VIRTUAL LEARNING PODS
NOW ENROLLING FOR 2023 - 2024
Currently accepting ages 6 - 9 working at a 1st or 2nd grade level.
We are a small, in-person community who is now extending our program to students at home! Our virtual primary hybrid program offers a relaxed, yet constructive, multi-age learning environment where students enjoy two days of synchronous, teacher-directed learning within a small community of peers, plus two days of engaging, independent home study curriculum. This is a sweet and gentle program where we know each family personally. Our mixed-age approach allows us to meet students where they are as students can work in reading and math cohorts that best support their current abilities, regardless of age. We use a multi-sensory, Orton Gillingham approach to teaching phonemic awareness, phonemes (sounds), letter formation, and spelling, which helps develop strong and effective readers and writers. Our program is perfect homeschooling families who want/need to outsource instruction, students who need a small and intimate learning environment, or for students with mild learning differences such as anxiety, dyslexia, dysgraphia, or dyscalculia.
AT A GLANCE
School Year: September 6th, 2023 - May 24th, 2024
4-Day Virtual Primary Hybrid
Currently accepting students ages 6 - 9 years
who are working at a 1st or 2nd grade level.
Synchronous Program Hours:
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:00 - 2:00 EST
2 Days Synchronous (live); Teacher-Guided
+ 2 Days Asynchronous; Home Study Curriculum Provided
+ Bi-weekly, 30 minute one-on-one conference with teacher
+ Weekly availability to connect during teacher office hours
10 Installments of $325
+ $300 Enrollment & Supply Fee Due Upon Acceptance
Payment in full receives a 15% discount (Annual total $2762.50)
Payment per semester receives 10% discount (Per semester $1462.50)
Cancellations accepted with a 30-Day Notice
CLICK THE LINKS BELOW FOR:
Families applying to our virtual program follow the same admissions process as our in-person students and must complete a virtual Family Introduction prior to being offered a space in the program. Applications may be submitted prior to scheduling your Family Introduction using the main application link. There is currently no cost to apply.
Our primary virtual hybrid program offers a relaxed, yet constructive, learning environment where students enjoy two days of synchronous, teacher-directed learning with a small community of peers, plus two days of engaging, independent home study curriculum. Our cohorts range from 5 - 10 students, which allows our students to feel like they are truly part of a learning community and enables the teachers to get to know each child and family personally! Students in our virtual program receive the same style of lively instruction, interactive experiences, and hands-on curriculum as our in-person students...just delivered virtually, with a community of online peers that span the nation!!
We believe the primary years are still part of early childhood and are to be cherished. We believe the young child's learning program should reflect their natural curiosity and innate need for experiential learning. We know that a reduced-stress, "quality over quantity" approach better serves the emotional, mental, and academic needs of our students. The 2/2 hybrid model allows students the flexibility spend more time with family, travel, engage in enrichment activities, and pursue their own interests. It also allows students needed time to decompress, which drastically reduces the anxiety and stress that are all too common in children today. Attending a virtual program essentially eliminates the risk of bullying and school-related injury. Our community expectation is that all participants are kind, respectful, and supportive.
Our program is considered a "homeschool learning pod," which means all of our families are registered homeschoolers within their state. While we provide the instruction, curriculum, feedback, and an annual summary, families are responsible for following their state's homeschool laws. We are working towards an accredited option for 2024 - 2025 for families who desire it.
Our students are engaged and eager learners who are excited about being part of a diverse community of friends. They are respectful, kind, community-oriented, and have a desire to be a constructive member of our group learning experience. We are a great fit for students who want a safe and reduced-stress learning environment that meets students where they are and supports their learning goals or for families who want to provide an at-home learning experience for their students, but prefer to outsource the teaching and curriculum component to suit their family's unique needs or situation.
While our program is geared to neurotypical learners, our hybrid programming, small classes, and hands-on approach to learning are conducive to serving students who have mild learning differences such as anxiety, dyslexia, dysgraphia, processing disorders, dyscalculia, ADD, high functioning autism spectrum disorder. Our Orton Gillingham approach to teaching reading is particularly great for students who need a comprehensive and cumulative approach to learning to read, write, and spell.
We do not offer special education services and are not equipped to serve students with disruptive or disrespectful tendencies.
DAY IN THE LIFE
Our daily schedule includes a balance of direct instruction, guided learning, and independent work periods. Our curriculum includes the core subjects of English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. We integrate literature, games, songs, multi-sensory experiences, art, and more into our daily lessons. Purposeful practice pages are used constructively to help to build skills and reinforce concepts.
Our virtual students begin their day with a fun and engaging Morning Meeting, followed by our first academic learning block, Learning Through Literature. A short break is offered for students to enjoy a snack or socialize with each other online. Students then break into small group learning cohorts for math and reading skills. We also integrate two blocks of independent work rotations to allow students a chance to complete their work offline.
After lunch, students explore science and social studies concepts through literature, projects, crafts, and more!
View our sample schedule below!
Our instructional day is 4 hours, with 2.75 hours of engaging online instruction interspersed with 1.25 hours of breaks and independent study (offline).
Our daily schedule includes a balance of direct instruction, guided small group learning, and independent (offline) work periods. This schedule is similar to a traditional school day, but allows students time between blocks to work on assignments or decompress as needed. Times listed are in EST.
10:00 - 10:15 - Morning Meeting, Whole Group
10:15 - 10:50 - Learning Through Literature, Whole Group
10:50 - 11:00 - Transition / Snack Break
11:00 - 11:45 - Group 1 Guided Reading / Group 2 *Math Digital Lesson
11:45 - 12:30 - Group 2 Guided Reading / Group 1 *Math Digital Lesson
12:30 - 1:00 - Guided Math, Group 1 /Lunch Break Group 2
1:00 - 1:30 - Guided Math, Group 2 / Lunch Break Group 1
1:30 - 2:00 - Science / Social Studies, Whole Group
*Note: The math digital lesson may be completed any time during the day.
Please note this is simply a sample schedule. A firm schedule will be distributed at the beginning of the school year once students are placed into learning cohorts.
We carefully select all of our curriculum resources to match our unique hybrid programming of two days of live instruction and two days of home study. While we are a secular program, our curriculum is "neutral" in nature, offering families the respect and freedom to overlay or embed their own world view or religious preferences into their child's individual work.
Many curriculum programs on the market are either geared to a 5-day, teacher instructed program (i.e. private or public school) or are written for traditional homeschooling that serves a single-student, parent-led model. As such, we meticulously select, create and curate resources, materials, and worktexts that align to a school-to-home partnership that supports collaborative learning in school, meets state and national standards, and provides genuine learning experiences at home without overwhelming the student or family.
We believe in a hands-on, multi-sensory, pencil and paper approach to learning through the younger years. And while many programs use online tools for learning, we prefer a more natural and authentic learning experience to ensure students effectively develop their fine motor skills, writing ability, organizational, and executive functioning skills.
Families will be given a general supply list at the beginning of the semester to ensure students are well-equipped and have the materials needed for class activities. It will also be helpful to have a variety of general crafting supplies available. Quarterly curriculum lists will also be requested for project kits, craft supplies, or specialized materials for unit activities (i.e. a plastic cup for science, stir sticks, a specific color paper for art, etc.)
At the start of school, families will be sent a curriculum box with required subject-specific supplies (like a math kit and phonics box), along with any published workbooks we may be using. Phonics and literature units will be uploaded into a Google Drive. Families will be required to print unit packets and place them in a binder, so a quality printer is recommended.
We believe that students learn best when they know that mistakes and making corrections are part of the natural learning process. Therefore, we emphasize learning to mastery without shame (i.e. "I see you wrote 6 for this answer. Let's look at the problem again...do you notice anything on this second look that you may have missed the first time?) and we de-emphasize the traditional "red-pen" approach which places more value on scores than true learning (i.e. "You earned a 7/10 today. Try harder next time.").
Teaching to mastery will be a team effort. Parents support the learning process by checking over their child's work each day and guiding them through their corrections. We will also
review and discuss assignments and questions in class. Every two weeks, students (or parents) may sign up for an optional 30 minute one-on-one conference with the teacher. This conference will look different for each family as it can serve as an opportunity to provide individualized academic support, review concepts, discuss progress, etc. While we do not provide report cards, we do provide an annual summary of what was taught during the year. The summary is editable, so there will be a space for parents to add additional home learning, electives, and/or grades should they need them for annual reporting purposes.
Many states require standardized testing as part of their homeschool requirements. We do not currently offer this service, but would be happy to recommend testing options.
Mastery in math is a key element in our program, and as such, we strive for deep learning in this subject. In our primary program, we use a curriculum that includes both an instructive online component paired with teacher-guided hands-on fluency activities, math chats, games, small group work, manipulatives, and purposeful practice pages to reinforce key skills.
On class days, the teacher reviews the weekly concepts and guides the students through some fun and engaging fluency and reinforcement activities. During the independent work period, students will complete the digital lesson along with a few short paper-pencil activities to demonstrate mastery. Optional problem sets are also available to families who want more hands-on practice, or for students who need additional support on a given concept. It will be expected that students complete 4 digital lessons per week. Alternatively, parents may teach the lesson on home-study days.
*This program offers both a digital lesson and printed teacher's guide. Families are welcome to download the teacher's manual to teach alternating lessons on home study days as a complement to the digital lesson. Instructions on how to access this manual will be given at the start of school.
Our teachers are all trained in the Orton Gillingham approach and thus, we implement a multi-sensory, Orton Gillingham aligned curriculum for teaching targeted reading skills such as phonemic awareness, phonics (sounds), sight words, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, penmanship, and spelling. Students are placed in leveled groups for this academic work session in order to meet them where they are and progress their reading skills as best as possible. This means that regardless of age, a student will be placed in the reading group that will best target their needs. As a mixed-age program, students are comfortable working within any group, and are taught to not only understand, but respect, that each child has their own rate of learning in each subject.
LITERATURE & COMPOSITION
Our goal is to create a passion for reading and writing that simultaneously develops a wide knowledge base in a variety of interesting topics, ranging from animals to cultures, and everything in between! For this reason, we dedicate a full learning block to enjoying quality literature and understanding how to effectively glean information from informative texts. Using a theme-based approach, these books serve as a springboard for learning about a variety of topics, while also learning about story structure, setting and characters, themes, lessons learned from literature, analyzing text for information, and more. We also use these books as a tool for informing students on grammar concepts, effective writing techniques, word usage, etc. Finally, these topics provide interesting and meaningful platforms for developing competent writing skills. By the end of third grade, and with individual abilities always in mind, students will be able to effectively write any one of the common paragraph forms, including narrative, expository (informational), argumentative (opinion/persuasive), and descriptive.
INVESTIGATION & EXPLORATION!
Our science curriculum is fully aligned with NGSS to encourage student-driven learning and encourages students to build a keen sense of inquiry as they learn about their world through the scientific process. Students will love reading about new science concepts and participating in weekly hands-on investigations, experiments, and explorations on a variety of topics that span life, physical, and earth sciences. Science concepts will also be built into the ELA block.
We believe that Social Studies is so much more than the study of history. Therefore, we integrate meaningful, hands-on explorations in world cultures, geography, conservation, global issues, local and global economics, US history, and more! Similar to our science curriculum, we use an investigative, student-driven learning model where students are challenged to work through questions and concepts by conducting authentic research and investigation and participating in an array of projects that range from writing experiences to cultural art projects.