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Scent of Water

Homeschool Learning Community

Grades K - 8th

"At the scent of water it will flourish
And put forth sprigs like a plant."
--Job 14:9

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Sep-May, Tue-Wed-Thu, 9 am-3 pm

Our Annandale, VA campus is the flagship program of the Center for Redemptive Education.

Click here to learn about additional Redemptive Education-affiliated programs and schools around the country.

Supporting your family in education

The Scent of Water program supports homeschooling families in your quest to align with God's design for their children. As explained on our Families page, we see God's design for teaching and learning as biblical, relational, integral and experiential.

The Scent of Water program invites your child to engage deeply with the Creator and His creation. With a strong outdoor education focus, classes feature the integral connections between all school subjects while also celebrating the "emergent curriculum" that springs from the interests, ideas and explorations of the students themselves.

With an average class size of 12 students, teachers strive to discern and present learning in accordance with your child's unique learning style.

Scent of Water - Foundations

Scripture and worship

We integrate Scripture in every study and in all we do, rather than offering a separate Bible class. Our entire program reflects deep engagement with God’s Word and with the world He spoke into being. Students learn, sing, illustrate, memorize, apply, act out, and honor Scripture. 

Each day begins with the "Welcoming," during which children are invited to worship and to consider and actively interact with God’s Word. Worship music features time-tested hymns and also original praise songs by our learning community. 


As reflected in our statement of faith, Scent of Water is a “mere Christianity” community, focused as in C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity on the fundamental tenets of the historical Christian faith. We welcome and respect a wide range of denominational representation among the families in our learning community.

We equip students with apologetics to defend the fundamentals of the Christian faith while also respectfully explaining doctrinal differences between believers. We affirm the veracity of God’s Word, and we encourage children to examine ideas, sacred and secular, in light of Scriptural truth.


Exercised with humility, confidence and love, adult authority is a blessing and safeguard to help children grow in Christ. The Scent of Water learning community employs growth-focused, redemptive principles when it comes to helping a child make a behavioral or attitudinal correction. Rather than relying on external punishments or rewards, our relational approach helps the child examine choices and encourages personal growth . While we put needed parameters in place that benefit both the child and classmates, we emphasize modeling for progress and identifying growth goals and then celebrating achievements. 



"Music is a powerful entry point to our minds and hearts. It provides a swift, smooth pathway to fueling our meditations. It follows that cultivating in our children a love and appreciation for beautiful music in a variety of genres, with melody, harmony and lyric that convey truth and grace, whether by sound or by text, is a natural way to edify their interior person."

-- Amy Imbody, Founder and President of the Center for Redemptive Education, from her book, Wind from the Sea: Essays in Redemptive Education


A week at the Scent of Water learning community

Excerpted from a Scent of Water teacher's weekly email to parents:

Continuing our study of the continent of Africa, this week we started working to memorize the countries of Africa. We began memorizing the countries in North Africa and over the next few weeks will continue around the continent. Keep practicing! And be sure to ask them about the songs they composed. The pronunciations aren't perfect, but I applaud their creativity. 

Students have been thoroughly enjoying our class read aloud, Facing the Lion, which is the inspiration for building our Maasai huts. This week, they heard stories about the community culture, what attending a Christian boarding school as a Maasai child was like and continued to learn about the importance of cattle to this people group. We also discussed various biomes in Africa and how a drought would impact them. 

This tied in well to our Science lessons yesterday where students had the opportunity to experiment with a stream table and build water filtration systems. If you are able, I'd encourage you to take a rainy walk with your child today and see what signs of erosion you can spot. For those of you who were with us last year, you can see what they remember about watersheds! 

Parent guide
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Parent guide & daily schedule

Download Scent of Water parent guide

Frequently Asked Questions


We love Scent of Water! I am SO thankful my daughter gets to learn about the Creator in His creation. I love that she is given the opportunity to explore, play, read good, rich books, sing, and consider God's world and her role in it!

Emily Basham, parent


"We know that in these ambitious [academic] endeavors, there will be quite a lot that does not get grasped, understood or retained. But a few concepts and relationships newly uncovered to the inquiring intellect will be valuable food for thought, 'money in the bank' for future investment, or treasures to gaze on eternally."

-- Amy Imbody, MEd, Founder and President of the Center for Redemptive Education, from her book, Wind from the Sea: Essays in Redemptive Education. 

"Imagine all the fun" sung by Scent of Water students


Laura Ryba, MEd

Campus Coordinator

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