A Unique School

This week's blog post was written by a friend and former co-worker of mine. I had the privilege of teaching with Sandy for many years, the last two at her current school, u.school. I love the u.school philosophy and try to incorporate it into my homeschool. I think it is so important for kids to direct their own learning. I hope you enjoy Sandy's post. You can find out more about u.school at here.

Are you a self-directed Learner?

Chances are, probably not. Most schools aren’t designed to create self-directed learners. In order for us to create self-directed learners, we must recognize that learning is an act of individual self-discovery.There is little time for self-discovery when moving from assigned class to class trying to learn a curriculum that you didn’t have any part of designing. When students have the opportunity to direct their learning, create their own goals, manage their time and pursue passions inside and outside of their school students have an opportunity for self-discovery. Learning is meaningful to them and they become life-long learners.


Self-directed learners are capable of....
● Self-control and self-discipline
● Self-reflection and self-assessment
● Setting goals and plans for reaching those goals
● Taking initiative
● Asking for help
● Accepting responsibility
● Knowing their own strengths and weaknesses
● Following their curiosity, passions, and interests


The process of becoming self-directed is difficult for many kids (and adults). To help reach this goal we have a couple of simple philosophies that guide what we do...Each and every person brings unique life experiences, has signature strengths,
and learns and develops at their own pace. Humans learn best in an environment that favors authentic learning. We have come to understand through experience and research that authentic learning thrives in environments that favor...

  • Passion, play, and purpose
  • Curiosity and questions
  • Meaningful relationships with peers and adults
  • Self-reflection and self-direction
  • Patience
  • An authentic audience
  • Individual agency in deciding the who, what, when, where, why, and how of learning
  • Connecting with the community outside of the school walls

If we stay true to these beliefs we will fulfill our mission of growing self-directed learners who are confident, competent, and caring human beings.

Sandy Frye, teacher and co-founder of u.school

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