Blog · The Open School

A Journey of Self-Directed Education Breaking down the unconventional beliefs created by public schools

by Lexie Haft, Open School student
November 14, 2023

I have been enrolled at The Open School for almost two years. Throughout my time here I’ve been in deep reflection about the incomparable differences between a self-directed school and a traditional one. I often think about the privilege I have to be in an environment where there is mutual respect and my basic needs […]

A Story About Math and Self-Direction

by Angela Young, Open School staff
October 7, 2022

We caught a great moment on campus last week. One of our students, Charlotte, was playing a game where she asked a staff member, Aaron, math questions and then checked the answer using a calculator. Through play, Charlotte was connecting the dots between concepts while experiencing what it felt like to be the questioner who […]

Why Sudbury Schools Don’t Offer Classes

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
September 7, 2022

It’s easy enough to find flaws in the conventional classroom. A teacher lecturing to a group of twenty or thirty students, each at a different level of understanding, is not a great model for learning. And signing kids up for a bunch of subjects they have no interest in is just going to be a […]

Are You Expecting Too Much?

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
August 4, 2022

It’s natural as parents to want our kids to have a better life than we had. We just know that with the right parenting recipe, we can steer our children toward greatness. This is the basic idea behind education as well. Even parents who opt out of the conventional educational model—with its set curriculum and […]

They Teach Themselves Math

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
July 24, 2022

During their journey through childhood, children encounter many things which they have to figure out in order to proceed. This includes reading, writing, and math, as well as how money works, how to measure ingredients, how to tie their shoes, and how to look up information online. I call these “basic skills”—the first of the […]

When Should Kids Learn to Read?

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
July 15, 2022

If we started enrolling all of our 1-year-olds in English classes, within a couple of generations everyone would think children could not learn English without taking classes. Last time I illustrated how children learn to read and write in Self-Directed Education, which is more or less the same way they learn their native language—through immersion […]

They Teach Themselves to Read

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
July 4, 2022

Madison couldn’t read. She was seven years old, enrolled in a school that doesn’t have classes and doesn’t require children to learn to read. The written word was all around her. A sign was taped to the table advertising her friend’s art store: “Kitty corns 30¢ tada!” “What does that say?” Madison would ask. Some […]

Control Is a Myth No one can really control what a child learns or when.

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
June 25, 2022

How can we be sure that kids will learn everything they need to know? This is a question we hear a lot in Self-Directed Education. We hear it not just from skeptical outsiders, but also in our own heads. Even after seeing and feeling the benefits of a free childhood, most parents find it hard […]

7 Principles of Self-Directed Education

by Aaron Browder, Open School staff
June 14, 2022

In a conventional school, children are fed textbooks and lessons, but hardly anything that’s force-fed to them this way is really learned or integrated to become part of what they “know.” Yet people who graduate from conventional schools are generally not empty-headed—nor are people who graduate from self-directed schools. I’ve put together seven principles to […]

Monthly Happenings May 2022

June 1, 2022

Happy Pride Month. Welcome to the Monthly Happenings! It was one heck of a month, to say the least. There is so much to fill you in on, so if you are new to our Open School community, Welcome!! If you’ve been with us for a while, Hello again!! This month we had our first-ever […]