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Cupola Academy’s Partnership Education Helps Homeschoolers Thrive

Interested in homeschooling, but don't know where to begin? Learn how Partnership Education with Cupola Academy supported one family on their homeschooling journey.

Becoming a Homeschooling Family

Corinne and Jon G. started their young son in a traditional, five day-a-week private school. By the time he reached first grade however, they realized it wasn’t the right fit for their family. They wanted more time together and more flexibility around their schedule. Also on their wishlist was more physical activity and outdoor-time for their son—and their daughter, who would soon be starting school as well.

So the couple began exploring other educational possibilities. Homeschooling checked all the boxes, but it was a daunting idea at first. Says Jon, “The invisible hurdle of shifting our mindset to even entertain homeschooling as an option was huge.” While homeschooling seemed to offer many benefits for their family, the approach seemed overwhelming. They wondered, “How do we ensure our children are being challenged? How do we know that they’re getting enough content? Will they have opportunities for social interactions?”

Little by little, they began to open themselves up to the possibility of homeschooling. They discovered that there were groups and organizations to help guide homeschooling families and provide a community experience, which was so important to Corinne and Jon.

Photo courtesy of Perfectly Paired Photography.

Partnering with Cupola Academy

Eventually their journey led them to Cupola Academy, a secular, nonprofit educational organization that provides a supportive, community-base for families seeking a Partnership Education model. Cupola Academy offers programs for youth ages 4-18 two days a week, while helping families design and implement meaningful learning opportunities the days they are not attending Cupola Academy. This “Partnership Education” approach means homeschooling parents don’t have to reimagine their child’s education all alone. 

Says Corinne, “Cupola Academy has been invaluable in helping us navigate the hurdles of homeschooling. We would have never made this leap without their support!”


A Hybrid Approach

Rather than a traditional 5-day-a-week school or a completely independent, school-at-home model, Cupola Academy offers families a hybrid approach. With this hybrid approach to homeschooling, students attend Cupola Academy two days a week. While on campus, they are challenged through immersive, hands-on learning with other students. Additionally CA is a secular program and places strong emphasis on applied academics in a collaborative environment. 

Says Cupola Academy founder, Julia Bergson-Shilcock. “CA offers youth the benefits that a school can provide—a campus, group learning experiences, and exposure to academic content.” Additionally, Cupola Academy “utilizes the benefits of homeschooling,” which are the flexibility of a part-time program and content that is tailored to the student’s interests. 

This unique hybrid approach to education provides some weekly structure for homeschoolers. Yet at the same time it still allows the family freedom to view the world as their classroom. And it gives families time for things like long weekends of travel. What’s more, it encourages students to become self-directed learners and empowers families to reimagine what learning can look like. With Cupola Academy, families have the support and guidance of an organization with 45+ years of experience creating meaningful, rich, and innovative learning journeys.

“CA helps to ground us by adding structure to our weeks. It connects us with resources and helps us clarify our own educational goals,” says Corinne. Through this journey with CA as our partner, we have found an amazing educational path that we didn’t even know existed. And we continue to cultivate a deeper appreciation for being life-long learners.”


A Unique Educational Path

Working in partnership with Cupola Academy, Corinne and Jon created a unique educational path for their son and daughter. Twice a week, their children attend a full day program at Cupola Academy’s Riverbend campus in Gladwyne, which is a collaborative, resource-rich group learning experience. On the other three days of the week, the family is free to pursue the curriculum of their choice on a schedule that works best for them. 

Corinne says that their son and daughter especially “value the freedom that comes with this approach.” They can learn at their own pace. And they have the time to explore their own interests, like taking classes in design and architecture. Additionally, the flexibility allows their teenage son to take college classes as a dual-enrolled student at their local community college. When her children are at CA, she says they appreciate “connecting with nature, having a community, and participating in hands-on, active learning.”

Nowadays, Corinne and Jon can’t imagine not homeschooling! Says Jon, “This partnership education path helps us to have a more healthy and happy family relationship. It fuels our family’s excitement for travel and learning new things. Plus, it’s gives our young people opportunities to be self-directed, courageous, and confident.”  


If you’re interested in learning more about whether Partnership Education might be a fit for your family, Cupola Academy is offering a free educational consultation to all Main Line Parent families. Email info@cupolaacademy.org to request your free educational consultation.

This sponsored story for the Main Line Parent Community was written by Beth Gilbert-Crowell.

Become the co-pilot of your education. Don’t be bound by the constraints of traditional school, or the isolation of school at home. Take ownership and join the Cupola Academy community.