Abot Tala is envisioned to help teenagers live and learn outside the traditional school system through self-directed effort, through mentorship and by utilizing the wealth of opportunities and resources in the community. It’s a space and a welcoming community where young people feel free to be themselves, to know themselves deeply and what makes them come alive, to discover and develop their gifts and talents, to soar towards goals and dreams they set for themselves within their own time and terms, not other’s.
- Young people who believe that school is doing more harm than good to them
- Young people who want to get out of the school system but do not know where to start
(We can help them become homeschoolers.)
- Young people who are already homeschooling or unschooling but wish to be part of a community
that meets regularly
- We serve young people ages 12 – 18.
- Mentoring and coaching – each member will have an advisor.
- Access to all classes and workshops offered – the classes and workshops will be determined by the interest of the members and the expertise of the mentors, staff and volunteers.
- Family conferences – each member and his parents will meet with the advisor at least two times a semester to map out possibilities and review progress.
- Personalized approach – the focus is on individuals and their particular strengths, needs and goals
- Collaborative learning – teens can teach each other; find common interests and have group tutorials; traditional schools emphasize competition while we emphasize collaboration
- Each teen is matched with one of the staff, who sets aside time to meet individually each week.
- Mentors help connect young people to the learning opportunities in the center, online and in the wider community.
- By having more personal autonomy – while working within the community – teens can practice leadership, communication and collaboration skills in real ways that reflect what they will need later in life.
- Our focus is on individuals and their particular strengths, needs, and goals. Rather than focusing on weaknesses, we ask: “What are you good at? What do you love to do?” and build from there.
- Abot Tala is not a school. We do not give certificates, tests, grades or report cards
- We are not a homeschool provider although we have a partner homeschool provider (Gopala Learning Haven) who can ensure that the required homeschool documents are filed with the Department of Education.
- We are not a homeschool co-op. We have paid staff and permanent space. We are an alternative to mainstream school that uses homeschooling as a tool to opt out of the traditional system and offers space and community for young people to thrive.