brooklyn indie market...

just popping in to remind you i will be at the brooklyn indie market tomorrow from 11-6pm. for those of you who are local i hope you can come by and say hello! it's located on smith and union streets. i will be outside in one of the kiosks, with katy from winsome hollow, and sonia, from willowpixie. i'll be drinking lot's of coffee and hoping it's not to cold... brrr.

i also wanted to share a recent story from the new york times, my mother-in-law passed on to me. it's an interesting article about unschooling... which i am a strong proponent of. my son jack henry goes to a democratic free school, which adheres to the same philosophy, allowing children the freedom to choose their own paths for learning. if we didn't send him there, we would most likely unschool him instead. it was a little dismaying to read many of the comments after the article though. many people are so fearful of change and difference. kyle and i discussed it for a long time yesterday, and it was a good reminder to be thankful for the choice we have to send him to the brooklyn free school, where they work so hard to make a space where children can thrive and difference is embraced.

i'd like to share this message they recently sent to parents from the school:

"Here are some of the things that the BFS staff feel are important aspects of the school:

* Children are people and deserve to be treated with respect
* Students are not forced to participate in any activity beyond the basic requirements of the school.
* The basic requirements of the school are that students attend the weekly democratic meeting, go to other mandatory meetings, finish daily community responsibilities (clean up).
* Staff, students, interns and volunteers all have a vote on deciding school policy
* Students are encouraged and helped to pursue their interests
* Students are responsible for cleaning up after themselves
* Students are given clear boundaries- based off of rules created by the democratic meeting, permissions their parents have granted, common sense and a constant precedence for health and safety
* Rewards and Punishments are not used to influence behavior
* Explanations are always given for choices made
* Children are respected as individuals
* Students are helped talk through disagreements and conflicts with staff, siblings and friends
* Choices (good and bad) have consequences and the best consequences are natural
* Staff and students share their passions and interests with each other (and recognize that others might not be as excited as they are!)
* Staff try to make learning relevant in order to take down barriers between life and learning
* Staff and students read to each other and talk about books, magazines, articles they love and find interesting
* Staff acknowledges and respects that everyone's academic experience and goals are different
* We let children know that we love them
* We emphasize and work on sharing"

hope to see you tomorrow!



Katie said...

I wish I had a school like that to go to when I was young - I may not have felt so stiffled and frustrated! I'm glad there are opportunities for children now, though.

chiara said...

just found your blog - a friend sent your link to me - and I'm so happy to have found it. yay!
-a fellow brooklynite, mother, and crafty person :)

Cary Walker said...

katie- i felt exactly the same way... which is why i wanted something different for my kids. we are lucky it is here and only two blocks away!

chiara- welcome, and i'm glad you found me too:) you have a lovely blog as well!

mamakopp said...

Sounds like our home :)

Your children are very lucky to be part of something so open and loving.