ELF was created out of a desire to give children a voice in their learning community and to be a resource to parents, particularly those on a journey of unconventional education, such as home-schooling. We work with an emergent learning model and use a consensus-based decision making process. Daily meetings with kids and cohort-style communication with families help us figure out where the interests in the group overlap, make plans, and share feedback.
ELF was also designed to support families by organizing a consistent inquiry group for the kids to explore learning as a team. Our hope is to create a group where kids feel welcome and enjoy lasting relationships with peers and their families. Many families on a path of unconventional education desire more social opportunities with like-minded families, and want their children to participate in a variety of learning experiences. Trying to find opportunities for all these things and scheduling them can be a daunting task.
At ELF we work with the kids to figure out what they are interested in. Then we put a calendar together that supports and expands those interests with fun experiences. We also plan Field Trips to museums, cultural events, parks, forests, and other places of interest in Oakland and Berkeley. This Spring, for example, we participated in the MLK day march in Oakland, learning about and living Dr. King's legacy of social justice in the process. One of our most consistent home bases is the Gill Tract Farm in Albany. Check out the FAQs for more info.