Creating and running a homeschool collective / coop / alternative school


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Discover what we learned by forming and running a homeschool collective. This is an alternative schooling concept where parents home school together. We are based in Clinton hill, Brooklyn and at We are always ready to assist and give advice to others seeking to form their own homeschooling collectives, homeschooling coops, or alternative school concepts.

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Creating and running a homeschool collective / coop / alternative school

  1. 1. Running a Homeschooling Collective / Alternative SchoolAndrew Running a HomeschoolingPresented to Huge OffTopic Discussion Group10/2/2012Visit us at
  2. 2. Homeschooling collectives.• Families join together to create a mixed-ages cottage school environment• Curriculum and subject matters are set via consensus and planning meetings.• Funds are raised to pay for part-time teachers and specialists – music, sports, dance, etc.• Parents can teach subjects and contribute time where they can.• Parents lead field trips, bring classes into their workspaces and business.• Combines elements of historical small-scale schools and ‘true’ homeschooling.• Parents file homeschooling plans with the state.
  3. 3. Homeschooling History• ‘Old-time education’ - 60% of families homeschooled prior to 1920.• 1930s-1980s homeschoolers were prosecuted under compulsory schooling laws.• Homeschooler victory in 1987 Leeper v. Arlington, TX case set precedent and prosecutions stopped.• Homeschooling in many forms has expanded ever since.• 2% of US children are homeschooled.• Current gov’t push is to regulate-to-death homeschooling as it’s politically impossible to ban it outright.
  4. 4. Modern Forefathers of Homeschooling MovementUnderground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto. Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing, by A. S. Neill
  5. 5. Homeschooling works.• Every study shows homeschoolers doing better academically than state-schooled children on standardized academic tests.• In the 2000 national geography bee home schooled children were: • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places • 4 or the top 10 • 27 of the 167 finalists
  6. 6. Who we are / what we do:Dancer / Choreographer Dance studio ownerBar / Restaurant ownerFashion photographers NY Times reporter Chef Boutique owner Indie film distributor Filmmaker Search geek (me)
  7. 7. Key Issue: Making relationships work
  8. 8. Weekly field trips: Align to curriculum and mandate team workto synthesize learning
  9. 9. Weekly field trips: Small groups can often get ‘backstage tours’and special access and attention
  10. 10. This is the most common slide. • It could be a list of things to talk about. • Or maybe just once concept with a few points. • It could be a list of things to talk about. • Or maybe just once concept with a few points.Weekly field trips: Well-behaved homeschool groups arebeloved by the folks we visit.
  11. 11. ysical activity: We can wear our children out. They come homeysically exhausted and collapse into bed.
  12. 12. This is a table. Cookies. Milk. • Nutterbutters • Whole milk • Ginger snaps • Non-fat • Oreos • Half & Half • Oatmeal raisin • 1% milk • Thin mints • 2% milkIt’s up to us what sports they learn. They can suggest ideasand make them happen.
  13. 13. As part of the community and due to small, human size of thegroup, we get to know our neighbors.
  14. 14. Art plays a big part. Here they are Andy Goldsworthy-inspiredenvironmental transient art.
  15. 15. Here we are at Occupy Wall Street. This sign made by 6-yearold Olivia pretty much sums up the experience.
  16. 16. Older kids teach the younger kids. If an older kid claims to bebored we force them to show mastery of a subject by teaching itto the younger kids.
  17. 17. The NY Times fashion magazine wrote a snarky article aboutus. Don’t let the haters get you down!
  18. 18. The hard part.Clashing personalities.Finding new families. Diets. Curriculum.
  19. 19. What is it?. Homeschool?Homeschool collective? Cottage school?One-room schoolhouse? Alternative School.
  20. 20. We used SEO and online marketing tactics to find new familiesby framing the school as an ‘Alternative School’ since‘Homeschooling collective’ is not a common phrase.
  21. 21. SEO work begins hereYou need to market your collective. Create a blog, post photos,and track visits using Google Analytics
  22. 22. Read this book. Stay under the radar. Only accept people into the school you trust,who have reputations to uphold, and are committed to the concept. Accept peoplewill drop out and re-create the school each year.