Our Story

Cummings Family

Nothing Nothing felt right anymore.

Becky and Jeff Cummings had tried it all when it came to educating their three young children.

Public schools in the area were top-rated, but test-driven instruction via worksheets left their children bored and uninterested in learning. Large class sizes made for bully breeding grounds and questionable curriculum concerned them. Should their son really be spending weeks dividing and multiplying decimals? Of course not! When schools began to infringe upon personal freedoms, it was too much.

The Cummings family next decided to try traditional homeschooling and co-ops, which led to unschooling. These offered a peaceful start to each day, freedom to travel, authentic learning, and above all, a beautiful time to bond with their children. It was eye-opening! Becky and Jeff loved more family time, and it was a bonus to choose a wholesome curriculum. At the same time, the Cummings poured everything into their children, juggling teaching multiple ages and running to events that gave their kids opportunities to socialize with peers. Exhaustion set in, and their careers and self-care were lost in the shuffle. Balancing it all was a challenge!

At first, they questioned why they were unsatisfied with everything out there. Was something wrong with them? As parents, they only wanted the best for their children, and really all children. Childhood is a few fleeting years of innocence and beauty in the big picture. Children come to us as creative, joyful beings. How could they honor this sacred time, instilling a life-long love of learning and fostering meaningful connections with peers and their families?

Becky learned early on that if you don’t fit into this world, it means you came to create a new one. When nothing felt right, she knew it was time to manifest a new way of education. Luckily, Jeff was ready to jump in and use his entrepreneurial skills to make a meaningful difference. With Becky’s two decades of experience in education as a classroom teacher, tutoring company owner, and children’s book author and Jeff’s experience as president of an aerospace company, they felt they were the perfect team for the mission!

The Cummings embarked on a journey to create a unique hybrid school that offers a full- or part-time schedule, so parents can continue homeschooling if they choose. Parents still have a choice in the curriculum when their children are home; the family unit remains strong, and parents have personal time for other obligations. Children have opportunities to connect and create meaningful relationships with peers, teachers, and mentors. Trained teachers instruct meaningful curricula focused on the skills and knowledge needed for success, such as mindset, life skills, and problem solving—taught holistically. Students learn in an atmosphere that feels like a second home, enveloped in nature.

And so Free Kids Academy was born!