"The best education does not happen at a desk, but rather engaged in everyday living - hands-on, exploring, in active relationship with life."
I. Tutoring Service
I started Encourage Education Services with a vision to offer tutoring services to my local homeschool community. Having been a homeschool parent myself, I know how hard it is to find just the right teachers and classes for your kids. My two are autistic, and both had a hard time understanding expectations in homeschool classes, which usually aren't run the same way as the public school classes that they were used to.
I have a background in progressive education, and I've observed a common downfall that happens in alternative environments. Teachers work hard at creating an open, choice-based environment. However, they forget that if you have multiple children in a space, there still need to be routines and procedures in place for how things get done. Otherwise, the adult will be running around dealing with minor issues all day. So everything from where the materials are stored to what to do when someone is sitting in "your" seat has to be addressed, even if all the students are doing their own project about their own idea. The students can decide these things as a group, or you can have some basics set in place before they come to class. But they need to be clear to everyone so that the real work can run smoothly.
For more about my teaching philosophy, see About Me.
Stage II. Expanding the Vision
I still want to bring what I love about teaching and homeschooling together to create customized tutoring experiences. However, I am happy with my current number of students. I do not plan to add new students in the foreseeable future.
While I continue to work with my currently enrolled families, I will work on expanding into some new areas. I want to pass on these ideas and strategies to more families and educators than I could by tutoring. I have been collaborating and influencing on social media, doing some writing and some interviews, and I also have a book in the works. I will remain open to whatever opportunities come along to effect change in education. After all, that's why I became a teacher in the first place.