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Lori Pickert
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Lori Pickert

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“It’s not selfish to fit your community to your own needs. Understand this: every time someone creates a community, they are building for a purpose. There is no way to make something that is “fair” or “perfect” for everyone. It is perfectly legitimate for you to create something that works well for YOU. And there are plenty of other people who would prefer something different from what is usually offered — they will find you. You are creating parameters that appeal to YOU but they’ll also appeal to someone else. And if some people don’t like it, they can build their own community just as you did.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to please everyone. It’s a recipe for pleasing no one (including yourself). A great community has a strong leader who isn’t afraid to say “this is the way we do things — sorry, that’s just not for us.”

Remember that when you make a safe space for yourself, you are making it for others who want and need the same things. You don’t have to make it for everybody.”
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I was trying to trace the line back to the resources that brought me to today, the people + practices that have caught my eye + made me want to learn more.  This journey toward art really caught fire–like so many good things in our homeschooling have–with…
I was trying to trace the line back to the resources that brought me to today, the people + practices that have caught my eye + made me want to learn more.  This journey toward art really caught fi...
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Awesome small win on the blog today — enjoy! :)

“My six-year-old son Luca had the idea in early March to teach a pottery class at our home…”
Teaching with his little brother as his assistant. • • •. This week's small win is from Sarah: My six-year-old son Luca had the idea in early March to teach a pottery class at our home. The motivation behind doing the class was to make money, and the motivation for making money is (naturally) to ...
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“Dear Principal Jones, teachers, school board members, and parents,

My name is Carrie Smith. I'm here to disrupt your school.
People have been telling me for years that I shouldn’t be homeschooling — I should be improving the lives of all kids, not just my own! This year, it finally sank in.

We’ve been homeschooling for 10 years and hoo boy, I think we’ve tried it all! Montessori, classical, unschooling — you name it, we tried it. That’s what you do when you love your kids, I guess — you just keep fiddling with the recipe till you find what works. And now you’ll all benefit!

Our oldest, Margaret, was six when we pulled her out of school, and she still struggles with needing a bit of structure. Even after all these years of homeschooling she has a hard time taking advantage of the freedom she has to do it her own way. Her self-motivation still isn’t back 100%. But that’s okay — fewer changes for you to make! Ha ha!

Unfortunately, Margaret is a real crank bear if she has to get up before 9. But it turns out there’s abundant research showing that teenagers need more sleep and would benefit from a later start time. Circadian rhythms or something. I’m not sure how you’ll work it out with working parents and your bus schedule and so forth, but I’ll leave you to figure that out.

Carl is our oldest boy; he’s 12. Now, self-motivation is not a problem there. He’s never seen the inside of a classroom and he won’t stand for anyone telling him what to do or how to do it! Self-directed learner all the way. He really thrives in maker situations. You’ve probably read about maker spaces online — they’re all the rage. So much good stuff there, you’re sure to love it. You’ll have to mark out some really big blocks of time because the only way kids can think up their own ideas and then make them happen is if you clear the decks and throw your schedule out the window. I’ll let you work out what you want to drop from your current schedule to accommodate that.

Now Carl is like a lot of 12-year-olds — I don’t think the seat of his pants sees a chair all day. But no worries — talk about abundant research! Kids need to be up and moving around, not sitting down all day. And now they will be!

My younger daughter Luna is 9. She was born in France while we were living there for a year for my husband’s job and even though she was only 3 months old when we left, she must have picked up something from the air. The girl doesn’t walk when she can dance; she doesn’t talk when she can sing. She paints all day long.

Of course an artistic soul like our Luna would be miserable in school with all of the cutbacks in art education over the last several years — but not anymore! Ha ha! We’ll be reinstituting those art and music classes tout suite.

Our youngest, Joe, is 5. He’s a special case, but all our kids are, am I right? Strangely, what’s worked best for Joe is Waldorf, which didn’t work at all with the other kids. Waldorf is a little bit picky about … well … everything! You’ll see! I’ve prepared some handouts to send home about diet, special toys, no TV, and so forth. We’ll be switching to a Waldorf curriculum in all of the Kindergarten classes immediately.

Finally, in closing, I would like to sincerely apologize for taking so long to wake up and see that I should be taking my educational improvements to the school and putting them in action there. I honestly didn’t realize I had that power.

I mean, that’s why we homeschooled in the first place — because we didn’t think school could (or should have to, honestly!) accommodate the various needs of our four kids … not to mention the fact that we were figuring it all out as we went along! It certainly was a learning process.

Who knew that I could have stayed and improved things not just for Margaret, Carl, Luna, and Joe but for ALL kids. My husband and I had quite a laugh about it, I can tell you. I mean, we haven’t been able to afford a family vacation in ten years! We would give each other a rueful look every year writing out our property tax bill, looking at all that education money we couldn’t use — and now we can!

Best,

Carrie

P.S. See you on Monday!”
Dear Principal Jones, teachers, school board members, and parents,. My name is Carrie Smith. I'm here to disrupt your school. People have been telling me for years that I shouldn't be homeschooling — I should be improving the lives of all kids, not just my own! This year, it finally sank in.
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Lori Pickert

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Think of this applied to school — and then to family.



Max De Pree’s Twelve Questions to Leaders



Does what I do count?

Does what I do make a difference to anybody?

Why should I come here?

Can I be somebody here?

Is there for me any rhyme or reason here?

Can I “own” this place?

Do I have any rights?

Does coming here add any richness to my life?

Is this a place where I can learn something?

Would I show this place to my family — or am I embarrassed to show it to them — or does it just not matter?

Is there anybody here I can trust?

Is this place open to my influence?
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Love this! just started reading your blog, i've been interested in homeschool and just introduced to the project based learning!  keep up what you are doing..great information! we need a group of people to just revamp the entire education system! :-)
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Lori Pickert

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this 11-year-old girl is an inspiring maker!
Blythe uses the 3D printer. Please enjoy this fantastic win today shared by Nicky Serrano and her daughter Blythe! • • •. I wanted to share a huge win my 11-year-old daughter Blythe has had at her local Maker's Guild. I am hoping we avoided most of the pitfalls Lori mentioned in her post What's ...
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We’re enrolling the fall session of the PBH master class!
You can read a detailed class description and student testimonials here. We've already done early-bird enrollment so space is limited! If the timing isn't right for you, you can join the early-bird announcement list for the next class. Thank you, and please feel free to e-mail me with any ...
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Lori Pickert

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We are enrolling the summer session of the PBH Master Class starting today. Hope you can join us!
You can read a detailed class description and student testimonials here. We've already done early-bird enrollment so space is limited! If the timing isn't right for you, you can join the early-bird announcement list for the next class. Thank you, and please feel free to e-mail me with any ...
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I storified this morning’s twitter rant/discussion on what happens when adults take over kids’ interests/activities…
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We’re enrolling the spring session of the PBH Master Class. Hope you can join us!

This six-week class runs from April 6 through May 15 and costs $125.

You can read the detailed class description, testimonials from former students, and enroll if you are interested at the link below.

We’ve already done early-bird enrollment so space is limited!
We are now enrolling the spring session of the PBH Master Class. It runs from April 6 through May 15 (six weeks) and costs $125. Please go here to read the detailed class description, testimonials from former students, and enroll if you are interested. We've already done early-bird enrollment so ...
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My twitter rant (and some extra thoughts) in response to Wired’s article “ Homeschooling Only Deepens Silicon Valley’s Rift With the Rest of Us”
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An all-or-nothing mind-set is a fantastic way to abbreviate the whole process of setting goals and making resolutions. As soon as you see you can’t do it all, you can quit!

Don’t resolve to succeed. Resolve to work at it.

Don’t resolve to know it. Resolve to think about it.

Don’t resolve to know it all. Resolve to learn more.

When you don’t meet with absolute success (and you won’t), remember that you weren’t aiming for absolute success … You were aiming to learn more.

That way, you won’t need to quit because you failed. You can just keep learning more, and that makes you … a success.
It rarely is. One of the best ways to plan to fail isn't just to fail to plan ... You can also plan to succeed so thoroughly, so perfectly, so mind-blowingly that it is absolutely incredible ... and ... inevitably undoable. Don't resolve to succeed. Resolve to work at it.
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i write about mentoring self-directed learners. and i live in a barn.
Introduction
I write about project-based homeschooling and mentoring self-directed learners at the Camp Creek Blog. I wrote Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners. I owned a Reggio-inspired private school for several years. I started my first company when I was 22. I’ve always worked on a Mac and I still have my Newton.
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
USA
Work
Occupation
Writer. Publisher. Mentor.
Employment
  • Writer, 2008 - present
  • White Oak School
    Owner, Director, 2000 - 2007
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Lori McWilliam Pickert
Lori Pickert's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Ready to take the PBH Master Class? | Project Based Homeschooling
project-based-homeschooling.com

You can read a detailed class description and student testimonials here. We've already done early-bird enrollment so space is limited! If th

Ready to take the PBH Master Class? | Project Based Homeschooling
project-based-homeschooling.com

You can read a detailed class description and student testimonials here. We've already done early-bird enrollment so space is limited! If th

PBH Master Class Spring Session Enrolling Now! | Project Based Homeschoo...
project-based-homeschooling.com

We are now enrolling the spring session of the PBH Master Class. It runs from April 6 through May 15 (six weeks) and costs $125. Please go h

I’m here to disrupt your school | Project Based Homeschooling
project-based-homeschooling.com

Dear Principal Jones, teachers, school board members, and parents,. My name is Carrie Smith. I'm here to disrupt your school. People have be

No one’s going to DIY that for you, sweetheart | Project Based Homeschoo...
project-based-homeschooling.com

I love kids and I love great educators and I want great schools for ALL kids. But anyone who thinks it's easy — or even doable — for one fam

Does what I do make a difference to anybody? | Project Based Homeschooling
project-based-homeschooling.com

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Resolution 1 - It’s not all or nothing | Project Based Homeschooling
project-based-homeschooling.com

It rarely is. One of the best ways to plan to fail isn't just to fail to plan ... You can also plan to succeed so thoroughly, so perfectly,

Maker win: Blythe’s 3D-printed light-up dog collar | Project Based Homes...
project-based-homeschooling.com

Blythe uses the 3D printer. Please enjoy this fantastic win today shared by Nicky Serrano and her daughter Blythe! • • •. I wanted to share

Why “do what you love” is not terrible advice | Project Based Homeschooling
project-based-homeschooling.com

I saw a post on Austin Kleon's blog about this piece by Rachel Nabors: We rarely hear the advice of the person who did what they loved and s

Journaling and observational drawing e-classes now available! | Project ...
project-based-homeschooling.com

Both of these one-week, self-guided e-classes are now available for instant enrollment here. Enjoy! I can't thank you enough for this class!

PBH Master Class enrolling now! | Project Based Homeschooling
project-based-homeschooling.com

We are now enrolling the fall session of the PBH master class. It will run for six weeks from September 8 through October 17 and costs $125.

PBH Facebook group | Project Based Homeschooling
project-based-homeschooling.com

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Reading and gender and the messages we send | Project Based Homeschooling
project-based-homeschooling.com

A couple things happen when we focus all of our collective attention on boys and whether or not they are reading. First, we tell boys that t

Last chance to sign up for our free observational drawing class! | Proje...
project-based-homeschooling.com

We are getting ready for our second free PBH class of the summer! There are many great reasons to add drawing to your routine — here are jus

Small Wins Wednesday: The academics of play | Project Based Homeschooling
project-based-homeschooling.com

Six-year-old R is resistant to anything that vaguely resembles school and has been known to shout “I DON'T WANT TO LEARN ANYTHING!” in respo

Advice for active journaling | Project Based Homeschooling
project-based-homeschooling.com

Stacey left this comment on Curating Their Experience: Okay I have the next stage of the question. I've been keeping a “learning” journal fo

More thoughts on dismissing children’s interests and ideas | Project Bas...
project-based-homeschooling.com

Yesterday I posted about respecting children's interests. I titled it “trust, respect, and attention…” because I think you have to trust tha

Trust, respect, and attention: How not to diminish your child’s true sel...
project-based-homeschooling.com

Recently I was contacted by a mother who told me she was upset and frustrated because she was trying to introduce PBH to her sons and they w

Abilities vs. activities: Why children need authentic art | Project Base...
project-based-homeschooling.com

Penelope got it wrong in a few ways. One, projects are not “small-scale and reasonable,” even when done by three- and four-year-olds. A grou

New resources on the site — enjoy! | Project Based Homeschooling
project-based-homeschooling.com

We have some new resources here on the site: Resource section — We've started to build out a huge collection of PBH and general learning-rel