Stark Raving Dad is an unschooling-homeschooling father who writes beautifully about his experiences with his children. Having taught in a variety of public, charter and independent/private schools for close to 20 years in addition to having homeschooled and then unschooled my own children for a short period, much of what Stark Raving Dad talks about resonates with me.
However, I have learned that there are many ways to 'think-outside-of-the-box' when it comes to education. There is never going to be a one-size-fits-all model of learning because every child and every family is unique. We also know that not all families are financially able or have the patience, interest, or skills to be entirely responsible for facilitating their own children's experiential education/exploration, social-emotional learning, and care full-time.
We like to think of ourselves as an organization that is working to find research and evidence-based alternatives for families who are looking for a "happy medium" that is somewhere between radical unschooling and traditional standardized education. The Calgary Changemaker School is one such option (and we are working on a world-schooling option in the future) but our not-for-profit organization is also always happy to counsel families to help them find their best-fit alternative. -Ms.Kristi Kraychy, Head of School
"Setting expectations and chasing goals - small, immediately realistic ones, and big, dreamy, stretchy ones - is how we add interesting, memorable chapters to our life’s book.
But there aren’t many aspects of society where expectations are already as firmly in place as they are in education. Where the goals are already set, the chapters already drafted.
We are generations into formal schooling now. Generations into those expectations being part of daily life. Deciding whether you truly believe they’re good, right, and important, and discarding them if you don’t, is some of the most important work you’ll ever do. Not just for your children, right now, but for *their* children, and their children’s children. Because if we want to make lasting, meaningful change in the way we view childhood (and if you’re here, you do), then we must bravely explore new paths. We must reduce the strength the status quo holds as much as we can, as soon as we can, so that our future generations are not as shackled by it as we have been.
So ask yourself:
Does every child need to learn the same things, by the same age?
Do I believe that putting them under regular pressure to prove they have is good, and right, and useful?
Do children need to go through scary, painful and embarrassing experiences to become resilient?
Is a classroom the gold standard of learning environments?
Are structured, daily blocks the most efficient and effective way to learn?
Is it useful to break the world into segments, and ask children to view and experience them as different subjects?
Do I believe that a child is falling behind in life if they’re not dedicating hours every day to those areas?
Do I believe that the concept of falling behind even exists?
Examine these. Deeply. Read, research, discuss and reflect. Work hard to wash away any that do not truly resonate with you.
And then, when you have, boldly go and write a life story that *you* [and your child] are the authors of."
-REPOST FROM Stark Raving Dad
Calgary Changemaker School 2020-2022