News for 2019-2020
Due to the Pandemic crisis we are currently facing Crossroads Homeschool Collaborative is closed pending further notice.
Welcome to Crossroads Homeschool Collaborative
I started developing a plan for a homeschool collaborative in the Winter of 2016. I have spent hundreds of hours planning, calling, scheduling, calculating, writing, planning over, calling again, recalculating...you get the idea.
Remember the old African saying "it takes a village to raise a family?" In the days of our great grandparents communities pooled resources to help one another. Neighbors knew each other. People bartered their skills. Kids could play safely in the neighborhood.
What has changed? Apparently a lot.
Many families live in isolation not knowing their own neighbors. Bartering skills is a thing of the past right along with children playing and exploring unsupervised. People and families are struggling in today's world in silence.
We all chose the path to homeschool our children for some reason(s). It is not an easy path. It is hard work and often a lonely one for parent(s). We struggle but we persevere because it is something we believe in.
COMMENTS FROM MEMBERS
"This is our second year joining Crossroads Collaborative and my three children ages 9, 6, and 4 absolutely love going there on Thursdays and I appreciate the drop off option or the option to stay and meet other homeschooling moms to compare experiences. It covers a big amount of curriculum for all of them to pass each grade. Socially it has been a godsend for my kids! It really has become a family for us and I am forever grateful to the director and the teachers. My son had a terrible experience in mainstream school and I finally found him a place where he belongs and the patience they show is incredible. We can't wait to start again! Thank you." Allison - 2019
"Thank you for all the effort and hard work it takes to enrich my children's lives with different classes and opportunities." Amanda - 2019
"I am so happy we found CHC Collaborative - it's been our happy place and my son looks forward to coming to the program every Thursday. We love everything about the program! Truly amazing!" Denise K. - 2019
"Dorene Battles I was just thinking of how much Loren got out of all of the classes and wanted to formally thank you and all of the teachers. We got a lot out of the famous woman class. This was ideal since she was researching and presenting and it gave her self confidence. The teacher was amazing for this class and how she ran the class was very inspirational for them... Especially for girls with how these other women worked so hard to achieve their goals. Lastly, it made us closer since we listened to some books on audible, ordered the hard covered books, and watched the videos together. I learned a lot through this class as well and it was very helpful for me having the materials and project assignments coming from a 3rd party! Excellent program." Brenda S. -2018
"Dedicated, nurturing, helpful and resourceful Staff who put there all into teaching the programs. My son looks forward to coming to classes on Thursdays! Each week he is learning new concepts and loves the hands on experimenting that takes place in class! He looks forward to seeing his kind and friendly classmates each week and interacting with them! All of the teachers really put 100% into the program and enjoy what they do! It is also a pleasure to meet up with other parents in the group and discuss what has been working for them! Thank you so much Dorene for putting this group together! I highly recommend it!" Denise K. - 2018
"Crossroads is a wonderful place. Dorene created a program where experienced and compassionate educators teach meaningful lessons. For instance, on the first day my 10 year old daughter came home with molecular models of water and other molecules from her chemistry class, a circuit that lit up lights and in her STEAM class, chamomile tea from her herbology class, and lovely art work. Teaching science early, when students are young and curious is really great. Also, she is learning about famous women in history... Not only who they were, but why they became famous and how their dedication and perseverance was a key in their success. This is a valuable life lesson. The suggested books and videos from this class were a unexpected wonderful bonus. This is not creating home work, it is more like research. This has brought my daughter and I closer since the material is truly interesting and I am learning things myself. Lastly, Dorene is very supportive. I know homeschooling can wonderful when done right, but I worry that I will not be able to provide everything needed and that I might miss something that she would be taught in a formal setting. I was thrilled that Dorene has created a place for my daughter to socialize and has provided the support and knowledge to make my daughter's homeschooling experience successful." Brenda S. - 2018
"We LOVE Crossroads!!! ?? My 5yo goes there every Thursday and we are both very happy! If anyone is looking for a Thursday co-op..." A.M. - 2018
"The Crossroads Homeschool Collaborative started today. My 6 year old liked the classes so much, he was very disappointed that he couldn't go every day. I said, well, that's what school is. You go to a school every day and learn and spend time with other kids. He said, maybe going to school isn't so bad after all. I think you did too well with this program, Dorene Battles!" Kristin G. - 2017
"Hi everyone. I'm sure you've all seen the postings for the Crossroads Homeschool Collaborative. I'm posting this, not because anyone asked me to, but because I really believe in this program. I urge you to take a really close look at this program and its offerings. The classes are really amazing and my child not only loves them, but constantly asks if it is Thursday so he can go back again. He has learned things that I never learned in all of my schooling. Anything that gets a child excited about learning and talking about what they've learned is worth a look, don't you think? Not only all of that, but you as the parent, make valuable connections to other homeschoolers, helping you build or broaden your network and support." Kristin G. - 2017
"My daughter just finished her first session at Crossroads on Thursdays- I am so happy with the group as well as all of her classes!! I recommend this Collaborative for anyone looking for fun and enriching classes for their children!" Lisa L. - 2017
"Kaya loves these classes. She's 12 and in the older group. It's been great for her. The classes incorporate a lot of hands on activities which brings what she's learning to life. Thank you, Dorene." Cathy M. - 2017
"Killian is LOVING his class, he's actually very engaged and looking forward to possibly adding some classes for the Spring. Thank you so much for arranging this!" Shannon F. - 2017
"I agree. This is an awesome program. My three children LOVED it!" Valerie M. - 2017
"CHC has been a wonderful experience for my son and I! We both made some new friends and he always looked forward to his classes! Thank you for organizing this wonderful experience for our homeschooling family." Jessica P. - 2017
"My kids loved their experience, from making new friends to the teachers and material taught. We are definitely coming back in the Fall. The Executive Director Dorene is a sweetheart, so easy to speak to and truly cares about the families and the teachers where just great."
Inaeh J. - 2017
Dorene Battles is a professional turned homeschooling Mama who is the Owner and Executive Director of CHC. She has a Bachelors Degree in Health/Fitness, a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology and a Physician Assistant Degree. Dorene is a registered PA in both NYS and Texas she has worked in Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Chemical Dependency/Rehab, and most recently Occupational Health. She is a homeschooling Mama of two.
Senior Instructor and Administrative Assistant for CHC, Denise De Domenico Fuchs holds a BA in Economics and Sociology and a Minor in Anthropology. She has recently completed her homeschooling journey with her three sons who were homeschooled their entire lives through high school. Her oldest son, Christopher, a recipient of a Presidential Fellows Scholarship and several other scholarships, is a college junior at a very small private school out of state. Brian, one of her 18 year old twins, has enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. while Eric has obtained a full time position at a well-known Caterpillar Dealer. In addition to her homeschooling success, Denise has experience as an assistant teaching Archery and Primitive Survival Skills. She is an experienced Professional Tutor in Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Earth Science and Living Environment. Denise is also a Professional Homeschooling Consultant for College Prep, including quarterly reports, transcripts, college applications, and college and scholarship essays. Denise has been an instructor with CHC since it's opening.
Peter A. Gross holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Yale University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from University of Pennsylvania Law School. Peter has extensive teaching experience both inside and outside the homeschooling community. He has taught classes at the elementary, high school and college level. Areas of specialty include literature, history of art, world religions, and the legal system to name a few. Peter loves traveling, music, hiking, nature, and art.
Engineering Imagination, LLC provides high quality, entertaining, educational enrichment programs for youth. Our programs focus on a unique, customized S.T.E.A.M. curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics). From simple math concepts covered with Kindergartners, to more advanced physics being explored with middle school students, Engineering Imagination provides fun, exciting, educational programs for a wide range of ages and ability levels. Andrew Escalera, the President of Engineering Imagination, LLC has been teaching for almost 10 years spread across Connecticut, the Dominican Republic and other areas of the United States. Andrew has always been a huge advocate for hands-on, minds-on S.T.E.A.M. learning. From taking apart electronics as a young child, to designing and building a LEGO metropolis, to studying mechanical engineering at the University of New Hampshire, Andrew has had a strong interest in engineering from a young age.
Joanne and Bruce Hunter received BFA degrees from Pratt Institute and began freelancing, Joanne in fashion and Bruce in illustration. They then founded Hunter Designs, designing and hand crafting a line of high-end art pieces. Encompassing clocks, miniature Christmas trees and special occasion pieces, commissioned 1/32nd scale house replicas, wire portraiture, and fine art, they sold to such institutions and retail outlets as the Boston Museum of Art, Horchow, Brooklyn Museum, Nieman Marcus, Macy's and hundreds of specialty gift stores world-wide.
Founding The Art Spot in 1994, they teach children and adults watercolor, pastels, oils, drawing, hand crafts and many other arts. As well, they create Mosaic Mural Public Art Installations for cities, towns, corporations, schools and more. Award-winning exhibiting members of many art associations, Joanne and Bruce are on many art committees and boards. Arts activists in their Brookfield community as well as the surrounding area, they curate art exhibits, mentor high school art students, and fulfill juror responsibilities for fine art and handcraft shows. They are highly respected recipients of many major state and privately funded Public Art commissions, including Cool Waters in Waterbury, The Vicki Soto School in Stratford, and Eyes of the World, on exhibit at the Neuberger Museum in NYC. They recently completed a mural for a college in Haiti.
Moki Kokoris is a Graduate of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (Architecture), innovative educator with 30+ years of experience across many disciplines, a respected expert on all things Arctic, and life-long environmental advocate with keen interests in the fauna, flora, and native cultures of the Far North, Moki is the first Ukrainian woman to reach the Geographic North Pole (14th woman overall). In addition to being the founder of 90-north (outreach education program series), she is the Editor of The Polar Times (journal of the American Polar Society), founder of the Polar Film Festival, visiting speaker for ARCUS, and a United Nations NGO representative focusing on the impacts of climate and societal change on the indigenous peoples of the Circumpolar North. Moki is also a freelance artist, graphic designer, calligrapher, and instructor at Founders Hall and other venues in our area. Water is her friend only when it is either solid or fluffy.
Rachel Dean is the Program Coordinator and Instructor for Writopia Westchester. She graduated summa cum laude from Monmouth University with a degree in Journalism and received her MFA from Adelphi University in Creative Nonfiction, where she was the recipient of a fully-funded candidacy and studied under Katherine Hill, Martha Cooley, and Jacqueline Jones LaMon. Rachel has taught Creative Writing as an adjunct professor and has worked for Bridges to Adelphi, a comprehensive program that assists students on the autism spectrum as they pursue college degrees. Rachel loves teaching and learning with students, and she enjoys working in creative environments like the one fostered at Writopia Lab. She is currently at work on a collection of nonfiction lyric essays and spends her spare time reading, writing, and traveling.
Gabriel Pages is an award-winning Argentine born, writer, director, voice actor, visual artist and improviser. He was a student at NYU's Film & Television and Dramatic Writing programs and sketch writing at The Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater. Gabe began his career as a storyboard artist in the Advertising Industry, drawing for companies like Ogilvy & Mather and BBDO. He’s created concept art for theme park design, including 20th Century Fox and Universal Studios and has illustrated licensed apparel, creating art for The Walking Dead and DC Comics. His love of filmmaking brought him to the world of VFX, and his credits here include Netflix/Marvel's Daredevil, Operation Finale, and Ocean's Eight. In 2016 he began writing and directing digital shorts and in 2019, his mockumentary news-magazine piece The Full Glass: Marriage 2.0, won best comedy at the Los Angeles Television Script and Film Festival. Later that year, Gabe created the animated web-series All My Presidents, providing the voices for all the characters. He's currently a performer at Serious Comedy Theatre, in Beacon New York.
Kaitlin Clark has been involved both in the visual and performing arts since a very young age. In high school she decided she would attend college to become an art teacher to pass on her love of the arts. She attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia studying fine art photography, ceramics, film, mixed media and dance. She graduated with a BFA in Photography as well as a Certification in Art Education. She also holds a masters degree in Integrative Health and Healing and combines her love of the arts and the therapeutic effects of its process. She is also a CT Certified Professional Art Educator (grades Pre-k through 12). She has taught for nearly 20 years in a variety of capacities including art therapy for children in women’s shelters, The Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, Shepaug Valley School, The Brookfield Craft Center, ASAP!, Washington Montessori School, as well as one-on-one with children through adults in the local area. She also specializes in services to those with special needs ranging from autism to dementia. She enjoys collaborating with local nonprofits, homeschooling communities, individuals and families through her business, Integrative Healing Arts, LLC where she offers a variety of Arts and Wellness opportunities.
Jessica Zamek has a Bachelor of Arts degree in vocal performance from Western Connecticut State University and attended graduate school at the Hartt School of Music University of Hartford studying Opera Performance. She is well versed in both opera and jazz. Jessica has worked as a private voice instructor with Zamek Music Studio, a choir director and an early childhood music specialist. She is the owner and instructor of Tiny Songbirds. Jessica has performed throughout the country.
Jessica Maneyapanda comes to us with 18 years of teaching experience, from preschool through middle school, in both NY and CT. She received a BS in Elementary Education from SUNY Oswego, as well as a Masters Degree of Professional Studies in Humanistic/Multicultural Education from SUNY New Paltz. As a certified teacher, Jessica has spent many years fostering a love of learning, exploration and curiosity in her students. Though her passion is teaching science, Jessica believes that all disciplines are interconnected, and each play a vital role in nurturing educated world citizens.
Tamra Malaga attended Montclair State University in New Jersey, and her areas of study were Graphic Design and Theater. During her studies she interned for the TV show One Live To Live, The Gordon Elliot Show & won best portfolio at the Illustration Society in NYC. After college her graphic design career began as an Off-Air Graphic Designer for companies such as HBO, Food Network, A&E/History Channel, and Comedy Central to name a few. She also worked as a fashion Graphic Designer at several leading companies. Currently Tamara has her own graphic design freelance company, Malaga Studios & her own children’s clothing line, Vera Plum. She is a homeschooling mother who has taught classes at several organizations in the NY, CT, NJ area.
Adrianne Roberts, a product of homeschooling herself, successfully homeschooled her son who is now attending University. She is a firm believer in hands-on, project based educational experiences and is currently pursuing her certification in Wonder Based Learning. Adrianne has been teaching in various co-ops and collaboratives of the past nine years. She has such passion for homeschooling that she opened her own educational studio in Bethel, CT.
Play-Well TEKnologies. What can you do with over 20,000 pieces of LEGO®? In our Engineering with LEGO® enrichment program, take on real-life engineering challenges. In our classes, explore concepts in physics, architecture, mechanical and structural engineering. Find inventive solutions in a fun-filled context that supports the growth of young minds through hands-on, minds-on learning. Our instructors have varied careers and educational backgrounds (mechanical engineering, architecture, biology, art, geology, education, civil engineering, etc.). More important, though, is that all share a common enthusiasm for kids, engineering, and LEGO.
Ilana Sobo works as a community herbalist, Ayurvedic Practitioner and Yoga Instructor in the Greater New York City area and Fairfield County CT. She has spent over 14 years in the fields of Ayurveda, Yoga and Herbalism and has work with &apprenticed for several of the pioneers in Botanical Medicine & Ayurveda in the US. She also has unique apothecary training spanning over 10 years and regularly compounds tinctures, salves, essential oil blends, teas and flower essences for her local community. Ilana's time at the Ayurvedic Institute working & studying with Dr. Vasant Lad was greatly formative.
Kathleen DeCicco grew up in Germany and came to the US in 2000 to work for United Nations as an Intern in the translator and interpreter division. After falling in love with the country she pursued a degree in Psychology and earned her BA at Western Connecticut State University with a focus on Early Childhood development and counseling. Kathy has a keen interest in all things crafting and turned her hobby of crochet into a small business.
Rachel Mandelbaum is a homeschooling mom excited to teach at the collaborative. She has taught a college-level biology class and a lab as a teaching assistant while getting her Bachelor's in Biology. Rachel has also been a Clinical Instructor at Columbia University School of Nursing simultaneous to training as a Nurse Practitioner.
Lisa Duggan Santomero is a newly retired NYS certified Art instructor with 33 years experience. Specializing in interdisciplinary arts education, she holds a BFA and MFA.
Hannah Perry grew up in England and studied Childhood Education and Development at Beverley College in Yorkshire. In 2005, Hannah published her first children's book, " A New Hat For Mommy", followed by her second book, "Picnics & Puddles - The Adventures Of The Giggling Pig & Friends". Seeing a huge lack of creativity in schools, Hannah decided to open her first studio in 2011 and called it The Giggling Pig. Over the years, Hannah has used her education to develop amazing programs that cater to all ages. Her love for children and art has become a way of life. Hannah now owns two art studios in CT.
Richard Klin is an editor and writer based in the Hudson Valley and the author of ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM FOR BEGINNERS and SOMETHING TO SAY, a series of profiles of various artists discussing the intersection of art and politics. His work--fiction and nonfiction--has been featured on NPR's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED and has appeared in the ATLANTIC, the BROOKLYN RAIL, the FORWARD, CHRONOGRAM, and others. Most importantly, he's a homeschool dad.
Jean Gephart has been a public school teacher of Chemistry and General Science for 17 years, having taught in NY, CT, and Germany. She is currently teaching AP Chemistry, Accelerated Chemistry and Integrated Science. Jean has scored the AP Chemistry exam for the College Board. She received her B.S. in Chemistry Secondary Education from SUNY Plattsburgh and her Masters in Life and Chemical Sciences from the University of Maryland. She is a mother of five sons and enjoys hiking, spending time with her family, and learning with her students.
Inaeh Garcia-Johnson was born in Brazil. She worked in the modeling and acting industry. Inaeh studied film-making at NYFA until motherhood took her down another path. Now a homeschooling mother to four girls aged 1-11 years, Inaeh has a passion for all things natural. She is a Certified Children's Yoga Instructor and trained in Waldorf and Montessori methods of Art and Education.
Mariagrazia Distante, born and raised in Italy, holds a Bachelors in Biology and a Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics from the School of Medicine of the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Italy. She received her Culinary Education in Whole Food Nutrition at the Natural Gourmet Institute of New York City, where she earned certificates in Food Therapy and Health-Supportive Cooking. She believes that there is a strong relationship between our food choices and the quality of our lives. She has inspired children and adults to achieve a healthy and balanced diet through her hands-on "Eating for Health" workshops, which she has conducted both in the United States and in Italy. Mariagrazia has also taught Italian Language and Culture to adults and children through the Italian Consulate in New York, New Jersey and Florida. Her philosophy when it comes to children and food is reflected by a quote from Frederick Douglass, "It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men".
Cara Hughes earned a Masters Degree in Education, with an emphasis in Middle School Mathematics, and a Bachelors of Science Degree in Chemistry, with Minors in Mathematics and Physics, with Honors. She has worked in the field of Education for well over a decade. Cara was the Senior Science Instructor for a large Science Education company in Southern California where she taught hands-on Science Programming in over 200 schools, several with the support of grant funding from the National Science Foundation. She continued her career in Education in a private school where she taught 5th-8th grade Math classes. She also held the role of Math Department Chair, responsible for analyzing text materials, curriculum mapping, and successfully strengthening math skills throughout the school. Cara has gone through rigorous Continued Education Training in both New York City and Israel, by experts in the field of Mathematics, Science and Engineering. Upon moving to the East Coast, Cara Hughes has turned her attention to homeschooling her own children.
Jessica Parker received her Masters in Special Education. She is a NYS certified teacher for 15 years who has had various teaching experiences with elementary through high school students. Reading Instruction has been her specialty. Jessica decided to leave full time teaching to pursue homeschooling her seven year old son. She continues to seek new techniques to keep learning exciting.
Nina Sukmar received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania with a Major in Psychology and a Minor in English and went on to receive her MA and ABD from Hofstra University in Clinical Psychology. For many years her main career was her most favorite - homeschooling her two children who are now a sophomore in college and a junior in high school. She has spent quite a bit of time in India, her second home, and enjoys reading, hiking and working with others on figuring out what college might be right for them.
Maria Frascone is a Hatha Yoga teacher which involves meditation and asana/pose flow. She is certified through the Yoga Alliance. She found her love for yoga and meditation over the past 5 years, which brought her to the understanding of true self love and love for others. She is a certified Reiki Practitioner and Holistic Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition that focuses on the person’s emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Maria graduated from UCONN with a Bachelors of Psychology which enhances her understanding of the children's well-being and state of mind. Maria is also a Level III Herbalist from Twin Star Herbal Education. The understanding of Mother Nature assists her in all aspects of her practice, emotionally, physically and mentally while she teach yoga. An understanding of plants reminds us of our childish nature and to be playful with all aspects of life.
Marie Flaherty is a retired stitcher for LL Beans in Freeport Maine, making some of the original Bean Boots. She was a dorm mother at North Yarmouth Academy in Maine when it was a boarding school for many years. It was her second family. Now a grandmother to two homeschooled children, she is a supporter of the homeschooling community. Marie is the Drop Off Facilitator, an Administrative Assistant and teaching assistant for CHC.
Parents are required to review the Code of Conduct with their children. A form must be signed with membership registration.
Code of Conduct is as follows:
(1) Have respect for yourselves, your instructors and your classmates.
(2) Have respect for all the staff here at CHS.
(3) Have respect for the rental property and all its belongings.
(4) Listen during classtime. Raise your hand when you need to ask a question. Do not interrupt when others are talking.
(5) Do not leave the classroom without permission from the instructor.
(6) Refrain from verbal and physical harassment. Speak to others as you would want them to speak to you.
(7) Be sensitive and respectful to everyone and to the property around you which includes language, dress and behavior.
(1) First occurrence the instructor will remind the student of appropriate behavior.
(2) Second occurrence the instructor will gently remind the student and notify the Executive Director.
(3) Third occurrence both the instructor and Executive Director will meet with both the student and parent.
(4) Fourth occurrence the student will not be permitted to continue in the class and all tuition will be forfeit (*).
*We want to make this a safe, fun and nurturing environment for all. We are not looking to be formal and rigid. We want our children to have fun learning hands-on with fellow homeschool friends. But to keep things running smoothly, safe, and comfortable for all we do need to have the Code of Conduct.
FINANCES AND DISCOUNTS
If enrolling 3 or more children please contact the director to discuss a discount.
A nonrefundable $100 deposit is required to hold your seat. Balance due at start of class unless prior arrangements have been made with the Director.
Classes that have a poor enrollment will be cancelled and money refunded. Please enroll in classes early.
Discounts will be manually applied once your enrollment has been completed. An adjusted invoice will be emailed to you.