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Our Story at
The Sands Academy

There are so many different life events that brought upon The Sands Academy. Like most American families, COVID-19 was a terror for Lauren and Stephen Sands. Along with the obvious complications brought on by COVID-19, Lauren also abruptly lost her online teaching job with an international school, losing more than half their income overnight. But no one panicked! It was summer and the next school year was going to be Lauren's first year back in the B&M classroom, after teaching online since 2016. Back in 2016, Lauren had her first daughter, Luna. Being a new mom, Lauren decided to transition to online teaching and be home with the new baby. The plan was to go back to the B&M setting once Luna would start kindergarten. Mom and baby would go to school together, have the same spring/winter/and summer breaks - easy peasy, lemon squeezy. We had it all figured out. Lauren decided to start tutoring for extra income, just until the new school year came upon us.


Well, life had other ideas. 


A year before Luna would register for kindergarten, she was diagnosed with autism. The Sands spent a year navigating this new diagnosis, finding resources, and wonderful speech, occupational, and music therapists to help Luna. 


When it was time to go to school, Luna was unfortunately denied an IEP from Volusia County. This meant Luna would attend school with no resources in her back pocket, ultimately setting her up for academic failure. Mom and dad were more concerned about the emotional and psychological devastation from being an autistic child in school, with zero support put in place.

Homeschooling seemed to be the only option. Which also meant Lauren walked away from her career as a public school teacher. 


Lauren, Luna, and the rest of the Sands clan took a year to navigate what homeschooling meant and what it looked like for their family. In that year, the youngest daughter, Calliope (3) was also diagnosed with autism. 


But in that year, something magical happened. We found our community. And within that community, we found other kiddos that have amazing, unique abilities and huge hearts. We also found that many of these kiddos had similar stories and some kiddos who are homebound due to serious health issues. Families like ours, who didn't seem to have equal access to education.


From there, the idea of The Sands Academy was born. 


And almost two years later, we are growing, inspired, and eager to make a difference. We want to level the playing field for students who are promised a fair and equal education, but are tired of fighting for equality and equity in the classroom.


We aren’t only here for the homeschooling community or kiddos that have unique abilities. We are here for everyone! Sometimes parents just need an extra hand with their kids’ academic success, because let’s face it, mom and dad can’t do everything and be everywhere, all the time. 


Our goal is to bring highly-qualified teachers to your home, whether online or in-person, for students of all abilities and all educational settings. 


We are currently serving Volusia County and Miami-Dade County. We are available for international online sessions. 

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