"We love it because of the learning opportunities the (adult) facilitators provide and the diverse, enriching environment. NCC provides a rich social network with support for communicating wants/needs and respectfully resolving conflict, which I believe is among the most important things to learn early on. NCC'ers also have the support and opportunities to create their own projects—my 8-year-old built a fully-functional cabinet out of woodshop scraps with help from NCC facilitators. And the staff are fabulous—I know my young ones are in good hands." - Christina S, parent of 2 young people, 5 years at NC
Once a family has joined the NC community, the young person is placed into a group/age band. Each group has at least two facilitators designated to that group's functioning development and cohesion. These facilitators all serve as the partners of the individual families within those groups. The VERY approximate age bands are Ocelots (4-8 years old), Axolotls (8-12 years old), and Narwhals (13-18 years old, including the Narwhals Launch program for ages 15-18).
At the big partnership meetings (beginning/middle/end of the year), participants (young person, parent(s), facilitator) set goals and expectations, reflect on progress and obstacles, and develop solutions. There are also biweekly check-ins at NC between the young person and facilitator partner, in which a plan of interests, experiences, and activities is developed, then reflected on for indicators of success, challenges, and alternate pathways.
PARTNERSHIP WITHIN OUR PROGRAM
TESTIMONIALS FROM PARENTS
“NC has been a part of our homeschool journey for many years now. It started out by them providing a space our kids could go to that was away from home, full of interesting things for them to do and where they were watched over by kind, intelligent people who believed kids will learn best when they are interested in learning. Two things I have come to value about NC besides providing that space away from home and immediate family are 1. The use of language and concepts that are counter-cultural--things like nonviolent communication, or framing things in terms of positives & how-tos rather than positives & negatives. These might be easy to make fun of or laugh off but they create an awareness in you that there are other options for how to argue, how to see the world, and how to treat people. 2. Our regular check-in times have become mini-therapy sessions for myself as I am pushed to examine my own assumptions about education, my own desires for my children, and my own agendas and ways of viewing family, school, learning, etc. I usually leave those meetings with food for thought, with an appreciation for NC's philosophy, and feeling encouraged about where we as a family are at in our homeschooling journey.” - Timothy H, parent of 2 young people (ages 12 and 15), 6th year at NC
“Our young person joined Natural Creativity as a teenager, which can be a challenging time to begin something new. The community of young people embraced her, and the community of parents and staff welcomed and supported us. Natural Creativity has breathed new life into our homeschooling experience. It is a place that allows our teen to flourish in expressing her creativity and also challenges her to stretch and develop into the young adult she is becoming. Choosing Natural Creativity is the best decision we have made in our homeschooling journey! - Laura H, parent of 16-year-old, 2nd year at NC
“Natural creativity has given our young people and our entire family the space and communication tools to learn together. The program has helped us prioritize the things that matter to our family and support the goals of our young people. When we hit a snag the facilitators are always available to lend a ear and provide supportive resources. We wouldn't be homeschooling without NC!” - Dana R, parent of 2 young people (ages 9 and 11), 6th year at NC
"We have been a part of the NC community since 2017, we lived internationally for sometime and decided to return to Philly because of our exceptional experience at NC. We noticed how my older daughter became more confident and took pride in taking the lead with her daily learning experiences. We also enrolled our younger daughter and they both truly enjoy learning with their friends and facilitators.” - Ana F, parent of 2 young people (ages 6 and 15), 3rd year at NC
“NCC has had a tremendous positive impact on our kids and our family. It’s a complete reorientation from how I learned as a kid. There is so much more freedom and curiosity in our relationships than there would‘ve been if we’d gone the standard route. When somebody is down, or angry, or protective of themselves, instead of being reactive or closed-off as well, or freaked-out as parents, we can be open, curious, welcoming. Instead of being fretful and fearful about our kids’ futures, we can see how they organically learn when they’re ready, at their own speed and with their own initiative. A great example is our son: we did not for one moment teach or even encourage him to read — he just did it on his own! All of a sudden our boy was a reader! And only with the philosophy and encouragement and community of NCC could we have taken what felt at the time like a great leap of faith and trust. But that’s what it was: a trust in our kids, and a trust that they know when they’re ready, and that they have an inherent desire already within themselves to learn and grow. We avoided so much unnecessary heartache and annoyance! We avoided endless trials of forcing him to pore over workbooks and forcing him to “learn to read” before he was ready! And that’s just one example! The NCC way of doing things allows for a more relational and trusting and open-hearted way of being with your kids. I can’t recommend it higher.” - Brian M, parent of 1 young person (age 11), 6th year at NC
“We look forward to our days at NC! Our young person has a lot of big ideas and NC has all the materials and direction she could want to execute those ideas. We especially love the Big Questions [monthly guided projects for older young people] for the way they introduce poignant topics and allow the sharing of many perspectives without judgment. We hope to be a part of this community for many years to come!” - Calli S, parent of 1 young person (age 11), 1st year at NC
“My 12 year old is currently in his 4th year at NC. It is an environment in which he has been able to thrive as a young person. His social and emotional growth have been obvious. His strengths have emerged and his developing areas have been nurtured. He appreciates the independence and opportunity to self direct in his educational pursuits. What an amazing place and community!” - Julia G, parent of 1 young person (age 12)
Natural Creativity partners with Council for Relationships, a local mental health agency, to provide subsidized counseling to our families. (2020- )
PARTNERSHIP IN OUR COMMUNITY
As a community-oriented educational organization, we are always seeking likeminded individuals and organizations to work with. We are stronger when we work together.
We wish to continue growing meaningful relationships within the community of Germantown, Philadelphia & beyond, through a network of committed neighbors. The NC Network includes spaces, business, professionals, organizations, and opportunities, who want to contribute to the lives of our self-directed families.
We are seeking: Community organizers looking for justice-seeking families, small business owners looking for interns (for our teens), artists wanting to share their craft, therapeutic professionals (occupational therapists, developmental optometrists, urban nature guides, and anyone else who wants to expand the worlds of young people.