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A Message From Our Founders

Why Lily Lake

Thank you for visiting our page and for your interest in Lily Lake.  Stewart and I created this as a passion project; to give our children a chance at a childhood that’s full of freedom, wonder, and curiosity in a world that too often makes them grow up too quickly.  

I have been a strong believer in self-directed education for most of my life.  It just made sense to me.  As I’ve gotten older, watched my own kids grow, and witnessed the rapid evolution of technology, I have further solidified my belief system around this concept.  Today, children have information at their fingertips and there’s less of a need to memorize facts and figures when that information can be accessed with a quick internet search.  Children need guides to show them how to find, analyze, and verify information, communicate and disagree effectively, and develop soft skills so they are prepared for a world that changes rapidly. These things are best learned in an environment with the flexibility to support what the child is already interested in.

Many of us agree that schools’ one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t meet the needs of many families, and we realize that our set-up won’t work for every child or family or even for the same child and family throughout the course of their educational years.  However, what I do believe is we must try new ideas, meet children where they are and adapt to a rapidly changing economy and society. We must provide a foundation for the next generation to thrive in a very different world.  I believe at the core of this is supporting families and keeping them together versus segregating children from adults for most of their waking hours. 

There is no doubt that Covid caused us all to look at our routines and question the ways that we live.  Not only on a personal level, but a re-evaluation of the work that we do, the people we interact with, the communities we build and the ways in which we educate our children.  Social isolation and loneliness were on the rise even before the pandemic.  While the technology that was used to bring us together during this time was crucial, we’ve also seen that no matter how good technology gets, there is intrinsic value in being together in person on a regular basis to build community and foster relationships, especially for children. While everyone’s experiences during the pandemic were different, the impact on our daily lives and the way we will live has been changed forever.

The pandemic shed light on just how wonderful most educators are and how much they care about the children they teach, but it also became glaringly obvious that the system itself is broken.  Children and parents deserve alternatives to today’s public, private, or religious education systems built on models of instruction that tend to lag technological advancement.  It’s time we disrupt that system.

Just as our society is focusing on regenerative agriculture, we need to emphasize regenerating our communities and rebuilding from the ground up with a focus on nurturing what builds healthier and more engaged citizens.  Not producing goods or making money, but being together, raising our children, and supporting one another.  And just like regenerative agriculture, we must focus on biodiversity - bringing people together of different backgrounds, cultures, religions, and belief systems.

Lily Lake will serve as this community space for all these things.  Its rich history and connection to the past, along with the beautiful rural setting, provides us the opportunity to begin again, regenerate, and rebuild our communities.  Families, especially families with children, need each other.  We need emotional support to help carry the mental load of today’s world and we need physical support – hugging, holding hands, sitting side by side – to make up for time lost to the pandemic.

We hope you will join us for this journey.


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