Home School House Answers the Call
August 23, 2023 | By: Sharon Sedlar
Nichole Miller has been an educator for 20 years, starting her career as a 4th grade teacher for the Harrisburg School District. After her first year back from COVID, she realized that traditional teaching was no longer her calling, and she branched out into a private education and tutoring approach. Nichole secured rental in a portion of a nearby furniture store, and Home School House was born.
Nichole operates a “Drop-In Learning Center” (think one-room schoolhouse) in Elizabethville, PA at a daily rate that provides enrichment, tutoring, recess, activities, experiments, art and craft projects, and literacy programming for home and virtually-schooled students – all with a certified teacher.
Nichole’s carefully arranged, bright and cheery educational space offers many areas for solitude and group work with tables, benches, couches, floor cushions, and hanging pod swing chairs. As a teacher for nearly two decades, Nichole has amassed quite the resources. She has a section for each subject: hundreds of books line the reading shelves with a cozy couch or hanging chairs from which to read; the science section premiers a specialty rock and mineral focus, with a bulletin board detailing the scientific process and how to use measurement devices; the reading wall has vocabulary, spelling and comprehension cue cards; the writing area features brightly colored desks and chairs with alphabet cards and writing process cues; the math wall helps to explain the number line and decimal progression, algebraic and geometric concepts, and operations rules with lots of hands on manipulatives; and the social studies area contains maps of the United States and world. Other informational items, positive messaging, and things to do line the vividly patterned walls.
“Teaching public school for 17 years changed my perspective on teaching and learning. I had become complicit in the educational institutionalization of our children. Opening Home School House was the best thing for myself, my own children, and the community we live in. Now, I work directly with families, helping them to take their child’s education in whatever direction they choose.
“When students enter the space for the first time their faces light up with possibilities. They already own the space in their minds and begin to make decisions about their learning, sometimes for the first time. Open mouths, wide eyes, and smiling Moms and Dads who have to force their child to leave are the criteria on my new ‘teacher evaluation’!”
Many educators (and parents) are venturing out and creating new spaces for students and families – ones that, as Home School House, believes that “families should be able to ensure their children receive a valuable educational experience that also meets the needs of the family.” There is no longer only one way to provide education to our children, but we need more to step up and answer the call.