Blog | The Open School

Blog · The Open School

When kids are responsible for their own discipline

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
September 17, 2017

If you ever got in trouble when you were a kid, you probably remember those trips to the principal’s office — the adults hovering over you, the questioning (“Do you understand why it was wrong?”), the explaining (“That’s not how we treat our friends”), the advice (“How would you feel if that happened to you?”). […]

Free play is the best P.E.

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
September 13, 2017

When was the last time you got on the swing next to your child and tried to keep up with him or her? Now that we’re back at school for the fall, I got my first chance in a while to do this, and boy it’s not easy! Behind the innocent-looking pendulum motion of the […]

The Joy of Togetherness

by Cassi Clausen, Open School staff and co-founder
September 8, 2017

This was our first week back at school. After a summer of being separated, there was clear joy on the kids’ faces as they re-entered the school community. The week has been spent in togetherness. Some instantly found the art supplies. Even before the school was set up for the year, they were working on […]

How to fix America’s schools in 7 steps

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
August 30, 2017

Here’s how you can convert your traditional public school into a haven of self-directed education where all kids can succeed. (Warning: the government may get mad and cut your funding.) 1. Teachers. Let the kids use their voices. Let them ask questions. They have a lot. It will be loud. If the noise gives you a […]

Thank God it’s summer… Now, when’s it over?

by Cassi Clausen, Open School staff and co-founder
August 24, 2017

I don’t know about you, but my summer has been bipolar. In the beginning I was so excited for all the family time: the stuff I would do with the kids, the sleeping in, the pajama days, the vacation away from the “grind.” And those things have been great, but they have also been hard. […]

The World is Our Classroom

by Ben Page, Open School staff and co-founder
August 15, 2017

When Cassi and I started The Open School, our campus consisted of half of Cassi’s house and Frank, a green passenger van with a gray mustache on his grill. The first year we spent a minimum of three days per week on the road exploring Orange County, and I can confidently say that those kids […]

Kids need community — and not the kind you’re thinking of In the age of disconnection, addiction, and anxiety, here's how to ensure your kids are happy, healthy, and successful

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
August 7, 2017

It’s 2017, and the debate about children and screen time rages on. Most people seem to agree that kids’ screen time needs to be limited, because they’re unable to resist the urge to be plugged in all the time. Indeed, today, many adults are unable to resist the urge to be plugged in all the […]

Parenting in a culture of judgment

by Cassi Clausen, Open School staff and co-founder
July 30, 2017

Parenting is hard. It’s hard because of what we are trying to do — raise human beings to be independent, involved, compassionate, communal, and thoughtful. But it’s made much harder because we are doing it within a culture of judgment. I went to dinner with some close friends the other night — all moms. Every […]

Life after graduation: a free-schooler’s perspective

by Tay Parker, Open School staff
July 22, 2017

I graduated from Sudbury Valley School in 1996. Like The Open School, Sudbury Valley School is a democratic free school where students can spend all their time however they like. People often wonder how graduates from this kind of school fare in life afterwards. I decided to find out, so I interviewed a few of […]

Fail Early, Fail Often

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
July 13, 2017

In April, The Open School hosted a dinner party in which staff and students cooked and catered a three-course meal for their families and friends. The idea began with my desire to have a home-cooked lunch at school using our campus’s kitchen, but when Tay, I, and a handful of students got to brainstorming, it […]