The Top Five Questions about Barn School

1.  What is the Barn School?  

 We are a democratic free school that follows the principles of Self-Directed Education.

What we strive to offer:

A Multi-age Learning Environment for learners ages 3-18

-For children 3-6 years self-directed learning happens through play and offered activities.
-For children ages 7-12 years we offer project management style learning and course offerings to help students pursue their interests and individual learning paths.
-For the teen collective, there are opportunities to experience peer group learning or individual learning. Teacher support and guidance is offered for teens who chose to take part in credited on-line courses, self-directed projects, or unaccredited lesson offerings (such as story-telling, robotics, social media marketing). As a member of this collective, they also have access to; an extended co-op community, career guidance, and opportunities to mentor and share their passions and skill sets with others.
*All Learners participate in the decisions that affect them during school meetings and restorative group meetings.

Flexible Scheduling

-For children under 6 years and Homeschooling families you can choose your own schedule.

-For children over the age of 6 using us as a full-time private school, we’ll offer the most flexible scheduling possible while still following the ministry of education guidelines.

Self-Directed Education

-Learners make their own choices about how to spend their blocks of learning time. 

-No homework or tests without student consent.  CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT OUR ASSESSMENTS 

-Lessons and courses are scheduled as requested by the learners and lead by children, facilitators, and community knowledge experts.    CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT HOW LEARNERS SPEND THEIR TIME

A Strong Parent Community 

-Caregiver presence in the learning environment is valued.

-We strive to support parents who want more depth, peace, and balance in their lives.

-We plan to offer parent learning opportunities and a lending library of books, toys, manipulatives, and educational resources.

We also have some non-negotiables that set us apart from other learning options in our area.  

Our Non-negotiables
- Learners have the freedom to choose a learning path without judgement
- Staff strive to be self-aware and non-coercive in their interactions with children, families, and co-workers
-We are a community based on consent.  Consent to learn, consent to connect, and consent to be at Barn School.  Transfer of care for a young child happens only when the child is ready.  
-Parents need to be in general alignment with the philosophies of the school and trust in the processes of natural learning, positive parenting, nonviolent communication, and group consensus problem-solving.  Parents are also asked to offer more practical support as needed such as volunteering at the school, offering apprenticeships in their businesses, teaching a lesson, or using social networks to find others willing to teach a lesson. 

2.  Where are you located?  ​

We are located close to the 407 commuter corridor in North Burlington. Specific Location TBA

3.  When will it open?  

​​We are currently on track for opening Fall 2018  

4.  How much will it cost?  

​​For families looking to use us as a full-time private school, we are confident that we will be in line with other private schools in our area but we won't know specific costs until we are further along in our planning process.

​5.  Who will the Barn School appeal to?

​-Parents and children who are looking for a more innovative learning environment that respects a child’s disposition

-Parents who believe in the benefits of play and self-directed learning
-Children who are not thriving in the public system and would benefit from a Seld-Directed Education environment **this includes children with sensitivities and diagnoses such as ADHD and Autism
-Kids and young people that are highly motivated, self-directed learners, have extreme passions, and are looking for outlets to pursue their interests at their own pace
-Children who are involved in competitive sports or working in the arts (dance, acting, music) and may require flexibility and significant accommodations for their learning
-Families who feel they are overwhelmed due to stress at school (homework, testing, over-scheduled) or need a more self-directed approach for health reasons
-Families who travel and want a learning schedule that include learning from travel experiences as part of their child’s education
-Homeschooling children who want to supplement their at-home learning or mom/dad need the flexibility to pursue work obligations without giving up the homeschooling lifestyle