My family often views and expresses our experiences through the comic filters of Looney Tunes, Monty Python, and of course, Sesame Street and the creative genius of Jim Henson's muppets. I mean who doesn't love the classic Road Runner when Sam the sheep dog is behind the Coyote at the time clock, and their exchange of “....Morning Sam, Morning Ralph....” and of course Foghorn Leghorn and his interactions with the little chickenhawk, "I say boy...". Or, the time tested witch scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. “...what else floats?” ...very small rocks.” But my very favorite will always be the Sesame Street skit that features Guy Smiley as the Pied Piper of Hamlin. He goes into the town and tries unsuccessfully to get the mice to follow, so he says, in his awesome hippie, Guy Smiley voice, “Hey man, I'm laying this stuff down, but these mice just ain't picking it up.” Yes, I laugh every single time!
When I reflect on the extraordinarily full, fun, and exhilarating past week, I think of that Sesame Street skit and realize, I am laying down this message and people are “picking it up”. Within the past seven day period, I have communicated with at least five families, through facebook, email, and phone, who want to explore Deep Root Center as an educational option for their family. And, I assisted two students, face to face, with homeschool documentation, one of whom signed on as our latest member. I forgot to mention the three boys who came on Tuesday to hang out and play Magic.
DRC is sending a message of hope, encouragement, and support to all of those families who have children who are miserable, bored, and who are not thriving in the school setting; who are willing to embrace the homeschool paradigm because they recognize the positive impact it will have on their lives, but don't know how to negotiate the documentation required to pull their child from school. They may be worried that they won't have access to educational materials, or have the time. In some cases, families are concerned about social opportunities, or that their child will fall behind academically.
To help dispel common myths and provide clear information, Deep Root Center is sponsoring the film Class Dismissed during Canton's Winterfest, Sunday, February 8th – 7pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Main Street in Canton. This amazing documentary looks closely at and explores all of the above issues with compassion, honesty, and clarity.
Viewing this film is an important first step in the process of understanding how homeschooling can fit into your family's life, but DRC can offer immediate information and assistance, as well. If you have read the New York State homeschool regulations (all gazillion pages) and came away confused and discouraged, DRC has simplified the process. We have created templates of the three required documents and can help write them.
Deep Root Center is also the resource center and space for busy families who believe they don't have time or access to the appropriate materials to homeschool. DRC offers classes, space for creative, hands-on projects, independent research, help finding internships, assistance building portfolios, mentoring, books, a myriad of oddities (including a collection of painted animal bones), art supplies, and a safe social environment.
Students also have access to one-on-one tutorials, based on their particular interest, with extended staff who may be professionals, college students or professors from our community. These are often rigorous academic opportunities that exceed any class within the traditional educational system. Youth can come to Deep Root Center as often as they want and use it in anyway that works best for them.
In letting go of cultural norms and expectations, you will discover that learning is active, vital and alive; the opportunity to learn something new is around every corner. Learning happens outside on a sledding hill, on a hiking trail, or in a patch of grass in your backyard; it occurs while watching National Geographic, The History Channel, PBS, Sesame Street, or YouTube; it takes place during a trip to the library, post office, or museum, it can even result from sitting at the dinner table, as a family, discussing your day.
This is a message whose time has come. A world of information is literally wide open to anyone who has the desire to tap into it or “pick it up”. Deep Root Center is here to assist you with your journey into that expanse of endless knowledge. How will you use us?
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