Cottonwood NYC

How We Learn

At Cottonwood we recognize that curiosity is innate, learning is natural and play is often the catalyst for deep investigation. These beliefs are the foundation of our self-directed approach to learning. Within the context of the community, each individual sets the intent of their day, planning their own activities, schedules, and projects.


Start of the Day

When we come together at the start of each day, we employ democratic approaches to learning in community and use agile tools to facilitate the process. This involves intention setting, group discussion and voting in which everyone engages according to their desires with mindfulness for the needs of one another, the group, and the space.

Our Space

Our space extends beyond the indoors. Find Cottonwood outside in the neighborhood playing in McGolrick Park, shopping at the grocery store for ingredients for the next cooking project, or visiting the library to follow the threads of their curiosity.

CottonWood Kids

Our homeschool cooperative is mixed age for learners starting at age 3 through middle/high school who have freedom to explore anything in our engaging space.

Field and Service days

Each Friday the Cottonwood Kids explore the local and greater NYC region. Their adventures inspire them to discover new interests at museums, libraries, and other cultural hubs in the area. They also venture further from the city bustle by visiting farms, forests, and natural spaces in the greater region. One Friday each month is reserved as a service day to support our community in Greenpoint.