Discovery of Learning was founded and is currently run by Amy McCamly, mother of two girls. Since Amy thought she would never homeschool (even if you paid her a million dollars!), her path to opening Discovery of Learning is unique, and inspiring:
My name is Amy and I have always loved working with children. At the age of 17, I started taking classes in early childhood and working at preschools. Since receiving my degree in Early Childhood Education, I have spent over 20 years working with children through teaching preschool, directing, owning a preschool, teaching Mommy & Me classes, and homeschooling.
My family is #1 on my list of priorities. I believe in creating my life around family; though it’s not always easy, I know it can be done. And my education has really helped me as a mother, too. I can understand why my children do the things they do, which makes discipline easier, and why play is such an important part of all stages of children’s growth. Has it made me a perfect mother? No. Do I always discipline in the best way? No. I have life struggles just like everyone else. But my education has made me aware of the right choices as I try my best as a mother and an educator.
My training has also helped me make the right decision when it comes to the education of my children. Though I never wanted to homeschool, I believed I would stay home with my children until they started kindergarten. I was the mom who always said, “You could pay me a million dollars and I would still never homeschool.” Despite my degree, Ty and I didn’t feel confident in our ability to fully educate our girls, and we also wanted their world to be bigger than us. Yet, my inner voice kept telling me that traditional school would not work for our family.
So, when we were expecting our oldest, Madisyn, we began searching high and low for the “right” school. We found one non-traditional, multi-age program that Madisyn attended for her kindergarten and first grade years. We loved the program her first year, but during the second year there was a new principal and changes imposed by the school district that made us realize this was not going to work anymore. A few friends of mine and I decided to work on opening a public charter school, and we kept Madisyn home for second grade until we could get the charter up and running; I had a good friend who homeschooled and thought, “Yeah, I could do this… just for a year.”
Then, the charter school got denied by both the city and county. The whole process made me start to realize that I could not rely on the government to educate my children. Even if we got the charter going, and I was involved in picking teachers, developing curriculum, etc., it would ultimately be the state giving the final approval and dictating how my children were educated.
So, now what? Remember… I wasn’t going to homeschool, not even for a million dollars! But I had to do something. I spent time researching and learning a lot about homeschooling, and ultimately decided to take my education, newfound knowledge, and passion for children to create Discovery of Learning. What would have taken government years to approve (if ever) and lots of money, I did in less than six months on a shoestring budget. Plus, I created a program not just for my children, but for other families like ours who wanted an alternative to traditional schools but, for whatever reason, couldn’t see themselves homeschooling on their own.
Through Discovery of Learning’s Preschool & Homeschool programs, Ty and I wanted to help build a community for our family and others like it. I am beyond passionate for children, and I was blessed at a young age to always know what I wanted to do when I grew up. Nothing other than working with children ever crossed my mind. Though I have made changes over the years, fine-tuning my vision, at the end of the day I always knew I wanted to offer the best for children & their families.
Eventually, it will be our children running our country. Take a moment to think about what you want it to look like, and then join me and the Discovery of Learning community in building a strong educational foundation for our children… and our future!