When we moved to Nothern Virginia three years ago our son was just turning four. I had all sorts of ideas about the kind of education we wanted for him. We looked for a home near a well rated elementary school. We were coming from an amazing co-op preschool system in Seattle and wanted another co-op for what I thought would be his last year of preschool. As I searched I also came upon information about Compass Homeschool Enrichment (http://www.compassclasses.com) in Oakton Virginia. Little did I know Compass would become our place, our community for two wonderful years.
Fast forward almost three years and we are at Compass for our last of 8 quarters. It is a relatively diverse community of homeschoolers who come together for a la cart classes. While the older kids play and learn, moms and dads get much need social time and the younger kids are welcome to tag along. It is definitely the highlight of our week. Looking around as I sit on campus I see cheery families we have come to know. Oh, how we will miss you all. Savoring each and every day of our time in this amazing community.
A little more about what we love so much about Compass… signing up for classes feels a bit more like college then primary school. Remember getting up early to log on and get your most wanted class before it fills? Yes, I got up at 2:50am to get our son into his nature class–A class he clamors to get to each week, full of enthusiasm and a love for learning. The mom who spear heads the program, Jenny Bradshaw, puts together a variety of classes taught by outside providers. Our son’s favorites have been lego engineering, geo-detectives and nature quest. He also tried out cooking for little kids and American Sign Language. All the classes have a range of ages and abilities, are small and are very hands on. He has been able to follow his interests while learning to behave in a classroom and do cooperative projects. Several hours of much needed free play out of doors with lots of other children is another plus.
For me, Compass has been a touch stone during what can be the roller coaster called homeschooling. Talking with the many parents, they have helped us celebrate our successes and wade through our rough patches. I have learned so much from the veteran homeschooling families! Online community is important but knowing I have real parents to talk with each week who understand has made this journey so much better. Each family comes to homeschooling for different reasons, with different expectations and varying goals but one thing has been made abundantly clear being a part of this community: Every family is pursuing an education they believe best fits their child. No matter where our educational journey takes us, I feel so privileged to have been a part of our Northern Virginia homeschool community.