Lil Red Riverton is the first of what will hopefully become thousands of tiny schools in the country. The mission of lilred.org, the non-profit that provides the schoolhouse, is to create connections among homeschool families and support them by eliminating one of their biggest challenges…where to meet!
If you were to take a peek into the windows of Lil Red Riverton on any given day, you might see the host family’s kiddos hard at work with their mom. One up in the library doing some silent reading while the toddler not-so-silently plays with his magnatiles, another kid in the other loft with headphones on completing his LiftEd lesson for the day, and another kid down in the classroom with mom, using the giant whiteboard to work on spelling words or division problems. Mom can’t do a whole lot of multi-tasking when she’s out in Lil Red since there’s no laundry to fold or dishes to unload—it’s strictly schooltime, and everyone knows it.
Later in the afternoon you might find the Lil Red Ladybugs preschool group learning about flowers from the neighbor two doors down, or perhaps you’d see the LiftEd crew gathering to celebrate the end of their anatomy unit and creating a life-sized replica of the human body out of cardboard, strings, and balloons. Another group gathers to celebrate holidays, learning all about the origin of St. Patrick’s Day or organizing a fun Easter egg hunt. It’s not at all uncommon for Lil Red to host community volunteers to come teach the students about their areas of expertise, including military personnel, local business owners, or guests from different countries!
After school is done for the day, Lil Red often becomes the homework station for kids in the neighborhood, or, if the homework is finished, they might pull out the bean bag chairs and settle in for a movie night. It’s also a great quiet place for mom to sneak out to catch her breath for the next day’s work (iykyk)!
Between all these different groups, Lil Red Riverton currently serves over 50 students and their families. Here’s what some of them had to say about their experience with Lil Red:
“We were lucky enough to find Lil Red right after moving into the neighborhood. It was such a blessing for my kids and I to meet other people and have an immediate group to be part of. My kids have loved the freedom to learn hands-on and then have time to free play with other children. When I decided to homeschool I knew I still wanted social experiences for them, and was so grateful for this in-between!” - Jenni, Lil Red mom.
“We love Lil Red! It’s been the perfect place to start our homeschool journey. We love coming to school every week. It’s been the best environment to learn in. Both my kids ask to go to Lil Red multiple times a week and it’s always hard to leave once we get there because it’s so accommodating to them!” - Mikaela, Lil Red mom.
“One of the most exciting things for me has been the friendships that are made at Lil Red. I also feel like it has given me the confidence to feel like I could do homeschool in the future. I enjoy learning and collaborating with all the other parents as well. I think Lil Red is such an appealing place situated in a lovely neighborhood where everyone feels like they have a part.” - RaShae, Lil Red mom.
Each family participating in a Lil Red co-op is encouraged to make a monthly donation and help with fundraising efforts. Lil Red Riverton is currently fundraising for the 2023–24 school year. Lil Red students will be participating in the Children’s Entrepreneur Market in Riverton on August 4th, and the families will be hosting an outdoor movie night and silent auction fundraiser on August 12th. We hope to see the mission of Lil Red spread across the country! If you would like more information on joining or forming a Lil Red co-op, or if you would like to make a donation, please visit lilred.org. You can also follow Lil Red Riverton on Instagram @lilredriverton.