Meetup to discuss alternatives

We’re still looking for members of “our tribe”!

If you’re looking to explore alternatives to the current school model, all are welcome to attend the Toronto Alternative Education Meetup on Tues. Feb. 17. More details here:

Toronto Alternative Education Meetup


NB: This is not an info session on Reach; it is a discussion of alternatives to the current model of schooling



We have become aware in the past few days that people have been trying to contact us via e-mail over the summer. We thought it was a quiet summer. Noooooo, our website was down, so we did not receive those e-mails.

We apologize for lack of communication, and want to assure you that we are now back in communication.

Our Facebook page is up, this blog is up, and the website “contact us” link works now.

Thank you for your perseverance!

On “rigour” – from PlayMaker School

Here’s another school that “gets it” — they talk about the difference between drudgery and rigour.

I’m not sure that Reach would be a place with “no rules” — but I don’t think this place is either.  It’s just that the rules are very different from what you’d find in a typical public school.


The Reader’s Digest version of self-directed learning

Many of your reading this blog will be familiar with the writings of Peter Gray.  If you’re not, let us introduce you to a psychology professor, parent, and all-around great thinker WRT self-directed learning.  He recently published an article in Reader’s Digest about self-directed learning (and Sudbury Valley School in particular).

He writes….

“I’m convinced that Sudbury Valley works well because it provides the conditions that optimize children’s natural abilities to educate themselves. These include a) unlimited opportunity to play and explore, allowing them to discover and pursue their interests; b) access to caring and knowledgeable adults who are helpers, not judges; c) liberal age mixing among children and adolescents (age-mixed play is far more conducive to learning than is play among those who are all at the same level); and d) direct participation in a stable, moral, democratic community in which they acquire a sense of responsibility for others, not just for themselves. None of these conditions are present in standard schools.”
Read the entire article here:



Preparation for “The Real World”

At our recent Holiday Info Night, we spent some time talking about preparation for “The Real World”.  We know this topic comes up frequently in different forms:

How will students fare if they go back to “regular school”?

What about college or university?  They have classes and test there….

In the working world, we sometimes have to do things we don’t like or want to do.  How will a childhood spent doing only what you want prepare a child for the world of work?

This entry from The Hudson Valley Sudbury School by Matthew Gioia might be of interest. Read the blog entry and watch the video that accompanies it.

So Many Hours…..

When I think back to my years in school, much of it is a blur.
I do remember the feeling of freedom and anticipation of the endless summer ahead when the school year was done. I didn’t hate school, it was just what one did.

But when I think of how much time was spent there, it feels like a huge waste of so many years of precious childhood.

Meredith Collins writes an amazing blog ‘Each One Thrives‘.

Each blogpost gets me thinking about some aspect of childhood and respecting the learning process of each individual.

Here’s one about that vast number of hours spent in school.

And one about the vitality and joy you feel when fully engaged in a pursuit you both love and find challenging.

This is one of my very favourite blogs.