This has been a tough week with some of the younger boys. They enjoy creating their own physical games like Pokemon Battle and practicing their sword adventures, but the result of them not setting up boundaries for these games has been some anger and hurt feelings when things go too far. They've been working on talking to each other more and at week's end it seems to be going well.
Wednesday, we took time to go to The Station Museum's current exhibit "Defending Democracy". Highly recommended for anyone interested in human rights and in the struggles of peoples in the Americas. The kids sat through the film on the 2004 people's protest in Oaxaca at least 5 times. They were asking questions about why the police had on full riot gear and the people just had flowers and signs. They also got a kick out of the Otebenga Jones section of the exhibit that was set up to look like a high school gym and they tried to sit through the part of the film but their attention was focused on wanting to play basketball. They took lots of pictures of BPP's Emory Douglas' work. I am looking forward to making some stencils to do a little graffiti style self expression with the kids at the Art Day Houston this Sunday.
Yesterday, The Real School visited the HAEA pool party and had a blast! Great people and a great pool from what was relayed to me. I look forward to more collaborations with our community and building some great programming.
Tomorrow is the last Open Dialog at the Dickson location. It has served as the school's location for the past 18 months and even though it has been a great house, it is time to start a new chapter in the school's history. For anyone looking for an alternative to public education, please stop by 5020 Dickson St, Houston Texas 77007 tomorrow at 3pm to talk. We look forward meeting new families and getting more people unplugged from the typical institutionalized systems. Call us if you have any questions as we are glad to talk about positive ways to educate children. We all could use some backup and resources for our families. Have a great weekend!
okay, there's no set thing to let you know what day it is...SO let's see. Today we had Diego, Ripley, Jacob, William, Sean, Evan, Troy, EliJah and Judah at school. They played a lot of different games and spent a lot of time role playing as different characters. Quite interesting what they pick up from we supposedly learned adults. I will try to post some of the pictures and possibly the video on You Tube tomorrow. We also sat outside a bit and made a craft, the Ojo de Dios, with sticks we picked up in the yard. It was a lot of fun and hopefully we will do it again in the future using multiple colors of yarn. Adults volunteering did some cleaning and organizing for the upcoming move and there was plenty of help from youthful volunteers.
The late afternoon saw most kids winding down while playing on the computers and surfing You Tube in search of Pokemon related videos. It was a good day to be a kid at The Real School. Left alone to navigate the major portion of their day, the kids are happier and only need assistance for those disagreements that can't be immediately negotiated or when they need help making food. Kids are amazing! See you tomorrow.
"Free children are not easily influenced; the absence of fear accounts for this phenomenon. Indeed, the absence of fear is the finest thing that can happen to a child." ~ A. S. Neill (author of Summerhill)
is a non-hierarchical learning environment, free of coercion and control and rooted in consensus decision making. It aims to build a community of trust and liberation through education. .... .. ..
We are currently seeking interns who are passionate, playful, empathetic, patient, committed, responsible and honest. .... .. .. Call 832-767-0404, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www. therealschoolhouston. org for more information about the school or to inquire about the position. ....
(Below is a more complete description.)....
Prospective interns must both like and deeply respect children, take initiative, love to learn, be willing to admit when they make a mistake, and have diverse interests. They should have skills and knowledge (or be willing to acquire them) in conflict resolution, alternative education, clear communication, unschooling, active listening, free schools, organization, consensus, modeling healthy and safe decisions, and anger management..... .. .. ....interns carry out many tasks including teaching classes; listening; helping kids resolve conflict; cleaning; attending meetings; communicating with parents; outreach; fundraising; sharing skills; laughing; comforting hurt kids; playing; sharing interests; interacting with prospective families... .. .. The kids at the school say they would like prospective teachers to "like and care about kids, be understanding, engaging, fun, level-headed, have a good sense of humor, enjoy playing video games, and like to have a good time."....
A prospective teacher should be critical and conscious. Willingness to critically analyze our actions and behaviors is crucial to understanding our intersections of oppression (race, gender, class, age, etc.). Being conscious of "why we do what we do" and "why we think what we think" is important in maintaining a healthy dialog between parents, kids, and staff. The school should be seen as a place to learn for everyone involved. .... .. .. ....Having a understanding of anti-authoritarianism and of the consensus decision-making model are important aspects of being a teacher. The Real School makes decisions collectively rather than relying on a leader to do so. Our basic principles are: respect ourselves, respect each other, and respect the environment. There is an expectation that kids, staff, parents, and the larger community will honor these principles not just during school hours, but also in their daily lives. ....
Interns should be prepared to commit to working at the school for at least a 6 month time period and to devote significant time and energy to their work. An ideal candidate would understand that interning at The Real School is not just a job and would approach their work with passion and heart felt energy. You are expected to take responsibility for yourself and should feel comfortable working without explicit directions while still remaining accountable to the community. .... .. .. If are interested in helping to grow something powerful and unique and believe that you can be of value to this amazing project, we encourage you to apply. Please send a resume with a written statement detailing your background, ideas on education, interests, and hopes for your involvement with The Real School AKA Dragon Valley to email@example.com.
There's been a lot of water related events going on this week... tropical storms to water gun fights...what fun!!!! This morning Isaac led the battle cry for another epic sword training. Lots of outdoor fun and exercise was had today. Have a great weekend because we will! ;-)
So we braved the dreaded tropical storm with its rain, occasional wind gusts and its rain. It's always good to have a rain day, even when you're unschooling! ;-) Raj and I relaxed with the boys throughout the day until they wandered off to play their Nintendos or worked on the computers. EliJah and Judah at some point went out to play in the rain and when they were done looked like wet kittens.
Our friend, Pravin (who helped create The Real School and is now working at the Albany Free School) stopped by for a visit. I got the chance to talk about race and class in the Unschool/Free School community with him. The conversation brought more questions than solutions, but we really need to outreach to the greater Houston community to talk about REAL educational reform and taking back the concept of school and learning from the institutions. Krenie dropped Isaac, Troy and Justin off in the midst of the rain and after a nap, Isaac got to spend some time catching up with Pravin. Carol and I got to talk a little about the move later this month when she came to pick up Justin and Troy. It's very exciting to know that we are moving into a permanent location in just a few weeks. (if anyone is interested in helping with that move, please let me know!).
We had a visitor who has an interest in staffing here. She and I had a great conversation about institutionalized learning and how we want more for our children. I hope she schedules some time to come and observe the daily happenings here later this week.
I did take some pictures of the rain which I will post tomorrow. Time to tuck the kiddos in so goodnight!
I write this with tears of sadness and joy. The day has finally come that our beloved friend, Ellie Shenker, leaves her teaching position to pursue her new adventures at college. She will be missed greatly as she has at times been called upon to be mature beyond her years and she has always stepped up to the challenge. There is only this left to say...Thank you, Ellie!