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Private Education: The Elaborate Design of Home Schools of the Elite

Haute home schooling has gotten the full trend piece treatment from the Wall Street Journal this morning, with an extensive look at how the elite have invested resources and money into creating more elaborate educational facilities for their children at home. The growing number of these types of projects, which seek to create a campus-like environment at home, has been fueled by the growth in wealthy home school students and a cottage industry supporting their education; according to U.S. Department of Education data, 1.8 million children were home-schooled, a jump of 60% from 2003, with 1.6 percent coming from families with more than $100,000 in household income.

"Home schooling is not about secluding yourself in your home, but doing the opposite and releasing yourself from the confines of a small area," said Peter Danziger, a 13-year-old student quoted in the piece.

The article reports that many of the homeowners creating these spaces are building "from the ground up," and including outdoor spaces, loft-like rooms and other such spaces in final floorplans to ensure their children have an optimal learning environment. It's "a lifestyle, not just one room," says one of the mothers quoted in the piece.

Some are creating a work room with desks or whiteboards, set up like an adult's home office, or building freestanding classrooms on their property. Since these rooms can easily be converted into an extra bedroom, the renovations and additions should have little effect when it comes time to sell. Many of the unique learning experiences these setups allow seem idyllic; in-house classes in the kitchen from professional chefs, class time spent in the family backyard garden, and custom tutoring and mentoring. One company, the School for Young Performers, even does home consultations and recommends design or furniture changes for students.

"Home schooling is about embracing life as a learning experience. You don't need a chalkboard," Julie Piatt, who told the WSJ about homeschooling her four children for 9 years.

Haute Home Schools Designed to Give Kids a Bespoke Education [Wall Street Journal]
Chicago Private School Gets Streamlined New Arts Hub [Curbed]
Bjarke Ingels Is Designing a Public School in Virginia [Curbed]