SOLE @ Home

  • Location
    Bergen/Essex/Hudson/Passaic Counties, New Jersey
  • Status

The Problem

To help grow a community of families that, when there are struggles with school, can look to each other and lean on each other for help, and feel more in control and empowered to help.

Our Plan

Most people believe that learning happens when an adult tells a child what to do, and the child practices those steps until they remember and eventually master what needs to be learned. This is in spite of the fact that all of us learn a great many things by being curious, by experimenting, by researching on our own, and with only a minimum of instruction from an in person expert. (Did you learn how to use your computer or your phone by taking classes until you reached documented mastery? Me neither.) Most people believe this because so many generations have been schooled this way, and the cultural connection between school and learning is so absolute, that they cannot imagine that learning happens any other way. Our aim is to change the way people think about teaching and learning so that people see resources are available that will help them help themselves. Our cultural beliefs about learning have caused a problem: Many children are not getting from school what they need, yet the children need school and its diplomas and degrees, lest they put the rest of their lives at risk. What is one to do when the only alternatives are either far too similar to what already isn’t working or are out of reach in terms of money, time, or both? In our poorest communities, budget crises are the norm, teacher layoffs are common, and state pressure for test scores puts schools in a position to focus on covering an incredibly dense curriculum in a relatively brief amount of time which in turn sacrifices allowing children most deep conceptual knowledge, which in turn makes it more difficult for the children to learn what is in the curriculum, which drives schools to push harder toward covering the curriculum, which makes them sacrifice allowing children most deep conceptual…and so on. All of this in spite of evidence that child-directed learning has long term benefits (well into adulthood) to children living in poverty and at high risk of school failure. We can help. Here’s how: SOLE @ Home will help families whose children are struggling with school by: First: Using Self-Organized Learning Environments (SOLEs) to help groups of children gain a deeper understanding of school concepts. Second: Teaching those families how to conduct SOLEs for themselves and tailor them for their specific needs with school (or otherwise), so they can conduct them with each other when they are in need. Third: Creating a on online forum where families who know and use the SOLE can connect with each other to continually help each other learn.

Themes Addressed

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The Benefit

About Roots & Shoots

We are nurturing the compassionate leaders of tomorrow.

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