December 2022 News
Expanding Redemptive Education
By Amy E. Imbody
President, Center for Redemptive Education
In order to meet an increasing demand for help in establishing alternative education programs across the country, the Center for Redemptive Education (CRE) is shifting our focus toward enabling families to manage their own Redemptive Education campus programs in their own communities.
As you know, parents like you everywhere are seeking a better, more personal and effective education for their children—one that aligns with their values and also with God's design for children.
In order to meet this increasing demand for help in establishing alternative education programs across the country, the Center for Redemptive Education (CRE) is shifting our focus away from directly launching and managing campus programs and toward enabling families to manage their own Redemptive Education campus programs in their own communities.
Already, we have begun to provide other community families with the curriculum, resources, teacher professional development and other support services to help those families start and manage their own Redemptive Education programs.
So while we will not continue to provide direct management at some current campuses next year, we can offer you and other families at your campus the resources, support and guidance you need to begin to manage the campus programs yourselves.
If you have found the Redemptive Education approach effective and engaging for your children, perhaps you, another campus program family or someone in your community may have the vision and desire to continue the program under your own initiative and management--with the full resources, support and guidance of the Center for Redemptive Education.
This web page provides a general overview of how we are assisting families in helping them create and manage a Redemptive Education program in their community.
We will continue to manage just one campus program, at Calvary Church in Annandale, Virginia. This program will serve as a "working laboratory"—a best practices location where families interested in creating their own Redemptive Education program can come, observe and learn first-hand about the Redemptive Education approach.
You and your fellow families at your campus actually have an advantage over other families across the country, in that you already have an established Redemptive Education program in your community, and you have already observed the Redemptive Education approach.
We have been delighted to serve you and your family this year and would be delighted to serve you and your family next year in this new way.
If you would like to discuss and learn more about this opportunity, or if you have any questions or comments, please email us at Info@RedemptiveEducation.org. We will set up a mutually convenient time to meet to discuss the possibilities for you and your family.
Scent of Water
By Maggie Dean
Never have I ever felt such freedom in education. Never have I ever experienced such healing in an educational setting. Never have I ever seen such marked change and growth in students' lives.
In the last three years, while working with Redemptive Education, I have realized that education has the power to transform lives. In a real, hands-on way, in our learning communities I have seen the impact of how a biblical, relational, integral, experiential approach can liberate young people to be all God has called them to be before being released into the world to create a lasting impact.
If you were to step foot onto our campus, first you might hear the delightful sound of music--perhaps words of hymns once familiar to you. Children here are immersed in Scripture, through listening, reading and singing.
You would notice missional minded thinker-doers being trained up. The word of God is “living and active” among us. Scripture is relevant to our daily lives when we are immersed in it daily, making connections, taking joy in the alignment of God’s word around us.
You would see in real time a culture of honor, where children and all of us are honored. Children, teachers and families experience healing by knowing that just as they are, they are “enough.”
Love and acceptance open the door to learning.
I am seeing people finding concrete strategies toward freedom in their thinking and living. Collaborating with like-minded educators committed to their flourishing, families find that this culture of honor counteracts the demanding performance culture of our metropolitan area.
Critical thinking frees learners from checklist thinking, as they learn to look at the world holistically in an integral approach. “Behavioral issues” often disappear.
We celebrate non-traditional thinking. Children with less appreciated or marginalized gift sets challenge us to open our minds up to what actually has value in this world. Are we simply following rules, accomplishing checklists, or fitting a mold?
An immersive, experiential approach to learning allows for the study of the good, true and beautiful to occupy our bodies, hearts, and minds so heartily. This approach leaves little space for boredom or restlessness.
In this liberating work, clearly God is changing our way of thinking about education.
As families become more and more dissatisfied with “how things are” in education today, we sense a call to purify education.
Reform starts right in front of us. What does reform look like in one heart? In one home? How can those small steps toward reform change a whole community? Can those steps release something new into the world? A new aroma?
This begs the question, what is the next right step to take, right here in front of me, to align with God’s design? If we can collaborate to answer this question, I believe we will have the unity to do our small part in the larger movement initiated to bring God’s vision into our world.
Boots & Roots
Weekly report by Janine Buser
’Tis beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Boots & Roots, that is if your idea of Christmas includes muddy boots and rainy days.
Over the next two weeks, some Christmas celebrations are being woven into our Sleep unit. Most days we’ll be working a little bit on a Christmas memento. We’re singing Christmas carols with bells in the woods - whether to mark syllables or simply have a joyful chorus. We’re also diving a bit deeper with the main figures of the Christmas story. Yesterday, we noted that the angel, God’s messenger, often repeated two four-word sentences: Do not be afraid. God is with you. (Mrs. Buser’s paraphrase.). That is His message to each of us today as well as to Mary and Joseph and the shepherds. Today, we learned that when God asked Mary to do a hard job, she said “Yes, I will be your servant,” even though she didn’t know all of the details. Can we say “Yes, I will be your servant” when God asks us to do hard things?
Our Sleep stories this week included Night Animals, Daylight, Starlight Wildlife, and A Book of Sleep. Through these books, a sorting activity and gross motor games, we’re learning which of our woodland friends are most active at night, during the day, or at sunrise/sunset, or as we say, nocturnal, diurnal, or crepuscular.
As we read our phonics series, we’re learning to sing the alphabet backwards and with the letters’ phonetic sounds, using short vowels. Have fun building their working memory by practicing at home. Use a visual guide and remember to sing the “L, M, N, O, P” section slowly! At this age, some are still mastering a few of those last-to-come-in sounds. We practice by touching (with relatively clean hands) the part of our mouth where the tongue should start for a physical cue, finding that position, and practicing with a mirror. Everyone joins as we playfully say, “l-l-l-l-l-l-love!”
We often return to a collection of poetry, A Look Outside Your Window. We’ve observed that rhymes often occur at the end of a phrase and delight in creating our own. I’ll start a phrase, “The snack cup is red, but do not take it to…” and someone will fill in the missing word.
Today we enjoyed our own tea party as we read Tea Party in the Woods - thank you for agreeing to this treat! I am in awe of their comfort in nature. Besides not batting an eye while sitting through a drizzle under the cover of a magnolia tree for our morning lessons, they love to explore and engage. On Tuesday, during sit spot time, when I asked for their observations, one commented, “I wonder why that tree trunk is dark at the bottom,” and then started a brainstorming session to consider the reason. Another piped up, “I noticed that there used to be a tree house here.” Hmm, why did it fall apart? On Wednesday, we practiced fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination by hammering tees into a favorite log as well as sewing snack garlands for our woodland friends. Did anyone happen to sew a pattern? Could you sew a pattern? Having no desire to go home with the extra food, I suggested they scatter it in the woods. Off they went, joyfully creating a scavenger hunt. I know one B&R dad creates very in-depth hunts for his son and the lad intently replicated the fun for our campus critters. I don’t think I’ve ever seen green beans snuggled into tree bark before! Others looped Cheerios on twigs or hid bread cubes in and around fallen logs. What fun to notice today that almost everything was devoured!
They are learning to work with limited resources. I only had five hammers for the seven children. We take turns and find nature items that can be substituted. When we painted our gift bags, I had the bags and the paint. Yes, one pointed out that paint brushes were in a box in the back of the pod, but I just said that we didn’t need to use them. Not a problem with this gang. “I’ll use a stick.” “I like to paint with my fingers.” “Mrs. Buser, can I use your tape to make a paint brush from a stick and leaf?” See the joy on their faces for finding their own creative solutions and the beautiful, unique art work.
Your children are also learning to assess risks. I overheard a conversation among them about whether to play Gaga ball after snack. There was a question of whether they would slip in the mud and one noted that he would only watch if there were too many big kids playing. How wonderful that they are learning to think before acting and how to make calculated decisions!
They are also learning patience and delayed gratification. Of course, they want to take home their creations and they usually can. Today was step one in a four-part process to make a Christmas gift that they will bring home next Thursday. We measured, followed directions, and had creative fun. If they don’t choose to share the surprise, I won’t reveal it here. You can be patient for a week as well!
Students at the Calvary Church campus in Annandale, VA finally will be able to use facilities inside the church. An out-of-court settlement between the church and a previous tenant addressed the previous tenant's refusal to vacate. The ensuing legal proceedings had postponed the use of the Church by Center for Redemptive Education (CRE) programs, which had contracted for both outdoor and inside access to the church beginning in August 2022.
Students will continue to spend time outdoors on the 18-acre wooded property while adding indoor sessions and breaks, including the very welcome use of indoor bathrooms. The church facility offers well-equipped individual classrooms, a loft area and a large sanctuary for musicals, plays and gatherings. A professional kitchen offers additional opportunities for culinary explorations. An office and staff areas provide volunteers and staff with ample space for work and meetings.
"We are so grateful to the Lord and to the church leaders for this solution," noted Amy Imbody, President and founder of Redemptive Education. "I want to especially thank our students and families for braving the weather these few months while we waited for this legal situation to play out. We all very much appreciated the great attitudes and service of our teachers during this time.
"I'm also thankful for how the church leaders like Pastor Matt Ryba and others have gone the extra mile to accommodate our needs during the process."
Pastor Ryba explained, "The good news is that within the settlement agreement, Calvary Church was able to negotiate building space usage for SOW. Beginning December 14th, the SOW students and staff will have access to the east side of our building. There will not be any cross over with the residents from the daycare and the students will have designated restrooms and workspaces. This will help provide a heated indoor space (with restrooms providing warm water) as we approach the January and February months. We are looking forward to March 30th where the students will have full access to the building and will be able to use the building as originally planned.
"We thank you for your patience and prayers throughout the process. We know, that while we may not understand the 'why' behind the situation, the Lord has and will continue to use this for His glory!"
Apply and Register
Applications and registrations for the 2023-24 academic year are now open.
Currently enrolled families receive class placement priority until Jan. 15.
Tuition rates are adjusted for inflation, guided by the federal cost of living adjustment (COLA) percentage.
A very limited amount of tuition assistance is available for families in need, and a committee will consider all applications and financial data.
Payment of the first of ten equal payments secures your child’s enrollment.