It’s a snowy Wednesday morning at the Homestead School, and there is no bustle in the classroom. But outside on a smooth, snow-coated hill, students between the ages of five and 12 years old are running sleds up and down the slope in snowsuits, with nowhere to go, nowhere to be, than at school. Detached from technology and any other demands, in this moment, there is nothing more than pure childhood, filled with tumbles, recuperation and unabashed delight. This is all before the studies formally commence—although there is nothing formal about the Homestead School, which makes it all the more refreshing. Academics, hobbies and out-of-class activities are dictated by the transitions of the seasons, by the ever-present reminder of change and growth. This is just a glimpse into what Homesteaders get to experience, and they indeed are the lucky ones.
At the Homestead School—which is separated into preschool, elementary and middle school campuses— children are shaped into civic-minded, out-of-the-box explorers who learn how to be self sufficient, independent thinkers.
“We have been providing our students with an education that values engaging in hands-on-activities—as opposed to an exclusive regimen of pencil, paperwork and lectures—thereby developing a high degree of initiative and independence in our students,” said Peter Comstock, Head of School. Comstock along with wife and fellow-educator, Marsha, founded the Homestead School in the 1978, building its reputation as the first, largest and most established Montessori school in the Tri-state area.
After graduating the University of Washington in the early 1970s, Peter and Marsha Comstock settled on 85 acres of land, with a lone, standing farmhouse Peter inherited from his grandparents. Given their ample connection with the outdoors and pursuit of education, the Comstock’s found themselves in the position to establish the school of their dreams located in the hills of the Upper Delaware River Valley.
Designed around community service, hands-on projects and building micro-businesses, children will learn skills from 3D printing to lessons in farm-to-table.
Whether students are gardening and composting; tapping maple sap from the trees; or spinning and weaving wool from the campus’ various sheep, Homestead School educators constantly challenge children to apply lessons learned in the classroom throughout day-to-day life.
The Comstock’s are most excited to unveil their new Homestead Middle School Program this fall—which is led by their son and Montessori educator, Jack Comstock, and his wife, Nisha. Designed around community service, hands-on projects and building micro-businesses, children will learn skills from 3D printing to lessons in farm-to-table. At the elementary level, learning is further accelerated by off-campus visits, spanning overnight and multi-day trips, such as the Finger Lakes, Burlington and this year, an adventure in Portsmouth.
Reflecting on all the joy his family has created over the past 37 years, Peter said, “Our biggest delight has been waking up each day and feeling good about what we are doing, and knowing that we are helping to make the world a better place.”
428 Hollow Road | Glen Spey, NY 12737
Tel. (845) 856-6359