Parent Testimony

“The Gentle Art of Parenting.” As a mom of two toddlers, that sounded like the kind of class I needed. Coming across the Plumfield Academy website — while researching private schools in the area — I found a true gem. Here was a school that offered an intimate, pastoral setting for children in grades 1-8 and a variety of supports to parents in the community. I immediately signed up for the parenting class and eagerly awaited the first day.

Pulling into the driveway is the first striking aspect of Plumfield. It is then that you first realize you are entering a home. In sharp contrast to a traditional schoolyard, with its wide parking lots and chain-link fences, Plumfield’s grounds are invitingly peaceful and naturally tranquil. My 3-year-old was drawn to the backyard, with its hill to run up and down and its trees to climb. As I watched him explore and run freely, I could see him at age 6… 8… 10… having the opportunity to learn and grow in a place of freedom.

Entering through the back door into a 4-season porch lined with windows, I was informed that in this spot children sit to do their math work. Continuing into the kitchen, study rooms, and living room I was impressed with the simplicity and warmth of the home-like setting. But beyond all this, what truly amazed me was the well-spoken children, ready to welcome me into their world. I thought, “This is the kind of child I want my child to become.”

Progressing to the parenting class, I was greeted by Nina Pension whose gracious and peaceful presence set a tone for the entire school. John Pension quietly announced that the visiting children were invited to make their own pizzas in the kitchen. It was clear that the school culture was founded on a sense of Christ-like peace and gentleness. As we explored concepts of parenting, I knew that it was not just my children who needed Plumfield.

Now, my son having attended the school for two years, I find myself filled with exactly what I was craving — a place to be supported as a parent who seeks a different kind of life for my children. The world is a wondrous place to be explored and experienced freely, and it is Plumfield that carries that message to my son when I am not there to tell him myself. My husband and I are true partners with Plumfield, not burdened with homework and busywork to fill our family time and not dismissed when we have ideas for our child’s education. We are supported, heard, respected, and cherished. Because of this unity and partnership, our son (and soon our daughter) can remain unburdened in his educational pursuits and be free to be a child, for whom there is not enough time in the day for all the exploration he has planned.
– Kristen Kansiewicz

We immediately saw the difference that Plumfield’s unique atmosphere had on our boy. Like many children, Mark used to drag home at the end of a day at school with little to report. From day one, Mark has been eager for school each day and comes home energetic, happy and full of information about the day’s events.

Though he came into 4th grade struggling with writing, he found himself with plenty to say after interacting with such rich texts and information. The curriculum is filled with material that really matters to life. From Plato to profit-and-loss spreadsheets, Mark knows everything they do is work worth doing.  The bar is set high for quality work, but it is accomplished with such a sense of nurturing that Mark has begun to see just what great work he is capable of producing.

Finally, the social atmosphere at Plumfield makes all the difference in the amount of learning that gets done. The teachers are committed to each child’s character development as intently as their academic development. Even normal conflicts with peers have been handled in a “better-than-normal” way. So much energy that used to be channeled towards social survival can now be directed toward healthy interactions and learning.

We can’t say enough about how this environment has impacted our son and, in turn, our entire family. We will always consider it a privilege and blessing to have found such a beautiful school. We hope many more people will one day understand Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of excellent, gentle, life-giving, worthwhile education. Our society desperately needs Ms. Mason’s insights applied, one family at a time.
– Chris and Dee Dee Scaffidi

My son comes home talking about what he learned in school! This has never happened before.
– Rachel Bourdages

I have seen such a change in my son over the past year. He is more content and confident in his academics.
– Jim Collins

As a successful school-teacher (grades 4-12 in public and private schools), I am acutely aware of the strengths, as well as the shortcomings, of conventional educational settings.  As a mother, I have experienced frustration and sorrow, longing to see my children grow and learn in an environment that fosters community, mutual respect and appreciation among people of all ages; that provides the tools and direction they need for self-motivated research; that upholds a high moral and religious teaching; that knows, loves, and believes in my children, providing opportunities for them to continue to excel in their gifts, and patiently helping them in the subject matter that is difficult for them.

Plumfield Academy is an answer to my earnest prayers! My husband and I have watched our son blossom more than we dared wish for, in this his first year at Plumfield. He is truly a different person (or should I say, “He is truly himself again!”); free from the peer pressures that keep children from being able to focus on what is truly important (being the best person you can be; the adventure of learning; growing as a community.) It is a joy when I arrive to pick him up at the end of the day.
Yes, Plumfield Academy is truly an answer to prayer!
– Laura Duran