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Family Partnering

At NC we partner with whole families, as opposed to young people alone. We frame this in terms of content and process.  We believe young people, and by extension, their families, have a right to determine the content that is of value to them.  We also believe that the process by which things happen is critical and often given little attention. Therefore, we offer resources relating to a process-based approach to development, and we ask that families invest in learning and practicing this approach at home. 



Young people at NC are generally free to choose the activities they want to participate in and the content they wish to pursue, with support from facilitator partners and other young people. 

NC facilitates age-based groups/pods for young people to expand on community-based learning. 


The ways people talk about “fundamental skills” change based on their previous experience with schooling, with their own level of satisfaction with the life they currently have, and with the ways in which they feel they can manage in the world.  That said, schooling culture has convinced many of us that the skills necessary to be a productive and fulfilled adult are easily broken down into a handful of academic areas, regardless of whether or not we actually use them.  Many people ask, “But what about math?” without exploring the ways in which they do or do not use mathematical thinking and problem-solving in their daily lives.  Conventional schooling prioritizes certain kinds of thinking: precision thinking, verbal/linguistic, and external-oriented, all within a competitive context. We know there are many other kinds of thinking, learning, and living.

In pursuing areas of interest in playful and personally engaging ways, many of the skills necessary to being a “successful” adult are developed in more natural and compelling ways. Our facilitators and content specialists work hand in hand to make play and discovery a naturally educational experience.


Our goal is to help young people step into their agency and think critically about their interests in order to make decisions for their lives. 


​In seeking to further establish and codify the value of the NC experience, we are developing an NC diploma for our older teens, called the Launch Program (our first "graduates" will launch in 2024).  This would not map on to a high school diploma, but would serve as a recognition of an individual’s work toward leading a fulfilling, self-directed life, specifically in the area of the three Cs: Compassion, Collaboration, and Creativity.


Self-directed teenagers choose to end their "high school" time in a number of ways: a homeschooling diploma, a GED, or an Associate's Degree from a community college.

There are no structural barriers to homeschoolers attending 4-year colleges; research shows that homeschooled students attend and graduate from college at equal or higher rates than their schooled peers. Due to NC's age, we do not have enough data around our young people. 

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