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Homeschool bootcamp

I was brought into homeschooling kicking and screaming. Well, actually, I tried not to do that in front of my daughter, as we were both dazed and confused after her unsuccessful quarter in kindergarten. But inwardly, there were lots of screams and self-directed kicks.

I spent about two months trying to go it alone, feeling lonely, angry, and annoyed. Then I sent an e-mail that changed it all.

I had interviewed local educator Heddi Craft for Growing Up in Santa Cruz. She was then running a small business called the Educational Resource Center of Santa Cruz. When I interviewed Heddi, I’d had to bring my daughter along to the interview. I remember telling Heddi as I was leaving, “Back to trying to pound my square peg into that round hole!”

From out of the depths of my homeschool despair, I e-mailed Heddi and pretty much just said, “Help!”

Within weeks, I had Heddi and her friend Vaiva as mentors, and teachers and parents at a local homeschool program as a support system.

Heddi’s business was an unfortunate victim of the recession, but she still runs her very cool toy and educational materials lending library at the Discovery Learning Center, as well as teaching classes for homeschooled kids and running a support group for homeschooling parents. A few months ago, she and Vaiva cooked up an idea that made obvious sense: Over and over they had helped bedraggled new homeschoolers like me when we were in crisis. How about finding a way to keep them out of crisis in the first place? Or to give them a place to go to retool their approach?

Thus the Homeschool Bootcamp was born, and this summer, it’s happening for the first time up on a beautiful, remote property in Aptos.

Heddi and Vaiva envision this as a weekend for families who are wanting to start off their homeschooling by learning together. Heddi will run workshops for the homeschooling parents, teaching them about learning styles, curriculum, and other educational topics. Vaiva will lead the kids in activities out in the woods and on the farm.

If you or someone you know is a homeschooling newbie, either just starting or feeling like things haven’t come together yet, please pass this on. As I said in the quote they used on their site, I wish I could pose as a new homeschooler so I could go, too! But Heddi and Vaiva already honed their skills on me. You can be next!

Homeschool Bootcamp
July 15-17, 2011

Posted in Education, Homeschooling.

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