At Raw Learning we facilitate a personalized education for each student. The environment considers the whole child by making opportunities available for their mind, body and spirit to be nourished. Safety and freedom go hand in hand while the children explore their world.
Raw Learning is a place for children to come together using their own curiosity as a guide for what they will discover next. Facilitators act as adult mentors to support deeper investigation into the specific interests of each child. Policies are made by people who are involved in the day to day operation of Raw Learning. Children and adults decide by consensus the rules that would help their learning. Everyone works together to find solutions to all problems that work for Raw Learning as a whole and for each individual child.
For information on how all this is orchestrated, please visit the FAQ and resources tabs.
We continually strive for diversity at Raw Learning. We encourage people of all ethnicities, linguistic backgrounds and financial means to apply. Raw Learning is a secular and religiously inclusive organization. We welcome everyone.
our facilitators and teachers
The charge of the responsible adults is to listen attentively and observe carefully to gain better understanding of the children’s pursuits, questions, and curiosities and to provide resources and challenges for them to investigate the subject to their satisfaction. Facilitators will also record and preserve evidence of progress through the least distracting manner possible. There will be a minimum of two adult facilitators at Raw Learning at all times.
Teachers are parents, community members, and students who volunteer to lead a non-compulsory class because of their desire to do so and to enrich the learning of others. They will need to show how engaging their subject is to hold the fascination and interest of their students.
founder, coordinator, teacher, facilitator
Gleamer is Mom to a daughter, Riesling, and a son named Cashel, who are 13 and 11, respectively. She and her husband Joe live in Grottoes. While homeschooling in 2008, Gleamer observed the great joy her children and others derived from the option to learn and interact with their peers on a consistent basis. This is the inspiration for Raw Learning, which opened in September of 2009.
Gleamer attends annual conferences and other continuing education venues to keep abreast of the different ways to work with self-directed students. The Alternative Education Revolution Organization Conference is her favorite.
During the Spring Trimester, Gleamer will facilitate, lead the field trips, and help out with Makers class. Please see the field trips tab for more information.
Joe is a supportive husband and Dad. He loves to solve problems; the harder, the better! He is currently CEO of Vohtr, a start up in Staunton, which keeps him very busy problem solving. He also regularly conducts "dinner science experiments". Riesling and Cashel love to participate in the revelry of learning with their Dad.
Joe will once again be lending his engineering expertise for Makers class on Monday mornings this Winter Trimester.
Maryann is a mother of five who homeschooled for ten years before joining Raw Learning. She founded MAHN, an active co- op group in Hanover county before moving to Richmond VA where she was a part of Richmond Eclectic Homeschoolers. She co-founded Motherwise Birth Resources and chaired ICAN of Richmond. With ICAN she taught cesarean prevention classes to birthing families through St Mary’s Hospital’s Love and Learn program before moving to Staunton in 2014. Since moving to Staunton Maryann has worked as Project Coordinator for Queen City Concepts and Facilitator at Raw Learning before taking the Lead-Facilitator position.
Alexia is a very experienced swimmer, who began swimming at the age of 8 through summer league. She has since gone on to swim competitively with VAST out of Harrisonburg. She has a great love for swimming, enjoys competing, and is excited to teach others about swimming on Tuesday afternoons this spring. Please see the classes tab for more information.
Allison lives in Staunton with her husband, three sons, four cats, one dog, and various number of rabbits they raise for meat. She enjoys writing, photography, and reading.
Allison will be teaching Arts & Crafts and Fast Food at Home on Thursdays this Spring Trimester. Please see the classes tab for more information.
Anna and her husband Alex have a 13 year old son named Anson. Anson attended public school in K-1, and they have homeschooled since 2nd grade. He is in 8th grade now.
Their family relocated to the Shenandoah Valley from Texas in 2014. Anna discovered Raw Learning and she and Anson began attending as homeschoolers. Anna is the secretary for the Policy and Planning meetings at Raw Learning.
Anna is energetic and passionate. She cares deeply for people and dogs. She has helped families in various roles (nanny, tutor, housekeeper, pet sitter) since 2008. She works part time as a nanny for a Raw Learning family now.
She loves to clean (even bathrooms!), and started the Cleaning Crew at Raw Learning in the summer of 2015. Usually you will see her whisking by, but make no mistake, she is listening and aware and ready to be present with a child or teen or adult at any time. Please ask!
Anna loves sunshine, swimming, walks, talks, ice skating, jumping on trampolines, and roller coasters. Her family enjoys board games, the park, movies, long drives, and the beach! She can't wait to connect with old friends and meet new ones in the Raw Learning community.
Anna will lead the Peaceful Parenting Discussion Group on the 4th Friday of every month. Please see the Peaceful Parenting tab for more information.
Anne is Mom to 3 children ages 13, 11, and 9. She and her husband, Clint, live in Dayton. Clint and Anne are both graduates of James Madison University. Clint owns Battery Express in Harrisonburg. Anne and her family have been a member of the Raw Learning Community since it opened it's doors in 2009. Anne and Clint appreciate that Raw Learning is available for their children as an alternative to the standard educational experience.
Anne will continue to keep all the paperwork and payments on track this Spring.
Anson has 800+ hours on Counter Strike: Global Operations and is ranked Gold Nova 4. He is excited to share his expertise in Counter Strike Class this spring. Please see the classes tab for more information.
Chris has 800+ hours on Counter Strike: Global Operations and is ranked Gold Nova 2. He is excited to share his expertise in Counter Strike Class this spring. Please see the classes tab for more information.
Cora is 9 years old and has been attending Raw Learning for 2 years. She enjoys cooking, gymnastics, and crafting. Cora is looking forward to teaching Candy Crafts as her first class! Please see the classes tab for more information.
Cordelia is 9 and has attended Raw Learning for 2 1/2 years. She loves Warrior Cats, Minecraft, and How to Train Your Dragon. She is very excited to lead Leopard Clan again this spring. Please see the classes tab for more information.
Donna lives in Staunton with her son Arlo and husband Keith. She and Arlo have been coming to Raw Learning since the fall of 2014. She is excited to encourage Raw Learning students to express themselves through art and loves to encouraging the Raw Learning students to go outside through her fun classes on Tuesdays this spring. Please see the classes tab for more information.
Erin Staebell is a 30+ year Augusta County resident and currently lives just outside of Waynesboro with her husband, two children, one dog, one chicken, two rabbits, and three goats. She graduated from Mary Baldwin with a degree in Theater with a minor in History and participates in Relay For Life and Education Through Music. In her free time she works at Pufferbellies Toys and Books and absorbs as much of the Richards Institute of Education and Research's Education Through Music curriculum as possible.
Erin will teach Cooking 101, Acting/Improv, and Raw Academy for Witches and Wizards this spring. Please see the classes tab for more information.
Garrett is a recent homeschool graduate. He left the public school system in second grade. Since then he has been part of The Athenian Academy, which is an alternative school in Richmond VA, an online private school, and several co-ops. The oldest of five, he is often responsible for the care of several other people and a great help to his family. He works part time taking odd jobs around town. Garrett has an interest in architecture as a possible future subject of study as well as art and music.
Education and history:
Grew up in lthaca NY
Attended Beloit College, Beloit Wl
BA lthaca College, lthaca NY
MLS Syracuse University (School Library Media Specialist certification)
Aid/Assistant teacher Country Day School, Mclean VA
After school program leader/Library staff Friends Community School, College Park MD
Teacher, 2nd grade, Friends Community School, College Park MD
Substitute teacher Page County Schools
Teacher/owner/director, community co-op preschool Luray VA
Jane has taught and cared for children for over 40 years as well as raising her daughter and now helping to raise her grandson.
Jane leads our 3-5 year olds in adventures every Tuesday and Friday morning. Please see the Sprouts tabfor more information.
Jewel is 10 years old and has been attending raw Learning for 2 years. She is very outgoing and creative. She enjoys spending time crafting. Jewel looks forward to teaching Candy Crafts as her first class! Please see the classes tab for more information.
Kathy loves being present with and cooking for her 9 grandchildren, as well as gardening, traveling, music, and sewing. Her father had a woodworking business when she was a child which fostered a lifelong interest in woodworking. When Kathy isn't busy in some creative process, she can often be found with a good book in hand.
Kathy will be part of the Hochstedler trio who will teach Woodworking this Spring Trimester. Please see the classes tab for more information.
Kim has been part of an unschooling style family with her 3 sons for 26 years. She is passionate about learning how to and creating new ways of interacting and organizing as humans.
Kim has been a lover of plants since childhood. Gardening and working with the land and plants has enriched her life immensely. She sees that coming together to grow our food as very rewarding and wishes to pass along some of her enthusiasm and skills in Gaia's Garden on Friday afternoons this Spring. Please see the classes tab for more information.
Kristen has a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science from Sweet Briar College. She currently attends Raw Learning with her two children. She will be making Raw Learning’s yearbook again this year.
Tiffany has always had a passion for caring for others. In 2007 she became a Certified Massage Therapist and discovered how to use this gift to care for others. Through working at the day spa, Tiffany learned how to perform manicures and pedicures through an apprenticeship program, learned makeup application techniques and about various makeup products. She was able to take classes through AVEDA (an eco friendly company that produces and educates on natural skin and hair care products) on skin, hair and nail care techniques.
This is Tiffany's first year homeschooling her 6 year old son, Ryan. She also has a 1 year old, Ashton. She enjoys traveling with her family and often says the world is our classroom.
Tiffany is excited to share her passion for care with the Raw Learning students in her Cosmetology class on Tuesdays this spring. Please see the classes tab for more information.
Wayne is grandfather to 9 creative and energetic grandchildren, and enjoys working outside, doing lawn and garden work, music and traveling. His interest in woodworking has roots from a childhood growing up on a farm, but he has taken a woodworking class in recent years, and learns from his own experimentation and observing others. He is also quite handy at carpentry and remodeling work.
Wayne will working with Wendy and Kathy to teach woodworking this spring.
Wendy is mom to two sons, 9 and 5, and lover of all things outdoors, mountains and plant related. She enjoys helping things grow, and cooking the harvest. Wendy and her husband Mark, who is also a stone mason, farm and grow grapes with her parents and live near Waynesboro.
Wendy learned basic woodworking skills from her dad while growing up on a farm, and is honored to have a father-in-law with fine wood crafting abilities who will help teach woodworking class this Spring Trimester at Raw Learning. Please see the classes tab for more information.
Mother of three Raw Learning students; Nariah, Nalani, and Nadali and facilitator to all. She is a former high school basketball player and youth basketball coach.
According to Nalani, Whit will give you a helping hand if needed. She can cook, clean, and is fun. She is creative and curious and will keep you out of trouble. :-)
Whit is happy to share her love of sports with the Raw Learning kids on Thursdays this spring. Please see the classes tab for more information.
tax-exempt status and accreditation
We are currently operating as a tax-exempt business as our application is waiting approval from the Internal Revenue Service. Once approved, contributions may be tax-deductible retroactive to the date of application.
Accreditation through a Virginia Department of Education approved organization will be established as soon as possible.
Raw Learning is located on the ground floor of Battle Hall on the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (VSDB) campus. Raw Learning does not have any association with VSDB. We have access to the soccer fields, playground, AMI Urban Farm at VSBD, and open play areas located on the VSDB Campus.