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Home School at the Center

Learning By Design:NY, the Center for Architecture Foundation’s K – 12 architecture education program has been active in city schools since 1996, pairing architects and design educators with classroom teachers to integrate the study of architecture and design into the school curriculum. For the past three years, home-schooled students have also been able to participate in this hands-on design program using the Center as their classroom.

NYC parent Lenora Todaro, who home schools her three sons, first approached the Center for Architecture Foundation in 2010 hoping to enrich her children’s study of the Middle Ages by including a course on its architecture. CFAF staff worked with Todaro to craft a custom program that would enrich this existing curriculum and develop her children’s understanding of architecture and design, as we do with classroom teachers in our in-school program. The class was advertised through her home school networks, and a final group of 14 students met weekly at the Center for two months to build their own scale model of a medieval village. These weekly sessions not only introduced students to 3-D design and architecture concepts and skills, but also provided a chance for them to work collaboratively in a social setting.

Since then, the Center for Architecture Foundation has continued to partner with Todaro and other home schooling parents to offer four or more programs each year for this audience, serving more than 60 students annually. Two home school classes recently completed a program on immigration in New York City, learning about the rise of tenement apartments and other building types from this period through neighborhood walking tours and model building projects. The students presented their early 20th-century streetscapes to parents and siblings in Tafel Hall in early December. Their Middle Eastern mosque and souk projects created in last spring’s Home School program are currently on view in the “Building Connections” exhibition in the KPF and HLW galleries. A new Home School program will begin in January, focusing on traditional Japanese architecture.

For more information about CFAF’s home school programs, please contact Catherine Teegarden, Director of Education at cteegarden@cfafoundation.org / 212-358-6135.