Updated 2022-07-09

Shine Learning Center

Children at Shine, an SDE learning community, are free to be the leaders of their own adventure, exploring a vast range of possibilities. Facilitators, specialists, and learners can offer inspiration, classes, projects, and skills.
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Sebastopol, CA 
United States


We are offering our property in downtown Sebastopol, CA, Southern Pomo Territory, for Shine to begin. We live on 1.5 acres with coastal oaks and fruit trees. We are in the process of creating both indoor and outdoor spaces where a variety of activities can occur. We are planning to run Shine 2 days a week, Monday and Wednesday from 9:30-3:30. This allows families who are more comfortable with more of an unschooling approach to attend as well as more traditional homeschooling families to attend and use Shine as an enrichment. See our website for more information.

SDE Optimizing Conditions

ASDE surveys all SDE communities/programs about how they provide, enhance, or align with each of the Six Optimizing Conditions for young people to succeed in SDE.  Survey answers:
  1. Responsibility – In self directed learning, we call the adults holding the space facilitators instead of teachers. The emphasis is on the child as the leader of their education.
  2. Youth Autonomy – The field of exploration and study arise out of their own interests, gifts, and play. Motivation is a byproduct because we are a naturally inquisitive species.
  3. Access to Tools and Technology – Kids have the freedom to opt into or out of offerings as they choose. Learners are also welcome to host offerings and explore, play, and experiment with the materials in the space.
  4. Adult Allies – Facilitators support learners by helping them to clarify their intentions, find the resources they need, reflect on their decisions, engage with the community, and share what they have learned with others.
  5. Free Age Mixing – Learners are broken into age segregated groups (age 5-7/8) and (7/8 and older) for the start and end of the day meetings. During the rest of the day, age mixing is encouraged. Age mixing is seen as beneficial to both older and younger learners.
  6. Community – In the spirit of trust, facilitators also commit to being in their own deschooling process. This involves reexamining their own ideas about childhood and education.

If any information about this resource is out of date, please let us know.