The Children’s Community
We are a mixed-age, self-directed education community practicing autonomy, consent, and connection. Young people ages 5-18 unschooling together on a farm and in the forest.
Sarah Wallus Hancock founder
Mae Lynn Drive
Fenton, MO 63026
Fenton, MO 63026
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:
- Responsibility – We use some agile tools here, and young people host offerings throughout the week (as do some adult facilitators and occasionally folks from the broader community) and we all opt in or out. Nothing is compulsory.
- Youth Autonomy – Young people here spend a good deal of time away from adult facilitators. Because we're situated on a large swath of land we have some community-generated agreements designed to keep folks safe, but young people are always free to play and explore.
- Access to Tools and Technology – We have a makerspace area full of loose parts, objects for tinkering, glue guns, saws, etc., a hobby farm, gardens, forest, adventure playground, library, & a few computers, all of which the young people negotiate how to use as community resources.
- Adult Allies – We have four adult learning facilitators here that serve as sounding boards and offer support, materials, tools, and resources as needed (with consent and based on a relationship grounded in trust). We do not perform any evaluations of any kind.
- Free Age Mixing – We have young people here from age five to almost 14 and an intergenerational team of adult facilitators. Everyone freely mixes socially - we all spend time with one another as we choose, and enjoy each other's company.
- Community – We use consent-based decision making for everything. We spend a good amount of time supporting young people navigating healthy social conflict and navigating the push-pull between meeting individual needs while prioritizing community health.
If any information about this resource is out of date, please let us know.