Leonardo:

A Homeschool Enrichment program

 
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We help kids become hungry: to fall in love with science, math, history, engineering, music, poetry, storytelling, writing, drawing, and cooking.

The world is fascinating, and kids can dive deep into it. 

Leonardo is a tiny Monday/Wednesday program for kids ages 6, 7, and 8. We meet full-day (from 9am–2:30pm), and are located in Kirkland, Washington.

 

Who are we?

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Kristin Hendrickson grew up on a farm. She's a Montessori-trained teacher whose brings a patient seriousness to her students. In high school she was a valedictorian; in college she was a National Merit Scholar and an English major. She's the mother of two rambunctious kids, and sews, mends, repairs home fixtures, and cooks a mean Thai chicken curry.

Brandon Hendrickson gets super-excited about whatever he teaches. He's taught philosophy, economics, history, religion, science, writing, and math with the Seattle homeschooling community for nearly a decade. He was also a National Merit Scholar, and majored in history, going on to get a master's in educational leadership at UW. He and Kristin met at the Barrett Honors College in Arizona, where they married and decided to open a school.

Our mission is to help kids become interested in nearly everything, to build real mastery, and to craft lives of purpose.

Everyone can become a polymath. Everyone can become a Renaissance person.


A day in Leonardo

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We fill the day with as much richness and challenge as we can.

Our kids enter and start with a drawing/painting activity. After everyone arrives, we move to a group reading of Calvin & Hobbes, the recitation of our weekly Shel Silverstein poem, and the grokking of our weekly song (be it folk, classical, or Led Zeppelin). 

The kids then cook lunch together. Our menu varies each week, but typically involves loaves of delicious artisan bread, and a soup.

While the bread is baking, Brandon gives an in-depth science lesson. The science topic of the first quarter was bacteria; for the second quarter, the kids have requested teeth. We embrace complexity, doing a hands-on, brains-on exploration to find the weirdness hidden in ordinary things. Our lessons bring together evolutionary biology, chemistry, and the stories of the people who first figured this out.

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After some brief yoga, our kids do an hour of focused independent work:

  • Math is taught with JUMP Math. It's grounded in the belief that everyone can fully understand (and love!) the whole K–12 math curriculum.
  • Writing is taught with Brave Writer. It, too, holds that everyone can develop mastery in writing.
  • Our hands-on science activities rotate by week, but have included clay circuits, a photo microscope, and close observation of natural phenomena.
  • Our drawing exercises vary by week, but are based in Mona Brookes' Drawing with Children. 

We then set the table, and eat lunch together. Lunch is a joyous affair. It begins with everyone sharing something they're thankful for; it moves to a in-depth discussion about something we've already learned. (Lately the conversation has been about the elements of a great story.) 

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After they clean up the table, we go outside and tinker. The kids invent games, and devise structures out of all sorts of materials. Sometimes we do some messy science experiments.

Semi-exhausted, we head back inside, where Kristin tells a history story. Our focus, this year, is the ancient world. Coming up soon are stories of the Buddha, Confucius, and Alexander the Great. 

We have another hour of independent work: 

  • Kristin gives 1-on-1 reading lessons to those kids who are still learning to read.
  • To those kids who know how to read, Kristin gives exciting lessons in sentence diagramming. 
  • The kids play math games (such as Tiny Polka Dot, by our friends at Math for Love).

After another short break for outdoor tinkering, the kids participate in a book tasting — a quick browse through some book on a topic they might find interesting. 

Finally, we repeat the poem of the day and song of the day, and finish the drawing/painting exercise the kids began at the drop-off.


Nuts-and-bolts info

+ Our 2017–18 schedule

Leonardo meets Mondays & Wednesdays.

  • First Quarter: September 6 – November 1
  • Second Quarter: November 6 – January 31
  • Third Quarter: February 5 – April 4
  • Fourth Quarter: April 16 – June 20

+ Holidays

  • November 10 (Veteran's Day)
  • November 23–24 (Thanksgiving)
  • December 18–January 2 (Holidays break)
  • January 15 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
  • February 19 (Presidents' Day)
  • April 9–13 (Spring break)
  • May 28 (Memorial Day)

+ Times

Mondays and Wednesdays:

  • 9am–2:30pm.

We're proud to partner with Camp Roots on Fridays, for an optional outdoor school day:

  • 10am–3pm

+ Locations

  • Leonardo (Mondays and Wednesdays) in an apartment in Kirkland.
  • Camp Roots (Fridays) meets at St. Edward Park.

+ Costs

  • $1250 a quarter
  • Tuition for our partnership Friday program with Camp Roots is not included.

Open House

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We do occasional 1-hour open houses for any interested families. We're doing a few at the opening of this new quarter:

  • Thursday, November 9: 1–2pm

If you'd like to attend an open house, please send an email to theleonardoschool@gmail.com, with the subject line Open House

If you'd like to find out more about what we're doing, but can't make either of those dates, we'd love to find a time to talk with you! Please send an email to theleonardoschool@gmail.com, and we'll be in touch.