The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

A Mixed Bag

I had a very good “education”; a prestigious Quaker school, a top-rated high school, the Ivy Leagues. And then, complete alienation from mainstream education.

Beyond Homeschooling

Flexibility in academic work is one of the many benefits of choosing to homeschool. You can learn to read when you are developmentally ready, be exposed to mathematical concepts through experiences, and write poems in the woods. What gets less attention is the emotional/developmental/social aspects of human existence. The effects that traditional schools have on these aspects are primarily negative….

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The Unique Value of Talking Stick: The Facilitator

Over the years at Talking Stick I have come to realize what is the most important aspect of the work we do: The Facilitation. The physical environment, the materials used and the content offered pale in comparison to the integral nature of the quality of the adult facilitation. The people who currently work and those who have worked in the…

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Talking Stick Favorites: Games Worth Acquiring!

Labyrinth The board consists of shiftable cards that make up a scrambled maze in the beginning. The object of the game is for each player to collect as quickly as possible all seven treasures depicted on their individual treasure cards. The treasures are fun things like a ring, an ogre, and a princess. The strategy and visual thinking parts come…

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Sticks and Stones: The Pros and Cons of Rough Play

The “sticky” subject of combat play explored by founder and armchair anthropologist, Katie O’Connor.

The Bigger Picture: Agents of Social Change

How to raise and educate our children to be agents of social change.

The Bigger Picture: Unconscious Communication

Unconscious Communication I’ve been wondering about the unconscious ways we adults communicate with young people and how to bring awareness to them. For example, tone of voice reflects what a person is thinking and feeling to varying degrees (whether intentional or not). One may use a sweet “patient” tone and words but the throbbing vein in the temple gives more…

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The Bigger Picture: Quality Conversations

Quality Conversations One of my favorite aspects of homeschooling that has been a pleasure since my son first began to talk, are spontaneous and organic conversations. Our most significant conversations mostly take place in the car or while going for a walk. They range in topic from spiritual to scientific, from sociological to culinary. As he developed, my son was…

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The Bigger Picture: Oh The Insanity!

Oh The Insanity! An adult visitor to Talking Stick proclaimed the other day, “I get it. You treat the kids like adults, the same way you would treat adults.” To which I replied, “Yes. But adults in an insane asylum.” At the time one young person was pretending to be a zombie while another screamed and ran away, someone else…

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The Bigger Picture: Does Learning Have To Be Unpleasant?

Does Learning Have to be Unpleasant? At Talking Stick, we love to learn through play. But aren’t there at least some things that children have to learn that are unpleasant? The answer is that there are so many unpleasant learning experiences that happen whether we construct them or not, that we do not need to coerce young people into additional unpleasant…

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