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A Parent's View: Why Free Union?

We asked Mercer, the parent of two alumni, to tell us why her family chose Free Union. In four interview clips, she explains what brought her here, why she stayed, how it was worth the cost, and how her boys are doing six years after Free Union.

  • What brought you to Free Union Country School?

  • What have you liked about Free Union?

  • Was the cost of Free Union worth it?

  • How are your kids doing in high school?

Other Parent Comments

Our two boys attended Free Union Country School from preschool through 5th grade. We can't imagine a better place to raise our children. The teachers are committed and inspiring—the community is loving and supportive. We never experienced a mediocre teacher in our fourteen years there—they were all amazing. Our boys love to read, write, create, figure, explore and they are kind, confident and caring.

Free Union offers the type of world we had as children. A place where recess meant sand and mud, forts and castles. A place where imagination reigns. Isn't this what childhood should be? Our children are now in public middle and high school. They are on par academically with others their age—and their creativity and confidence well above average. We consider Free Union one of the best decisions we ever made.

We wanted a mostly outdoor experience for school. Something few could or would offer. Even if classes were indoors, as often can be the case, the kids had to go outside to trek to the bathroom—connectedness with nature by default. This from two non-hippies. It's that simple!

We chose Free Union because we knew it was a place where he would be seen not just as a student or kid but also seen and loved as a person—truly nurturing the unique person he is becoming—not trying to make him fit into a box, so to speak. We also chose Free Union because we knew that they would instill in him a love for learning that goes beyond the four walls of a classroom. Respecting, engaging, exploring, and connecting to the natural world around us is something we find immensely important and Free Union does a fantastic job of incorporating it into their curriculum and daily routines.

Free Union felt child-centered. It was a small enough school that my children would be known. Important to us also was that the school has a social curriculum such that emphasizing kindness mattered.

With every intention of moving to the public schools after one year, we started at Free Union because it was the neighborhood preschool. Then we saw that learning came to life at this school. Every teacher was exceptional and focused on each child. They seemed to know my kid better than I did. It was a learning community that we were comfortable being a part of. The people became like family to us. We also believed that an investment in primary education was probably important. My kids are now thriving in public middle and high school.

My kids were in a school where classes were large. I wanted them in a school where they would be seen—if they needed help they would be noticed. And I saw how joyful the kids at Free Union were, whether they were in or out of class. I wanted this for my kids. At his other school, my son used to be afraid of the bigger kids. At Free Union, probably because everyone knew everyone else's name, the fourth and fifth graders would say hi to him and call him by name. To sum it up, I wanted a school where my son would be seen, where learning was joyful, and where they would learn to relate kindly with other kids.

It was a hard decision at first because of the money. And there were some other things I liked about her other school such as the diversity among the student body. But at Free Union my daughter is thriving socially and academically. She’s connected to her teachers and classmates in a way that she wasn’t at her other, larger school.

Summary of the main reasons parents send their children to Free Union Country School:

  1. It is a place where their children will be known.
  2. Young children need to be mobile to learn—at Free Union there is an emphasis on the outdoors.
  3. Learning is seen as fun and the kids are joyful.
  4. Teachers are top notch, take an interest in every child, and are creative about their lessons.
  5. Parents feel their kids are safe, learn how to learn, and are prepared for the next educational steps.

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