Who is answering this Q&A?
When we say "we" or "Syrendell", we mean Jennifer and Rick Tan, husband and wife co-founders of Syrendell.
What does Syrendell mean?
Syrendell is a combination of synergy, serene, and being in a dell, a valley surrounded by trees. To us, it represents the flow of positive energy in a peaceful, protected place.
Where are you located?
Syrendell's HQ is our home in Davis, CA. We hold private LESSONS such as piano lessons. We can also host WORKSHOPS for small groups.
Where do you host your other programs?
Davis WLR, our homeschool CLASSES program, and SYRENDELL SUMMER CAMP are held at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 27074 Patwin Road in Davis, CA.
For the Alliance of Public Waldorf Education Conferences, we hold WORKSHOPS at Rudolf Steiner College, 9200 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Fair Oaks, CA.
Other LESSONS, CLASSES and WORKSHOPS are held in private residences and venues. For instance, our WORKSHOP for the Griffin Dyeworks Retreat was held at Arrowhead Ranch in Lake Arrowhead, CA.
We have traveled to Savannah, Georgia, and to Seattle, Washington. We will travel wherever you need us to provide you with Syrendell support. We can even travel digitally and Skype!
Do you homeschool your children?
Yes! We have four children, ages 18, 16, 12, and 4. The two oldest had homeschooled with us when they were younger. The twelve year old is currently homeschooling and the four year old homeschools by default. The 18 year old has started college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as a mechanical engineering major. The 16 year old is graduating high school a year early to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in music industry studies at UOP in Stockton, CA.
By far the greatest benefit of homeschooling is simply more time with our own children. As we like to say, homeschooling is more than just school at home, it is school about home. The homeschooling dynamic is one that becomes integrated into the life of a family. It enriches us, challenges us, keeps us close, stretches the time we have with each other.
As for other reasons, well, to name a few: fully customized instruction, arts-, crafts-, and music-integration, more field trips, spontaneous adaptability, innovation without constraint, science happens on the bank of a river and in the garden, lots of nature walks, efficient use of instruction time, opportunities for enrichment classes with other vendors, fun to watch mixed-age sibling relationships blossoming.
But we don't think homeschooling is the ONLY way to do it. We have been in the public school system, Montessori, Waldorf, and Public Waldorf as well. Education comes in many forms, it is always evolving. As parents, you have to make choices that you feel is RIGHT for YOUR CHILDREN.
What's your background?
Jennifer was an administrator (Vice Principal and Principal) for a public school district in Southern California, and before that a fully credentialed middle school band teacher. She has a Master of Arts in Education Administration. She is also a certified aromatherapist and prenatal yoga instructor. She is a flutist and fiber artist. Rick has been a K-12 substitute teacher in school districts in Southern and Northern California and was a full time Waldorf teacher in Northern California. He has a Medical Doctorate degree from University of the East in the Philippines, a Certificate of Teaching from Rudolf Steiner College, and a Certificate in Feng Shui. He is a graphic designer, woodworker, writer, musician (piano, harp, and percussion), and artist. Together, their most important job is parenting!
We noticed you host your programs at a church, is Syrendell religious-based?
We chose the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis as a venue because it is conveniently located being really close to our home, the staff is super gracious to work with, and the grounds are impeccable, tranquil, and serve our programs beautifully. We are not members of the church congregation, but are thankful for their hospitality. Syrendell is all-inclusive and non-religious.