Live an invented life that works for your family, with command of your child's education.
Highly strategic approach to learning.
Community of solution seekers.
For families new to homeschooling, experienced families with the need for community, and those who are committed to rigor, excellence, and freedom.
As a a Private Membership Association (PMA), Roots functions outside the public domain to provide the freedom for families to choose how their children will learn.
Would you like to know more about our personalized, family-centric approach to education and growth?Schedule a Discovery Call
"One of the most delicious aspects of a Not-School setting is the ability to shift as needs arise.
A bespoke, independent microschool like Roots exists to serve the children and families who show up. This is a nuanced difference from a franchise microschool which starts with an expected business model. In this space, kids learn to take care of their needs instead of forcing planned activities."
~ Kristin Jones, Roots Founder
Letter from the Founder
The Journey Has Just Begun…
Thanks to the gift of dyslexia, which has brought so many wonderful people into our lives, my only child is now 16; here is the story of her journey with dyslexia, in her own words: Building Words Together, by Zoë Jones
So, our family schooling journey has been both circuitous and deeply rewarding. It definitely didn’t look typical or normal and has often felt uncomfortably out of sync with the mainstream. When learning went virtual in Spring 2020, it was clear that school delivered from a screen didn’t work well for our family. My stomach churning with apprehension, I took the leap and started homeschooling a teenager. I had no idea what I was doing.
Roots was born out of my concern that this kid with no siblings who lived in a rural area had now abruptly lost all her community and peers. How does a teenager plunged into homeschooling not feel completely isolated? I am a voracious researcher, and trying to make sense of the vast landscape of homeschool resources overwhelmed me. It was very confusing and discouraging.
My husband and I thought there might be an opportunity to support other families going through a similar process, and to create a community for our daughter, as well. Inadvertently, Roots was born. At the time, I had no idea that Roots was a microschool, and that this was happening all over the country.
Laura Thompson, visionary pastor of the Pleasant Green United Methodist church, believes that churches are anchor institutions of rural communities. I can’t imagine a more tranquil, exciting place to start a Not-School than the PG UMC. Roots is so fortunate to be located at this place.
I am deeply grateful for the incredible welcome the church community has shown to Roots. The biggest issue with microschools, once they get established, is that there aren’t enough spots in them for the children who need to attend. The Pleasant Green community is truly blessed to have a microschool for its kids who need different alternatives, and this would not be possible without the church, which has generously shared all aspects of its beautiful land and facilities. So here we are, stepping out in faith to see where the journey takes Roots. We don’t know yet.
Our family has been chronic school hoppers for a variety of reasons, dipping our toe in a wide range of exciting educational approaches and solutions - neighborhood co-ops, arts preschool, Montessori, public elementary school, a K-12 private school that serves kids with learning disabilities, online public school, a rigorous college prep private school, unschooling, and homeschooling. Our family finally decided that “schooling” needs to shift as seasons of life shift. We aren’t looking through the rigid, proscribed K-12 lens anymore.
Our local area is richly blessed with excellent public/charter and private schools, as well as an incredibly robust homeschool community; I still love every school my daughter attended and often recommend them. Homeschooling is also a fantastic option, especially in this area.
Roots is not intended to mimic any of those well-established and successful institutions. Roots is something different. I did not anticipate starting on this path; as it unfolds, it is clear that the journey has just begun. If you relate to any of this, and are curious, please feel free to set up a free discovery call so we can talk live.
Roots has a home in the Pleasant Green community of Durham, NC
The Pleasant Green United Methodist Church, an important anchor institution of this rural area, has opened its doors to the Roots kids. In addition to a charming classroom space, which is home base for its well-established and highly respected Afterschool, Summer Camp, and VBS programs, the church facility has:
19 acres of beautifully groomed outdoor space
wooded hiking trail
large, open, grassy field space ideal for group field games
small traditional playground space shaded by historic trees
wide, paved driveways and large parking lots perfect for easy traffic flow
a visionary leadership team of dedicated volunteers, headed by the dynamic Pastor Laura (she's great fun - kids love her upbeat energy!)
In 2022, Roots was recognized with a microgrant from the VELA Education Fund (velaedfund.org) which was established in 2020 to support education entrepreneurs who are building businesses that meet the needs and values of parents in their communities. Through VELA, Kristin has earned a scholarship to coach long-term with Dr. Mara Linaberger, the founder and president of Microschool Builders, LLC. Dr. Linaberger has a whole career of classical education (EdD) behind her and tons of work experience in the traditional education system. Her experience has fueled her belief that traditional school often slows down or stifles a child's natural, joyful inclination to learn. She is now on a mission to create a global network of microschools - "to harness education toward helping amazing children to develop their highest potentials while making learning fun again!"
Roots is now one of those schools!
Click here to see Dr. Linaberger sharing about microschools and wisdom schools.
Subscribe to Roots
Sign up to stay connected with Roots offerings.