Ahhhh, spring is in the air. Let’s go outside!


Integrity Academy is known for several unique programs, including its integration of outdoor education into the academic curriculum. Aerielle Anderson, M.Ed., serves as Level 3 Mentor and Math Team Lead and joins us on the blog to highlight Integrity kids' most recent outdoor learning adventures.

With Integrity Academy’s proximity to such amazing sites as the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, Zilker Park, and the Lady Bird Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail, it’s hard not to get out there and take advantage of the learning possibilities. So we do!


During the first weeks of May, Level 1 (ages 3 to 5) held a butterfly release. They had been learning about various insects through stories, art, play, and observing live specimens. They witnessed the stages of the butterfly’s life, from the caterpillar stage to the chrysalis to butterfly. The children released them in our beautiful front garden. They also got to closely observe argentine roaches. Then they witnessed one of Level 2’s frogs eat one! A link in a food chain up close!


Level 2 (ages 5 to 7) goes on weekly excursions to explore nature. On one of their recent trips, they collected signs of life from forest and field ecosystems. They are planning to create ecosystem dioramas for either a field, forest, or stream ecosystem. Their model will include pictures of plants and animals in one of these Austin ecosystems as well as the food web connections between those plants and animals. Instead of pictures, students can also use signs of life or nature artifacts (e.g., feathers, a pecan with a hole eaten out of it, a cast of an animal track). They also practiced walking through the forest quietly and noticed a lot more nature in the trees.


For their first excursion of May, Level 3 (ages 7 to 9) enjoyed a walk to the Splash! exhibit next to Barton Springs Pool. On the way to the exhibit, they passed by the amphitheater in front of the pool, which is home to the endangered Barton Springs Salamander. When they arrived, learners found interesting facts to share with the rest of the school community. "Did you know that the Austin Blind salamander lives mainly underground and only at Zilker Park?" asked Mia. Level 3 kids went through the simulated limestone cave to learn the mysteries of Barton Springs and the Edwards Aquifer. They also learned about the water cycle and specifically how the water comes to our beloved springs, through interactive exhibits and games.

Austin Central Library.jpg

Levels 4 and 5 (ages 9 through 13) walk to our new Central Library every other week. The 1.5-mile walk there and back gives them some good exercise and gets their blood pumping to their brains. Learners take advantage of the study rooms and the vast and various research resources, as they dive deep into a topic of interest or a concept of the week.


Those first couple of weeks of May were beautiful, and we plan to continue to use the outdoors and neighboring attractions throughout the year. As it gets closer to summer, we’re planning to get wet and have some water-based learning fun in our Summer Unit!

Aerielle Anderson

The secret is in the soil


Amy Milliron is an educator with a master’s degree in elementary education and curriculum and instruction who has combined her teaching experience and farming experience to create Hills of Milk and Honey—An Educational Farm. Children and adults who experience the farm participate in hands-on workshops, camps, and tours related to regenerative agriculture practices that focus on soil health and the growth of nutrient-dense food.

Imagine a child as young as three experiencing life lessons about health and wellness, the life cycle, food systems, and how to interact with others as well as create self-care routines that will last a lifetime. Now picture this young child being offered a chance to participate in hands-on learning opportunities where getting dirty on a daily basis is considered a sign of a great day at play while learning along the way. Does the busyness of our daily lives get in the way of providing our children with enough of these opportunities? Would children benefit from a chance to truly connect with the earth and learn from the patterns and cycles of life even at a very young age?


They sure would, and here’s why. Nature, if we pay very close attention, provides great examples of healthy rhythms and patterns to follow. The most noticeable example is seen in the passing of each season. On a farm, it is common for the majority of the prepping and sowing work to be done in the spring, the maintenance of the farm during the summer, and the harvest in the fall. Winter is typically a time for rest and preparation for the following growing season. There is ample time for hard work, as well as a dedicated time for rest within the year. If we choose to follow nature’s example, we can lead by example for our children. The pattern doesn’t need to mimic that of a farmer, but creating a pattern that sets the stage for hard work being a normal expectation in life, as well as taking time for rest, will benefit us all.

When we seek out opportunities for our children of all ages to literally get their hands dirty and dig in the soil, hunt for worms, plant a garden, or care for an animal, we are providing another layer of opportunity for our children to feel grounded and connected with the earth. There is the added benefit that activities like these get us all outside, together, breathing in fresh air, noticing butterflies, bees, and other pollinators around us going about their cycles of work and rest. It may prompt us to journal our reflections as we make notice of what is happening all around us.

With our world being inundated with screens of all kinds, there is the potential to get out of the practice of awareness of our surroundings. Noticing a mama bird taking a worm back to a nest may prompt a child to recognize and be grateful for all the people who care for him in his own life. It may further inspire ideas of sharing that appreciation through a phone call, a card, or a gift. And, it all starts with getting outside and digging in the dirt.

There is an even deeper level of connection available to children when they are given the chance to learn the importance of what is actually happening under their feet. The soil-food web is responsible for everything that grows above the ground. And, when humans properly manage their land to care for the soil-food web, carbon is captured and utilized in a way that benefits all living things, and the microbes under our feet can be left undisturbed so they can share valuable nutrients with other living things underground. This is a concept that even young children can grasp when given the opportunity to see first-hand what the difference is between healthy soil and non-healthy soil.


Can you imagine a child growing up with knowledge about soil health? This changes everything. These children will grow up seeking out farmers who practice regenerative agriculture and support them with their business. They will maybe even grow some or all of their own food. These children will be able to vote with their dollars by visiting farms, farmer’s markets, and companies that support locally grown, sustainable food. Best of all, their knowledge will be able to expand, and they may seek jobs and college degrees in areas that support a sustainable food system in the future. Then, the cycle can continue by these children growing up and raising children that know regenerative agriculture as a way of life.

Parents have many choices nowadays when it comes to extra-curricular activities, camps, and ways for children to spend their free time. Building in dedicated time to connect with the living world will benefit the entire family, create opportunities to bond while learning something new, and perhaps allow for a newfound appreciation for the nature. Seeking opportunities for children to learn about life cycles, the food system, and how everything in our natural world works together is as simple as digging in the dirt.


Hills of Milk and Honey is an educational farm located in Dripping Springs, Texas, that offers camps, classes, and tours to connect children and adults with the earth and learn from the cycles that nature teaches us daily, if we dedicate some time to truly be aware of our surroundings and learn. Right now, Hills of Milk and Honey is in great need of an air-conditioned classroom to allow summer campers and visitors a place to cool off and take part in lessons indoors for periods of time when it’s most hot outside. There is a Kickstarter Campaign running through May 15, 2018, seeking funding support to put this classroom in place right away. Our campers this summer, including those participating in our camp week dedicated to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, will be incredibly grateful for your financial support. And to register your children for summer camp, please visit https://www.hillsofmilkandhoney.com/camps.

Amy Milliron


Talking to teens about stress at the end of the school year


Courtney Harris is a frequent contributor to the Alt Ed Austin blog, and today she’s back just in time to help families of teens manage the special end-of-school-year challenges. As a child-centered coach for teens and parents, Courtney supports children ages 11–19 in finding their voice, growing confidence, and thriving. Through 1:1 and small-group coaching sessions, teens and tweens overcome anxiety, disconnect, and isolation as they discover their truest sense of self and develop a deep sense of empowerment. Courtney supports parents in self-care, growing alongside their children, and developing balanced sensitivity toward the process their child is creating. Sessions with both teens and parents guide families in developing the trust, communication, and connection that's crucial for a life of ease.

The following is adapted with Courtney’s permission from the “Talking to Teenagers” series on her website, Courtney Harris Coaching;  we encourage you to follow her on Facebook to learn more.

The stress is on. As the end of the academic year nears, pressures for your teenager to boost grades and “finish strong” may increase. Alternately, a feeling of failure and giving up may intensify. Wherever your tween or teen falls in this spectrum, we can assume that they are facing some variety of stress as they enter the final phase of this academic year.

On top of academics, your teen may be motivated to get a summer job, which brings its own elements of excitement, competition, and unknowns. They may be dreading the unstructured time of summer, feeling lost or purposeless without school. Instead, they may be anticipating the freedom and fun of summer so much that it becomes challenging to focus on school and academics. Social life may finally be picking up, causing your teen to worry about whether they will be able to sustain it during summer. And maybe your teen simply feels overwhelmed as they try to balance academics and extracurriculars as the year closes out. These are all potential sources of stress!


The Routine and Stress Connection

Parents often share their observations about their teen’s routines with me. As a parent, you are likely tuned into what and when your teen eats, how much they typically sleep, how many hours they spend on homework, on their screens, or with their friends. You know which routines serve your teen and which ones are challenging. In other words, you are often aware of your teen's stress patterns.

Furthermore, when you notice a drastic shift in their habits, you, too, may experience stress. For example, if you notice that your teen is no longer spending time with a friend who was previously their “bestie,” you wonder what changed. If mornings become harder and your teen is now running late and skipping breakfast, you feel concerned about how they’re sleeping and what they are staying up late doing.

Stressed-out teens may quickly change habits or routines. When you become aware of this, it can be easy to go into investigation mode. You want to know what your teen is facing so that you can help them solve it and find relief. These moments require you as the parent to slow down, breathe deep, and focus on connection first; keep reading for strategies on how to talk to your teenager about stress and overwhelm.

7 Tips for Talking to Teenagers about Stress

1. Maintain your own self-care.
If your child is facing intense stress, they will need you to be a sort of respite for them. This, of course, doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, and it definitely doesn’t mean that you are doing wrong by feeling stressed. It simply means that to show up fully for yourself and your teen, you need to be sure to refill your own tank regularly. Reserve time each day to take care of yourself—mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.


2. Observe behaviors with compassion and curiosity.
The data you have about changes in your teen’s routine can help you tap into the stress or worry your teen is facing. As you observe changes, do your best to keep breathing and to act in a calm and collected way. Focus first on connecting with your teen, rather than trying to correct “the problem.”

3. Take your teen’s lead.
If you can, and the stress has not escalated to a crisis, use compassion and curiosity as you approach your teen. Wait and see if they will to come to you with their challenge first. Once they mention a stress trigger, such as “I have a massive biology test on Thursday” or “I don’t think I’ll ever find a summer job,” follow up by saying, “Tell me more about that.” You may also affirm their feelings by repeating back to them what you heard: “You have a big biology test this week” or “I understand that you don’t think you’ll find a summer job.” Allow your teen to elaborate by gently guiding them to say more using “Is there anything else?” and repetitions until they are finished. This feels more inviting and spacious to teens than a series of investigative (yet loving) questions.

4. Use open-ended questions to tap into feelings.
After your teen has expressed all they need or want to for the moment, you may invite them to explore their stress more deeply: “How does all of this make you feel?” A list of feelings can be helpful at this stage. This can also be a good opportunity to ask, “Where are you feeling this (emotion) in your body?”

5. Use open-ended questions to tap into needs.
Next, you can support your teen in acknowledging their wishes and wants. Ask, “What do you most wish/want to happen?” This is an opportunity for you to listen. Refrain from offering suggestions or ideas. Repeat their wish or want back to them. For example, “You want to start summer with a job that will help you save up for a car.”

6. Use open-ended questions to tap into actions and solutions.
You can invite your teen to practice self-compassion by asking, “What would bring you comfort right now?” or “What would help you feel rested and supported in this situation?” You may also get more specific here as your teen seems ready to problem solve: “What steps have you taken to prepare for the test/summer job/etc.?” and “What else do you feel ready to try?” If you get shoulder shrugs or “I don’t know,” it’s okay to offer a few suggestions or ideas: “How would it feel to take a walk before getting back to studying?”


7. Take breaks.
Steps 3–6 offer many questions and prompts you can use to support your teen in assessing their stress and managing it with self-awareness. However, they might not have the stamina to answer or reflect on all of these in one sitting. And you might be tired, too! Let this be okay. Know that their stress doesn’t need to be completely resolved after one conversation. This is a great opportunity to focus on encouragements, such as, “I love you no matter what.” Furthermore, rest assured that you have created connection, and this connection can be massively healing already.

As we approach the end of the 2017–2018 school year, I wish you and your teen lots of fun and celebration. In times of stress or big emotions, know that you and your teen are completely normal for having these feelings. If your family would like support during this process, I’d love to gift you with a one-hour call to help you and your teen create a plan for peace and ease.

Courtney Harris

How to find a better-fit learning environment for your twice-exceptional child


Guest contributor Deanne Repich is Co-Founder and Head of School at Great Minds Learning Community, a three-day micro-school tailored to the unique needs of gifted and twice-exceptional kids, featuring personalized, differentiated learning; a sensory-friendly environment; key supports for your gifted or 2e child’s unique gifts and challenges; and student-driven, project-based learning in an environment that nurtures the whole child intellectually, emotionally, and socially. An educator for almost two decades with experience in gifted and 2e kids, she is a Positive Discipline in the Classroom certified educator, a member of SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted), and a mom to two twice-exceptional children. You can learn more at greatmindslc.com or contact Deanne directly at deanne@greatmindslc.com.

Does the following scenario sound familiar to you? Your bright and quirky twice-exceptional child, your amazing child who is destined to change the world with his ravenous curiosity, out-of-the-box thinking, and deep dives into subjects passionate to him, is surviving, not thriving, in his current school.

Take a deep breath. It’s okay. The signals are clear. It’s time to consider a new learning environment for your child, one that is a better fit.

Before we move forward, what do I mean by twice-exceptionality? Twice-exceptional kids (also known as 2e) are kids who are intellectually gifted and have a learning difference (differently wired), challenge, or disability. Some common twice-exceptionalities/challenges/learning differences are dyslexia, ADHD/hypermobile, sensory processing challenges, vision challenges, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, chemical sensitivity and allergies, autism, Asperger’s/high-functioning autism, anxiety, and social difficulties.

When considering a new school for your 2e child, here are some helpful questions to consider:

Does my child learn best in small or large class sizes? Many 2e children do better with small class sizes. Small classes provide the individualized attention necessary to promote differentiated learning, get support for lagging skills, and fuel their immense intellectual curiosity while minimizing sensory overload.

In what type of sensory environment does my child learn best? Does your child like music playing on headsets while learning? Playing with fidgets? Frequent breaks to be active? Make sure the school culture has a built-in daily sensory “diet” individualized for students with specific tools for sensory challenges as part of its core school culture.

What is my child’s preferred mode of displaying mastery? Choose a school culture that truly celebrates your 2e child’s differently wired brain—not just in words but in its actions—by allowing her to display mastery in a way that meshes with her learning style a majority of the time.

Think touch-screen laptops and typing for those who struggle with handwriting; think video portfolios or hands-on visual models for visual thinkers; think oral reports and songs for auditory learners; think movement-oriented projects for ADHD learners, to name just a few options. Lagging skills need to be practiced separately and to gradually be integrated into displaying mastery in “just-right” bite-sized chunks.

In what ways does my child like to be challenged intellectually? Seek a school that provides student choice and has a core value of deep dives into student passions. Think student-driven playlists, project-based learning, and differentiated learning so your child can move at his own pace. It’s also important for your child to be with true intellectual peers, not just age mates, to provide intellectual stimulation and a sense of community with like-minded kids.

Does the school nurture the whole person? Does the school incorporate social-emotional learning into its daily structure and interactions, every day, not just as a one-hour weekly add-on? It’s a matter of “walking the walk” and not just “talking the talk.”


Does the school specialize in intellectual, emotional, and social support for 2e kids’ unique needs? Make sure that the school has experience in supporting the unique intellectual, social, and emotional needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children, as they have very different needs in many respects from other kids.

Many non-traditional schools (and some traditional ones) provide student choice and small class sizes. However, you need much more than that for a 2e child. For 2e kids, a completely self-directed learning experience without specific support structures for their unique 2e needs can be a poor fit.

It is a school’s job to both nurture the intellectual thirst and address challenges that come with a 2e child’s immense intellectual capacity and uneven development, to work as a co-collaborator with your 2e child. Ensure that the school offers key supports for a 2e child’s academic, emotional, and behavioral challenges due to “lagging skills and unresolved problems,” as Dr. Ross Greene, author of Raising Human Beings and The Explosive Child, describes.

Think specific supports for phonetics, fluency, and comprehension for a dyslexic child, for example. Think specific processes to uncover lagging skills and unresolved problems in social communication, self-awareness, and executive functioning skills for behavioral problems. Think vagal tone exercises for 2e kids who are anxious, have sensory overstimulation or social difficulties, and are stuck in fight/flight/freeze mode, to name just a few examples.

Is the school just “accommodating” or actively celebrating my child’s way of thinking and being? It’s key for the school to have a built-in culture of celebrating differently wired bright and quirky kids, not only “accommodating” them and trying to make them be like other kids. You want your 2e child to be accepted and nurtured, not just tolerated. Celebrate the differences!

By finding a school that is in step with your 2e child and her unique gifts and make-up, together you, your child, and the new school can help her truly thrive!

Deanne Repich

Media Monday: Celebrating Cinco de Mayo with kids


The anniversary of May 5, 1862, when outnumbered Mexican soldiers defeated French invaders in Puebla, Mexico, is observed with much more hoopla in the United States than in Mexico. But sometimes it’s tough to find ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo that don’t revolve around half-price drinks at local restaurants and bars or chihuahua races for charity.

For kids, who certainly sense the festivities in the air around this time of year, it’s a great excuse to explore local Mexican culture in a variety of ways. Here are some great options in the Austin area:

The Mexic-Arte Museum has some exhibits any kid with an interest in the visual arts will enjoy. Right now they’re featuring colorful prints focused on the desert Southwest and a wide range of photos and videos about Latinx and Latin American history. You can go back later this spring when they will also provide a space for showcasing art by Austin teens. The museum has some downloadable booklets that can be jumping-off points to inspire creativity and curiosity. The booklets include a guide to how prints are made for younger kids and a detailed introduction to Mexican popular art and to the work of San Antonio’s clay tile artists for older kids.


At the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, an outdoor space features Exoskeleton, a cool sculpture that also “generates, stores, and processes energy through its solar panels.” The artist, Victor Pérez-Rul, is from Mexico City. His work should spark some excitement for kids whose interests also cross the boundaries of science, art, and engineering.

And on the eve of Cinco de Mayo, an evening of Mexican Folklórico dance is happening at Austin High School! At the Gran Show de Primavera "Alegría" families will be able to see traditional dances from more than a dozen regions of Mexico accompanied by teen mariachi musicians. What a treat!

Shelley Sperry
Sperry Editorial


Are we nearing a tipping point for a new model of education? A talk with Peter Gray

Peter Gray is a true pioneer in exploring alternative education models, a serious researcher in the field of education and play, and an inspiring parent and activist. He speaks and writes eloquently without academic jargon about the needs of children. He’s currently on the faculty of Boston College in the Psychology Department, with dozens of books, articles, and blog posts to his name. His most recent book is Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life. And that title says it all! We also recommend a recent article that clearly explains the differences between progressive education models—which we know a lot about here at Alt Ed Austin—and self-directed learning. You’ll also find a whole universe of helpful resources on the Alliance for Self-Directed Education website.

Peter will be speaking at several locations in Austin at the end of April (listed at the end of this post), so we decided to take this opportunity to let the Alt Ed Austin community know a little bit more about his philosophy and predictions for the future. Peter is a passionate advocate for play as the most natural and powerful way children learn. And he is leading a national movement for self-directed education through the Alliance for Self-Directed Education, as he discusses in the interview below.

Tell our readers who might not be familiar with your work how you got started in the field of education research and alternative schooling in particular.

As a researcher, I was originally doing brain research, looking at hormones in the brain and how hormones affect behavior. But when my own son was nine years old, he reached a crisis point in school, in the fourth grade. He hated school, and they didn’t know what to do with him. We decided we needed to find something very different from traditional schools for him as he had always been rebelling against it. And so we found the Sudbury Valley School in Massachusetts.

Since then, Sudbury has become a model for self-directed education. The Clearview Sudbury School in Austin follows this model. Sudbury and schools like it are places where children are free to play and explore and do what they want to do. There are children of all ages, and the rules are all made by children themselves—the opposite of typical schools.

When we enrolled my son, he was immediately happy and thought this was just what school should be. But I was concerned that he might be living in my basement for the rest of his life. Fathers tend to need more convincing than mothers about this type of education. I see that all the time. I needed some evidence that it worked. I tried to convince some graduate students in the field of education to do a research study, but no one was interested, so I decided to do the study myself. The results impressed me. Graduates of Sudbury who wanted to go to college did go to college. Others went on to various careers and they were all happy. None of them regretted going to Sudbury, which comforted me as a father and intrigued me as an academician.

All of this launched my interest in play, and I began to study why children all over the world have this drive to play and play in certain predictable ways, which we now believe are part of natural selection and designed to make them ready for adulthood.

I’ve been pursuing these ideas for many years, and I’m now concerned about what our coercive schooling system is doing to our children in terms of time taken away from play and creating anxiety. Now I’m not just a researcher; I’m also an advocate for what we call self-directed education. We have an organization called the Alliance for Self-Directed Education, and we educate people and promote these ideas, whether through schools or through homeschooling and what is sometimes called “unschooling.”


Are you hopeful about the future direction of self-directed education in the United States? Where do you see our education moving in the next few decades?

The biggest barrier to self-directed education that has to be overcome—and I’m hopeful about it—is that the great majority of people just don’t know anything about it, don’t understand it, and don’t see how it will work! Most Americans are third-, fourth-, or fifth-generation traditionally schooled. School has a certain meaning for us, and there’s a lot of social propaganda about how important it is, so it’s not surprising that most people in our culture believe that school as traditionally defined is essential in order to be successful or not become homeless. We hear that all the time. But I think that the barriers can be overcome.

In the most recent statistics available from a few years ago, we saw that about 3.4 percent of American children were homeschooled, and the trend is increasing. In the past homeschooling was done primarily for religious reasons, not to add freedom to children’s lives. But now the reasons for homeschooling tend to be more about improving the learning environment, making children happier and less constrained. I think that as homeschooling becomes more common and not so weird, we’ll see the numbers increase rapidly.

We also think somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of homeschoolers are pursuing “unschooling,” but I prefer the more positive term of “self-directed education.” Both homeschooling and self-directed education allow children much more time in the day to find hobbies, discover their own interests, make friends, get involved in community activities, and all the things that are important to learning. And now there are more centers being opened to create communities and support for families who are doing this.

I see it all as a grassroots movement, and we’re heading toward a tipping point. The next stage is that there will be enough people doing this that they have some political clout. I’m not sure, but that will come when somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of families are embracing self-directed education. So what leads me to be optimistic is that we always see social change occurring slowly, gradually, as courageous people do non-normative things, but over time we reach a tipping point at which everyone knows someone who is doing it, and it no longer seems weird. It no longer seems like it’s something you’re going to be blamed for doing. That’s when real change happens. The most recent analogy is the acceptance of gay Americans and same-sex marriage. For education, I don’t know if it will take 10 years or 40 years, but we’re on a trend, and I think it will happen.

The other thing that makes me optimistic is that self-directed education is easier than ever before. The Internet has made it easy. When schools were started, there were only certain people who had knowledge and you had to go to institutions where knowledge was sequestered in order to learn. Really and truly, the Internet has now made schools obsolete. We haven’t as a society come to terms with that, but all children know that any information they need is available to them at home or anywhere by Googling it.

But what we still need is community. So i have hope that libraries will become the replacements for schools. I’d like to see libraries become community centers for activities—places for learning, recreation, and friendship. We are suffering from being isolated from each other, and there’s real value in connecting with others, especially for kids. Schools aren’t solving this problem right now.

What we’re trying to do at the Alliance for Self-Directed Education is to change from individual people trying to solve a problem to an organized movement tackling the problem. We want people to see themselves as part of the same movement, whether they’re doing unschooling at home or sending their children to a Sudbury-style school. We’re trying to create local groups to support each other.

Are there places in the country that are pushing forward faster than others in this movement?

I’m not sure we know exactly—we don’t have all the information. But it’s interesting that in Austin you have a Sudbury model school and Abrome and many unschoolers. Austin may be one of the places where there’s a real concentration of people who are interested in self-directed learning.

What new projects are you working on right now besides the Alliance?

I have a new book in mind but am not far enough along on it to talk about it. It will be about the obsolescence of schools and how their functions have been taken over by other, more efficient means.

I’d also like to mention another organization I’m involved in, which is called the Let Grow Foundation. This is run by Lenore Skenazy, who wrote the book Free Range Kids. She is concerned that we’ve really excluded kids from public spaces, and we’ve developed irrational fears about letting children be free to play and explore the world. Utah just recently passed the a “free range children” law, so the idea is gaining momentum. Lenore is the main force behind this, but I’m conducting some research and supporting it.

Thank you to Peter for taking time to talk with us! He will be speaking at four events in Austin at the end of April, so if you’re interested in his thoughts about where education is heading, you have some terrific opportunities to listen and ask questions:

What Is Self-Directed Education, and How Do We Know It Works?
Wednesday, April 25, 7pm at Abrome

Smart Schooling Book Group Discussion with Author Peter Gray
(on his book Free to Learn)
Thursday, April 26, 6pm, at Laura Bush Community Library in Westlake

Play Deficit Disorder: A National Crisis and How to Solve It Locally
Thursday, April 26, 7pm, at Laura Bush Community Library

The Biology of Education: How Children's Natural Curiosity, Playfulness, and Sociability Serve Their Education
Friday, April 27, 7pm, Clearview Sudbury School

Shelley Sperry
Sperry Editorial