Nothing felt right anymore.

We had tried it all when it came to educating our three young children.

Public schools here in St. John’s County were top-rated. That’s one of the reasons we picked this area when we decided to move south. But test-driven instruction via worksheets left our children bored and uninterested in learning. Large class sizes made for bully breeding grounds and questionable curriculum concerned us. Should our son really be spending weeks dividing and multiplying decimals? Of course not! He actually showed me an app that could do it instantly – if he ever does need it in real life! When covid hit and schools began infringing on personal freedoms, it was too much.

This led to us doing traditional homeschooling and co-ops and even unschooling. These offered a peaceful start to each day, freedom to travel, authentic learning, and above all, a beautiful time to bond with our children. It was eye-opening! We loved more family time, and it was a bonus to choose a wholesome curriculum. At the same time, we poured everything into our children, juggling teaching multiple ages and running to homeschool meetups, field trips, and events to give our kids opportunities to socialize with peers. Exhaustion set in, and our careers and self-care were lost in the shuffle. Balancing it all was a challenge!

At first, we questioned why we were unsatisfied with everything out there. Was something wrong with us? As parents, we only wanted what was best for our 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 full of trust and imagination. How could we honor this sacred time, instill a lifelong love of learning, and foster meaningful connections with peers and family?

I (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, I 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 my 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, we felt we were the perfect team for this mission!

We 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.

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And so, the idea of Free Kids Academy was born!

Right now, many things are happening simultaneously.

  1. We are working on renovating the current structures on the property so they are usable spaces. These additional costs come out of pocket because we didn’t anticipate fixing this area early on. If we are to get started as soon as possible, which we aim to do, it is a necessary piece. This includes gutting, rewiring, new windows and doors (larger in size than current ones), sheetrock, floors, plumbing, painting, and power washing the small building.
  2. We also removed the rotted walls and gutted the contents of the old barn on the property; now it is an open, covered pavilion. We will need to remove the old wiring, and lights and clean up the space.
  3. We will need basic landscaping to make the area safe and enjoyable.
  4. Kasper Architects informed us they are booked solid for the next few months, so if we proceed to phase 2, blueprints, we need another architect. We are meeting with some currently to find the best fit so we can move on to get blueprints.
  5. We are also exploring alternative structures for classrooms that would be amazing to incorporate, such as geodomes, yurts, or treehouses.

With all this, we are hopeful we can begin in the fall with a modified program open to a limited number of students that would mirror most of our complete program. We must have more clarification from our engineer and county to see if it is possible to build the infrastructure by Fall to make it go, such as driveways, bathrooms, and temporary parking. Trust me when I say we are just as eager as you to begin, especially as we are homeschooling our three kids now!

Many of you asked for ways you can help.

Here is what we currently could use support with now.

  1. If anyone has connections for sheet rocking, flooring, or plumbing where the work is professional and affordable, or someone is willing to donate their time, we can purchase the materials.
  2. Soon, we will need structures power washed. This will be an intense job where things must be scrubbed since some spider webs look “antique!”
  3. Donations are always appreciated. You can give by check or use the online platform we created. All donations will be used to prepare the school for year 1. Let us know if you, a family member, or a business you know or own have a specific piece you’d like to help cover. We have been blessed with a donation that covered the electrical, windows, and doors!

We thank you for your continued enthusiasm and patience as we manifest this beautiful vision. We have over 1,000 people watching our journey on Facebook!

It has been a roller coaster ride, and it’s far from over, but we know it will be worth all the energy and resources invested when our children are set free.
Free to learn, free to grow, free to authentically connect with others and nature, and free to naturally develop deeper into the divine beings they already are. It’s going to be incredible!

We appreciate your support in these early stages!

  • Here is how you can help:
  • Share our content on social media or tag friends that may be interested. Tell parents about our school and share how they can sign up for newsletters too!
  • Consider making a donation, any amount is a blessing. Share the donation site with others that may want to contribute. A donation is more than money, it’s giving your energy to the collective energy to consciously create this vision!

Stay tuned for updates on enrollment and details for next year!