WHAT'S NEW: The Hub is expanding! We now have four micro-academy cohorts—two for tweens, and two for teens—as of early 2024, with a fifth one launching in September.
Our micro-academies belong in a totally different category than most online programs. They provide a consistent and empowering learning-community experience that emphasizes intellectual growth and "soft skills," as well as social connection. Activities, guest speakers and group projects are jointly chosen by the participants and facilitators. (Participants and parents explain what they get out of the experience in their own words, in our "What is a Micro-academy?" video.)
Essential Details (for cohorts already up and running as of 2023)
Ages and Times:
Micro-Academy for Ages 9 to 12—9:30a.m. to 1:30p.m. U.S. Eastern Time
Micro-Academy for Ages 13 to 16—9:30a.m. to 1:30 U.S. Eastern Time
Days: Tuesdays and Thursdays (scroll down to see a breakdown of the day)
Enrollment: Terms run from mid-September to mid-December, and from January through May (with a week's break in April). Exact start and end dates, tuition amounts, and the application process are described here. We have rolling admissions; the tween cohort still has spaces available, but the teen cohort is full this term. Please check the open house "mini sample session" schedule or contact us to schedule an individual get-acquainted meeting with a facilitator if you're interested in joining the tween cohort now, or either cohort in the fall, and/or see below for other cohort options.
Essential Details (for new cohorts that launched in early 2024)
New cohort for tweens in Australasia and the greater Pacific region (launching in Feb.):
Ages: 9 to 12
Days and Times: 9a.m. to 1p.m. Australian ET on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Scroll down to see a breakdown of the day.
Enrollment: Semesters run from February through June (with a two-week break in April), and from mid August through November (with a two-week break in September/October). Exact dates, tuition and enrollment info can be found here. We have rolling admissions. Your child can get a taste of the program at our next open house "sample mini-session" (coming up in March; when scheduled, it will be posted on the Events page), or else you can go ahead and request a 1:1 meeting with a facilitator via the contact form.
New cohort for teens in American time zones and beyond (launched in Jan.):
Ages: 13 to 16 (also open to mature 12-year-olds)
Days and Times: Mondays and Wednesdays, from 9:30a.m. to 1:30p.m. U.S. Pacific Time (12:30 to 4:30p.m. U.S. Eastern Time). Scroll down to see a breakdown of the day.
Enrollment: Terms run from January through May (with a week's break in April), and from mid September to mid December. Exact dates, tuition and enrollment info can be found here. We have rolling admissions. Your child can get a sense of the program first via an open house "mini sample session" or an individual get-acquainted meeting with a facilitator (which can be requested via the contact form).
Essential Details (for new cohorts launching in late 2024)
New cohort for teens in Europe and beyond (launching in Sept.):
Ages: 13 to 16 (also open to mature 12-year-olds)
Days and Times: 9:30a.m. to 1:30p.m. Greenwich Mean Time on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Scroll down to see a breakdown of the day.
Enrollment: Terms will run from September to December, and from January to May (with a one-week break). Exact dates, tuition and enrollment info can be found here. If intereted, we welcome you to attend an open house "sample mini session", or request an individual get-acquainted meeting with a facilitator via the contact form.
Additional Program Details (for all cohorts)
The emphasis is on interdisciplinary learning about the world and one's place in it (spanning subjects such as history, cultural anthropology, economics, geography, sociology, psychology, literature, civics, science, engineering, and math) plus the development of key personal and inter-personal life skills, such as the “5 Cs” (critical thinking and problem solving; communication; collaboration; creativity and innovation; and citizenship). This is accomplished via longer-term group projects and shorter activities, which can take the form of discussions, games, collaborative creations, quizzes, workshops, presentations, guest speakers, and field trips (e.g., a guided walk through a historic French town or a tour of a marine sanctuary in Belize).
Cohorts age up with the participants each year. Admissions are capped when a cohort feels full (the maximum is generally expected to be 8 to 10 young people per group, with two facilitators once the size exceeds five). Facilitators actively participate in activities, bringing their different life experiences, perspectives, interests, ideas and personalities to the table, and modeling intellectual curiosity, learning, and conversation. Cohorts that run concurrently can mingle during some shared break-out sessions; cohorts that meet on different days/times have opportunities to collaborate asynchronously (and all members of The Hub can interact on our private communications platform).
The participants are given a lot of agency to shape the program and decide their roles on group projects, according to their strengths and interests, as well as skills they're working on developing. With agency comes responsibility, so they're expected to engage and play an active role. The cohort functions like a team, so an intentional, supportive culture is a key priority, and connection is woven into the format. Participants also hold each other accountable for following through on their commitments to the group.
To find out more about how everything comes together in our programs and sessions, you can read "The Full Story of The Hub," check out our FAQs, and/or listen to one of our information session recordings here.
What Happens Outside the Micro-Academy Hours?
Participants can do more specialized studies (using whatever approach, format, and schedule suits them best), or recreational or family activities. The sky's the limit! (The Resources page includes lists of ideas that can serve as a starting point.) Overwhelmed with options? We can help you cut through the clutter via The Hub's wraparound services.
The participants can also continue interacting with each other outside micro-academy hours, via The Hub's private social network.
How Can I Gauge If It's a Good Fit for My Child?
Interested tweens (ages 9 to 12) can join us for a complementary open house mini-session; please check the events page for schedule and registration instructions. Interested teens can meet one on one with a facilitator to gauge fit.
Can't Find an Option That Works for You?
We will be adding a teen cohort optimized for European time zones in fall 2024; more details coming soon. Also, we love feedback! If you vibe with the concept, but something about it doesn't quite work for you, drop us a short (or long, if you prefer) note via the contact form, and let us know what you'd like to see in the future. We'll take that into consideration as we make plans to expand our offerings.
This is the starting point for the micro-academy's daily flow; details are adjusted as needed. Some periods feature a choice of break-out rooms, each focusing on different things. Sessions are longer than many other online programs, but participants and facilitators always mention that the time flies by (a feature of the productive and enjoyable "flow state," most famously described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi).
(Hour 0 = Micro-academy start time.)
Hour 0 – Hour 00:45: Setting the foundation
Hour 00:45 – Hour 1:00: Break
Hour 01:00 – Hour 02:00: Purposeful activities
Hour 02:00 – Hour 02:15: Break
Hour 02:15 – Hour 03:00: Project work
Hour 03:00 – Hour 03:15: Break
Hour 03:15 – Hour 04:00: Wrapping up, with a "working lunch," if desired (individual meal times will vary, so this is just a placeholder in this sample framework)
(Younger cohorts: The program ends here.)
(Older cohorts: The more formal part of the program ends here too. Participants in established cohorts may be given the option to stay longer in the Zoom room for unfacilitated socializing, at the facilitators' discretion.)
The "What is a Micro-academy?" video features parents' and participants' views of the program.
A sampling of the other feedback that has been shared with us over the years:
"[My daughter] loves being part of The Hub. I already see some effects: she is much more assertive and willing to have discussions on deep topics. She is super motivated and wakes up at 6 am to be able to join." — Parent
"[My son] is really enjoying The Hub!! I was worried it would be too much sitting for him, but he is super engaged." — Parent
"The facilitators have found the 'secret sauce.'" — Parent
"It’s so much more than I expected. My children have been able to engage in important, grown-up conversations, and their perspectives have been given weight and have been considered important. They continue to talk about these things and look for applications of them throughout the day. … I think about what different experiences they'll have as adults because of internalizing these experiences, and having opportunities to be leaders at these early ages.” — Parent
"The kids couldn't stop talking about class today. They thoroughly enjoyed their time with you." — Parent
"So fun to hear them laughing and learning!!" — Parent
The facilitators have "created digital joy, which is very hard to find." — Parent
The facilitators "are so amazing with the kids. [My son] really enjoys The Hub. ... He is engaged and participating. ... I have heard him contribute many thoughts, ideas and opinions." — Parent
"I can't wait until The Hub's spring term starts." — Participant (during winter break)
"I feel like I'm making connections at The Hub that I've never made in any other way." — Participant
"By the end of the first term, it started to feel like a family." — Participant
Micro-academy enrollment comes with membership in The Hub. As members of The Hub, enrolled participants and their parents also have access to the following:
Hub members have access to private online social lounges where they can come and go and interact with each other at any time.
Parents can request up to one complementary consulting session per term, in which we can help them strategize around curating an individualized learning pathway, and documenting learning (if needed in order to meet either personal or formal requirements). (For more in-depth and personalized guidance along these lines, members have access to additional wraparound services.)
Priority Registration and Discounted Tuition for The Hub's À-La-Carte Programming
Hub members receive advance notice of à-la-carte programming, before registrations are opened to the general public. These other programs also offer discounted tuition to members.
Like our programs, The Hub as a whole will continue to evolve as additional requests and opportunities emerge. Get in touch if you would like to be added to a mailing list to find out more details as they are officially announced for upcoming years.
The Hub’s new nano-academy offers tweens and teens a more casual alternative to the micro-academy experience. Participants come together with a creative and highly experienced facilitator (with a background in philosophy, art, music and film-making) for several hours a week to engage in interactive, creative and mentally stimulating activities that they themselves have a hand in selecting.
Examples of activities that may appear on the menu include puzzles; games (e.g., the GeoGuessr geography guessing game); creative exercises (e.g., collaborative short-story writing); explorations (e.g., the Wiki Hunt research challenge); and discussions. Through such activities, participants can expand their horizons, practice “soft skills” (e.g., critical thinking, communication and collaboration), connect with similar-aged children, and have fun.
Each session is a standalone experience. Participants can also communicate between sessions, on The Hub’s private communications platform. This program is suitable for anyone who wants a shorter group experience, including those who might be new to homeschooling and are looking to rekindle their love of learning in a way that engages them.
To get a feel for the vibe you can expect, check out our short video, “What is a Nano-academy?” Interested adolescents are also welcome to visit a session for an hour to gauge the fit; see "Enrollment" heading below.
Ages: 9/10 to 16
Time [please note new, updated time]: The full program runs from 9a.m. to 1p.m. U.S. Eastern Time (2p.m. to 6p.m. Greenwich Mean Time), with scheduled breaks. The format is flexible, so participants can leave at any point that suits their schedule. They're also welcome to eat as needed during the session.
Dates: The first term runs from January 10 through May 22, 2024 (participants can enroll for the full term or a pro-rated portion of it, or else for four-session blocks that they can commence at any time)
Facilitator: Aimee Bobruk
Enrollment: Contact us to express interest in either sampling the program for an hour to gauge fit, or enrolling. If enrolling, note your child's age, and the preferred enrollment option and start date (at least one week in advance of the start date). We will let you know, probably on the same day, if spaces are available, and, if so, send you a registration link. After that's filled out and payment is received, you're on board!
We love feedback! If you vibe with this concept, but something about it doesn't quite work for you, drop us a short (or long, if you prefer) note via the contact form, and let us know what you'd like to see in the next iteration. We'll take that into consideration as we make plans to refine and expand our offerings.
Examples of other à-la-carte options that could be offered in the future:
If you'd like to request something specific and/or get on the mailing list, please fill out the contact form.
Wraparound Services for Members of The Hub:
We can assist members (families whose children are enrolled in The Hub's micro-academy) to figure out how to get started with independent learning, how to create an interest-based learning pathway, and how to document learning and prepare portfolios; up to one complementary consulting session is available each term. For additional or ongoing support, we can refer members to a consultant within our network of affiliates.
Wraparound Services for People Enrolled in The Hub's À-la-Carte Programming, and Members of the General Public:
Please contact us if you'd like to be referred to a consultant within our network.