• So, a week later I can say that we´ve kind of resolved the inertia of certain kids in Explora.

    As a teacher I know how important it is to back off and give students space instead of demanding immediate […]

    • I was so happy to read your update. Thanks for writing it…since I was following your story.

      I am the parent of the second year student who wrote last week.

      – Lisa

  • So, the first week went great. It far succeed any expectations I had had. However, the second week left me with a whole different feeling.

    No new kids have been enrolled. My radio spots haven´t started to run […]

    • It can be tough to deschool while in some parts of your life you still have to play school. It can also take a long time to get to the other side of deschooling. Emphasis on long. My heart goes out to you as you wait for them to get to the other, more productive side of the process.
      I would suggest maybe meeting them where they are. They can’t & won’t for sometime, I think, be ready to generate their own pursuits and offerings. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with coming up with some things you think are sure to be interesting to them.

    • My heart went out to you when I read your post. I admire your courage. My daughter started ALC in NYC a year ago, at the age of 13. The adjustment process has been wonderful and also very hard (for me). I have read that de-schooling can take a year … or two. This seems like a good estimate based on my own experience. Of course I am very emotionally involved, so it’s not easy. But it really takes alot more than a few weeks for kids to feel safe. So much damage has been done in schools. In the beginning (maybe after 6 months) I noticed a very tiny but important change. My daughter stopped being afraid to ask questions and admit she didn’t know something (like the meaning of a word). Any small change is a miracle. The age mixing is so helpful for building the comfort and feeling of safety.

      I agree with the other comment above: Not to feel bad about making all of the offerings. Volunteers bringing in offerings has been so helpful. My daughter relates to and feels safe with physical activity…acro-balance was the first place that helped her relax.

      I remember in the beginning she told me they watched a movie ‘Into the Woods’. I was a little concerned and sceptical when I heard that this was an offering, but these kinds of activities that adults would not tend to suggest in a ‘school’ setting, really do help to make young people feel safe and realize that this is not the normal kind of school at all. And my daughter was very enthusiastic to have these kinds of offerings…just going on a trip downtown, visiting grocery stores, looking at the furniture that people left on the street, going to the thrift store, going out to lunch, strangely these have been some of the many day to day activities that they have done in NYC. It does seem to work. Keep it up. And keep up the faith.

    • It´s Monday and I had a serious talk with my facilitators. We decided to back off totally today – I mean, we even left the room during the intention setting… and OMG! The kids suddenly started chatting with each other, and three of them took off outside. The others stayed and said: we want to play hide and seek. My main facilitator answered: great! Go ahead then! And OFF THEY WENT!!!

      It was an amazing afternoon! The kids played like crazy, and all we did was watch them and talk about self-directed learning. It´s like as if they were completely different kids! And when we reconnected before 7, they actually TALKED! They said it had been an awesome day and that it had been very different. They couldn´t tell why, but they all said they liked it. YAY!!!! I´m not totally lost after all 🙂

      Thank you all for your kind words and supportive attitudes!

    • I didn’t notice this reply until after I read your next post. Thanks for posting this. It is so inspiring. But of course, life is real and there will be more challenges…who knows what. So of course, you should continue to post them. 🙂

  • I´ve been nervous about starting up Explora. Quite nervous.

    What if the kids don´t respond to the agile tools? What if they simply don´t know how to take initiatives? And what if my facilitators don´t get it? […]

  • When you create something new, I think it´s vital to be very clear about why you want to do it. That´s basically where you´ve got to start because oterwise you´ll get lost in the process or unconsciously cre […]

  • Even though I´m a very enthusiastic person, I´m also realistic. I knew there weren´t going to be tons of kids coming in on the first day. Chances are it´ll take a semester or two to fill up the space with all the […]

  • It´s been another of those crazy weeks, where on one hand not much seems to happen because I see few tangible results, but on the other I´ve been crazy busy.

    Got interviewed at the local radio station, and h […]

  • Sometimes I´m just like: seriously?! Is this really happening?

    That´s the feeling I got when I got to know Bruno Iriarte. Bruno is travelling from Mexico to his home country Argentina in a Volkswagen minibus, v […]

  • Lately I have been very concerned with how to pull in the money I need to get the most basic stuff in order for Explora to be able to function on a basic level.

    Opening up the kindergarted enabled me to shape […]

  • This week I had scheduled meetings with the two school directors that I find most accessible here in Puerto Escondido. One runs a highly traditional preschool and primary school. The other is head of the christian […]

  • So, I decided to postpone the start of my ALC one week and give myself some more time to fix all that needs to be ready. I mean, the most important is there: the structure, my team of facilitators, my […]

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  • Ever since I decided I´d start up an ALC, I´ve been freaked out by the fact that this time I´m on my own.

    Now, I want this to be very clear: I prefer working with a team. But if I can´t have an outstanding team […]

    • You’re an inspiration! myself and out Wildwood ALC community in NC will LOVE keeping up with your adventures and progress! #onedayatatime #builditandtheywillcome

  • When you start up a school in Mexico, there are so many different aspects you can think about. I mean, after all you will start affecting other people´s lives.

    The first ones to experience the difference, are […]

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  • Most of the time I just focus. I don´t have time to waste on worrying. You can be a worrier or a warrior, and I generally choose the latter.

    But sometimes it comes creeping up on me. The doubts. The anxiety. […]

    • *twinkles*
      I know those days like fish know water. Being a pioneer and on the cutting edge is a persistent state of risk and anxiety. My self talk in those moments is that forward is the only way to get to where I’m trying to go.

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