HOW IT WORKS
We provide support, guidance, opportunities and resources
Princeton Learning Cooperative has been supporting teens to self-direct their learning since 2010. We provide a host of academic, non-academic and social supports to make the idea of leaving the traditional path and taking control of your own education a realistic option.
Mentoring offers direct Support for Teens and Families
The teen-mentor relationship is at the core of the PLC experience. Each of our teens is matched with a staff member with whom they have a weekly scheduled meeting.
Teens and mentors reflect on how the teen has been spending their time, challenges they’ve encountered, ideas for personal projects, anxieties and excitements, and just about any part of a teen’s experience.
Through ongoing conversation and planning, the mentor supports the teen and their family to start new chapters in their lives. With the help of their mentor and their parents, each teen envisions and begins to take steps toward their future goals.
Teens and mentors track progress towards goals, and facilitate connections with the wider world. By documenting the teen’s activities and classes through weekly notes and narrative transcripts, mentoring helps to pave the way to a teen’s future beyond their time at PLC, which often includes moving on to college.
Classes, tutorials, and trips
PLC’s ordinary hours of operation are between the hours of 8:45 AM and 3:15 PM, four days per week (M, T, TH, F), September through June. On these days, PLC offers a wide variety of classes, tutorials, and trips. You can see the full variety of offerings on the activities calendar on our calendar page.
Our classes represent the interests, needs, and passions of our current collection of members and staff. They range from traditional academic subjects like Biology and US History, to those off the beaten path like Architecture and Nature, to more hands-on and creative classes like Woodworking and Digital Photography.
All classes and activities happen in small groups or individually. They’re led by the experienced professionals of the core staff, by PLC teens, and by work-study students, interns, and volunteers from the community.
Fridays are reserved for trips and workshops. These are often suggested and planned by teen members with support from staff. They range from excursions to New York City, touring local businesses, skiing and cosmetics or graffiti art workshops.
Freedom and Flexibility
Learning is essential for leading a productive and happy life. To that end, the state of New Jersey requires young people to attend school through the age of sixteen. However, the compulsory attendance requirement can be met through the flexible mode of learning known as homeschooling.
PLC helps families to become homeschooling families, which means that the family—and not a school—is responsible for the education of their teen. But homeschooling doesn’t have to mean parents teaching their children at home. Instead, it can be a family picking out a collection of opportunities and resources to enrich and build a life.
Many families, even when school is not working, feel they cannot take on the responsibility of directing their child’s education. PLC helps families to navigate self-directed learning, to access the freedom and flexibility of homeschooling—especially families that wouldn’t have considered it otherwise.
PLC is committed to helping teens flourish by providing them with opportunities and mentorship. We believe that given these conditions, teens will come to choose what is best for themselves. Because of this, PLC is a non-coercive environment. We do not require or mandate participation from members in any activity. PLC teens and their families are in charge of their lives and learning—we’re just here to support them.
You’ve come this far, perhaps you want to go a little further…
Rather talk to us in person? Self-directed learning and supporting teens are our favorite things to chat about. Give us a call: 609-851-2522, or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, check out these links to learn more about our philosophy.