Real Talk

The Nanaimo Free Learners was born in 2015 out of a desire of families in our community to create a place where children can learn naturally, freely, and authentically. We know that children know how, and want, to learn- and all they need is the support, encouragement, and resources to do so!

2B3BF1A600000578-0-image-a-18_1439163200283Over the past two and a half years, the Nanaimo Free Learners have worked tirelessly to create this space- the one that you know as Maple Hill. We’ve held information sessions, public education evenings, open houses, and attended countless markets, expos, and community events to help spread the word. We’ve shared so many conversations with parents that had less-than-stellar experiences in school, and are looking for something different for their child. So many of you are so very excited to hear that Maple Hill is in the works. “I have been looking for something exactly like this!” is frequently heard around here, and it makes us smile every time!

Our short-term programs in thee spring of 2016 were a great success and everyone learned so much through them. We were disappointed when we had to cancel our full time programs, but we worked hard to bring them back, and we did it! Maple Hill Free School is a developing Group 3 Independent School, and we are so excited that the dream is so close to coming true.

But now, it’s time to get real. And the time to do so is running out. 13179268_1091439504251343_6023063490974514732_n

In order for our group to continue on this amazing path that we are on, we need the one thing we can’t do without… the kids! We have a number of enrolled students that are so excited to begin their free learning experience at Maple Hill this fall, but the fact is: we don’t have enough students yet. And if our numbers don’t grow quickly enough, we will be forced to withdraw our application for Independent School designation, cancel our programs for the fall, and delay our goals of making self-directed education available to the Nanaimo families that really want it.

We don’t want to see that happen!

If you’ve been looking for an alternative for your child, if you believe in children’s rights in education, and if you want to see Maple Hill Free School succeed as much as we do, it’s time to enroll! It’s quick and easy to do- the link is right here.

Registration is easier than ever! Maple Hill Free School will be a designated independent school with the BC Ministry of Education, which means your child no longer needs to be enrolled with other schools such as distributed learning schools, or registered as home learners. The time to bring self-directed, emergent learning opportunities to Nanaimo is now!






Hello, free learners!

We have been working on some pretty big things over here at the Nanaimo Free Learners Society… and we are so excited to be able to share the news with you today!

After our hugely successful short-term programs in the spring of 2016, Maple Hill ran into some red tape with governing bodies and unfortunately, had to halt our programs 13179268_1091439504251343_6023063490974514732_nwhile we worked out the fine details of being educational pioneers and creating a brand-new kind of education alternative (no school like Maple Hill exists in BC!). It was heartbreaking for us as the founders, our supporters, and most importantly, to the kids and families that had been attending and enjoying Maple Hill up until that point. We made a promise to them that we wouldn’t stop working until we could bring Maple Hill back, and that’s what we’ve been doing!

All our hard work has paid off, and the Nanaimo Free Learners Society’s application to the BC Ministry of Education for designation as a Group 3 Independent School has been approved! This means that come this September, we can open our doors and continue to provide the same great program based on respect, freedom, and self-directed learning that we so strongly believe in. This is a huge step for our organization and for our community in terms of creating viable education alternatives and providing families with support to follow their children’s lead.

13139345_1091439537584673_8003881224817475355_nHowever… the work to get Maple Hill Free School off the ground isn’t done yet! Now is the time when we need your help most of all. In order for our application to proceed, we need to secure our facility by the end of this month. We need all the help we can get to find a suitable place for Maple Hill to call home! We are looking for a small space, classroom, community hall, church basement, or likewise that we can use for the 2017/18 school year. Ideally, this space will be near a park, beach, or playground, and be available to us continuously.

We need our support team more than ever! If you have any ideas, suggestions, or can help us to finally make this dream a reality for Nanaimo families… please get in contact with us today. You can reach the Nanaimo Free Learners at or give us a call at 250-618-3676. We appreciate each and every one of you!