About Us

 

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LACI Homeschoolers’ Association: A place where children can actively connect with peers to explore their boundless love of learning in a safe environment … where they can foster social connections to each other and the community … where they can go to the moon and back, or simply to the study group down the hall.

Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears and never regrets.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519)

Tuesdays, 11-3
First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury
19 Church Road
Shrewsbury, MA 01545

What makes us different?

~ Our 11-3 schedule allows you to keep your morning routine intact, to travel to LACI stress-free (no commuter traffic!) or simply to sleep in.

~ Our study groups, geared for ages 6-14 (or thereabouts) are child-directed. The study groups we offer follow the interests of all the children in LACI, so every kid has the chance to direct his or her own learning.

~ There are also organized age-appropriate activities for preschool-aged siblings to learn and socialize, with lots of time for free play and exploration. And new as of spring 2015, study groups for siblings ages 3-5!

~ Our ample space provides individual classrooms around a central community area. There’s also plenty of outside space for playing, and the kids are outside for free play and / or organized games every week.

~ Our flexible last hour of programming allows your child to choose from stations which could include:

  • a service project
  • sewing
  • arts and crafts
  • strategy games
  • outside play
  • or whatever they are wanting to explore more deeply

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.
Albert Einstein

You never know what projects the kids and their mentors will come up with for the last hour, but you can be assured of a relaxed atmosphere allowing for more social time.

~ Don’t want to join LACI as a full member but your child would like to participate in one of the study groups offered? No problem. Our flexible design allows you to sign up for one or two study groups per session without being a member of the LACI Homeschoolers’ Association.

~ Our flexible fee schedule lets you choose the amount of involvement you’d like to have and the amount of discount you’d like to receive.

Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation … even so does inaction sap the vigour of the mind.
Leonardo da Vinci

Founded by a group of homeschooling moms and kids who have been hanging out together and learning together for years:

Debbie McDuffee
Founder, Director, and Instructor
Debbie holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History and English and a master’s degree in elementary education, and over the last 20+ years has been a classroom teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, teacher trainer, private tutor and homeschooling mom of a 10-year-old. For the last couple of years, she’s been running classes, workshops, book clubs and summer programs for homeschoolers. Her love of project-based, child-centered learning stems from a childhood filled with creating whatever she could imagine … and she hasn’t stopped since.

Christina White
Founder, Director, and Instructor
Christina loves learning just about anything, and after receiving her bachelor’s in biology from WPI, she went on to a career in software and database development, working also as a corporate educator teaching various technology classes. After the birth of her daughter, Ruth, Christina began working as a part-time music educator, choral director, and soloist while homeschooling her 9-year-old daughter. Her parents are happy that she’s finally using her science degree for something and she’s having fun (re)learning all kinds of stuff. Before founding LACI with Deb and Melanie, she taught several science classes alongside Deb.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
Albert Einstein

Melanie Robinson
Founder
Melanie has a B.S. in early childhood education and child development. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom and homeschooler, she was a child care director, running programming for children ages 18 months to 13 years, and a teacher for pre-K and Kindergarten. Now she can be found exploring and creating adventures with her three children.

Beth McShane
Instructor
Beth McShane has been an educator of young children for over twenty-five years. She was previously the director of Doe-Rey-Me Preschool, where she enjoyed sharing her love of learning and discovery with hundreds of children. Beth is currently the Site Coordinator for the after school program at Lincoln Street School and an employee with Northborough Recreation running preschool classes and birthday parties. She resides in Shrewsbury and is the mother of three amazing children! Beth is excited to begin sharing her knowledge, experience and passion for discovery with parents and children alike.

Sarah Olsen
Instructor
Sarah studied biochemistry and biotechnology at RIT in NY, but came back home to the northeast to be closer to her family.  She worked at Genzyme until the birth of her daughter. Now she has a 6- and 4-year-old who decided they wanted to be homeschooled, and Sarah was on board so they all ended up at LACI.  Sarah has been sewing since she could thread a needle, with quilting becoming a passion.  She’s hoping to open her own Etsy store (in a few years) with bags that she has designed and made.


Jennifer Swan

Instructor
Jen Swan is a teaching artist and mural painter who shares her love of art with the diverse community of Worcester and its surrounding cities and towns. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, she currently teaches classes for the Worcester Art Museum, Ecotarium, and the Worcester Think Tank. She is also a Cultural Partner in many schools and organizations teaching through MCC grants. Jen is primarily a plein air landscape painter, however, draws influence from many themes, styles and cultures in her artwork.