schools

Getting Rid of Your Unschooling Fears

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I strongly believe in giving children freedom to learn the things they’re passionate about in their own time and in their own way.  But even those families who have been unschooling for awhile can be swayed by the mainstream way of thinking about education. During those “back to school” months, it’s even more difficult to [...]

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10 Unusual Ways to Explore Physical Fitness & Health

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Whenever I think about gym class, I immediately flash back to my high school days. We’d start off rushing into the locker room to change.  Then we’d shuffle into the gym where we’d sit in our designated rows while the teacher would dutifully check of that we were present (in body, anyways). Then, if we [...]

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September – The Ultimate Month for Unschooling Travel

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We’ve now entered the season of big back-to-school sales on supplies and clothes. Many parents are taking their children to register for classes and kids are trying to get in those last free days of swimming, biking, hanging with friends, and lying in bed reading whatever they want all day.  Even people who aren’t in school, [...]

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10 Unusual Ways to Explore Literature

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Literature is pretty straightforward the way it’s taught in schools. Usually kids are read to, or read to themselves, a story or novel. Then they usually take a quiz on what they’ve read, or write a book report or paper. Sometimes a teacher gets a little creative and throws in a movie tie-in, lets the [...]

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Why is Self-Directed Learning a Difficult Concept to Grasp?

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I’ve been thinking more and more lately why the concept of self-directed learning is so hard for many people to grasp and why five (or sadly, three) is the magical age when humans need to sit down and listen in order to learn things. Up until then little children observe, communicate, participate and contribute to [...]

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The Death of Traditonal Teaching Part 2

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Last Saturday, I wrote a post about the death of traditional teaching. To any teacher reading who thinks I don’t respect what you do, I was a teacher by profession, too. I worked hard at my job and wanted the kids to learn, too. It was only as I began to truly focus on the [...]

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The Death of Traditional Teaching Part 1

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I went back to get my Masters in Education about ten years ago. I had been through a string of jobs since graduating with a degree in film: day camp counselor, bookkeeper, dental assistant, assistant manager at a bookstore and sales associate at a clothing store. After unsuccessfully pitching a few screenplays during a trip [...]

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Unstructured Play & The Structured Child

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My daughter ran shrieking through the house, saying something about Zeus, and the Cyclops, and I think she mentioned Hercules in there somewhere. As she bounded up the stairs, my son zoomed past me, too. With a sword in one hand he yelled, “We’re the bad sea monsters, and Shaggy and Scooby are going to [...]

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Are You Doing An Injustice to Children By Catering to What They Want to Learn All the Time?

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I was asked this question just a few weeks ago. The person who asked this followed up by saying that the real world doesn’t do that; that you do what they want you to do when they want you to do it. On the surface, many people would probably agree with the statement my friend [...]

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10 Unusual Ways to Explore Writing

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I think most kids are born natural storytellers. By the age of 5, they’ve already come up with hundreds of unique story plots, plays or songs. Their imaginations are incredible. Unfortunately, most kids lose that drive and excitement for creating their own imaginative worlds by the time they’re 8 or 9. By focusing on perfect [...]

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