Blog | The Open School

Blog · The Open School

Let’s nix the distinction between “educational” and “non-educational” activities

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
January 14, 2018

So you’re into alternative education. The traditional system doesn’t provide enough freedom of choice to students, you say. Kids need time to play, to run around, to make decisions. They learn best when following their own passions, on their own schedules. But sooner or later, you say, they’re going to have to start learning something. Sooner […]

No Squirrel Left Behind

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
December 26, 2017

On February 18, 2018, the U.S. Senate will vote on the No Squirrel Left Behind Act, a comprehensive measure to get the next generation of squirrels off the streets and allow them to become productive, functional members of society. The act would require all squirrels living in the U.S. to attend special squirrel schools between […]

Learning is Chaos

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
December 1, 2017

There is nothing quite as intense, disordered, and interesting as four boys playing Minecraft on an Xbox in split-screen mode. Here is a microcosm within a microcosm of life, relationships, industry, and cutthroat market competition, on 16x fast-forward, fueled by adrenaline, in a medium of at least 33 percent excited screeching. Josh, Odin, Loki, and […]

Staff Spotlight: Miré Molnar

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
November 24, 2017

Today I’m sharing an interview of The Open School’s new staff member, Miré Molnar. Miré is an Orange native, and discovered our school when she started thinking about future education options for her 2-year-old daughter. In addition to staffing part-time at the school, she is a graphic designer, entrepreneur, childbirth educator, and jewelry designer. We’re so […]

Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
November 19, 2017

In the late 2000’s, the TV network Fox ran a game show called Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? Not much of a departure from the conventional trivia show model, it involved a single contestant trying to answer questions taken from elementary school textbooks. The contestant was occasionally allowed to call for help from one […]

Through Students’ Eyes

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
November 11, 2017

It’s been such a fun, active week here at The Open School, I wanted to share some of our experiences with you. Then, when I started writing them down, I realized that I’m looking at things through an adult’s eyes, based on my own values and biases. But this school is really all about students’ […]

What freedom means

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
October 28, 2017

Freedom means you can learn in your own way. Freedom means there’s no wrong way to play. Freedom means no bells or assignments to interrupt your focus. Freedom means you can draw on the walls. Freedom means the world is your classroom. Freedom means you can be friends with people who aren’t your age. Freedom […]

You might not need that college fund after all When higher education transforms, the price of a degree will plummet

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
October 23, 2017

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we, as parents, didn’t have to set aside tens of thousands of dollars for the future for our children’s education? Wouldn’t it be nice if a decade from now, kids in America could get a college education for cheap — or free? No, I’m not waiting for the federal government […]

Your choice of education could save your child’s life

by Ben Page, Open School co-founder
October 18, 2017

First, let me figuratively shake you by the shoulders with a few statistics: According to the CDC, the rate of youth suicide in girls doubled between 2007 and 2015 and the youth suicide rate for boys climbed by 30%. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 30% of girls and 20% of boys […]

It’s hard to cultivate independence Getting independent, capable kids requires a more hands-off approach

by Cassi Clausen & Aaron Browder, Open School staff
October 6, 2017

Cassi: This summer I took a “parent and me” swimming class with my three-year-old. At that age, the goal of the class isn’t actually swimming — it’s surviving. He’s working on skills like back floating, crawling along the wall, and climbing out of the water. The hope is that if my three-year-old were to fall […]