Heart Warming Story from AEROx
See Video: The People Vs. The School System

Three Questions To Ask Your Child Before It's Too Late:
The majority of families in the USA and around the world send their children to the local public school without really examining it closely. It may have a good reputation. That may even be the reason why they moved to the area.
But the reality is that the majority of these schools are operating on assumptions that are very out of date and do not apply to what people need to do to navigate learning in the new millennium. Most of them do not empower students as independent learners. Most of them do not have structures to resolve conflicts that have input from the students.
In every state and most countries there are educational alternatives that you can find that avoid these pitfalls. They could be learner-centered alternative schools. And if one isn't close, homeschooling is legal in every state. And it is increasingly possible for any parents to do that as homeschool resource centers proliferate and as people are increasingly able to work from home.
So ask your child the following simple questions:
1.  Do you like school?
Children are natural learners. If your child says they hate school, something is wrong with their school.
2.  Does your teacher listen to you?
If not, it may be the result of one-way communication using the discredited old paradigm of pouring knowledge into the student's head.
3.  Do the other kids like you or do you ever get bullied?  
If there is bullying or the child doesn't feel liked, it's time to find another environment that is more welcoming, less authoritarian, and has processes for conflict resolution.

If the answers to any of these questions cause concern, it is time to look for an alternative. 

Great Story From A Participant At The AEROx in MA
The dining room at the AEROx in Massachusetts

This Saturday, the day after his birthday, I took Py to a little alternative education conference at an off the grid retreat center called Earthlands in Western Mass. There were about 40 people there, mostly educators, and 2 kids: Py who just turned 6, and a 7 year old named David.
In the morning I was asked to introduce myself to the group, along with the other latecomers as the conference had started the night before. I said who I was but I didn't introduce Py. Then, after lunch on Saturday afternoon, as a few more latecomers arrived, the call went out again for new people to announce themselves.
The small dining room was fairly packed. Py, who spent the whole day playing in and around the lodge with David, was on the other side of the dining room from me. A few adults announced themselves and then Py waved his hand and announced himself. He gave his name and said that he was here with his dad, that he was having a good time playing, and mentioned the town that he was from in New York. Then he called out to me "Right, Daddy?"
I don't know about everyone else in the room but I was stunned. I felt so good that a six year old could feel comfortable and confident enough to be part of something that was not only an adult conversation, but the kind of social dynamic amidst strangers that makes even adults nervous.
No one told Py what to say, or even to say anything. I didn't think he was even listening. He did not hesitate and he seemed to understand the rhythm, timing, and attention of all the people around him. His level of self confidence blew me away, and I think others were amazed as well. He hung around for a while and then took off with David to play outside somewhere.
Thanks for organizing the conference. I enjoyed it, got some good ideas, and hope I helped.

By Prince Ea

School Starters Course in First Week
The AERO online school starters course began this week. We're now starting with introductions by the 31 participants with help from some from last year who have started their alternatives

We could still take one more regular registrant and one more for partial scholarship if you contact us immediately. If you have already started your alternative you could join as a resource. 

You can still register for the course here and secure the last spot. 

This year we have people from such diverse places as Australia, South Africa, UK, and Spain, as well as Las Vegas, WA, Brooklyn, MA and PA. 
AERO has helped start more that 100 educational alternatives. You can see a partial list  here

Jerry Mintz Podcast on Annie Jennings Site
I was interviewed this week by the Annie Jennings Organization for a short podcast for their site. I think you'll find it interesting and useful. 

Listen to the podcast here.
Links and Calendar
Please send us feedback on this issue. also, we would like to have more articles written by AERO members and about AERO school and organizations.  Thank you for your ongoing support. With  your help , we will make learner-centered alternatives available to everyone!

In Service,

Jerry Mintz
Executive Director
Alternative Education Resource Organization

Please consider making a donation to AERO to help support our work. Thanks!