• Lem posted an update 6 years ago

    I have held back from commenting for the first few weeks to give myself and Hannah time to settle in and get our bearings.
    I will admit to coming to this process with more than a bit of skepticism. I couldn’t see how this could possibly work. Fortunately it didn’t take long for me to notice some changes in Hannah. First among the changes was a…[Read more]

  • Drew posted an update 6 years, 6 months ago

    I just did a big upgrade of our website, please report any problems!


  • Charlotte posted an update 6 years, 6 months ago

    How to make an orgami box by @grace

  • Isabella posted an update 6 years, 8 months ago

    Eric Bear, You Toats owe me One! Today I walked about 2 miles BAREFOOT! love, IZZY

  • ThumbnailSteve Cooperman came in today to talk with us about Open Space Asheville, the community space where we’ll be moving March 1st. OS AVL will be using the Blueprint of We process to govern participant-interaction […]

  • Charlotte, my seven-year-old friend from QIV-C, has been hanging out with ALC-NYC and Cloudhouse these past few days we’ve visited her home. Here’s a guest post from her:

    I liked when my sled was going really […]

  • Pics or it didn’t happen!



    Last year, Cloudhouse consisted of Will and me.

    This year Will goes to Buxton; a very progressive, top-tier boarding school. I call Buxton very progressive, as I call Agile Learning Centers as bogglingly radical.

    Last year Will and I mostly did our own things independantly. We organized trips to AgileNYC, we ate together, we did morning and end of the day meetings, we built out the Cloudhouse basement with whiteboard, set up a makerspace, listened to episodes of This American Life, ripsticked in an abandoned warehouse, played in the stream, worked on comedy, wrote emails, discussed semantics, and many, many, many, many more things that I don’t remember now at 4:05 in the morning on this, the first day of 2015.

    It may sound like we did a bunch together, and I suppose we did, but Will spent the vast majority of his time exploring his passions of coding, programming, hardwaring, CAD designing, graphic designing, video game designing, Reddit community moderating, 3d printing, making things from instructables, creating completely new things and then making instructables of them, building the first open source cell-phone that people build in a graduate level class at MIT’s Media Lab, making stop-motion animations, etc.

    And, somehow, he still did Math on Khan Academy, Spanish on Duolingo, Music with a local wizard, human sexuality with a muse-RN/family friend, jewelry making class with his mom, snowboarding with his sibling’s sweet, sweet school, leatherworking with a local leatherworker, and more other stuff.

    Earlier today/yesterday (the sun has yet to rise) Will and I, along with @Drew and Will’s cousin Caleb all drove an hour to float in a sensory deprivation tank. None of us had ever done it before.

    When I worked at AERO, Jerry Mintz would tell me incredible stories about Shaker Mountain School. A number of stories shared a theme of a student that only attended Shaker Mountain for the year. The student would have a couple extremely powerful experiences, and would then move on to go back to a more traditional school, but, of course, by their choice.

    Now, I have to get to bed, because I promised Will I would get to cleaning our matching Smith Corona Galaxie VII typewriters first thing in the morning.

    I Post this blog-post unfinnished, because I have made a resolution to myself to blog.


  • Hello ALC world!

    I didn’t want to end the year without my first post. I’ve been so excited about all the opportunities and discoveries we have had at our ALC startup I could not help sharing.

    For the past months I’ve been facilitating learning experiences for one extraordinary agile learner, Le’Laia, who recently started homeschooling. These “Best of 2014 Experiences” are just a small sample, but I’m sure they will give you a good idea about what is possible at our ALC.

    ExAlt opens this January in San Juan, Puerto Rico for agile learners of all ages. Hats off to Le’Laia’s courageous mom and to all pioneer families joining our agile community in 2015.


    So what do we do at ExAlt?

    We explore. We play. We talk (a lot). We create things. We share our learning. We collaborate. We reflect. We make our own decisions. We take responsibility for our own learning. We solve problems. We solve conflict peacefully. We question. We find answers. We teach each other. We learn from each other. We connect with nature. We create community. We connect with the world. We strive to live sustainably. We know ourselves. We respect each other’s individuality. We live healthy lives. We laugh (a lot). We exalt each person and their unique potential.

    We explore outdoors a lot.
    We explore outdoors a lot.

    Exploration leads to rotting log with mushrooms and tons of insects coming out of it. Scientific observation ensues. Millipedes, ants, and a mysterious pupating insect are discovered.

    Free drawing. We created an original story board with mermaids and shapeshifting characters.

    We strengthen our balance and concentration using slacklines. Yeah!!
    We strengthen our balance and concentration using slacklines. Yeah!!

    We learn about the animal groups.
    We learn about animal groups.

    Wepontaneous chalk mural. Mermaids are present.
    We create spontaneous chalk murals. Mermaids are often present as well.

    We sometimes have picnics in trees as well.
    Sometimes we hang out and eat our snack up in the trees.

    No better time to practice our Combinations of 10 cards than while hanging up a tree.
    No better time to practice our Combinations of 10 cards.

    A lot.
    We place tape marks on the floor and we jump. A lot.

    We find out which was the longest jump. The frog jump usually wins.
    We find out which was the longest jump. The frog jump usually wins.

    We climb trees. We observe them carefully.
    We climb trees. We observe them carefully.

    We also look for information online about the trees we love climbing most. We learn more about them, label them and make drawings.
    We look for information online about the trees we love to climb. We learn more about them, label them and make drawings.

    We recycle cardboard boxes and we slide downhill. Laughter, screaming and agitation are common.
    We recycle cardboard boxes and slide downhill. Laughter, screaming and agitation are common.

    We think about shapes. How many triangles can you make with 6 toothpicks?

    We explore triangles and tetrahedrons while playing with toothpicks and playdough.

    We learn about reptiles by capturing them and bringing them indoors for observation. (Not a poisonous one. Yey!)  We observe it feed on smaller reptiles and amphibians. We watch as it sheds its skin. We set it free.

    We bring it indoors and learn about it. Not a poisonous one. Yey! We observe it feed and shed its skin.


    We read about fire, its benefits and dangers, and how we can control/fuel it. Then we make a fire!

    We play piano.
    We play piano and make beats. Ode to Joy is a favorite.

    We swing real high!
    We swing real high!

    We read our favorite books. Over and over.
    We read our favorite books. Over and over.

    We talk about them to understand them better.
    We then review and talk about the  books to deepen our understanding of what we read.

    We slide downhill some more.

    We use different sliding mediums and compare sliding speeds. Some more screaming, laughter and agitation.
    We use different sliding mediums and compare sliding speeds. Palm tree “yaguas” show the least friction  resistance, allowing for the speediest descent. Some more screaming, laughter and agitation.

    We take computers apart to and test their components (like fans and LED lights) for use in later electronics inventions.
    We take computers apart, test their components (like fans and LED lights) and use them in later inventions.

    We make huge bubbles.
    We make huge bubbles.

    We build vegetable gardens.
    We often get dirty. We build vegetable gardens.

    As we explore we often find and collect various objects and organisms. We identify them and try to reconstruct them.
    We find and collect organisms. Sometimes they are dead. We bring them in for observation and try to put the pieces back together.

    We learn about electric circuits as we play with LittleBits.

    We rock on drums!
    We rock on drums!

    We create our own animated stories using programming software developed by MIT Media Lab called Scratch.
    We use Raspberry Pi computers to play and learn about computer programming. We create our own animated stories using programming software developed by MIT Media Lab (Scratch).

    We draw.
    We draw and share our creations.

    We sort out material collected outdoors using magnets. Then we look for "micrometeorites" under the microscope.
    We sort out material collected outdoors using magnets. Then we look for “micrometeorites” under the microscope.

    We create with clay.
    We make things with clay.

    We capture more reptiles.
    We capture more reptiles. (We make sure they are handled gently to avoid harming them)

    We paint on "magical" water sensitive paper.
    We paint on “magical” water sensitive paper.

    We learn how to make shapes with balloons. Online tutorials are awesome!
    We learn how to make shapes with balloons. Online tutorials are awesome!

    We also capture amphibians and observe their metamorphosis.
    We also capture amphibians and observe their metamorphosis.

    Online tutorials are also great for learning how to Mr. Whiskers.
    We practice new skills and reflect on our progress. Online tutorials are also great for learning how to draw Captain Whiskers.

    We look at things from different perspectives.
    We look at things from different perspectives.


    As you can see, possibilities are endless…
    …what will YOU do at ExAlt?

  • Isabella wrote a new post, Raw yum!, on the site Adventures of Isabella 7 years ago

    Hi nancy! I am going to tell you about the raw food videos. Okay, let’s get started! First of all, the cheesecake! Yup, a dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, raw and natural cheesecake!!!!!!! for the “cheese” she uses […]

  • Yesterday, Adin came in and offered to host a 5-hour Doctor Who marathon. The projector glow mingled with the hum of recorded voices, and the resulting spell pulled passers-by through the door to the Red Room. […]

  • Drew posted an update 7 years, 1 month ago

    We finished the Glacier View Commons website
    [bpfb_link url=’http://glacierviewcommons.org/’ title=’Glacier View Commons’ image=”]Do you think the Everett School District’s “Educational Resource Center” should be used by the community? Sign up below, we’ll send you relevant information about the site and opportunities to get more involved or lea…[Read more]

  • It’s Thursday at 1:15, story time in our little community of young children and facilitators.  I am trying to read aloud Skippy John Jones. A well loved book, but one some people wanted to hear and others did not. In fact, not everyone had been ready for joining story time at all today, but with a look at the clock I had called the group anyway wanting to offer order, consistency and ease by keeping to our usual routine. Now there are children scooching from place to place, arguing over a play silk or nudging somebody who is in their way of seeing the book.  I wonder if I should have chosen Kokopelli as the book today instead. I lay the book down and refrain from sighing. I tell the kids what I notice happening. I offer the reason for my valuing of group story time- though I do love stories as I know most of the kids do, it’s important to our day because of the ritual of coming together as a group. The kids offer their own thoughts about story time and what feels good (being able to hear the story, having space to sit and see, etc).  

    I have been thinking about the opportunity of Thursday’s story time. It’s a reminder of what it is I value and a moment to reflect on what makes rhythm different from routine for me.

    Rhythm to me feels natural. If I feel in tune with the day and the community of kids, I often feel the moment for transition. If I do, then it is as seamless as the change in direction in a flock of birds. How do they all know when to shift slightly east? If I can be really in the moment with the children, I can often feel the shift with them.

    Everyone is playing at the edge of the wood in a water exploration. A few kids and an adult end up at the parking lot labyrinth just down the trail from the water explpeaceoration. I hear someone say somewhere behind me, “I’m hungry.” I catch the breeze of transition, “Everyone, let’s get our lunches and go down to the labyrinth to eat! “

    Rhythm to me isn’t added on top of life. It doesn’t add order to our living. It tunes into the order that is already in our natural world, in our bodies and in communities of people. Routine sometimes ends up for the sake of routine, while rhythm is always tied to what is happening in our world and lives.

    Usually our group has a community circle time after everyone has eaten lunch. This mostly winds up being between 11:30 and noon. As school was starting this year the progression was that kids wanted to come inside for some shelter from the sun at about this time, so we got into the flow of having our circle as we all came in from outdoors play. On Friday this week, though, the weather was so beautiful and mild. After lunch the kids jumped right back into outdoors play, and I also was caught up in a an outdoors project and didn’t think at all about circle until I notice it is 12:30. I look around and realize that if a transition moment had appeared after lunch, I had missed it. I think about ringing the chime for circle. It would be okay with me for us to miss one day of circle, but I also know that sometimes the rest of the day is thrown off if we miss a beat. I see that most kids are deep into various play activities that I would be interrupting. I name in my mind that what I really want in circle time is a moment for everyone together in a shared activity. I decide to be on the lookout for a natural move towards this in the midst of what is already happening. About three seconds later a few kids ask if I will join them on the hill in the woods. Walla! The wish fulfillment is what is already in motion with the children and here was the request for me to see it! I call out an invitation to everyone else. “Who would like to join us in the woods?” The magic transition moment is there and feet pound in our direction. “Right!” I announce, “And this will be our circle today. Going to the hill together!”

    Of course, I don’t always catch or follow up on the little shifts. And when I don’t, there is always a lesson for growth, a little nudge to remember to let go of the clock, let go of worry about schedules, to trust my intuition and the children’s instincts. And just laugh at a particularly squirrely story times and nod at the reminder.

    And so, one of my roles as a facilitator with young children is to BE with them in the moment, to notice the engagements and shifts, and sometimes to cast invitations to the group based on the guidance I receive from the children themselves. I’m not introducing rhythm into their lives. The rhythm is already there.

  • As I slooowly begin to think about attempting to maybe one day utilize my digital Kanban board known as Trello to easily look back on all the wonderful things I get to do every week, here are some juicy reflections over the past few. How in the multiverse could I have forgotten to share these fun-filled, creative-juice-inducing, satiating activities with you? Forgive me.

    photo 1
    This piece here was created through a technique called drip painting. Artists: Askani, Taina, Eva, and myself
    My friend, Eva, came in a couple of weeks ago and offered to facilitate this activity; it was filled with imaginative role playing, creative collaboration, feminine forces, animal energies, explosions, brains, a cupcake, a blue cat, the last breaths of a grandmother wolf, and an eagle with three eggs. Big thanks to Askani @thewitchqueen908, Taina @pinkpanda, and Eva for gifting me with such a fulfilling experience.

    Check out my epic battle scar! Taina @pinkpanda, has been practicing her make-up artist skills. I’ve given her free rein over my face as her blank canvas.
    For our Comic Con field trip, she painted a version of Two-Face on me (photo coming soon, if I remember to ask @abbyo for it!). Because of this, Jacob @jacobcb was inspired to create a meme of me. Love it!

    photo 2
    photo 3
    photo 4
    photo 5 (1)
    Huge thanks to my friend, Marian, who came in to offer her passion for cooking earlier this week. Check out Taina @pinkpanda, Lescot @legolad22, and Thanos @kingthanos–the super team of sous chefs! We made veggie ravioli from scratch… whaaaat?! Amazing.


    Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
    Heavy cream
    Lemon juice
    Tomato paste
    Bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns
    Parmigiano cheese

    Tomato Sauce:

    Chop onion, celery and carrots to a small dice
    Heat medium sauce pan with canola oil
    Add veggies
    Sweat down on slow heat
    Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste, caramelize
    Deglaze with water or white wine
    Add water and aromatics (thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns)
    Bring to a boil and down to a simmer for about 45 min

    Pasta Dough:

    Form volcano with flour
    Crack egg inside volcano
    Mix and add EVOO and water until sticky (but not wet) consistency
    Roll on floured surface
    Cut out ravioli shapes
    Fill with *ricotta cheese and **egg-wash edges
    Fold and seal


    *Ricotta Cheese:

    Bring whole milk and heavy cream (3:1) to a boil on medium heat
    Add lemon juice until it curdles
    Season with salt and pepper to taste
    Strain through cheese cloth



    Mix 1 egg with 2 tablespoons of water





    Our second parent interest night (PIN) happened on Thursday. Listening to the questions of curious parents is something I’m learning so much from in terms of preparing myself for the kinds of questions I’ll need to be ready to answer in establishing an ALC on Oahu. It’s been a significant experience for me to hear the answers of our facilitators as well as parents of our own kids who were present to support in sharing their own testimonies and enthusiasm for the space we provide for young people.
    It’s always inspiring to listen to @tomis, @abbyo, and @ryanshollenberger‘s responses to parent questions and concerns. Time and time again, I sense the internal and external challenges of parents/adults with trusting children. As I know very well, as Ryan mentioned at this event, and as quoted by John Holt:

    “Trust Children. Nothing could be more simple, or more difficult. Difficult because to trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves, and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.”

    I’m in the mood to travel a bit farther back…
    I’ve been journaling since age 9 or 10. It’s something I personally consider immensely therapeutic. In retrospect, I see and know it as a very necessary processing tool for self-reflection toward deeper self-awareness. Over the past year or two, I’ve been journaling less for therapeutic purposes and more for setting intentions, stating desires and noting synchronicity after synchronicity. Here are a few short excerpts from two entries, which I just now realize, sit EXACTLY a year apart from each other. Whoa.
                    jphoto 1     jphoto 2
    jphoto 3
    Ohh, the idealism. I wonder what I’ll be writing on March 23rd of 2015. Hopefully that I’ll have received an abundance of financial support, local resources, local interest/support in this vision, and physical space to establish ALC Oahu. Or better.
    Beyond thrilled and thankful to be on the path I’ve chosen for myself.

  • Drew posted an update 7 years, 1 month ago

    Here’s a lost post I wrote but never published about Occupy Sandy and how they dealt with money. As ALC grows and distributed shared funds emerge it will be wise to think about how we are going to deal with that.
    [bpfb_link url=’http://blog.dhornbein.com/the-occupy-sandy-incubation-team-how-to-deal-with-a-million-dollars/’ title=’The Occupy Sandy…[Read more]

  • Alona wrote a new post, Skateboarding!, on the site AlonaLearning 7 years, 1 month ago


    I made this video with Tessa, it was fun!!! I’m ProudPantherFan because I use my mincraft name. And I use my friend’s brother’s old account. Tessa is Sparkle.

  • Drew posted an update 7 years, 2 months ago

    I’ve just purchased ALCEverett.org you can now e-mail me at [email protected]

  • I joined Trello, please add me to any/all boards that I possibly ought to be involved in!