Choices Independent Learning (Education Mentoring for Teens)

Own Your Learning

Learn in a way that is relevant for you, and that allows you to follow your interests and passions.

Choices Education Mentoring for Ages 14 – 18

Academic Approach: Real Life Counts. Tap into Your Passion for Learning.

13709865_10154385214234853_2443490975803015564_nBecause your teen is unique, we believe that his or her education should be too. At Choices we honor that learners need creative freedom, trust, and hands on experiences to fully invest and engage in the world around them. We know that your teen does amazing things every day and we build from those passions and interests to create an individualized educational experience that reflects your teen’s strengths.

Choices practices a holistic, community-based educational approach informed by the work of Growing Without Schooling founder John Holt, by the passion of educator activist, John Taylor Gatto, and from the Developmental Immersion-Mastery theory utilized in Enki alternative education. We focus on the whole learner – mind, body, and heart – and foster each learner’s confidence by guiding her through intellectual exploration, discussion, practice, and concrete application

We believe that intrinsic motivation is the engine of learning. The primary purpose of traditional public educational systems is not to motivate the student. The lock-step “bell system,” with its restrictive, structured environment, and attendance-based, mandatory curricula cannot create an atmosphere conducive to motivating anyone. Our approach is decidedly different from the mainstream. We believe that learning is a lifelong process, and one that requires lots of freedom and self-direction if it is to be truly rewarding and satisfying.

Our mentors are educators who enjoy helping teens develop into self-motivated, independent learners. Our educators guide students through options, resources, and academics much like a travel agent. We look at where the learner is and where he or she wants to go and collaboratively make a map of how to get there. Through an authentic, personalized approach that promotes high standards through self-confidence and mastery, we create learning opportunities grounded in the world that reflect individual needs and desires

Learners and their parents work with our staff to design classes that reflect the learners’ interests, goals, and learning styles. Learners are encouraged and supported in the process of determining what they want to learn, how they will learn it, and at what pace. We have found that freedom in learning, when given with support and mentorship, is the best motivator of all. Learners who have been stifled in the public system can become happy, successful, and highly motivated when allowed to pursue their educational goals in a student-centered program, totally free of restrictions and restraints on how and what the student is allowed to learn

Package Options For Choices Learners

Community Learning Package  ($5,900/Year)

What is included in the Community Learning Package?teens on the town

  1. One hour weekly mentoring sessions individually or in small groups with professional learning consultant.
  2. Access to all Village Home Class offerings (if available) ($4500 value).
  3. All Access Pass to Campus T-F, 9:30 – 3:30.
  4. Learning Plan Development with Mentor
  5. Academic goal setting
  6. Work record tracking by family and mentor
  7. End-of-Term narrative summary of learning completed by learner and mentor
  8. Year-end Academic Record Report (not for HS credit)
  9. Village Home Membership ($325 value)

Collaboration Package  ($2,800/Year)

What is included in the Collaboration Package?
Tess Creasy 2013

  1. One hour weekly mentoring sessions individually or in small groups with professional learning consultant.
  2. Learning Plan Development with Mentor
  3. Academic Goal Setting
  4. Work record tracking by family and mentor
  5. End-of-Term narrative summary of learning completed by learner and mentor
  6. Year-end Academic Record Report (not for HS credit)

 

 

Choices is a non-traditional academic path. All Transcripts and other Academic Reports and Credits are non-transferable and non-credit based.

Will Choices Work for You?

Learners who have diagnosed learning differences may or may not be successful in the Choices Program at Village Home Education Resource Center. Everyone has learning differences, and we at Village Home, wouldn’t have it any other way, but we also recognize that our unique learning environment and program structure is not appropriate for everyone. The Village Home community learning environment and the Choices Personalized Education option are best suited for self-directed, intrinsically motivated, lifelong learners who actively participate in their educational plans with their families. Not all learners are able to function successfully in a classroom environment that demands a certain level of social and emotional skill to navigate. In addition, the faculty in Choices and at Village Home are not specifically trained to accommodate learners with learning differences. For these reasons, Village Home and Choices staff reserve the right to make decisions regarding suitability of a learner for our programs. Non-discrimination policy: All learners are welcome at Village Home regardless of race, age, religion, creed, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disabilities, or education philosophy.

Choices Director, Whitney Johnson

Johnson, WhitneyWhitney received her Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theater/Opera in 2002 and her Masters of Science in Communication Studies in 2008 from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. In 2008, Whitney worked as a Teaching Artist with the Young People’s Theatre Project. Whitney has also served as an instructor and Regional Director with the outdoor education organization Trackers Earth, teaching traditional skills, and leading outdoor adventures. Whitney is currently an instructor at Village Home where she teaches and serves as the Drama Director. Whitney has served as a Choices mentor since 2011 and believes that trusting young people and their families to discover and explore their own educational path is key to revolutionizing how we think about education.