“What struck me was that this student was comfortable in her not-knowing. She didn’t feel compelled to justify her answer, to apologize for what she didn’t know, or any number of other possible responses. Her knowing felt both true and unencumbered. As a person who went through traditional schooling, I am very aware of how my learning is anything but unencumbered.”
Simply put, we as humans are wired to learn through play and story, two things role playing games merge perfectly together. It helps us make sense of the world and prepare for what’s next. D&D, of course, is not the only role playing game. At Fairhaven School, we see children of all ages play various role playing games throughout the day.
Last month, Fairhaven School’s Theatre Corp produced “A Simpler Time.” A smashing success, the play ran for two nights and ended up turning a profit. For most of our twenty-two years, the student-run, democratic Theatre Corp has been staging plays, and these are wonderful examples of how the school works. We caught up with director Sam Duffy. At fourteen, he’s younger than most of his cast.
Please consider donating to Fairhaven School this Giving Tuesday! Every contribution helps lessen the burden for Fairhaven families who are providing their children a unique and empowering education. You can assist us in meeting the goal that cost will never prevent families from enrolling their children in Fairhaven School! Thank you in advance, from the entire Fairhaven community.
Note that word, Aristotle’s “society.” On a macro level, the design of this school is to create an independent, interesting world with coequal freedom and responsibility, a society, if you will, with the explicit recognition that being social here is the best preparation for success in the larger society. Doing things together, then—social activities—may just represent the most important activity here.
As we begin the 2019-2020 school year, we have continued last year’s remarkable pace of enrolling new students! We talked to several of them to collect their thoughts on joining Fairhaven School. As you can see from the following quotes from our newest members, if you are considering enrolling your child, you can expect them to soon enjoy “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Many interviews with prospective families begin with questions and answers about the bread and butter of traditional schools: classes, tests, homework. Soon, however the conversation shifts to learning, and we inevitably discuss the vital and creative human process known as play, probably the most common activity at Fairhaven School.
More and more families who contact Fairhaven tell us that they are “unschooling” their children, and the growth of curriculum-free homeschoolers seems to be increasing. Although we try to clarify the difference between the two approaches in interviews and conversations with prospective families, it’s a complex topic, especially since each family who adopts this style of homeschooling necessarily creates a distinct experience for their children.