7
Dec
2017

The Secret Club

For the last 5 years, I taught in a Montessori school with someone who always spoke about how much she loves her job. She would do it for free, if she had to. She feels like it is her “true calling”… blah blah blah. I wanted to hate her… or feel sorry for her since […]

8
Oct
2017

Does This Count…

… is a question I hear frequently – the last time being  1 pm Friday afternoon, from a DRC teen at the end of our mentoring session, when she decided to try to set up a pen tablet (which has never been functional) on one of the DRC laptops. My vehement response, per usual, was, “of […]

24
Sep
2017

Is Your Child Having a Rough Start to the Year? 5 Reasons Your Family Might Consider a Semester Away from School

Unless you’re a homeschooling family, your child or teen has been in school for many years. Consider this a sabbatical. Everyone can use a sabbatical. Wouldn’t you love one? If Sunday nights are anxiety-provoking and homework is a constant battle, a change might be the best thing for the entire family. They can return to […]

27
Aug
2017

Inspired, Sobered

One of the pleasures of this past week has been organizing my notes from my first Liberated Learners conference. June 22 I caught a red-eye to the east coast and then spent the weekend reveling in hundreds of micro and macro “aha” moments. Having returned home I’m more excited than ever about all the goodness I know […]

31
Jul
2017

Who We Serve and How

Students choose LightHouse for a variety of reasons. But there’s always a reason. LightHouse is not the default choice—we are not free, public school. We are an alternate choice because something about the traditional option available to our students is not working for them. These reasons vary considerably. Some of our students were simply bored […]

3
Jul
2017

What Does it Mean to Be Educated?

Blake Boles has been writing and speaking about self-directed learning for over a decade, most recently for the Alliance for Self-Directed Education.  In his article What Does it Mean to Be Educated?,  he offers a somewhat historical perspective of where we are in the long-term arc of public education in the United States.  As Blake points […]

20
Feb
2017

What Happens to Self-Directed Learners?

Even in the world of alternative education, North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens is a hard program to fully grasp. Now in our 21st year, those of you who have met me or spoken with me about the model probably most remember my mantra, “It’s not a school!” It’s easy to remember what we “don’t […]

9
Mar
2016

Why an “Alternative” Learning Center?

The key word here is “learning.” Learning is a biological imperative. Humans learn or die. Well, we also learn and then die. But before we die, we continue to learn right up until the moment we lose our sentience. The learning begins in utero and results in our mastering kinesthetic miracles such as breathing, walking […]

23
Jan
2016

Changing a Life in Eight Minutes

Just as I was packing up to head home from North Star late one September afternoon, the phone rang in my office. “Hi, this is Angie. I’m in California, and I really need some help!”  Yikes, I thought. It had been a full day of talking to people, and I had somewhere to go. “Well, […]

23
Sep
2015

Trusting in Trust: One Parent’s Practice

Being a parent is rough, right? Let’s not talk about the physical challenge of growing and birthing a whole human being, and let’s not talk about the ongoing physical challenge of nursing and cleaning and feeding and caring for that tender little creature for YEARS and YEARS and YEARS. (Which holds true whether you’re a biological […]