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August 2001 - June 2017

The School Survival Forums are permanently retired. If you need help with quitting school, unsupportive parents or anything else, there is a list of resources on the Help Page.

If you want to write about your experiences in school, you can write on our blog.

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.

-SoulRiser

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. My contact details are here.

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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ForgottenUser Offline
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Post: #1
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(This post was last modified: 08-03-2016 01:15 AM by ForgottenUser.)
05-23-2014 12:13 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Post: #2
Productivity in Class

I think quite a few people (of all ages) agree that a lot of time spent in school is wasted.

So, it's a good question: how can you make the most of whatever bits of that time you can influence.

I think this connects to the question of "what's really worth learning?" -- and also to the question of "what do you want to do?"

On that note, what are your interests, ideas about the future, etc?

What would you want to do if you had total control over your time?

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
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05-23-2014 04:52 AM
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xcriteria Offline
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Productivity in Class

So, let's brainstorm. Smile

I'll also share this question with a broader audience on G+.

I can think of some broad categories of solutions:

(1) Things you could do quietly at your desk, like active daydreaming, cross-referencing memories, taking some kind of notes, thinking up questions, maybe writing or drawing when possible.

(2) Things you could do that involve engaging with your classes and teachers. Think about what you might be able to get out of your classes. Take notes. Ask good questions -- even ones that are challenging, like how the material might be relevant to real life (without being confrontational.) Ask your teachers about who they are, why they're teaching, what they like about it, and so on. Ask them what they think about school, what would make it better, and so on. Consider reporting the answers here or elsewhere.

(3) Things you could do within school that involve getting to know other students and promoting conversation about how others there could use their time more effectively as well. This includes possibly doing an In-School Survey like Hansgrohe did, or talking to them about things like Student Voice, Connected Learning, Screenstorming, and ways to learn beyond school. You can only do so much of this sitting quietly at your desk, but you could use that time to think about who you might talk to and how, as well as reflect on past conversations.

(4) Things that involve asking for additional flexibility from teachers. This may be a long shot, but sometimes asking can go a long way. Consider talking to your teachers about this same question of "productivity in class." Ask if there's anything they might suggest you do at your desk that's respectful and non-disruptive, but that might prove more beneficial later on than just complying with the class they're teaching. I'm curious how teachers would respond to that.

(5) Things that involve asking for additional flexibility by talking to the school administration. It's possible you could find a way to get a free period, pursue an independent study, or take college-level classes, like in coding. Maybe talk to them about MOOCs, and see if you could take a certificate-granting course or two. (If you aren't familiar with MOOCs, Massively Open Online Courses, I'll explain them.)

(6) Things that involve asking for additional flexibility from your family. See if you can get your parents as allies in your quest to make the most of your time. If you can, it might help you out in various ways. For example, if you know your parents will back you up, you might be able to more sensibly risk getting reprimanded for doing your own thing in class. It might even open the door to missing some school, like with "learning and productivity" sick days. On that note, what are your parents like? What do they think of school?

(7) Ways to get out of school all together. Exploring options here requires a set of questions. What level/grade of school are you in? Do you have any post-high school plans, like for work, college, and the like? Would your parents go along with some form of dropping out, homeschooling/unschooling, early college, and/or apprenticeship? Might there be other school options in your area that you might consider, like a democratic school?

Maybe those categories of ideas can spur some more suggestions. What do you think of them?

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

Hidden stuff:
05-23-2014 09:58 PM
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Desu Offline
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Post: #4
Productivity in Class

Learn how to meditate. I won't go over the numerous studies being conducted on it atm (meditation has had poor scientific study until the past few years).

Go to http://www.reddit.com/r/meditation and http://www.reddit.com/r/mindfulness and search by top posts of all time.

RIP GORE GOROTH

He was an hero. He will always be remembered.
05-23-2014 11:32 PM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Post: #5
Productivity in Class

Plan things you want to do later? Depends how often you do things that require planning beforehand though.

Read books about stuff that interests you? What will they do if they find you reading something unrelated to the subject? Or, maybe more importantly, what will your parents do? If you can get them on your side, then it doesn't really matter what the school does with stuff they find you using - your parents can give them hell. Then again, if your parents are on your side, they can help you get out of school and into some kind of more productive learning environment...

"If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them." - Dalai Lama
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05-24-2014 06:26 AM
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