off the beaten track

FreeFlight

As parents we all want our children to have a bright future! Wouldn’t it be amazing to help our young ones discover their interests, maybe even find their passion, pick up some skills and carve out their own brilliant path by experimenting and learning through novel experiences?

We will work together to redefine SUCCESS and EMPOWER our children.

FreeFlight Signup

@lizandmollie

What?

FreeFlight is a multi-year self-discovery program for middle and high school-aged children coming together as a parent-child affinity group.

FreeFlight members meet at regular intervals to learn and practice a variety of skills, in a fun, safe and nurturing environment.

Children identify their aptitude, strengths and weaknesses, and grow as they learn. Parents and children jointly explore a broad perspective of what “success” means, and discover pathways for the children to develop into multi-dimensional, engaged, happy adults.

Why?

Our children today are molded (or expected) to fit into the narrow confines of what constitutes “doing well” in our driven, success-oriented society, where intellectual or financial accomplishments are the metrics used to measure success.

Parents who want to celebrate their child for who he or she is, and help them identify and nurture their capabilities to become the best person they can be, are often hampered by a lack of knowledge of alternative paths, resources to help their children, and a support system for the entire family.

There are children who feel overwhelmed by the need to conform and play by the “rules”, and lack role models who can show them alternate ways to navigate and experience pride in the transition to adulthood. At FreeFlight we believe that each child is a superhero in his/her own right. Children have an innate sense of self, which if nurtured with a growth mindset can go beyond the peer pressure they face and blossom in the supportive, nonjudgmental community FreeFlight will foster.

Who?

FreeFlight will initially consist of a small cohort of parents (at least one parent needs to enroll) and their middle or high school aged children. It is vital that parents engage in the club’s programs. Role models begin at home.

We welcome all children, including those who have physical, learning or emotional challenges, who are neuro-diverse, who find it hard to cope in mainstream educational environments, and those growing up in cultures with rigid expectations.

Goals

At FreeFlight children learn to tap into and identify interests, and experience the joy that comes with exploring those interests. FreeFlight helps children build self esteem, stay curious, and engaged as they transition through adolescence and eventually launch into adulthood.

Parents share and support one another, in building a nurturing and nourishing environment and a kindred, community spirit. The ultimate goal is to prepare children to move from dependence to interdependence to independence with confidence.

FreeFlight makes a conscious effort to cultivate not just the logic of the mind, but also the desires of the heart, while teaching children the importance of a financially viable future. This sense of balance and satisfaction of building upon their interests helps children be SUCCESSFUL.

Specifics

A mindfully-crafted, multi-year approach with a structured curriculum of activities (including community building) and talks, addressing soft skills, life skills, and awareness of alternative careers and academic paths, to help a child transition from dependence (childhood) to interdependence (adolescence) to independence (adulthood). The curriculum has a parent track that combines joint activities for parent and child, as well as talks and tools for parents to support their child’s journey to adulthood.

The monthly 90-minute gathering focuses on one or more of the topics in the following three categories – Soft Skills, Life Skills, and Career Paths. Workshops are held on the 2nd Saturday of every month. 

Soft Skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Resilience
  • Accepting/embracing differences
  • Asking for help
  • Self advocacy
  • Negotiation
  • Team work
  • Dealing with failure
  • Empathy – helping those less fortunate, mentoring younger children
  • Executive functioning
  • Emotional self-regulation
  • Handling peer pressure
Life Skills
  • Mindfulness practice
  • Cooking Basics
  • Financial Preparedness – Balancing, Budgeting
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Who Am I – writing exercise
  • Safety
  • Time Management
  • Fitness
  • Knowledge of community resources
  • Wellness (emotional, social, physical)
  • Diet and Nutrition
  • Housing Basics
Careers Paths
  • What is a “successful life”?
  • Identify interests, passions, strengths and challenges
  • Unusual careers
  • Role models in diverse careers
  • Gap year options
  • Exposure to careers via summer internships
  • Vocational training and colleges that provide support
  • Mentoring
  • Resume Workshop
  • Job seeking skills

What makes FreeFlight unique?

A group of parents with children of different ages, and teen wellness professionals, met to discuss the challenges experienced in raising our children and the resources that would have helped us in the journey. The common thread is the fervent need for opportunities to forge pathways for a child’s transition to adulthood that may be off the beaten track.

There was also an agreement that parents need as much, if not more, help in broadening perspectives and approaches to engage with their children to support them in opportunities to develop and succeed across multiple dimensions, not just the academic.

So the motivation for forming this group is to create a community of parents and children who learn and grow together, connected by the desire to explore and embrace non-traditional definitions and pathways to success in a supportive, nonjudgmental environment.

FreeFlight Steering Committee

(In Alphabetical Order)

  • Anusuya Rao
  • Gita Gopal
  • Jayashree Subrahmonia
  • Leena Khanzode
  • Padmini Ranganathan
  • Priya Dharan
  • Ranga Ranganathan
  • Shoba Iyer

Partners


FreeFlight Signup

FreeFlight Sneak Peek

Summer Free Trial

Saturdays May 8, June 19, July 10
3-4:30pm Outdoors, Socially Distanced

Signup Today!

Regular program to start in Fall