AGILE is a process used in software development. It works with software. It works with kids and families.
Family meeting once a week.
Write it down. Make daily checklists
The 3 questions for family meeting (focusing on the family, not individuals):
1. What’s working well in our family this week?
2. What’s not working well?
3. What can we focus on in the week ahead?
To me, this relates to the more general ideas that:
1. Kids are fully people.
2. People are happier in communities where there is direct democracy. Like Switzerland and Sudbury Schools.
This weekend at my grandmother’s 100th birthday party, she asked my youngest (7yo) if they did “show and tell” at his school. He didn’t really know how to answer because frankly, every day is show and tell at Sudbury Valley School. Well not exactly. It’s also NEVER show and tell… of course no one HAS to bring personal stuff from home. But certainly for those who are interested, it’s EVERY DAY… you can of course bring any amount of STUFF from home to work with/play with, and show other students or staff.
It’s not uncommon for said 7yo to bring a roller-suitcase filled to the brim with stuff that he plans to work on/play on while at school.
Today for instance, he is an actor in a movie someone is working on at school and so last night he brought home a handwritten checklist of props and proper attire he should bring with him. It was a lot of stuff! And he joyfully and excitedly gathered it up this morning, anxious to get to school.
I wonder if his cousin is in the movie because he is serving on JC (read: jury duty) all this month, so he has scheduling complications as he won’t be available for filming from 11am for an hour or so (or less) each day depending on their case load.
This awesome scene from Sudbury Valley School is right out of Phineas and Ferb.
[Mom] “Did you bring your money to school?”
[7-year old] “Yes.”
“To order pizza for the party.”
“Where’d you get the pizza?”
“How did you order it?”
“I called them and ordered it.”
“Whose phone did you use?”
“I went to the office and Jean let me use her phone.”
“How much was it?”
“Did you give the driver a tip?”
“During my visit I could see that most of the students at SVS are in general a happy bunch due to, among other things, the freedom and responsibility that the community affords to them. The younger students, who have never attended a traditional school, settle in quickly and embrace the freedom to move around the campus unencumbered. In particular, there were three students (aged 4 to 6), which were almost inseparable. I observed them on numerous occasions, e.g. playing in the sandbox, playing on the swings, hanging out at Monkey Tree (it is one of the trees that the students like to climb) and eating lunch together. Most of the time they were engaged in pretend-play or busily chatting, and they clearly enjoyed each other’s company.”
(This was written by a person who is starting a Sudbury School in Hong Kong and so was invited to observe at Sudbury Valley for a day. It sounds like it is about one of my kids and his friends. If not, it sounds just like it as I have occasionally heard about fun in the Monkey Tree…)
“Miss Sabatini, my third-grade teacher in Queens, made us sit with our hands crossed on our desks and our feet flat on the floor, all the time insisting that we ‘must learn self control.’ Although clearly if we had any real measure of control over ourselves and our lives we would be out in the playground, running and screaming.”
(Living With A Wild God, p. 42)
As seen at the SVS Facebook page
“A simple maxim: don’t expose and don’t look for passions; just listen and make good suggestions”
“I have found over the years that things that make me angry give me a passion to fix them.”
“… They should be passionate about getting a job someday.”
— Roger Schank
See also: “Forget Following Your Heart – Follow Your Heartbreak”
See also: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/08/turning-passion-on-its-head.html