I was born in December on the 19th in 1994(according to the Julian/Gregorian calendar).So obviously I haven't had a super long amount of time on this earth. My Grandmother was my mother's assistant Midwife and I was born on my aunt's bed. I did baby things and we(my mother, my father and I) moved to Mexico when I was 2. When I was 4 my mother got pregnant and we had to come back to Austin for the birth because my Grandmother didn't speak Spanish at the time. My sister was born and named Molly. Pretty soon after that, my whole school rollercoaster began. I was pretty dead inside for most of it. I had a couple of years at a brand new charter school where I was pretty happy... but then I graduated. And of course I still had the reasons of my parent's parenting and the school being a school that kept me pretty dormant as a human being.

So I went to an all girls prep school(of my own choice and it really was the best option for Public Middle School where I live) for 4 or 5 months and had my mom pull me out a week before the end of semester. I spent the rest of the school year trying to deschool while my mom still worked at my elementary charter school. I stayed in her office, worked on the computer and helped with office work. It wasn't the best set up but I was beginning to turn my mind on and it was better than Public School. I'd always thought about important stuff but I was still mostly stifled by the school system till I got out. That first semester was hard for a number of reasons including me and my mom having an even worse relationship than before.

The rule of thumb is one month of recovery for each year of schooling. I went to school on and off for 6 or 7 years and i took about 19 months to fully recover. But I also had a ton of issues with my mom to deal with so maybe that explains why I just recently began to feel like a complete person. Things are good now in pretty much all aspects(except for my dependence on money, my lack of access to free land, ect. of course). I've become a co-founder of a Democratic School(still working on getting it open); I have had the chance to read and read and read; I've discovered awesome people, information and hope; I've added to my involvement in gardening; I've worked out a ton of issues & now I know where I want to go. So... that's my story.

The End :)

Views: 66

Comment by Desmond Nicoli on August 26, 2009 at 3:01pm
yeah school is hard and a waste of time and effort.
that is really cool that you had your grandmother as a midwife. i believe that, that is supper imortant good for you.
what is a democratic school and how are you creating a school and what does it consitit of. you know the tekos school it the best school in the world. they would make a great model. the biggest imporvment i can see in there school is having it as a homeschool kinda as well.
So..... thats my relpy to your story.
and thanks for sharing. "it is allot of work involved, but i hope. you to find your sacred space."
D'
Comment by Kaya Tessa Kirks on August 27, 2009 at 3:43am
Hi Desmond. We actually already have a very specific model. It's called the Sudbury Valley Model because the first of it's kind was the Sudbury Valley School. I've heard of Summerhill and the Tekos School(obviously) and some others that are doing something much better than the mainstream. But I stick with SVM and Radical Unschooling as the best approaches. You can see the schools website here: http://clearviewsudburyschool.org/ and the original school here: http://www.sudval.org/

Simply put, it's unschooling in a community environment, the school being basically a resource center(the kids go everyday for several hours though) but there are some structures. The most important of these are the Assembly, School Meeting & Judicial Committee. Assembly consists of all members of the community like parents, students, staff, trustees and public members. They make broad decisions such as general policies and budget. Everyone has one vote and it's majority rules. Then the School meeting consists of everyday members: the students and staff. SM meets once a week and makes school wide decisions and school laws. It also is majority rule, one vote per person. The laws are where JC comes in. It's like a mini court made of students and staff. When you break a law you can be "brought up" by a witness who filles out a form which is submitted to the JC, who are pretty busy. Then you defend yourself or plead guilty and are given a fair "punishment" by your fellow peers.

You do what you what, when you want, the way you want all day, but you have to agree to come to JC when you break laws, to show you're involved in the community. They play, do independent study, set up classes sometimes(no grades, but if you miss it a few times, chances are the teacher, who may even be a "student", won't keep teaching you), go on field trips, make music, work on projects, hang out and play some more. It's hard to explain in anything less than a ten page essay, but it works wonderfully and people love it and are "successful" and confident.

A lot of people ask me how i start a school. I found people who wanted to work towards it and i joined them. I go to meetings, help make decisions and make phone calls and work on things like by-laws and brochures, ect. and search for locations. I do the things that need to be done to open a school.

A democratic school has been defined by some people as The philosophy applied to a learning community that holds most or all of the following characteristics: shared decision-making among the students and staff, a learner-centered approach in which students choose their daily activities, equality among staff and students, the community as an extension of the classroom- http://www.educationrevolution.org
i put together this youtube channel- http://www.youtube.com/DemocraticEducation

And a great intro video about SVM is this- http://aeroeducation.org/2009/08/19/sudbury-valley-school-teacherstv-documentary/
its only 10min long.

I hope i answered your questions and that you'll be one more mind out there who knows about these things. Thanks for commenting.

K :)
Comment by Crystal Marvin on August 27, 2009 at 11:36am
Hi Kaya, nice to meet you. I had a pretty dead experience in school too. I can't remember most of it, thankfully, but I remember being bored. Those school models look really great! You're doing really good work in the world, I'm glad you've found a mission worthy of your beautiful soul. :)

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