forty years, I’ve been an educator in numerous settings. As a coach, a public and private school teacher, a reading teacher, a private tutor, a music teacher, and most importantly a home school teacher for six of my seven children. I’ve seen the disadvantages of both the public and private educational system. When I wasn’t home schooling, my children had some incredible teachers, but even with the best teachers, there are limitations in a classroom setting.
Some of the comments I’ve heard after the initial shock of parents scrambling to do school at home have confirmed my belief that a home environment where children are free to explore and work at their own pace in ways that inspire them is the best educational process. “My children are thriving at home.” “We love being together as a family.” “Their attitudes have changed, and they accomplish so much more when they have the freedom to spend time playing.” “My daughter is devouring books.” “I didn’t realize how much they didn’t know.” “I didn’t think I could do this, but I’m learning along with them.” These sentiments prove John Holt’s theory that if a child is given an environment in which to learn, he will learn.
This is the basis for Discovery House.
A home-style environment with every possible material and experience available for children to explore the world and learn at their pace, in their way by discovering through their interests. It’s not a classroom. It’s not a school in the traditional sense of the word. Discovery House is a place of exploration by hands-on experience that more closely resembles an interactive museum, with mentors available who can answer questions in every subject area and guide participants through a learning experience on a daily basis. Since each participant is unique, our staff will work closely with parents to create a learning plan specifically for their child.
The flexibility of Discovery House allows for participants to use the facility on a full-time, part-time, or sporadic basis depending on their schedule, needs and budget. Primarily designed for families who would now prefer to have more control and freedom over their children’s education, but are not able to stay home with them, Discovery House offers parents the option to be a home-schooling family with an off-site facility for their children to remain in a nurturing, exploratory lifestyle environment. But that doesn’t mean that students who prefer a public or private school can’t take advantage of our facility after school hours to further explore or do their school assigned homework.
Discovery House will also be open for school field trips.
Discovery house will encourage participant planned events that will enrich the community and foster a love of exploratory learning. Depending on the event, any financial proceeds will add to our scholarship fund.
Celebrating world-wide cultures, these events, offered 2-3 times per year, will include costumes, food, dance, music, and activities unique to the geographic location explored.
Dance/Music Performances and Musicals/Plays:
Monthly or quarterly entertainment as per student involvement.
Fundraising for Various Charities:
Carnivals, bake sale, performances, and displays made in an open house setting with proceeds going to the advertised charity.
Discovery House will partner with our participating families to sponsor children through Compassion International . We will post our “house children” on a bulletin board and encourage letter writing between children.
We will also support Charity Water by raising funds to provide wells for families who don’t have clean water. For every ounce of water our participants drink and document over a specified period of time, the House will donate a matching dollar amount. This will encourage healthy habits, educate people about the need for clean water in other parts of the world, and connect us with a global solution. We will display charities we choose to support as a House in our reception area.
Farmer’s Market/Crafts Fair:
We will organize a farmer’s market to sell any extra produce we grow as well as craft and art items we create. Seasonal, based on participation and product.
On the last Saturday of each month, we will organize a clothing/food bank open house for the neighborhood with any donations that are brought in. This will be a way we can give back to our community.
The plan for Discovery House has been in various stages of conceptual development for the past thirteen years, but clearly now is the time it’s most needed.
Funds raised will provide the following:
> Secure and renovate our physical facility for the best use and safety of our participants.
> Obtain required permits for improvement, safety, and operation.
> Obtain proper licensing.
> Furnish our facility with materials, furniture, and state of the art equipment such as computers, lab materials, and art and office supplies.
> Training materials for our staff.
> Kitchen appliances and supplies.
> Marketing and advertising.
> First three months of operating expenses until revenues expand to cover costs.
> Establish a scholarship fund with 10% of monies received for low-income participants.
We have a property in mind and have accumulated some furnishings and materials. We hope to open in September 2020. Initial funds will secure the property and obtain licenses. Renovations and furnishing will take place as funds come in. Your help will make this project a reality for families who need a new option in educating their children. For some it will open the door to an education they may not have received.
Thank you in advance for your generosity. We consider every donation large or small to be of equal importance when it comes to your heart for helping redefine education.
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