One Room isn’t just a business. It’s an idea and a hope for our community and for the families who live here.
We’ve spent the last 23 years investing in children and education. First in foster care, then with our own children, in early childhood education, children’s ministry and finally with our homeschool community. What became clear over the years is that educating and supporting children is important (and necessary). The impact we can have on children (our own and others) can change a life forever.
But what we began to see over the years is that yes, helping a child can have a huge impact, BUT if we really want to help and support children…we really need to focus on helping and supporting the FAMILY. We can speak from experience when we say parenting is hard. It’s probably the most difficult thing we’ve ever done (both with our own and in foster care). Most of the time it’s amazing, but there are days (or weeks…or longer) when it’s exhausting and discouraging (not to mention expensive). There have been times over the years where my husband and I wished and prayed for more support and resources. Times when our finances were a mess, our house was a mess, our kids were a mess (you get the picture). We’ve been parents for over 20 years and we’re both extremely capable people (in our careers and in our personal life) but family life can be challenging! There have been so many times we wished for a break (even a date night) or we wanted to take our kids someplace special that didn’t cost a fortune. Eating out and going to a movie with 6 kids is almost impossible (and certainly not something we could afford on a regular basis). There were times when we felt isolated and wished we could give our kids more (more time, more material things, more experiences, more education).
Somewhere in the middle of our journey we decided to homeschool our children. Our focus began to shift from helping and educating other people’s children to helping and educating our own. Life began to make a little more sense for us. Spending more time with our children helped us to put things in better perspective. We began to see more clearly that changing our family dynamic (namely in changing ourselves) there were better outcomes with their behavior, their learning, and their relationship with us and each other. We ignored the “nay sayers” and jumped into homeschooling with our whole hearts. It is the best decision we’ve ever made.
There were drawbacks to homeschooling, however. I felt isolated, my kids needed friends and community and we had even less money than before (which made it difficult to buy learning materials and go on field trips). I spent the first 2 years going through a lot of ups and downs! I loved being home with our kids and I loved planning and helping with their education, but we needed something more. We needed to be a part of a community and we needed the support and encouragement from other families. Our entire family felt the need and through an interesting set of circumstances we founded what is now “The One Room Schoolhouse”. Our goal was to bring people together, so we could support each other through this phase of our parenting/family journey. Because we struggled financially, it’s always been our goal to provide this opportunity with no cost to other families. We started having classes, events, field trips etc. at our school. People started donating books and curriculum and we began to compile an impressive learning library. We had no idea there were SO many homeschool families in Lompoc! Our little homeschool group kept growing and we finally outgrew the little building (one room) that we leased. By now we had friends, support, and everything we needed to continue our family (and homeschool) journey.
God blessed us with an even bigger building in 2017 and has put a vision on our heart about how we can continue to serve the families around us. We have invested in our family and in the homeschool families in our community and now we want to invest in the families of the Lompoc Valley. The children we’ve served (our own and in our homeschool group) now have the opportunity to serve other families in our community. The ultimate goal of “One Room” is to strengthen the family. When people come to our Coffee Shop, our escape room or just the family center/school we hope they’ll have had the opportunity to connect with their children and with each other. We hope they will put their cell phones away, play a board game, enjoy a cup of coffee, and relax. We know there’s a Mama somewhere who needs to get out of the house, sit down, let her kids play and enjoy a cup of tea. There is a Dad who needs a little help in connecting with his child. A dad who will appreciate teaching his child how to play pool, or air hockey or an old board game from his childhood. We know there’s a grandparent who does not want to sit on a cold park bench watching kids play but would love to spend time interacting with their own grown children and their grandchildren.
Have a cup of coffee and take shelter from the world for a little while. Don’t have kids? Great! We’d love to see you too. Come make a new friend, we’ll teach you how to play a new game.
We want to support the family. We want to help our community make meaningful connections (within their family) and then with their community. We want to continue helping families on their homeschool journey and we want to bless the community we live in with the gift of time, support and even (affordable) entertainment. Let’s bring back family game night (and do something crazy and invite other people too)!
Join us at “One Room” to strengthen the family, strengthen the child, and to strengthen our community.
With many blessings…
The Frias Family