Local homeschool mom Kimberley Charlotte asked some very insightful questions about Bloom Academy, a homeschool enrichment resource. The founder, Sarah Tavernetti, kindly replied in detail and both agreed to share here! Tavernetti is a Las Vegas native and graduated with her B.S. in Elementary Education. She taught 2nd grade at Title 1 schools for six years.
Tavernetti expounded on how Bloom Academy is run as well as how they work with 2E kids, those who have great intelligence and love learning, but who also may have a learning disability that they need extra help with, such as concentrating/focusing, finishing tasks or redirection.
Can you explain what a typical day may be like for the kids?
There are so many possibilities! We will begin every day with Community Meeting where the kids can choose to come sit with us, share any stories, struggles, ideas, or goals they have. Then their day can be filled with any independent or group studies or projects they’re working on, taking a workshop being hosted that day (either by a staff member, parent, fellow kid, or community volunteer), picking up a new interest, meeting with their mentor to connect and check-in, playing and socializing with their friends and our staff, attending a field trip if there is one that day, or taking a walk to the local park. All of our resources will be available to the kids whenever they’d like to use them. They will be free to explore and create whatever they feel called to and we will be right there with them if they need us!
Will there be sit down work, or is it all fluid and “unschooly” like?
It will definitely be more ‘unschooly’ like; letting the children play and explore as they figure out how they learn best. If a child prefers sitting down with a textbook, paper, and pencil, then we will absolutely work to provide that for them! Some workshops, such as Writer’s Workshop, may implement practices that seem more “conventional” but it is important to remember that the child is taking that workshop by choice and has the freedom to withdraw from any activity that isn’t working for them.”
How many kids can be in the program at one time?
“If we get the space we’d like, we can accept anywhere between 40-50 children. This is because we know that the times and days the students come will vary depending on what they sign up for.”
Are 2E and kids with special needs welcome at Bloom Academy?
“We want Bloom to be available to every child who isn’t thriving in conventional school; regardless of what their learning styles or abilities are. We think that self-directed education is a perfect opportunity, especially for children with ADHD, Autism, and related conditions, to really connect with themselves, others, and find out how they learn best. That being said, neither one of us has had formal training when it comes to teaching children with special needs. After working in the school district for six years, I’ve had quite a few students in my room who were on the spectrum or navigating through a similar condition and it wasn’t a problem at all. I think what makes us nervous is not having enough staff or knowledge to make sure your that your child would be getting that extra supervision. However, we are 100% open to working with you on finding a way to make it happen. Part of our application process is going through an Exploratory Enrollment, a 5-week period that allows us to make sure Bloom is the right fit for your child.”
What is the student to teacher ratio?
“We will have 2 staff members, myself and our Program Director, Yamila, on site at all times. We will also have volunteers within the community coming to teach workshops. The amount of students that will be there is hard to say as the days and times that students attend will vary.” (VKZ Update – We’ll add more info about the volunteer vetting when we get it!)
Are all ages mixed, or separated like traditional schools?
“Bloom will be mixed-ages! We’re sure we will have some workshops that are more developmentally aligned with a particular age group but we will never turn a kiddo down if the topic sparks their interest!”
Do you have a price in mind?
“Tuition is calculated based on the number of days your child attends (2-5 a week), as well as whether they come for a full day or half. Each full day is $35 and half day is $20. We also offer a variety of financial assistance options, such as a parent being able to volunteer their time or services in return for a discount and a 10% sibling discount.”
When will sign-ups start to secure a spot?
“We are waiting to begin sign-ups until we know for certain that we have the space. We also would like to host a few meet-ups that focus on topics such as self-directed education, intrinsic motivation, Love & Logic, and other concepts that are essential in understanding when considering Bloom Academy. That being said, I would say in about 2-3 months we’ll begin opening up registration.”