Thank you for considering our school — as a parent myself I understand how challenging it is to choose other people to care for, nurture and educate your child. I helped found Patchwork first and foremost as a parent myself, wanting something for my children that I could not at first even describe. I knew what I did not want — I did not want them to dread going to school or to spend their days looking out windows dreaming of something else. I am now much more clear about what I do want — I want them to have the chance to learn through living life, obstacles and all. Patchwork has come so far since we began with just ten children in my basement. We have multiple programs, many staff members, and have worked with hundreds of families. However the goal is still the same — to never stop learning. If you are excited about supporting children as social and emotional beings, and thinking about learning in a whole new way, I urge you to come find out more, and share your ideas, as well!
Sincerely, Michele Beach
Executive Director & Founder
When we founded Patchwork, we were intentional about our desire to create real and meaningful community for the people who choose our school. It seems obvious that schools should be places that bring people together because this is where we see each other each day, where we hear about each other’s lives and where we care for each other. We have watched Patchwork grow into a hub where people gather to talk about important matters, feel supported in their growth as parents and individuals, ask hard questions and get to be heard. Be sure to check out our Programs page to find out about what we offer for children, and the Parents and Staff pages for more information about the adults in our community.
I love the workdays! I enjoy the work, it’s like a giant play date, parents connect – it’s great! I feel like the teachers care about me just as much as my children, I find it easy to connect with other like-minded Patchwork parents. Being at Patchwork has made me a better parent! I feel supported, my children feel supported. My children are very happy there.Kelly (parent, 2019)
What is school?
School is not preparation for life, but is life itself.
A place where every one of its coparticipants can discover and explore the full range or their own unique forms of specialness.
—Chris Mercogliano, The Albany Free School
A bond of interdependence that can give each subject the meaning of his or her presence and of the presence of others.
—Filippini, Reggio Emilia
We want to break down the walls between learning and living, so we work to build real community while advocating for children’s rights to be seen and heard. For instance, we have done various projects with local organizations, such as our raised garden beds built with the help of volunteers and Transition Louisville, our Halloween Parade for the elderly residents at local senior homes, and our collaboration with Louisville Middle School on reading projects. See our Community Partners page for more!
my good ideaElizabeth Baker, 2008
i have a good idea.
let’s play school.
but instead of you being the teacher and me being the student
let’s just have a conversation
and instead of desks
let’s have a round table, and a tree fort
and lots of pillows lying around on the floor
and instead of curriculum
let’s have bugs and plants and books and microscopes
with lots of jars holding strange little objects
like dragonfly wings and letters to mice and miniature trumpets
and instead of tests or grades
let’s have internal motivation
that lets us do things in life because we’re more interested in the process of doing
than we are in the analysis of the product
and instead of due dates and deadlines
let’s have time. lots of time.
time for climbing trees and singing songs and making cookies
time for being ourselves
and instead of authority let’s have community
we can see each other as people
no matter how old you are or how young i am
and instead of recess
let’s have the outdoors be a place
we go anytime, all day long
like the kitchen, or the living room or the grocery store or the post office
we just go outside and it’s a normal sort of thing to do
i have a good idea.