Our Approach

LightHouse teens

Tomorrow’s leaders need a different skill set, one that includes intrinsic motivation, vision, and creative and critical thinking.

The LightHouse educational experience goes well beyond conventional practices and offers students a personalized approach for students in grades six through twelve. We are supporting students to do much more than get by or get through it, but to thrive.

The research is clear: learning is most successful when it is personalized, meaningful, and active. Learning is something you DO.

Get in touch for a conversation or to schedule a meeting to discuss your potential.


Here’s how LightHouse works:

The Advisory Relationship

Every LightHouse student has weekly meetings with an advisor.  Your advisor will get to know you well, and help you plan, make choices, reflect, and keep up your personal digital portfolio.

We believe that learning extends well beyond the classroom. We’ll help you connect your interests, classes, and projects into a personalized curriculum.

Your advisor will help you schedule tutorials, pursue independent study, and access resources both at LightHouse and in the community.  This relationship is at the core of the LightHouse experience.

LightHouse teen and tutor

LightHouse teens working with Conor


LightHouse offers small group classes with an average of eight students per class which are offered in 10 to 15 week blocks.  LightHouse students register for classes in alignment with their needs, interests, availability, and goals.

Most classes are relevant to one or more of the Pathway options: Entrepreneurship, Tech, College Prep, or Creative Arts.

Tutorials, Independent Study, and Dual Enrollment

In addition to classes and advising, LightHouse offers individual tutoring, and guidance for independent study.

Each LightHouse student creates a schedule that involves some group classes, and some individual work.  Move at your own pace and build on your strengths.

LightHouse also has dual enrollment relationships with Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College.  Take college classes for credit while also attending LightHouse.  Dual enrollment offers the increased challenge of college exploration combined with the personal support of attending LightHouse.

tutoring at LightHouse Holyoke

LightHouse has auditing relationships with Mount Holyoke, Hampshire College, and other nearby colleges.  Attend a college class without the cost or the stress, to learn, explore, and build an impressive transcript.

LightHouse teens have outside opportunities

A Life Beyond LightHouse

At some point LightHouse students will want to explore outside opportunities, like college classes, volunteer work, paid work, or an internship.  Your advisor will help you consider the right fits and help you make them happen.

The entire Innovation District is our campus. We have relationships with Gateway City Arts, The Boys and Girls Club, The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, The Gandara Center, and many other nearby resources.

The Innovation District is rich with resources, and growing, and LightHouse students have access.

Private School of One

LightHouse students are each essentially a private school of one.  More like college than high school, with the support of an advisor LightHouse teens each develop an individualized schedule that includes selective group classes, one-on-one tutorials, independent study, and eventually, external pursuits like college classes through dual enrollment or internships.

Our personalized curriculum is possible because LightHouse uses “homeschooling” as its legal mechanism.  Neither home nor school, LightHouse is an innovative hybrid model using the best of both worlds.  LightHouse students are not expected to “homeschool” in any traditional sense.  Parents are not expected to educate their teens at home.  Students attend LightHouse as a private school, using our advising, classes, tutorials, ect., to create an individualized curriculum. LightHouse is in the process of accreditation through The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), which expected completion by June, 2022.

LightHouse teens

As legal homeschoolers LightHouse students remain enrolled in their home districts.  They are eligible to play sports with their local school and any other after-school activities.  Hundreds of students have used this approach locally over the last 20 years, and nationally, we number in the millions.

Similar to all private schools, LightHouse students are not required to sit for MCAS or any other tests.  Many LightHouse teens will choose to take the SAT or ACT for college admissions, but no testing is required.

When students are ready to move on from LightHouse they can be issued a homeschool diploma, which is recognized and accepted by all colleges, as well as federal financial aid.  Our College Prep Pathway has a team of advisors from the admissions departments at almost all of the local colleges, as well as some non-local colleges, including Harvard University.  Along with on-staff LightHouse advisors, our College Prep advisors are on-hand to guide each student in creating a compelling transcript.  LightHouse students stand out.


In total, the combination of independence, flexibility, and support that LightHouse offers allows for a personalized experience.

Advisors help students to create portfolios of their work and make plans for college and beyond.

LightHouse teens art


LightHouse teen in the community

Community Connection

Connection to the local community is an important part of the LightHouse program. Fridays are a community-based day, where we work with partner organizations to support their efforts.

Service learning broadens our local relationships, supports real-world learning, professional skill-building, and allows the LightHouse community to give back.

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“My mission in life is not merely to survive,
but to thrive; and to do so with some passion,
some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

-Maya Angelou