I'm a single mom of a 3-year-old who will be doing Montessori for at least the next 3 years, but I'm trying to figure out what to do for schooling long term, since I currently rent and therefore have some flexibility in terms of settling close to the right school (though my commute is to Rosslyn). If I had the resources to stay home, I'd definitely unschool, although I'd find it daunting trying to provide the social outlets and educational resources of a regular school (team sports, the arts, areas outside my expertise like foreign language, etc) so my favorite option so far is outside the area (Sudbury school in Massachusetts). Are there any kind of unschooling co-ops I may have overlooked? Are there any schools that have no grades, no tests, no homework, a child-led learning environment, and preferably multi-age groups and a flexible schedule? On the "conservative" end, there appears to be plenty of Montessori schools that go up to about age 12 (no idea what people are doing for the high school years), but I'm concerned that even those schools around here make a lot of philosophical compromises for the parents who are ultimately unable to let go of the need to evaluate and compare their children. There is a Sudbury-style school in PG county, but I'd have to know it was amazing before I'm willing to move there and take on that kind of commute (and I've read on message boards that they are indifferent to bullying when it goes on).
The only other option I can think of is Discovery Woods in Vienna, but that is only going through early elementary at present, and as much as I love the nature-based program I do have my doubts about their insistence on having the children outside all day even when the heat and air pollution in this area gets unreasonable.
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