With this innovative program, we know there are many new things to consider. Below we've provided some of our more regularly asked questions for you to gain a better understanding of how the Columbus Learning Cooperative can meet the needs of your family as an alternative to school.

If you still have questions or just prefer learning things in person, make sure to
contact us and we can answer your questions.


Questions About Our Alternative To School


Is my child old enough to join? What age is too old?

Children who are 10 years of age by September 1st may enroll for membership. Young adults who are 19 years of age or older on September 1st have aged out of our program.

Is the Columbus Learning Cooperative a state accredited school?

No. For far too long, politicians have been dictating public education policies while excluding teachers, parents, and children from the decision making process. Therefore, the CLC is officially a homeschool resource center. This is what allows us to legally provide the best possible education to our members. Members are required to register as homeschoolers and we will help you with this process.

How does homeschool assessment work?

Once a year our students will each submit a portfolio to our state-certified teacher so that they may demonstrate growth. The teacher then will notify the state that your family is in compliance with local laws. We fully support your family through yearly notification of your intent to homeschool, submitting an intended curriculum and building a portfolio. 

Does the Columbus Learning Cooperative adequately prepare students for college?

Yes. In fact, many colleges and universities prefer students with unique educational experiences and backgrounds. This is especially true for Ivy League or other top tier universities because they receive endless routine applications from students with a "4.0 and 2 extra-curricular hobbies". At the CLC, we help our member students to create dynamic and uniquely impressive portfolios for both college and job applications. We also offer ACT/SAT prep, assistance with the application process, and networking with colleges. Many homeschool students go on to traditional colleges and are just as successful (if not more-so) than their traditionally schooled peers. Basically, we are supercharging the ability of our members to achieve whatever their long-term goals may be.

The Columbus Learning Cooperative seems like a great alternative, but will my child be prepared for more traditional education settings and the rigorous challenges of college?

Actually, CLC alumni will be far better prepared! For many, college is the first time people are given the freedom to make their own educational choices. Students coming from the traditional model have just spent the last twelve years of their life getting burned out on the  factory-style educational setting. It comes as no surprise then that freshman year is often filled with frustration, skipped classes, and switching majors.

At the CLC, we prepare our members to become masters of their own education. For many, they'll enter college already knowing what they want to study, already knowing how to balance hard work with fun, and they'll be more invigorated than ever to be in a formal and rigorous educational setting.

My child has grown used to adults telling him/her what to do. I fear that in such a self-directed learning environment he/she wouldn't know what to do. How would the Columbus Learning Cooperative handle this?

While the CLC is certainly a haven for the already self-directed child, it is also a nurturing environment for children not so naturally inclined in self direction. Member students are not alone; they will be able to learn and improve the art of self-direction with the support and guidance of both peers and staff. Far too many people enter the adult world without the ability to make decisions for themselves because they lack both the tools and the self-confidence to explore life's many options. We want to insure that all members of the CLC will be prepared for anything that life might throw at them.

The non-compulsory nature of the Columbus Learning Cooperative sounds great in theory, but in life there are many things that need doing that people don't necessarily want to do. Isn't that an important skill to learn?

Of course! Towards this end, the CLC will work to teach its members how to tackle unpopular tasks with an understanding of why these are necessary, versus simply commanding blind obedience. Underlying lessons like this are what carry on into adulthood and help develop characteristics like discipline and work ethic.

Does the Columbus Learning Cooperative subscribe to any religion or theology?

The CLC is a secular homeschooling cooperative so we do not support any religion or faith in particular. We are an inclusive space and welcome people of all faiths (or lack thereof) to learn with us. We focus on teaching empathy and understanding and have resources available for students to learn about many of the world's belief systems.

What classes does the Columbus Learning Cooperative offer?

At the start of each quarter, our faculty pitch class ideas to all the members. Afterwards, students and families deliberate with mentors and friends and sign up for their favorite classes. At the end of this organic process, classes that generate the most interest are scheduled by staff for the rest of the quarter. Some classes will repeat from quarter to quarter, while others will be created based on the unique interest of the current CLC members and will run only once.

How can I support my child in their learning goals?

The best way to raise a child who is a self-directed, life-long learner is to be one yourself! Kids learn by mimicking what the adults they care about are doing. Therefore, we want to help parents become excited about learning again as well. To that end, we will be offering night classes to parents who want to continue their own learning. Perhaps you had a frustrating or negative experience in math when you were in school? We can help you overcome that phobia and learn to appreciate math in a way that invigorates your whole family.

How do I become a member? 

Check out this infographic:

alternative_school_apply_columbus.jpeg

Have a question that you don't see here?

You can either set up a face-to-face meeting with one of our staff by emailing us at columbus@learning.coop or calling us at (614) 943-3252.


A Student's Day In The Life


8:00am: Your alarm goes off. Thanks to the CLC's later start time, you're actually able to get the full-nights sleep your body and mind need

8:30am: You walk to a nearby location to wait with your friends to be picked up and brought to the CLC's campus. Sometimes you go in earlier and just hang out, but nothing officially starts until after nine in the morning.

9:00am: It's time for morning check-in. You meet with your mentor and the eleven or so other kids and teens that she/he guides. The check-in serves to form a core group, mindfully start your day, and it only lasts about thirty minutes. After check-in, you excitedly tackle the personal project you've been working on for the past two weeks. It will be part of your portfolio and you'll have a chance to share it with the rest of the CLC community at end of year.

10:30am: You have your first class of the day. Calculus sounded really interesting and your mentor confirmed that you were ready even though you're only twelve years old.

12:00pm: Lunch time! You've packed your lunch and you may choose to eat it whenever you are hungry. In the kitchen, you finish the meal prepping that you did at home and decide to eat lunch while watching a few Youtube videos with other members.

12:30: Some of your friends are throwing a frisbee in the green space right outside the building. You join them until you get tired, then you practice your juggling for a bit.

2:00pm: Time for your second class of the day. You've been learning to play the trumpet so you go to the music practice room to meet your instructor.

3:00pm: It's time to head to the internship that the CLC helped you set up. You go there every weekday at the same time and the office personnel really seem to value the significant time and effort you've made. The CEO has even promised to write you a letter of recommendation for college applications when the time comes.

5:00pm: Family time! Since joining the CLC there has been no fighting about homework or grades. Instead, life with your family has become a celebration of your growing success as a learner. You are communicating and connecting more deeply and you have a lot less stress to make you grumpy or irritable.

8:00pm: You're a fan of video games so you kick back to have some fun. While playing, you get a really good idea. You pick up the computer that the CLC provided and add some code to your personal website.

10:00pm: You change over to reading a book because last quarter you took a class called "Hacking Your Life" and learned that blue light before bed disrupts sleep.

10:30pm: You've had a full day and drift off to sleep with ease.