About AWS 

AWS currently operates as a membership-based educational service.  Membership fees go directly to help support the program- field trip tickets, food, curriculum, materials & supplies, and day to day operating expenses.  

Our nonprofit partner, FRIENDS of AWAKENING SPIRIT SCHOOL 501(c)3 fundraises towards general support of our community, families, and staff. They also own and maintain the shuttle bus, financially supporting all transportation costs for weekly field trips as well as school-wide roadschooling.

Awakening Spirit Homeschool Collaborative meets on 15 acres in a single-family home outside of Stillwater, MN.  This is a meeting of like-minded families who collaborate and network our individual strengths & resources. 

Guides are primarily parents and grandparents who are also members of the collaborative.

Each family is registered as a homeschooling family with the home states (MN / WI).  Individual parents are listed as ‘primary educators’ with the state.  Miss Amy, as the director of the program, is listed as the ‘secondary educators’.

From 2021-2023, AWS was been recognized as a Microschool Builders Gold-Level Celebrated School based on our student-centered approach.

In 2023, AWS was designated a Microschool Builders CENTER OF EXCELLENCE. This designation means that AWS is worthy of visitations to allow for immersive experiences for other microschool founders.

 

 

AWS Homeschool Collaborative 

We (founders Amy & Dave Marotz) operated the pilot version of ‘Awakening Spirit School’ out of the lower level of our family home in Woodbury, MN for the first three years of operation.  When we discovered the perfect location- a 15 acre property in the idyllic countryside of the Stillwater-Grant area, we purchased the home knowing that it would be a perfect meeting place for our community of homeschooling families.

With the advent of COVID-19, interest in alternative education spiked.  Families who were before ‘just considering’ homeschooling had impetus to take the leap.  Our consciously-formed community of like-minded parents expanded from four families to ten, filling out our One Room Schoolhouse and starting our Mixed-Age Kindergarten Program.  

Because we functioned as our own ‘pandemic pod’, we were able to continue meeting as an Educational Service in the state of MN throughout the public school shutdowns.  Our sensitive & gifted kids, who would have suffered greatly in the world of masks, forced temperature checks, and social distancing, thrived in our family-like community where we all took responsibility for each other’s health and well-being.  

During our second year of operations, we added a few more families and rounded out our offerings by introducing an Independent High School option for homeschoolers ages 14-18.  Now into our third year of operation, we have set our capacity at 18 students (1st-12th) as well as 6 in the Mixed-Age Kindergarten in order to truly offer joyful, INDIVIDUALIZED and personal learning plans and respectful guide relationships with each student. 

Parents may choose to have an active role in the school, acting as guides, volunteering to teach mini-lessons, be passion project mentors, chaperone our weekly field trips, organizing monthly family dinners, and using our common spaces to do some work while their kids are learning.

AWS Future

Our program is becoming more layered and robust.  We have just completed our Outdoor Forest School Classroom, and have plans to build a walking meditative labyrinth and a yoga/healing retreat space,  as well as improve our trails system.   

We are excitedly anticipating opening our very own SLOYD STUDIO Fall 2024.  Manual work (working with ones hands) shows gain in physical development, free thinking, strength of character and power of will.

 

Several of our guides are FSTI certified guides.

I’m ready to truly bring the vision of a child-centered community to life for our gifted & highly-sensitive children.  It’s nature-based, family-centered, and responsive.

Amy Marotz, Founder and Director of AWS