My eight year old son started school today, he is excited. There are many various charter school opportunities in our area, we visited several. Blaze chose the Dragon’s eye learning center, a very local and eclectic ‘school’ based on the Sudbury model, this is not a charter school nor is it associated with any government education system. This center is the brainchild of a local family, they host the school on their 40 acre ranch property in a large open sided structure, they have been doing this for several years. There are 13 students of various ages, all the children learn in the same environment and have an equal say in the direction of what they would like to work on. Music and art are a big part of this center, as well as all things farming. Reading, writing, math, astrology, history, nothing is off limits, one of the parents has offered to teach bee keeping. All the learning will be self-directed, imagination is encouraged. A ‘teacher’ from a Sudbury school back east was visiting at the first meeting of the year and he said something worth repeating, “there are no teachers, there are only people that help learners learn,” a person has to want to learn, making them memorize what you think is important is not teaching it is conditioning.
There is a playground outdoor with a large cargo net draped over part of a tree for climbing. There is an outdoor open air bathroom with a composting toilet. Another small outbuilding is named the “Alchemy Center,” this is used for planting plants and other dirt and microbe projects. They have a pony which gladly carts the children around and I’m sure will fit into the curriculum. Inside, the most prominent area is the music area with several homemade xylophones of various sizes.
The Dragons Eye is about 20 minutes from our house off Papaya Farms road, this is a well known organic farming area, we get most of our fruit from this area. Papaya Farms Road is a beautiful dirt road lined with lush jungle and accentuated with large ancient Mango trees, coconut trees and rustic farm road driveways, it is one of our favorite places in the whole area, we think Blaze made a good choice.