Fueling a Child's Creative Fire

What we've been reading, watching, and thinking about at Alpine Valley School this week.

We've got a new blog post this week discussing the expansive creative play that children engage in and how, intentionally or not, mainstream education hems it in. Staff Member Marc shares this story:

"I can still remember being ten years old in art class (which was my favorite class besides creative writing) and spending hours working on an illustration of a dragon. I used five different crayons to get the color of the scales just right, and I labored over every detail of the mythic creature’s appearance. Then, when I turned in my project to my teacher I’ll never forget the way she frowned at my drawing, tilting it left and right as though that might make it more appealing. She drew a big letter D across the top of my picture and handed it back saying sadly, “I’m sorry, but that looks nothing like a dragon.”

As a child, I was crushed. As an adult, I find myself indignant. I wish I could go back in time and say, “Excuse me, but what exactly does a dragon look like?” But instead, I spent years thinking I was no good at drawing, and all but gave up on most creative pursuits."

It's time for something else - a school that respects students, that puts them first, and allows them to decide what is best for themselves. Freedom, Respect, Responsibility, and Autonomy are our core values - not tests and homework. We teach children that they matter, that their voice is important, and that community is everything. It's time we redefine education into something that supports the values of our families, and the principles on which our country was founded.

Another awesome image that explains our relationship to power dynamics with our kids (and totally matches how we look at this idea at AVS)...


Alpine Valley School will be hosting an informal meet and greet! Come and learn more about self-directed democratic education in the Denver area by touring our facility, meeting our staff members, and chatting with graduates of our program. Space is limited, so please reserve your spot if you plan to attend!

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Marc GallivanComment