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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

3295 Guerneville Rd
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

McDonald Ranch Helps Kids with Distance Learning

McDonald Ranch has been offering a unique, enrichment program to children who are doing distance learning. Children are supervised and guided by a credentialed teacher who keeps the children engaged from 8am until 5pm. Mornings are generally spent doing zoom meetings and other academic work assigned by their schools.

The pace really changes in the afternoons when the children go into their enrichment programs which include archery, horse riding lessons, interaction with farm animals, ceramics, arts and crafts along with camp games.

There are only 14 students being served by our teacher along with 3 adult assistants; so everyone gets plenty of attention they need. Four parents have been so pleased with the work our teacher is doing with their children that they have chosen to pull their children from the public school system for homeschool programs again overseen by Katja Loungman. Parents have the flexibility to pick up children any time during the afternoons. The program has gone so well that several families have discussed continuing even when public schools resume to keep their children safe within the same "germ pod" that has provided as much safety as possible during this uncertain time.

Children are outdoors as much as possible on a working ranch often even doing their zoom meetings under the walnut tree. Very little work, if any, is sent home with children so that parents can "be parents" rather than struggle with being teachers as well.

Although the program is open to all elementary aged children, the current group ranges from ages 5 to 9 years old. Instead of being a time remembered as full of stress and loneliness during a scary pandemic, children at McDonald Ranch will surely remember this as a very special time on a farm setting where they felt safe and loved going to "school".

The only reason one space is available at this time is because one of the children is moving out of the area. Those with interest or questions can contact Linda McDonald, Director at 707-583-6711.

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