Prenda is challenging norms about what education should look like in Arizona and across the country. It’s a completely new take on school. Children become empowered learners and co-creators of their education in a smaller educational setting, called a microschool. Parents and community members around the country are becoming learning guides and leading microschools of five to ten kids in homes, libraries, and other community spaces. Prenda provides all the training, curriculum, and support to set up new guides for success.
All the amazing things taking place in Prenda Microschools start with these incredible guides who take a leap into unknown territory — daring greatly to create environments in which their students develop a true love of learning and thrive.
Laura is one of those guides. As a mom of three girls, Laura had a big decision to make when the pandemic hit in the spring of 2020. She was deeply frustrated when her children’s schools closed and did not provide any at-home learning materials or lessons.
As weeks went by and this persisted, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Without any prior experience as an educator, she began formulating lessons and creating a schedule so her girls could learn at home.
On one fateful day, she came across a Facebook post about Prenda. After going to Prenda’s website, Laura was excited to learn more. As a self-proclaimed research buff, she found out everything there was to know about the microschool model and decided this was it — she was going to apply to become a guide.
Laura was also in school at the time, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family Studies. This had been a goal of hers for some time. Still, Laura thought to herself, “My education can wait, but my kids’ education can’t. They’re never going to get this year back.”
“My education can wait, but my kids’ education cannot. They’re never going to get this year back.”
After completing the application process and training, Laura recruited other students and hit the ground running with ten students in Grades 4-8. The experience was transformational — for both Laura and her amazing group of kids.
Within just a few months she re-enrolled in college courses to continue her studies while running the microschool. Her plate was full, but so was her heart.
Early on, she noticed that one of her students had difficulties emotionally self-regulating. In the face of any frustration, this student would experience a full meltdown. Laura said that Prenda’s learning model, culture, and core values, along with her guidance, gave this student the tools to navigate challenges and flourish academically.
One day, this student was typing a writing assignment. The computer crashed and he was devastated that all his hard work was lost. Laura noticed that he was on the verge of unraveling. Quickly, she stepped in and they began a breathing exercise that they had practiced together. When he was feeling calm again, they brainstormed a solution. The student decided to write a letter to Prenda’s founder, Kelly Smith. He wanted to tell Kelly how frustrated he was and propose an auto-save feature.
A few weeks later, Kelly visited Laura’s microschool and this student read his letter. Kelly took written notes, validated the student’s feelings, and the two came up with a plan.
This is just one of many examples of the incredible impact Laura has had on the lives of learners as a Prenda Guide. She has since graduated with her bachelor’s degree and has decided that guiding is her lifelong passion. Laura says, “Despite everything that went on last year, 2020 was such a blessing for our family because we found Prenda, I got my degree, and my kids learned to love learning.”
“Despite everything that went on last year, 2020 was such a blessing for our family because we found Prenda, I got my degree, and my kids learned to love learning.”
If you are interested in learning more about Prenda or becoming a guide, visit prenda.com/become-a-guide to get started on your journey. Prenda frequently hosts virtual and in-person info sessions for those looking to get involved. Go to prenda.com/events to find an upcoming event near you.