Pathfinder Community School: The Future of Education

YouTube Live presentation & Q&A with Pathfinder founders Hope Wilder and Dr. Kevin Currie-Knight.  Includes overview of Pathfinder project and research supporting self-directed education.

What is Pathfinder?

Pathfinder is a:

  • Community of 5-14 year-olds who choose their own learning path, working together or separately on pursuits that excite them

  • Member’s club with shared resources and shared decision-making

  • Creative space for play and exploration, with a library, a music room, art supplies, computers and whatever else the kids choose

  • Safe place where kids can be free to learn as much as they want

We follow self-directed education philosophy with a great degree of freedom of choice in daily activities. You can read more on our Philosophy page for details about our model and tools.


Enrollment & Opening Dates

We are now enrolling for our full-time launch in August while also running a Spring Pilot Session (enrollment full.) We are also taking registrations for Summer Camp.

Age Range

For the first year we are focusing on meeting the needs of the 5-14 age group.

Member & Staff Ratios

We are currently operating with 2-3 staff and 11 members in our part time spring pilot program. Our goal is to open with a minimum 20 and maximum 45 members and 3-4 full time staff members, plus volunteers for a 1:10 maximum ratio.


Starting in the fall, we will be open Monday-Friday: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Optional after-care is available until 5 pm for an additional fee, depending on sufficient interest.

We are also offering a late afternoon karate club with a discount to members.

Visiting Policy

We welcome visitors at our Open Houses, and by appointment.


Our detailed 2018/2019 calendar can be found here. We will operate from August 27th, 2018 to June 7th, 2019.

Attendance Policy

Part-time membership: 3-4 days/ week Full-time membership: 5 days/ week

All members of Pathfinder must be registered with the state of their residence as homeschoolers. We can help with registration in North Carolina.

Members may arrive any time before 10:00 am to hear daily announcements, and there is no compulsory attendance.

We ask members to arrive or notify of absence on their scheduled days by 9:00 am.

Members are encouraged to attend on Wednesdays to participate in community governance. Part-time members may not have the same opportunity to participate in governance as full-time members.

Membership Fees

Pathfinder is an inclusive learning community. We strive to make our programs accessible for all income levels.

We use a sliding scale fee system. Fees are indexed according to income level, days attending, and number of siblings per family.

Support fee reductions by making a donation.