I really believe that our daughter will never forget her time at the Schoolhouse when she was 10. The environment provides freedom and respect within some critical structure, allowing each child to explore, problem solve, and make independent and group decisions. Learning authentically. Although our daughter joined the program late, she felt instantly comfortable and embraced by the whole schoolhouse community. She developed meaningful friendships in a short time with boys and girls of all ages. Her confidence soared and she felt she could always be herself – completely. She loved going to school each day and didn’t want it to ever end.
-Parent of a 10 year-old student
The Schoolhouse has been a wonderful place for our daughter this year. The exploration of place, the time spent outside in play and study, the in-depth study of rocks, plants, animals (both land and water) has engaged her. She has also become an experienced rider of city buses on the many field trips. The world of Austin, natural and built, and the neighborhood around the school, including the community garden and chicken coop across the street, has been opened to her to learn from. We also feel that she has become part of a loving community inside the school, forming friendships with the other children there, and learning how to care for others and negotiate the inevitable conflicts. She has a warm, trusting and friendly rapport with Caitlin who has been a talented guide on many levels: academically to improve her reading, writing and math; emotionally to help her understand her feelings and those of others; and socially in how to build a strong and caring community of children and adults. She has been a contented, engaged, happy, learning kid. She looks forward to going to school every day.
-Parent of an 11 year-old student
Thank you for being the most understanding teacher I’ve ever had!
-10 year-old student
This has been the most personal and personalized learning experience we’ve ever had. This is the real deal::: consideration of the authentic individual expression of my child’s interests, innate talents and skills–being able to create from that some tangible project, activity, real life experience, invitation to share within the community; the sky is definitely the limit!
It has been a plethora of real world experience– catching buses & trains to visit a variety of people and hear and see what they do, boating out to a secret island, collectively creating home grown meals together, developing a garden, raise chickens, establishing ritual around individual hearing, sharing, and interpretations of the events of the day (that have been adopted by us at home), regular music gigs, child led market days– it goes on and on and on, really.
Beyond that, I feel that this experience has been a great example of how to BE in the world– considering Caitlin’s dedication to balance:: which translates to clarity and consideration within herself, toward each child and their whole together, modeling an excellent sense of personal direction, with the keenest sense of responsibility and decision making considering our own, each other’s and our planet’s best interests.
It has been fun, adventurous, AUTHENTIC, calm, communal, experiential, intriguing, ever evolving—touched with sweetness and love that encourage the best and brightest for all. The Schoolhouse is truly a very special gem of a place that we’ve been lucky to have landed within!
-Parent of a 5 year-old student