One of the biggest advantages of a micro school is the opportunity to live and learn in multi-generational community. There are children, parents, learning guides, mentors, and community members all pouring into each other. Students have the benefit of learning from the wisdom of older generations, the passions of the young adults, and the creativity of their peers. They grow up confident, compassionate, and curious. How powerful is that?
I grew up in a small town on the East Coast. My mom was a first grade teacher at the local elementary school, my whole family volunteered in our church, and we were active in our community. Every time I went to the grocery store, I ran into multiple people I knew. I had a 10-year long teaching apprenticeship growing up, first organically with my mom, and later with other teachers at the school. There were mentors at school and church that guided and encouraged me, laughed and cried with me. They came to my wedding and baby shower. When my mom unexpectedly passed away last year, this same community surrounded our family in love, prayers, and casseroles.
I share this because community is beautiful. When we learn and live life together, we overcome conflict, flourish from camaraderie, strengthen through sorrow, and rejoice in God’s miracles. When our daughter was born, my husband (Nick) and I made the hard decision to move from DC and across the country – away from jobs and nearby family – in search of community and a slower pace of life. Nick has many college friends that live here, and promised this would be an amazing place to raise our daughter. He was right. Our friends here are like family, and we are blessed to have amazing friends (and their amazing kiddos) in our lives.
What do these anecdotes have to do with starting a micro school? Last year we started thinking…what if we could combine my passion for student-centered education, Nick’s love of entrepreneurship, and our mutual love of creating community? What if this learning community welcomed people of all ages to love on and mentor our students? What if students, in turn, learned to love their community and find ways to make it better in the name of Jesus? What are these kids capable of if they have the freedom to pursue passions, the support to grow in their learning, and the impact of a community that loves them and believes in them?
This micro school has been an idea for over a year. As our ideas grew and developed and we prayerfully considered launching it, there were two factors that remained constants: empowering students and embracing community.
If you are looking for a community for your children and family, consider if we may be the right fit for you. I can’t promise it won’t be hard and there won’t be challenges, but I do promise it will be beautiful.