SIX more weeks and 8 meetings left until Raw Learning officially opens its doors :)
We'll be at Raw Learning this week and next on Tuesday from 9-11:30 and Thursday from 5:30 until 8:30.
Please let me know if you will be stopping by so that I can look for you.
Hope to see you soon!
On Tuesday, we will meet at Raw Learning from 9-11:30. Come and share your ideas, thoughts and concerns.
Afterwards Riesling, Cashel and I will be heading to Gypsy Hill Park to play and hang out with homeschoolers. You are welcome to join us!
Thursday I will be at Raw Learning from 4:30-6 for tours, and for folks who can't make the meetings. At 6 we will start our meetings. They usually last until 8 or 8:30 or whenever the kids are ready to go!
Last week was a down and up week.
Tuesday culminated in meeting with the Church Board of the space that we are renting. They informed me that Raw Learning was not permitted to use the large fellowship hall or the stage, except when requested in writing. I am trying to work with them to secure another space for daily shared use that students could do large motor movements in, as well as perform and play games, such as ping-pong and air hockey.
Thursday was much more uplifting. During the morning meeting we talked about how homeschoolers would integrate into Raw Learning. Heather brought up that a form should be sign by all homeschoolers to hold them as the primary responsible party for the safety and actions of their children. We talked about whether homeschoolers who volunteer could accumulate credits toward the supplies fee for future use. This turned into a discussion about the balance between the sustainability of Raw Learning and making attendance affordable to all.
Later the children and adults gathered for a long and intricate discussion which ended in our first rule made primarily by the children. This rule came about with much input by 2 of the children who went back and forth to finally figure out something that worked for both of them. Janell expressed her concern that the younger children (4 and under), who couldn't adequately articulate what they might like to happen in the future, might not like the agreement reached. She suggested an additional proposal and everyone agreed. It was truly an amazing process. I think everyone involved learned a great deal.
Thursday evening I met with the Planning Commission of Staunton. They had questions about the curriculum of Raw Learning and its philosophy. The meeting ended with their approval of our Special Use Permit and many well wishes.
I appreciate all the visitors and learning this week and am looking forward to next week.
We will be at Raw Learning tomorrow (Tuesday, 7/14) at 9AM for tours and parent's Q and A. At 10 we'll decide if we want to have a meeting or if we want to just chat informally. If anyone wants to stop by, I'll be there until 5. Please call me at 540.292.3002 or email me at email@example.com and let me know when you'll be coming.
We will also be at Raw Learning on Thursday (7/16) morning from 9 until 4 if you'd like to stop by for a tour or just to come and play. There will be NO evening meetings. I'll be downtown Staunton in City Council Chambers for the Staunton Planning Commission's regular meeting to approve the Special Use Permit for Raw Learning.
What a learning experience all around. Our meeting on Thursday took place in short chunks with most of the attendees present at any given time. Joe had quite the time keeping up with the 2 two year olds and 6 other kids. We and the children all had lots of practice working together.
We talked about having the meetings on Friday when Raw Learning is in session. If folks are going out of town, it is harder to attend on a Friday. We thought about choosing 1 or 2 Fridays a month that worked for as many parents and volunteers as possible. We also talked about other spouses coming to volunteer during the meetings to help Joe with the kids.
The sibling discount was discussed and decided against because there are ample opportunities to volunteer and reduce or even eliminate tuition while contributing to Raw Learning's success.
The other attendees were still concerned that the fee for Homeschoolers coming to Raw Learning wasn't enough. After much discussion we agreed to set the fee for preplanned family attendance at $10 for the first child and $5 for subsequent children up to a maximum of $20. For folks who would like to drop in, the fee is now set at $12 for the first child and $6 for subsequent children, up to a maximum of $30. If any of the fees mentioned above would cause a financial burden that would prohibit attendance, please contact me (Gleamer) to make alternative financial arrangements. Homeschooling families who join us for the day (or just part of it) enjoy all of the resources, non-compulsory classes and field trips offered.
We explored what to do if a volunteer ends up with credits at the end of a trimester. It was agreed that they would go toward the fees for the next trimester.
We also agreed to clearly post how we will work with each other while at Raw Learning and the rules that we will start with, which can be changed by the group of adults and children who are at Raw Learning on an given day.
We began hashing out a starting point for regular meetings and meetings to address conflicts. The focus was on their frequency and compulsion. We'll continue to work this out during future meetings.
I am amazed at the progress these meetings have facilitated. I truly value all of the attendees and their contributions to Raw Learning.
Five families converged in the kitchen of Raw Learning while Joe played with the 8 children in the fellowship hall. We talked about what was on our minds and in our hearts.
What was formost of importance was consistent training of volunteers who will be working with the children. Lynda brought up "Ask; don't tell" (quote from Alfie Kohn) as our first reminder of how to respectfully interact.
We talked about tuition and how the various attendance schedules can be addressed with various tuitions.
We discussed Enrolled Children vs Children who come with their parents as Homeschoolers. We agreed upon supplies fee of $10 as a daily base price and $2.50 for each additional child who is walking with a maximum fee of $20 per family.
Reviewing the differences between volunteers, homeschoolers, teachers and the supplies fee helped us all see how it can work out.
I was so encouraged and greatful for the wisdom that the families shared. I can see the beginnings of a Raw Learning Community forming:) Each time we meet, it will grow stronger.
Until next time...
The start date for attendance at Raw Learning has been pushed back to September 8th. This is to balance out the trimesters, so that each is 11 weeks.
Please visit the faq tab to read about the purpose for and expectations of the parent and volunteer meetings. This has definitely been an faq!
I hope to see you tomorrow (Tuesday, June 30th) and/or Thursday, July 2nd at Raw Learning!
I'm heading to the AERO Conference and am anxious to return with many wonderful ideas and information to share.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the June 30th morning meetings and July 2nd evening meetings.
Please give me a call 540 292 3002 and let me know when you would like to stop by.