Customized Learning + Community, For Life

Customized Learning + Community, For Life

Customized Learning + Community, For LifeCustomized Learning + Community, For LifeCustomized Learning + Community, For Life

Creating a co-learning/co-working community for all ages


The Hub's vision is to offer a mix-and-match menu of educational programming for all ages (from children through retirees), plus co-working and community spaces. Members will be empowered and supported to follow personalized learning pathways that build on their strengths, make them feel alive, and propel them toward their goals, while benefitting from the synergies and efficiencies that come from combining ages and functions in one space.

It will be rolled out in two phases, starting with a streamlined hub (catering to ages 6 to 13) launching in fall 2020 in NW Washington, DC. 

The roll-out plan


Programming and space catering to ages 6 to 13:

Mondays - Thursdays 

(9am to 3pm, with extended hours available on request)

  • Full-day drop-off micro-academies for ages 6 to 8 and 9 to 13, powered by the Prenda framework (personalized, mastery-based core-skills development; individual and group projects; and field trips). The core-skills portion of the day will last from 9:30 to 11:30 (for ages 6 to 8) and from 9:30 to noon (for ages 9 to 13), with a break. Self-paced, Common-Core-aligned online curricula (with a dashboard that tracks progress and mastery levels) will be made available for the core skills work, but families are also welcome to substitute any other online or offline curricula of their choice, or independent studies. The rest of the day will be used for inter-disciplinary project work and field trips that will be informed by students' interests. Facilitators will serve as "guides by the side," meeting each child where they are, and empowering them to develop the skills and techniques needed to progress from posing questions and encountering challenges to developing understanding. Part-time enrollment (Monday and Tuesday, or Wednesday and Thursday) is also available. 


(9am to 3pm, with extended hours available on request)

  • Drop-off à-la-carte classes (ages 9 to 13) exploring math, science, humanities, theater and music topics.
  • A supervised, self-directed space (ages 6 to 18), which can be used before, between, after, or instead of the classes. Some books, arts/crafts materials and games will be provided, but everyone is also welcome to bring and use their own materials and devices, as long as they're not interfering with anyone else's reasonable use of the space.

The location for fall 2020 is in the process of being finalized. More details, including information about tuition and the application process, will be forthcoming once the location is set. You can also get a sense of what The Hub will be like, and meet some of the facilitators and instructors, at the free community day on May 9 (register here).

Students must be officially registered as independent learners (a.k.a. homeschoolers). We can provide samples of portfolios of the sort that have been successfully used by independent learners in the District of Columbia and Maryland, and can direct you to resources in Virginia as well. If you are new to independent learning and/or want additional support at any time, we would be happy to connect you with experienced third-party consultants who can advise about curricula, transcripts (for the high-school years), college planning, and many other things.


Programming, spaces, and services to support an all-ages 

co-learning/co-working community

  • Micro-academies for ages 3-5, 6-8, 9-13, and teens
  • À-la-carte classes/programs for all ages
  • Self-directed spaces (supervised for younger ages)
  • Studios, labs and specialized rooms (makerspace; arts, crafts and music rooms; computer rooms; science lab)
  • Physical-movement facilities
  • Co-working spaces
  • Community spaces (communal kitchen & dining area, auditorium, etc.)


 Open-source toolkits will be made available for three different hub designs—basic, streamlined, and comprehensive—that other people can adapt to fit their local contexts. Training and coaching programs will also be made available for founders and team members.

The team


Luba Vangelova (Education writer, entrepreneur, and co-founder of pioneering, mixed-ages co-learning groups)


  • Dr. Yong Zhao (professor of education at the University of Kansas, and author of several books, including “Reach for Greatness: Personalizable Education for All Children”) 
  • Dr. Lindsay Portnoy (cognitive scientist at Northeastern University, education-games entrepreneur, and author of “Designed to Learn: Using Design Thinking to Bring Purpose and Passion to the Classroom”)  
  • Cath Fraise (founder of Workspace Education and the International Association of Colearning Communities) 
  • Dr. Maria Droujkova (math curriculum developer, math education consultant, author, and founder of Natural Math) 
  • Peter Bergson (founder of Open Connections and the Natural Creativity Center, former teacher and corporate facilitator) 


 A top-notch team of instructors and facilitators is being assembled. We will also continue to tap into the collective wisdom and resources of a wide network of partners, affiliates, and supporters. You can meet some of them at our free community day on May 9 (register here).

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