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To everyone who joined these forums at some point, and got discouraged by the negativity and left after a while (or even got literally scared off): I'm sorry.

I wasn't good enough at encouraging people to be kinder, and removing people who refuse to be kind. Encouraging people is hard, and removing people creates conflict, and I hate conflict... so that's why I wasn't better at it.

I was a very, very sensitive teen. The atmosphere of this forum as it is now, if it had existed in 1996, would probably have upset me far more than it would have helped.

I can handle quite a lot of negativity and even abuse now, but that isn't the point. I want to help people. I want to help the people who need it the most, and I want to help people like the 1996 version of me.

I'm still figuring out the best way to do that, but as it is now, these forums are doing more harm than good, and I can't keep running them.

Thank you to the few people who have tried to understand my point of view so far. I really, really appreciate you guys. You are beautiful people.

Everyone else: If after everything I've said so far, you still don't understand my motivations, I think it's unlikely that you will. We're just too different. Maybe someday in the future it might make sense, but until then, there's no point in arguing about it. I don't have the time or the energy for arguing anymore. I will focus my time and energy on people who support me, and those who need help.


The forums are mostly read-only and are in a maintenance/testing phase, before being permanently archived. Please use this time to get the contact details of people you'd like to keep in touch with. Send me a message if you'd like to keep in touch with me & Steve.

Please do not make a mirror copy of the forums in their current state - things will still change, and some people have requested to be able to edit or delete some of their personal info.

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North Star self-directed learning program
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xcriteria Offline

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North Star self-directed learning program

Thrive Right Now

Quote:I work with teens who prefer to leave school and continue their educations outside of traditional models. One of my students reflects on his experience in school, "I hated it and one of the main reasons was I thought they were teaching me things that were useless to me. Having to sit through it felt like a waste and doing the work was even worse. I tried -- I wanted to do good and all. But trying so hard on stuff I didn't want to do was awful."

Nationwide, there are thousands of teens who might echo these thoughts. There are also thousands of wonderful teachers trying to help them find ways to make school work, to get through it. There are tutors and therapists and support networks and parents who spend hours every night trying to help their kid to get through school

We put a colossal amount of energy into shepherding students through systems that don't quite fit for many individuals. For some, doesn't quite fit is an understatement. For some, real suffering and damage is taking place as they try to fit but don't.

School systems are stretched, doing the best they can by a vast number of students. Schools are supporting more and more Individual Education Plans (IEP's), working hard to support the array of needs of individual learners.

It's not for lack of trying that many young people are miserable in school. Students are trying to do well and to fit in, parents are trying to help them and teachers are doing their best to help as well. Still, misery persists for many.

As a culture, we believe that school is necessary for learning and that a diploma is necessary for success in life. Therefore, we continue to force pegs of all shapes through round roles.

Our cultural assumptions are wrong. School is not necessary for learning and diplomas are not necessary for success. Furthermore, suffering is not a necessity. Misery is not a requirement.

Living and learning without school isn't necessarily easy, but it is available, and full of possibility. Self-directed learning is like being self-employed; there are resources and guides, all optional. There is tremendous flexibility. Individual goals are paramount. It takes place in the context of real life, for better and for worse. Some will find it easier to stay in school where structure is provided and success and failure are clearer. For students who are miserable in school, the challenges of self-directed learning will be well worth it. Life doesn't have to wait until school is over. Young people can thrive right now.

Their site has more information:

This is an example of a program that costs money, but it provides a real, self-drected alternative to high school.

Peter Gray & allies launching the Alliance for Self-directed Education

ASDE Newsletters: #1 Announcement | #2 History of ASDE | #6 Education Liberation

School Survival & Catalyst Learning Network featured on AlternativestoSchool's blog
“Mom, Dad, can I stop going to school?”

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when the Stakes are High

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(This post was last modified: 03-18-2013 06:10 AM by xcriteria.)
03-18-2013 06:05 AM
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