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Self Directed Learning

4 Ways to Redefine The Term “College-Ready”

Mom has already stuffed a spare pack of tissues in her purse because life is about to change. Her sweet, precious, all-grown-up baby is heading off to college. Her and Dad have packed up all of the essentials for dorm life: clothes, school supplies, sheets, towels, snacks, and plenty of coffee (maybe even a wad of cash!).

Rewind! All of those items are helpful and necessary as a teen from high school transitions to adulthood in college. But how can you prepare your sweet, precious, almost-grown up baby for college, other than buying a slew of new material possessions?

We toss around the phrase “college-ready” like it’s going out of fashion. But what does that really mean? I challenge you and your family to redefine the traditional definition of “college-ready.”

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4 Ways to Redefine The Term “College-Ready”

Defining the University Model &Why it Works(1)

Mom has already stuffed a spare pack of tissues in her purse because life is about to change. Her sweet, precious, all-grown-up baby is heading off to college. Her and Dad have packed up all of the essentials for dorm life: clothes, school supplies, sheets, towels, snacks, and plenty of coffee (maybe even a wad of cash!).

Rewind! All of those items are helpful and necessary as a teen from high school transitions to adulthood in college. But how can you prepare your sweet, precious, almost-grown up baby for college, other than buying a slew of new material possessions?

We toss around the phrase “college-ready” like it’s going out of fashion. But what does that really mean? I challenge you and your family to redefine the traditional definition of “college-ready.”

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4 "Benefits" of Traditional Education

1. It keeps you busy.

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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Approaching Academics at Makarios Community School

Approaching Academics at Makarios Community School

Just how do we approach academics at Makarios Community School? In her recent blog, Jannica Morton shared several points of how a Democratic Free School is similar to Finland's #1 internationally ranked education system. Before ever reading anything about Finland’s major shift, I began to explore educational alternatives which eventually lead to the creation of Makarios Community School, the first Democratic Free School in the Dallas Fort Worth area.

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The University Model and Why it Works

Why?

The university model of education requires students to do the majority of the learning on their own, and most don’t know how. They’ve spent four years spending 35 hours a week in a classroom where the teacher tells them what is important and what will be on the test. Then they go home and cram to remember that information long enough to pass.

Then they go to college and take 4-5 classes about 3 hours long. They think it will be a breeze (12-15 hours), but those courses are condensed. Instead of a year, they are learning the same amount of material in a semester. Professors don’t ‘teach’ the material, they use class time to reinforce what students studied on their own in textbooks and videos the prior week and answer questions to clarify understanding and show correlations between different pieces.

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The University Model and Why it Works

Defining the University Model &Why it Works

The university model of education requires students to do the majority of the learning on their own, and most don’t know how. They’ve spent four years spending 35 hours a week in a classroom where the teacher tells them what is important and what will be on the test. Then they go home and cram to remember that information long enough to pass.

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The University Model and Why it Works

Defining the University Model &Why it Works

 

The university model of education requires students to do the majority of the learning on their own, and most don’t know how. They’ve spent four years spending 35 hours a week in a classroom where the teacher tells them what is important and what will be on the test. Then they go home and cram to remember that information long enough to pass.

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When the Rubber Hits the Road

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Tuesday night, February 3rd, we had our first information meeting. In a nutshell, we have enough interest to open the school this year.The search for a location has intensified. Several options have been considered and rejected. At the moment, we are focusing our efforts on finding a location that will be our very own, where we can move in with ALL our resources and have enough room to spread out projects and activities. We are also looking for green space and playscapes. Tall order? Maybe, but just the right space is out there, ready and waiting for Makarios Community School.

 

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What Do You Want To Learn?

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My name is Jannica Morton and I am on the leadership team at Makarios Community School. Wherever we are, my family is continuously chatting about the school. Some days we dream and talk about the possibilities while other days we wonder what it will really be like and if it’ll be successful. Some days I think we are all a bit crazy while other days I know we are...and not just a little bit! To me, being a crazy, out-of-the-box thinker is a good thing and I look forward to sharing my passion of learning and exploring with others through this school.

 

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Make the Right Choice the Easy Choice

In theory, self-directed learning should be very natural and very easy. As a lifelong unschooler, I shouldn’t even have to think about it. After all, you will always be educating yourself, whether you try to or not and whether you like it or not. But the unavoidable instinct to follow curiosity is only fifty percent of it; it’s too easy to ignore your instincts.

 

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