Please tell us more about your model of schooling and Cottage School.

We home educate and also meet once a week with two other homeschooling families and do what we call cottage school. During cottage school the other moms and I take turns instructing the children in science and art. We enjoy this educational choice because we feel it allows us to have primary influence over our kids in their education and worldview formation, we like the flexible schedule it allows us to have (we take the same breaks as my husband, who is an educator) and we are able to pursue a wide variety of educational field trips because our schedule can be adjusted to make room for those trips. We also appreciate that we can give more individualized instruction to our kids.

Why do you feel this model of schooling best meets the needs of your children? How have you seen them grow and thrive in these environments?

We have seen our kids be able to move at their own pace as they are learning. In different seasons this means that we are able to encourage them to move quickly through material they find easy. But we also are able to slow down when they need to take more time understanding the information. We have seen this be of great benefit for our son in reading and for our daughter in math. They appreciate when we get to meet for cottage school with our friends. It’s been great to see them have the opportunity to learn in a small classroom setting.

How do you feel living in Arizona and the school options you have in Arizona have helped your children in their academic and life pursuits?

We are thankful for the choice to educate our kids at home and in the cottage school. We feel that we have the freedom to give our kids a robust education and thankfully minimize the stress of having to “keep up” with other kids.

What do you love the most about your current school environment for your kids? What advice do you have for other families considering this option?

We love that we get to be the ones to share the wonders of learning with our kids. It is hard work but in the long run we enjoy it. We like seeing the light go on when a hard concept finally is understood!! My advice for anyone thinking about homeschooling is to find a few like – minded friends and see how you can encourage each other in your pursuit of learning with your kids. It makes the load lighter for you and the kids will really enjoy it! It wasn’t difficult to form our cottage school. The friends that do it with us have generally the same age range of kids and we picked out our curriculum, who would teach what, and the dates that we wanted to meet! It’s very doable!!