What defines the Fireside Community?
We are a group of homeschooling families committed to offering the best educational opportunities they can for their children through a joint effort, with all the logistical and clerical responsibilities handled by the Director, Angela Landis.
I'm new to the homeschool community idea and don't know if I want to commit to a full day. Can we just sign up for one or two classes?
Absolutely! We know that age, time, and interests certainly dictate outside commitments and respect that each family needs to decide just how much involvement is right for them in any given year. Choose to take one class or stay for all six periods, and plan to join the community for the lunch and the recess session in the middle of the day. This is a wonderful time for the kids to socialize and solidify friendships!
Some co-ops are free, so why are you charging for classes?
Unlike a co-op, this is a community in which all the logistical and clerical problems are taken care of by a full time diector, Angela Landis, and Assistant Director, Laura Dollenger. This places the community on a stable long term foundation and frees the parents to just teach and assist the community in ways they are able. In addition, like some co-ops, money charged for classes also covers insurance, rent, heat, teacher's curriculum and equipment, and more. We do do our best to keep our prices low, respecting our families' budgets.
If I sign my child up for these classes, does that mean I don't have to teach them at home?
The parent is first and foremost the child's teacher. While our classes are designed to provide the student with specialized instruction, it does not absolve the parent from their responsibility for their child's education. A parent still must ensure that the student is keeping up with assigned work throughout the year, and is still responsible for creating and maintaining a portfolio according to state law. If a child is struggling, our teachers are available to assist in any way.
Do I just drop my child or children off for the day?
While many parents do drop their children off for the day, you'll find a large number of parents who stay at the community while their children are in class. Not only is it easier for them to fulfill volunteer hours if they are present during the day, but it's also an opportunity to get to know other homeschooling moms and dads. PLEASE NOTE: For parents children in 4th grade or below, parents are required to stay at the community while your child attends classes.
What if I can't do all of my 35 volunteer hours?
Our Volunteer Coordinator assigns weekly jobs that covers 30 hours (every week that Fireside is in session), which leaves only 5 additional hours to fill. These hours can be fulfilled during fun social events that we organize for the community like Harvest Party, Ed Fair, and Not-Back-To--School Picnic. There are many opportunities to fulfill your volunteer duties, so do not fret!
Do the classes stay the same every year or are they different?
While some classes are offered every year, others are not. Our classes rotate to give continual opportunities for new subjects and new teachers, but we do try to bring them back into rotation every three years. For instance, our science classes rotate between Biology, Environmental Science, Chemistry, and other electives, but Lego Club is consistent each year.
Can I come visit to see what Fireside is all about?
Yes! Every year, Fireside Academy hosts an annual Visitation Day, where non-members can come and see the hustle and bustle of our amazing community on a normal-run Tuesday. This event usually takes place in March every year, so you don't want to miss that. Please visit our Public Events page find out the exact details and get yourself registered. If you have missed this date, you will need to contact us with your questions, as we do not host personal tours on any other day of the year.