Relationships are the Heart of It

Joel HammonUncategorized

The painting teacher offers feedback to a student working on an oil painting.

Positive, healthy, and caring relationships are at the heart of raising and educating our children. Of course. Relationships can be complicated, but the truth of this idea is not. Humans are social animals and the quality of those social relationships has to play a large part in all aspects of our lives. I read an article in the New York … Read More

Thoughts on Screens and the Internet

Scott GallagherUncategorized

Teen member sitting on couch working on a laptop

I am no expert on technology, the internet, social media, or the use of screens. I have a phone. I also have a 12-year-old daughter who does not have a phone. I am trying to figure all this stuff out. I have no answers.

Good Stress, Bad Stress

Joel HammonUncategorized

A girl reacting with surprise and angst

Our members often describe PLC as a low-stress environment compared to their previous schools. But are we “letting them off the hook”?

But My Child is Not Self-Directed

Scott GallagherUncategorized

A part of a Voronoi diagram (red) and Delaunay triangulation (black) of a finite point set (the black points), on a yellow background

When parents say, “my child is not self-directed,” they seem to be implying that self-direction is some trait that only a select group of people have. The truth is a little more complicated.

Why Are Our Kids So Worried?

Joel HammonUncategorized

The word Anxiety spelled out with Scrabble tiles

Ask any educator, guidance counselor, local therapist or parent and they will tell you the same thing – the rise in anxiety and depression among young people is alarming.

Jumping Off A Cliff! But, Not Really…

Joel HammonUncategorized

Sitting on top of a mountain, looking out and taking in the view

Princeton Learning Cooperative has been supporting young people and their families to be in charge of their life and education for the past 8 years. We’ve seen that providing a flexible, interest-based education in a welcoming community with caring adults can be a LIFE-CHANGING idea for young people. In order to get this flexibility to really do what is in … Read More

Common Sense Standard (CSS) #2

Katy BurkeUncategorized

Image still from Ferris Buellers Day off, in front of Picasso exhibit

(See the first post in this series – Common Sense Learning.) Children want more autonomy as they grow…and that’s a good thing. One of the greatest struggles I felt as a public high school teacher was working with kids who didn’t want to do what I was asking them to do.  Often times, I couldn’t justify why my task list for … Read More

Self-Directed Education is a Really Good Idea: A TEDx Talk

Joel HammonUncategorized

Joel Hammon on stage at TEDxCarngieLake

There is a lot of talk about how traditional education is not always a good fit for every young person. What’s not talked about as much, but is absolutely true from my experience in the system, is that traditional education is not a good fit for many of the adults working there as well. Here’s the video of the TEDx … Read More

Common Sense Learning

Katy BurkeUncategorized

Many different cutouts to represent our kids, one square cut out to represent common core

“Common Core-aligned” has become the quality control test by which we measure a legitimate education. A quick Google search will reveal droves of businesses selling academic resources and programs on the basis of their “alignment.” Teachers are feeling constant pressure to “hit the standards,” standards that are meant to get everyone on the same page. And yet, I think the … Read More

It’s Not a Mystery

Joel HammonUncategorized

teenager saying thank you to volunteers

Let me start with a simple fact: a lot of teenagers don’t like school. (Shocking, I know.) There are a lot of reasons for this, but one of the big ones is that many teens don’t feel like they have much say in their day-to-day lives — the work they do, who they interact with, their schedule. This lack of control … Read More