Distributed, connected, local learning.

Creating alignment between local, regional and community goals in education.

Here is a quick breakdown:

  • 12 year program, from 2021 to 2033.

  • starting at Grades (2-5).

  • graduate leaders of the new school.

  • aligned to local, regional and community goals.

  • aligned with UN Goals.

  • preparing youth for post-secondary (education, freelance, or entrepreneurship).

Social focus:

  • understanding our-selves, and our own roots.

  • building the self as a primary focus in early years (Grades 1-5).

  • understanding the history of our communities & society.

Learning how to learn:

  • understanding the purpose of the learning journey.

  • self-reflection, self-care, self-confidence.

  • building a roadmap of project-based learning.

  • communication, project management, & digital literacy.

  • self-management & schedule management with paper & digital tools.

Areas of learning:

  • society & culture: understanding where we’re from, and where we are.

  • science: from time-travel to cellular biology, early learners are never too young.

  • creativity: from sketching, to sculpting to animating, see the world as an artist.

  • technology: digital literacy, programming, design, automation, magic.

  • finance: currency, the digital future, markets & investment.

  • math: we believe in Khan Academy for math.

  • design thinking: develop a systems approach to the world around you.

  • business & entrepreneurship: based on Parkdale Centre’s curriculum adapted to young learners.

How can this work?

With the return to school in Ontario, I find myself asking what we’re returning to? I’d like our kids to return to safe schools. Small class sizes. Free from bullying and racism, a safe environment.

I’d like them to return to an environment I haven’t seen in Toronto public schools for 30 years. I haven’t seen it in private schools either.

It’s been two school-years during the COVID pandemic. We’ve had time to think and experience life without public school.

After trying home-schooling in 2018 for a half-year, the pandemic gave us a chance to live a different life, to enrich our own lives with our childrens’ time, and enrich their learning, offline and online.

It’s hard, and it takes a lot of sacrifice.

My life isn’t what it was before & I reconcile this daily. My kids’ education is the best investment of my time as an adult, and something I hope to transition to full-time, without having to double with work.

That’s me. Every families’ situation will be different.

Distributed, connected, local learning.

As I learn more about home-schooling, I’m very interested in distributed learning systems, connected communities (offline and online), and what local community based learning looks like as a FREE alternative to public education.

How far along are we?

This roadmap is a pilot calendar we’ve used to help guide us throughout the year with themes for each quarter and month. Right now we’re in the publishing stage, with conversations, summer break, reading and outdoors.

Our wiki!

We’re using this wiki to track the projects we’re picking up to fill in the calendar above. Some of these are one-and-done foundational projects.

Mostly though, we’re working on on-going projects to apply our learning; our most exciting project is writing, drawing, and planning the publishing of a childrens’ story.

What do our days look like?

We’ve gone through many iterations of what works for us as a routine. It’s interesting that with the change of seasons, our routines need to adapt to suit our families’ life.

We’ve participated in extra-curriucular learning with organizations like Playocity Learning, joined local nature camps at the park, and mixed-in still rare play-dates throughout the year.

We started the pandemic in the winter, with chess-boards, video-games & art, and in the Spring learned to skateboard & picked up soccer. We don’t lean on things too much to make them boring, and switch it up.

There’s consistency of activities each day, and flexiblity for change as we hit each milestone in our calendar.

There’s independent learning & collaborative learning, always done through projects. And there is plenty of video-gaming (and making video-games) too.

Forced Changes

This experience was forced, and with it these feelings, opinions, reflections, and frameworks started to take shape. It’s not perfect, and it’s really hard.

In approaching the Fall we (all) decided to home-school. There’s a lot of work to-do to make that a healthy experience of us all in the 2021/2022 school year.

I wonder what we can accomplish together if we focus our learning to be long-term, continuous, and not a blank-slate every year.

We have a lot of possibilities for the future of education, and an opportunity to create a new normal over the next decade; we can turn out some bright kids, ready and confident for a brighter future.

If you’re interested in collaborating, or if you’re a parent home-schooling your kids, and this resonates with you, I’d be glad to talk to you.

Send me an email to: mustefa@parkdaleinnovates.org