"Self-directed learning," "unschooling," and "interest-based learning," are foreign concepts to many people. At Pathfinder, we use these terms to describe a learning model which focuses on instilling children with an inherent desire to explore and learn. Better yet, we would like to see them not lose this desire in the first place, as many children do once they are enrolled in formal school.


Pathfinder members are encouraged to foster their understanding of themselves, their interests, goals and learning styles, as well as those of others. We achieve this in a way that does not involve coercion or punishment. Read below to understand more about how we implement this method in an everyday setting.

What Does Pathfinder Do?

 At Pathfinder Learning Center we believe that education blossoms best when it is centered on kids learning, rather than adults teaching.  We are committed to honoring children and teens as individuals, as well as respecting that they know what works best for them. This is a place for self-directed learning that is supported by adults.


 Our mission is to honor a child's sense of self and help them embrace their inherent ability to learn and grow.


 Pathfinder Learning Center does:


    • Respect kids’ knowledge of themselves
    • Foster independence
    • Support curiosity
    • Mentor
    • Help identify and support learners’ goals
    • Help with filing of home school plan
    • Offer classes
    • Offer tutoring
    • Offer resources
    • Support different learning styles and needs
    • Organize field trips
    • Help identify volunteer and internship opportunities
    • Assist with GED
    • Guide dual enrollment
    • Help with next steps - college, employment, travel, etc
    • Provide space for any mode of self directed learning, e.g., unschooling, independent online school, independently followed curriculum
    • Accept learners of all races, religions, identities, orientations
    • Keep a secular environment

What Doesn't Pathfinder Do?

 Pathfinder does not:


    • Teach a curriculum
    • Make rules about what kids may or may not pursue/learn/study/do
    • Tell learners what they “should” do
    • Let learners flounder (too much, that is - a little is OK)
    • “Police” learners
    • Grade anything

Who Is Pathfinder For?

 Pathfinder is perfect for:


    • Students for whom the school model does not work due to various reasons: boredom, anxiety, need for more creativity, learning differences, etc.
    • Students who wish to unschool but whose parents would like them to have guidance
    • Families who would like to home/unschool but feel unable due to both parents working or similar reasons
    • Students following an online curriculum who want a community and the option for enrichment classes
    • Any child/teen engaged in self-directed learning
    • Children/teens following their own curriculum who would like adult support
    • Independent home/unschoolers who want a workspace and community outside the home

If any of these descriptors apply to you or your child, Pathfinder may be a fit! Head over to our application page to apply, or contact us for more information.