Just Try Harder Differently

Katy BurkeUncategorized

Teenager with long red hair face down in a yellow beanbag chair

Imagine this. Two teens, both of whom would benefit from more independence and responsibility, but neither one has taken any real steps toward that end.

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.

Giving Grades the Deep Six

Eileen SmythUncategorized

At The Learning Cooperatives, we view liberation from grading as a cornerstone of our approach. This decision isn’t only based in ideology, but experience. I’ve taught for over twenty years in various types of institutions including some that used grades and some that didn’t. I’ve observed that grades often do a lot less good than we hope and often more … Read More

The Mentoring Effect

Alison SnieckusUncategorized

Katy mentoring meeting

When PLC members move on from PLC, into college, work, and life generally, they nearly always express how much their mentoring relationship has helped and supported them as they forged their path through opportunities and offerings. Mentoring is without a doubt the part of the “PLC magic” that we most value. It’s more important than just about everything. The first … Read More

Teaching Character vs. Compliance

Katy BurkeUncategorized

ready for testing

Educating children can look and feel a lot like raising them.  It is certainly not the same as parenting—I say that as an educator and a parent. However, the purpose of parenting and educating are very much aligned. The word “educate” means “to lead out”—to lead out into the world, into adulthood, into a future. I think it’s important that … Read More