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EDUCATION Tagged Posts

Makarios Community School - A Place for Everyone

One of best things about Makarios is the sense of community. Everyone knows each other, everyone helps each other, and everyone has a place in our school- except when they don’t, because they’re new. A prospective student’s trial week and a new student’s first few days can be some of the most interesting things to experience at Makarios, and it really solidifies the sense of community each and every time.

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My child can not get off their device. What do I do?

They wake up and immediately reach for their phones. They get in the car and immediately pull out their DS. Their faces are aglow, and you can see the reflection of their devices in their dilated pupils. Screen time for kids has been a hot topic ever since the first handheld device came out almost half a century ago. We still struggle every day with our children's faces glued to the screen. Sometimes we may even find; we're guilty of that as well!

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An Open Letter to Our Children: Why You’re Not in Public School (and you are at Makarios)

The other day when we were talking about public school and your Democratic Free School (Makarios), we realized that…

  1. We’ve never really explained to you why you’ve never been to public school. 
  2. Within this absence of explanation, you’ve made up some pretty wacky reasons.

We're writing to set the record straight.

 

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Why we work at Makarios...and not at In-N-Out

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This week a new parent at the school asked me: So do you all get a paycheck? Or are you all volunteers? Short of a discourse about how we each have justified working at what amounts to being a burger flipper, I just smiled and said: some of both. After all, as most individuals who work for non-profits, we are passionate about our work at Makarios.

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Why we work at Makarios...and not at In-N-Out

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This week a new parent at the school asked me: So do you all get a paycheck? Or are you all volunteers? Short of a discourse about how we each have justified working at what amounts to being a burger flipper, I just smiled and said: some of both. After all, as most individuals who work for non-profits, we are passionate about our work at Makarios.

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How School Meeting and Judicial Committee Promote Creative Problem Solving

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According to a 2015 Bloomberg survey of job recruiters, these are the “less common, more desired” traits that today’s recruiters are looking for in job candidates. Of course, these traits are less common in a society where you’re taught for thirteen years in a top-down approach with limited communication, under the leadership of an adult one hundred percent of the time, doing what you’re told and only what you’re told. In this system, correct answers are even marked wrong if a student uses an alternative method to find it. Where is there room to grow skills like communication, leadership and creative problem-solving in such an environment?

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How to Break the Cycle of a Repetitious Education

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Do you remember being a 5th-grader and savoring those last few weeks of summer before you start back to school? You treasure every day, skating in the street with your friends, swimming at the community pool and staying up to the last minute of your summer bedtime curfew. Then, all the sudden, summer is over and the first week of school comes with a barrage of emotions: excitement to catch up with old friends, nerves about being in a new school or with a new teacher, happiness over being in class with an attractive girl or popular boy, worried about getting stuck with the hardest teacher, and eagerness to start learning! (Okay...maybe only a few students experience that last one, I loved learning and still do!)

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University-Model High School for the Liberated Youth

Did you know that George Washington Carver was the local “plant doctor” before he turned 13? Or that George Washington was a land surveyor in his teenage years? Or that Laura Ingalls Wilder began her teaching career prior to her 16th birthday? These teens were not much different than ours today. They were passionate about something, yet they had the freedom to pursue their passion.

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4 "Benefits" of Traditional Education

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On top of spending 8 hours a day inside a building, students get to go home with plenty to occupy their evening. Although it's been widely mandated that students only get 1 hour of homework on average each weeknight, most high school students are lucky enough to go home with at least 2 hours of homework! The standard, endorsed by the National Education Association and the National Parent-Teacher Association, is the 10 minute rule. 1st graders can have up to 10 minutes of homework a night, 20 minutes for 2nd graders, and 120 minutes for 12th graders. This makes perfect sense, but oftentimes teachers aren't communicating across different content areas. Students may very well be gifted more than the recommended amount of work to last them through the night. 

 

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Makarios is diversity...community...democracy

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I grew up behind the white curtain of Orange County, California...but I didn’t know it.   The street I lived on in the 70’s, was not Sesame Street, but Mullein Circle, a diverse mix of Japanese, Iranian, Vietnamese, Mexican American, African American, Afghan, and caucasian among 11 homes on our small cul de sac.  All the kids were equally excited when the ice cream truck made its rounds or the Japanese food truck its weekly delivery.  Regardless which appeared, we would scramble to the curb with our hard earned quarters to buy ice cream or rice candy.  I came to appreciate the diversity of cultural exposure years later when my family moved out of state.  The curtain of my existence was not white, but multi-faceted with beautiful colors.  Much like my daily experience, one year into my journey, at Makarios Community School.

 

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