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Chesterfield’s CASCO Learning Is Helping Area Parents Homeschool the Next Generation Through Innovative Methods

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In 2020, educators Maria J. Casco and Jenna M. Hill left their roles teaching in local Montessori schools to launch CASCO Learning – a family-centered co-op based in Chesterfield that empowers parents who choose to homeschool their children.

It was a big leap, but it was one that both felt was essential in today’s changing society.

“We feel like we’re pioneers in the education world,” Casco says. “The world came to a halt during the [COVID-19] pandemic. Both Jenna and I come from Montessori worlds, and we decided to create something new and different and progressive in this new educational model.”

The CASCO Learning model consists of three core structures: an on-site education center for homeschool and school instruction, domestic and international family travel trips, and a future foundation coming soon. Combined, this novel approach draws from a variety of different schooling methods, from Montessori instruction to Waldorf methods to traditional education.

Parents can visit the the organization’s learning center to access tools and resources not only to instruct their own children but also to get involved – and invested – in this education. In so doing, the team behind CASCO Learning believes parents and kids can bypass stuffier, more rigid approaches to learning.

“What we’re training our future generations is that learning is a chore or that it’s no fun,” Casco says of the typical approach. “We’re really focused on the intellectual vitality of these children who are going to grow up to be problem-solvers and solution-seekers.”

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One of the most notable components of CASCO Learning is its instruction outside the traditional classroom. Approximately 25 to 50 families embark on regular field trips to demonstrate that learning happens everywhere – not just at a desk in a classroom.

This year, the group plans to travel to Mexico to take in sights and culture available only in person. CASCO Learning worked with a travel agency to make it easy for families to book travel accommodations. Along the way, children and parents alike will learn about life in U.S.’s southern neighbor, Mexican history and the Spanish language. Casco says these experiences are essential, now more than ever.

“The world has changed, and so should education,” she says. “This is our time to do it.” 

CASCO Learning, 17732 Edison Ave., Chesterfield, cascolearning.com

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