Saturday, January 20, 2007

I have to recommend this book!

This book I'm reading, Teaching the Restless: One School's Remarkable No-Ritalin Approach to Helping Children Learn and Succeed is fantastic! Whereas a lot of Free Schools that I've been reading about seem to have only 'self-initiated' learning, Summerhill actually has a class schedule, with the kids able to attend classes if they wish, and the school in the book, Albany Free School, has sort of grade-level classrooms and lots of different areas to do things, with the kids free to go where they wish, but also all kinds of adult-initiated activities (like Montessori) with the kids free to choose if they will participate or not. Also, they are very focused on helping a child's emotional growth and really stay observant to see how they might help out, not just a 'let the child be' sort of thing. I'm loving this book and wish I could see the school in action. Of course, it being on the other side of the continent, essentially, and in a different country... Not to mention that I don't have a passport, which means I can't go to the US in the near future. ;)

If you are at all interested in alternative schools, this book is just wonderful. It's also been recommended/praised by such authors as Joseph Chilton Pearce (Magical Child), Thomas Armstrong (The Myth of the ADD Child) and John Gatto (author of lots of good stuff ;) ).

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