Category Archives: alternative education

Sudbury Valley and Free Kids related links – 5/15/2014

When Adults Take Over Children’s Fun

http://www.freerangekids.com/when-adults-take-over-childrens-fun/

“Schoolification” of Sports (from the unschool subreddit)

http://www.reddit.com/r/unschool/comments/25evsw/schoolification_of_sports/

Interview with Hanna Rosin (news report video)
“The Overprotected Kid.”

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/parents-let-kids-take-risks/

A Useful Reminder: Louis C.K. Was Bad Before He Was Good

http://calnewport.com/blog/2014/02/26/a-useful-reminder-louis-c-k-was-bad-before-he-was-good/

“I could see that the experience of meeting her was confusing to many of them. They were at the conference in support of learning through play, but here was a young woman who really had learned through play—through true, self-directed play, without coercion—and they found it hard to believe. I wish Nina had been invited as one of the principal speakers.”

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201405/can-lego-help-return-play-children-s-lives-and-education

The (Mandatory) Science Fair….
“Parent1: You mean I get an A on his science project?”

http://hanaschank.blogspot.com/2014/05/stupid-shit-my-kids-do-in-school-vol-1.html

How to find the perfect job… from Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) http://www.lifebuzz.com/mike-rowe/

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The post linked here talks about the types of fear we have in discussing change in schooling:

http://www.unschoolingnyc.com/2013/06/26/the-fear-factor/

The problem I have with this is that it I think we can do quite well by simply living by example. Yes, there is even fear in this. But it doesn’t need to go the next level and be a movement like “Occupy”. We can just choose alternative options for our kids — homeschooling, Sudbury or other democratic schools, Montessori, Waldorf, etc. Others will see this and it will gradually build.

The problem with this is… parents need real choice for school for their kids without the burden of worrying about $$/tuition. I don’t think vouchers will work, because there will always be strings attached for assessment/testing and many parents don’t want that. Better to head in the direction of more local control.

Maybe ideally it would be more like college in the US. Where most people pay mostly out of pocket, but there is need-based aid available.

That way, property taxes could go way down (since in many areas, half goes to the public schools), and people would be free to use that extra money saved on school. So it would be close to “tax neutral”. And people without kids would not be penalized.

I am sure I am over-simplifying because there are lots and lots of people who work in education–teachers, administrators, textbook writers, and on and on–and many will resist because it will impact their livelihood directly. That’s understandable.

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The SVS Report: May 10, 2013

The school report according to my fired-up oldest after bursting in the door: “Tons of running! — newcomb, soccer, ultimate…”

What? No pickle or “capture”? Not today I guess. ;-) And we rode our bikes to and from today.

(I’ll report back on a rainy day when it is all inside play for comparison.)

And really, I have no idea what his day was really like. Except that he loves going to school. That’s what is important. The rest I trust will take care of itself.

And BTW, the reason it works I think:
1. People are naturally curious and have a innate desire to figure out the world and their place in it and what they want to do — day-to-day, next week, and when they “grow up”.
2. Schools don’t raise kids, families do.
3. His time at school is HIS time. No judgement.

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Filed under alternative education, kids -- freedom and responsibility, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, svsjournal

Experiences of ADHD-Labeled Kids Who Switch from Conventional Schooling to Homeschooling or Unschooling

“My analysis of these stories suggests that (1) most ADHD-diagnosed kids do fine without drugs if they are not in a conventional school; (2) the ADHD characteristics don’t vanish when the kids leave conventional school, but the characteristics are no longer as big a problem as they were before; and (3) ADHD-diagnosed kids seem to do especially well when they are allowed to take charge of their own education.”

from:

Experiences of ADHD-Labeled Kids Who Switch from Conventional Schooling to Homeschooling or Unschooling

These kids and parents manage ADHD better without conventional schooling.
Published on September 9, 2010 by Peter Gray in Freedom to Learn

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Filed under ADHD, alternative education, homeschooling, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, unschooling

How to Run a Good School

How to Run a Good School? Well I think it’s suprisingly similar to How To Run a Good Conference**.

While Khan Academy talks about “flipping the classroom” (watch lectures at home, do homework in school… or collaborate on projects?), it’s still mostly going to be on topics that someone else picks. That’s interesting, but it’s still the curriculum model.

So that’s why the conference analogy is more compelling. There we have willing participants, choosing the topics THEY are interested in. What’s on the menu?

At some point someone other than advocates of Sudbury Schools might notice. I’m exaggerating, but perhaps not much!

(**from a 16-year-old Aaron Swartz in 2002)

Related:
Dave Winer, on rebooting conferences/bloggercon/unconferences (there are several other posts by him on the topic both newer and older)
– Flipping the classroom

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flip_teaching

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The new normal

“Kids learn to speak, lose baby teeth and hit puberty at a variety of ages. We might remind ourselves that the ability to settle into being a focused student is simply a developmental milestone; there’s no magical age at which this happens.”

Raising the Ritalin Generation

It’s too bad the author didn’t know about Sudbury schools. Just sayin’.

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Jane McGonigal TED talk: Gaming can make a better world

Watch this TED talk on using gaming to “save the world”. I think it’s quite compelling. Maybe the logic falls apart if one thinks about it more than 18 minutes, but I think there is A LOT of truth to this based on what I see with my own kids and their gaming.

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Filed under alternative education, collaboration, community, contrarian, energy, evidence-based, experiments, gamification, green, health, motivation, screen-time, social media, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, video games