Friday, September 20, 2013

Village Home, A Newbie Review

Since homeschooling has been on my radar for years, back when my oldest was about to begin school (which he did and he remains in public school to this day), I've always known of Village Home.  Even though he had begun school, I always checked if they had any classes he might take.  As I was making the decision to homeschool Sanji this year, I began looking at their website more regularly.

They do have several classes for her age, but for what we decided to take, a membership wasn't the best financial choice.  It does get you reduced tuition, up to half off if you also sign up for Community Duty, which is an opportunity to volunteer in exchange for greatly reduced tuition on all classes.  

We attended Open House a few weeks ago and really loved the energy and the excitement from the staff and from the students who go there that were giving the tours.  They were well spoken and passionate about Village Home and I was very impressed with the young teen girl who gave us our tour, answered questions, and shared with us about her experience.

In the next few days, as I emailed VH questions and got answers, I signed Sanji up for one class, Magic Tales Theater. It meets once a week, for one hour, for 10 weeks.  It cost us $125 as non members. The member fee is $100, and the fee with Community Duty is $65.  

Sanji had her first class on Thursday.  It was SPECTACULAR.

The teacher, Whitney, was engaging, energetic, patient, radiant even.  The class started with a story, The Tortoise and the Hare. The children were given paper and crayons, to draw anything they wanted. Some drew the story, others did not. And it was all perfectly fine and supported by Whitney as she went from child to child to ask about their drawings.

They were invited to sit on the rug when their drawings were done. This happened at different times and each child was welcomed as they made the move from table to rug.  Next, she did roll call to match faces to names. She asked each child to share something about themselves, something they liked. Sanji said that she likes to do art.  Over the course of the hour, more stories were read, they were acted out, there was discussion and the class ended in a circle of holding hands where a squeeze traveled from teacher to child to child, all the way around so that all the good feelings they were having right then, could stay with them throughout the week. I adored this.

Sanji left happy and excited for her next class and we stopped for a treat at Cold Stone before heading to her piano lesson.

Other classes for her age include art, science, math, music, and sports, options. Once she turns 6, a few more options are available and from 7 on up, I could probably almost fill her days with classes there. I think the community is incredibly lucky to have this kind of resource and I am excited to see how our family might utilize this resource should we decide to keep on homeschooling after this school year.

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