What is self-directed education?
With Self-Directed Education, students play the central role in shaping and engaging in their own learning.

Youth who develop goals and roadmaps, sign up for their own classes, projects, and internships, and increase their skills and responsibilities, are actively learning to be independent and empowered adults.

At Ka-Lo, we provide the mentoring and structure for this process to be successful.

What if I’m unmotivated and not naturally self-directed?
We’ll help you learn the skills of self-direction!

Every adult needs to be self-directed in order to manage health, finances, relationships, and endless life tasks. It can be hard to learn these skills of independence in a school system that values following the directions of others. We support young people to use the teen years to move toward independence and adulthood.

Are you a WASC accredited school?
We are a registered private school.

We are not accredited, by choice. This status allows us to be accountable to students rather than state needs.

Some students who enroll in our José Saramago Independent Studies Program will set up programs that look like school, in which they meet with us regularly and work on assignments. Other students will set up a plan that looks much less like other independent studies programs -- perhaps they use their time to focus on a singular passion and gain support from us as they learn to manage their time and achieve their goals.

We also offer the Septima Clark High School Diploma Program, for students ready to focus on graduation. Our comprehensive and customized diploma program guides teens through a process, which is both active and introspective, that guides them to a point of feeling finishedcomplete with this phase of their education.

Some of our students may concurrently enroll in a homeschool charter to receive the allowable state stipend to pay for independent study (home school), which can sometimes be used to pay for Ka-Lo Academy Mentorship or can be used for classes or supplies as chosen by the student and authorized by the homeschool charter. We can discuss the pros and cons of this choice with you.

What do you charge?
All students start out with a Customized Learning Consultation of approximately 90 minutes.

Students who go on to work with us further will either sign up for our  José Saramago Independent Studies program, at a monthly cost, or pay a package price for the Septima Clark High School Diploma Program which runs approximately 3-6 months.

There is no charge for a 15-minuten informational phone call.

We are happy to email you a fee schedule after speaking with you if requested.

Do you have any references?
Absolutely! We would be happy to share contact information of past students and families who can tell you about their experience working with us. Ka-Lo Academy’s Mentors are experienced educational professionals with long careers in the Bay Area.

My child is unhappy in school, but I’m nervous about alternative education. Do you have any resources I can look into to learn more?
Yes! See our Resources page for recommendations of books, websites, and videos about self-directed, mentor-supported learning.

Where does your model come from?
We are a unique hybrid program influenced by many sources.

Our Educational Options Consulting is grounded in our combined 30 years of experience homeschooling, teaching, and researching options for youth-centered learning.

Our Independent Studies option comes from working in public Independent school programs, and many years of mentoring students who wish to design learning plans outside of traditional schools.

Our Diploma option is inspired by the Democratic/Free School* tradition, which includes students in the processes of determining their own graduation readiness and designing protocols for managing their learning. We are also influenced by Wes Beach's school for "graduation ready" youth.

See Alternative Education Resource Organization on democratic schools, and these books for more info on this tradition:

Kingdom of Childhood
After Summerhill

Where are you located?
Ka-Lo Academy is located in the Oakland , California. We are not a brick and mortar school. We meet with our students in libraries, cafes, community college campuses, by Skype, or at their homes.  We serve the needs of students throughout the Bay Area and further.