The Confidence To Be Themselves by Danelle Karth

By Danelle Karth, Pathfinder Parent

Before the spring semester my husband and I sat down and looked at what it would cost us to enroll our children in Pathfinder (according to the sliding scale). We talked about how if we spent just half of what it cost for Pathfinder on cool tools, classes, and our kids' interests, it would be the best home school ever! We wondered if spending hundreds of dollars each month was really worth it. After all, it seemed like all we were buying was friends in a school where there was no structure, no classes or activities, or formal learning. We were really concerned that the friendships they would likely form weren’t really worth hundreds of dollars each month, but our daughter really wanted to try it and friendships was what she was desperately longing for.

 Pathfinder kids picking up trash, author's daughter front right.

Pathfinder kids picking up trash, author's daughter front right.

We decided we would do the spring session and only the spring session. It only took one week for our family to decide that we wanted to figure out how to make it work for the fall session.

What transpired over the course of 9 weeks was amazing. It was cool to see our kids learning really important lessons in life while building a community. They learned things I would never have imagined such as budgeting, communication skills, and conflict resolution. They grew as people in such a short time that it filled me with wonder.

Our daughter has always been a social butterfly and has loved being able to make friends, explore the world around her, and learn at Pathfinder. She has flourished with her social needs being met, but to my surprise she was full of excitement for the activities the kids had decided on together.

 Author's son with a butterfly we raised at Pathfinder from a caterpillar.

Author's son with a butterfly we raised at Pathfinder from a caterpillar.

We weren’t sure what our quiet and reserved son would get from Pathfinder, but the thing it has given him the most is confidence. He’s opened up, begun communicating more, and sharing his thoughts with children and adults alike.

Before the program started, he wasn’t sure he wanted to go and at one point asked to back out, but agreed to give it a two week trial. After the first day he was excited to stay for the spring session. After the first week he wanted to go back for fall. After the second week, he was worried he would age out in three years.

Pathfinder has given our children the confidence to truly be themselves, the ability to communicate more deeply, and the passion to share what they know and care about with others.

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