What is a tutorial?
A tutorial is a class that meets weekly (typically once a week for middle school, twice for high school). We use the term "tutorial" interchangeably with "class" and "course," in the tradition of the British tutorial system. Our tutorials run the full year, following the public school calendar (with a few differences), and meet at our campus in Boxford.
So New Hope isn't a School?
While much of what we do feels like a "school" (groups of students working with instructors) our learning community is unique in a number of ways. Families register their children for tutorials on an a-la-carte basis; by design, we do not provide a full program for any student. Rather, we exist to partner with you as you continue the journey of homeschooling. Some students take a science tutorial for a year, and that is the extent of their work with New Hope. Other students end up taking two (or three or four!) tutorials every year for five or six years for the duration of their middle and high school careers.
What sorts of Courses do you offer?
We have a full spectrum of courses at the middle and high school level, including math and science, languages, history, English, and electives.
Do I need to be a homeschooler to register?
Yes and no. There is not a formal requirement that you be a homeschooler in the traditional sense, but since we do not provide a full "school" program, we see parents as the ones responsible for ensuring that students fulfill all credit requirements for a full and rich education. During the high school years, many families take advantage of dual enrollment, community college classes, online programs, etc., so they may not fit the traditional homeschooling mold. We simply ask that parents be the primary drivers of their kids' curriculum choices.
I don't see any Bible courses. Is this a Christian organization?
We are an ecumenical Christian institution. In practice, this means that while we lay no requirements on our students or families to adhere to any faith, our tutors and staff all subscribe to the Nicene Creed and are active members of their local church. We run the gamut of the Christian world, and we have or have recently had representatives of the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian, Congregational, nondenominational Protestant, and other denominations. As partners with homeschooling families, we have long felt that religious instruction is the prerogative of parents and pastors, and so we do not offer Bible or theology courses. That said, our instructors are encouraged to share their faith in the Risen Lord, making Christ Himself the "Cornerstone" of our community of learning.
We are not a "Christian" family. Will my child be comfortable at New Hope?
Yes, we think so! While the majority of our students are from families that are active in their Christian congregations, we have had students from agnostic, Jewish, and other backgrounds attend, and we are careful to include everyone in what we do. Some tutors open class with prayer, for instance, but always do so in an open atmosphere, never "requiring" students to pray or to pretend to be something they are not. A student or family uncomfortable with Christianity per se or openness about expressing one's faith would probably not be a good fit here, but the vast majority of students we have had from outside the Christian tradition have had great experiences at New Hope.
When can I sign up?
Registration opens for the following academic year in late March/early April of the preceding year. Family interviews are required before beginning the process, in order to ensure a good fit. After that, admission is accepted on a rolling basis, including during the actual school year. We occasionally have students join midyear (this is often easier in an English or history course, for instance, than in a language or math course). Workshop registration is taken on a rolling basis, as they start throughout the year. See our current workshops here.