Inkandescent Learning

Inkandescent™ Learning is the educational division of the Inkandescent Group, LLC.

We provide academic programs (math, science, history, language) to home school students K-12 through quarterly, semester, and year-long classes taught by accredited teachers.

These courses are available in-person at our locations in Northern Virginia, and online — through streaming during the course sessions, and downloadable through our catalog.

Led by our directors of education — Liesel Golden, the school’s principal who is a retired Air Force Colonel who left to home school her twins; and Melanie Downie, the school’s guidance director who is an intelligence expert and currently home school’s her 7th grade son — the organization’s mission is to help all home school families master the roadmap to academic success for their children.

The company’s director of communication is journalist, publicist, author, and entrepreneur Hope Katz Gibbs, founder of With a masters in educational leadership, and more than a decade working as the communications specialist in the City of Fairfax Schools, she is responsible for our distance learning program and spreading the word about the organization.

In the coming months, the organization will launch its new online magazine for kids, by kids, Be Inkandescent. If you are, have, or know a child who would like to contribute articles, art, photos, and videos — or become a member of our reporter squad, let us know.

Your kids are unique. Their education should be, too! Click here for information about our 2018 camps and classes.


That’s not all!

Our organization also offers engaging week-long classes in the summer, and throughout the year, including:

• So You Want 2 Be A — This series of 5-day classes offers a career-focused curriculum that introduces students to a myriad of career options, including So You Want 2 Be A: journalist, author / illustrator, ambassador, archeologist, architect, lawyer, doctor, military officer, and many more. Throughout the course, students meet professionals in the career by taking a field trip to their workplace, learn the skills needed to work in that career and participate in activities of that profession. They also learn to write scripts and conduct interviews, and on Day 5 participate in a video shoot that is live on

• This is What Democracy Looks Like — This program teaches students about civics, government, law, and activism; it also introduces them to how democratic countries operate around the world.

• Wellness Institute at Inkandescent™ Learning — This program offers daily classes for students and parents that teach deep stretching, yoga, meditation, and healthful eating.

• Cooking at the Lab — There’s so much to learn from a cooking class that we’ve incorporated this fun, team building session into many of our academic courses. This weekly popular treat where professional chefs come in and teach students, and their parents, to prepare a variety of international dishes. In addition to having a great time, and enjoying a wonderful meal, students learn the math and science of cooking, and get a history / international studies lesson on the region where the recipe originated.

In addition, we offer guidance for parents to ensure that their students are taking the classes they need — and hitting the benchmarks required — to get into the colleges and careers they desire.

Designed by our team of educational advisors — many of whom have had illustrious careers as leaders in the Fairfax County Public School — these Roadmaps to Success include:

  • Roadmap to Home School Success
  • Roadmap to Elementary School Success
  • Roadmap to Middle School Success
  • Roadmap to High School Success

One-on-one coaching sessions with an educational expert are also available.

For more information, contact us at 703-346-6975 /

Meet the Inkandescent™ Learning Team

The leaders of Inkandescent™ Learning include:

  • Liesel Golden, a retired colonel in the US Air Force who has been homeschooling her twins since 2013
  • Melanie Downie, a businesswoman and intelligence expert who started homeschooling her son in 2015
  • Hope Katz Gibbs, an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur, who founded the Inkandescent Group, LLC in 2008
  • Also on the team are award-winning illustrator and designer Michael Gibbs, among others.

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