Focus on Cath Fraise

What motivates this panelist from When School’s Not Working?

Every Monday night, Cath Fraise joins the lineup of When School’s Not Working. Cath, once a high school teacher in her native Australia, is also a Montessori-trained educator, a seasoned project-based homeschooler and founder of 100 Roads, a research and development organization to support colearning.

In 2017, Cath opened Workspace Education, a 32,000 sq. ft Makerspace and creative sandbox in Bethel, CT, for learning and a coworking that some people equated to the WeWork model of shared office space. Rather than doing homeschooling or unschooling in their houses, families were welcomed into a large red barn that abutted a large industrial space. The barn contained a recording studio, theater, woodshop, robotics space and more. Recalls Cath, “There was no longer a feeling of isolation. Families were able to interact and share resources, even teaching subjects to others in the same space, share educators and create the education they needed for their children together.”

Covid called for the creation of WorkspaceSky, a cloud-based replica of Workspace in the cloud, for parents to communicate, organize and connect to the resources they need for their children’s education. 100 Roads has been helping founders and educators create Colearning in the Cloud for their communities since April, training 21 groups. The next training starts January 12, 2021. 

Cath speaks from experience. She wanted to create a healthy environment for her son to discover his passions and love of learning while surrounded by other families and a large supportive friend group. She shares: “Rather than a conventional school environment, I wanted to create an environment more like a creative tech or toy company with the right conditions for creativity and collaboration. I wanted him to be happy and free to discover himself, his strengths, how he is wired, what he cared about and where his talents lie. That requires exploration, exposure, inspiration and opportunity.”   

Cath’s daughter Claire will graduate Tufts in 2021 with a degree in Creative Writing and International Relations. Claire started out in a Montessori school and left at age nine. She has been deep-diving into areas of interest and spent much of her developing years studying animals, starting animal rescues, writing novels, doing musical theatre, reading, getting involved in Model UN and teaching improv and theatre for an international non-profit. She also participated in programs that forged teamwork, such as Destination Imagination. Now, Claire is about to publish her third book.

“We all need to discover who we are and how to offer our unique and beautiful contribution to the world. It is through self-discovery that we unlock our greatest capacities to enrich ourselves and the lives of those around us,” states Cath.

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