Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Throwing Out The Lesson Plans: Childhood Behavior

Cross-posted from the original blog "Throwing Out The Lesson Plans" by Jen S... you can check that post out here.

Today's post is inspired by this video, I recommend you take 4 minutes to watch it:

Many of you know that one of the reasons we started Sego Lily School in the first place was so that I would never have to hear a teacher, counselor, or principal tell me that my brilliant high-energy child needed to be medicated for ADHD. Corbin, from the time he was quite small, has been a kinesthetic learner - jumping up and down while playing video games, reading books while walking around the house, or doing martial arts moves while playing goalie on the soccer field. I KNEW that there was not (and still is not) anything WRONG with my kid. I also knew that there would be no room for his dynamic movements in a public school classroom. It was a big part of our journey of looking for options, and a big part of what became Sego Lily School.

8 years later, Corbin is perfectly capable of sitting still during a Japanese class. My 5 year old, however, shows many of the same traits - he will get up from dinner 40 times if not reminded. I can't imagine what kindergarten would have been for him this year, as he was told over and over to sit still and stay on task. He always finishes dinner - sure, sometimes it's an hour after everyone else has left the table. And he always finishes his projects, even when a painting takes 3 days. He is simply on his own timelines. At school, none of this is a problem, because school for us doesn't mean sitting still, lining up, and simply doing what is expected of everyone else.

I could add so many stories of so many kids who have come through the Sego doors in similar ways. Jumping from thing to thing, idea to idea, conversation to conversation. Sometimes I want to scream at the parents who come in and tell us all of the things that are wrong with their kids. But we cannot blame them - they are a product of a system that has created these 'diagnosis' for behaviors that are perfectly normal. Especially around young, energetic boys (boys are 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with ADD or ADHD than girls). As schools have gotten more and more regimented, and teachers have had to spend more time teaching for tests (thanks, NCLB !), normal behaviors such as wanting to have conversations with friends, or run around the playground, have been pathologised at an alarming rate. Put simply, a kid who wants to act like a kid now has a serious 'problem' with a capital letter title to go with it. And I won't even get started on the dangers of the drugs so many of these kids have to take. Well, maybe I will, but not today.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Throwing out the lesson plans:

Throwing out the lesson plans:
Apparently I created this blog over a year ago an...
: Apparently I created this blog over a year ago and never posted anything in it. Sounds like me... somehow, between trying to raise a millio...

Friday, November 4, 2011

December Book Fair!!!

December 6
Music, Storytelling, Christmas Ornament Making
Barnes & Noble Sugarhouse
1104 E. 2100 S.

Join us for the fun or simply shop at Barnes & Noble Sugarhouse anytime during December 6 to help support our school.  Let the cashier know that you are with Sego Lily School and we will receive a portion of the proceeds.  You can also shop online at BN.COM/bookfairs from 12/06/11 to 12/12/11 by entering Bookfair ID 10499333 at checkout.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Plastic Bag Rope

Plastic grocery bags are ubiquitous.  And, while they may be convenient in the short run, they have a negative impact on our environment.  They fly away easily, causing pollution on our land and in our oceans.  Many sea turtles and other marine animals die every year from ingesting them.  When they end up in the landfill, they may take hundreds or even thousands of years to biodegrade.  Until we all make the shift to reusable grocery bags, this waste-stream material will continue to pile up.  

At our school, we like to figure out ways to upcycle materials.  Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value (Wikipedia).  We found a great use for plastic bags... when braided together they make a very strong rope!  See Isahopper and Batman playing with the rope they made...

If you would like to stop relying on plastic bags, Sego Lily School sells canvas grocery bags for $2 each.  Proceeds support student activities!  Pick them up at our school, 1533 E. Murray-Holladay Road.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Volunteers Needed!

We can always use volunteers!  If you are available for any of these volunteer opportunities please call the school 801-274-9555 and talk to Alyssa or Maaike, or email us at info@segolilyschool.org.  In addition to these days, we have ongoing volunteer opportunities doing maintenance, yard work, cleaning, teaching classes, gardening, etc.  Please come play with us!  Thank you!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dress Up

Dress up is one of our favorite games around here.  No matter what age... it's always fun.

From hand made tie dye...
To fashion forward designs.

From classy...

To crazy.
Nobody ever gets sent home for wearing something too "distracting" at our school!


Cassandra and I were sitting on the front porch today reading from Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals.  We had turned to the chapter on spiders because I had seen so many spiders lately in my home.  I read, "Spider weaves the webs of fate for those who get caught in her web and become her dinner.  This is similar to humans who get caught in the web of illusion in the physical world, and never see beyond the horizon into the other dimensions."  In the midst of the passage I was suddenly struck with the desire to weave a dreamcatcher... something I had not done for some time.

Cassandra also thought that sounded like fun and we were off to find some string... we found a ball of purple yarn and then went to look for some branches to form the frame.  Of all the trees on campus, the russian olive seemed to have the most pliable branches and we also thought that using olive branches (a symbol of peace) would help our dream catchers to promote good dreams.  We formed the branches into a circle and lashed them together with the purple yarn.  We then wove our dream catchers.  Click here for very good instructions on how to make dreamcatchers. 

Cassandra wove a "crazy" dream catcher.  She hung feathers and yarrow from it.
Inkheart also wove a "crazy" dream catcher.  She decorated hers with pretty pink flowers.

Gorilla Girl's dream catcher is a traditional pattern.

Posted by Gorilla Girl

Friday, August 5, 2011

Water Slide

We have the coolest community!  One of our parents brought a giant inflatable waterslide for us to play on today!  No better way to beat the heat.  Thanks so much to Inflatable Promotions, we had an awesome day today!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sudbury School Conference

George, Munchitrot, Dar6win, Sego Lily Mama and Catiantha attended the Sudbury School Conference at the Fairhaven School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland in June. We learned a lot, met amazing people and felt the support of others making a difference in education.  

Sego Lily Mama gave a great speech on "Why Starting a Sudbury School is a Bad Idea and 10 Reasons You Should Do it Anyway" 

We want to thank Fairhaven School for opening their beautiful campus to us and teaching us the fine art of eating Maryland blue crab! And we also want to thank all of those that shared their thoughts and experiences with us.  It was such an inspiration!

Cherry Picking With Munchitrot

 Munchitrot stopped in to visit for a few days and Batman and Cocoa the Destroyer had a blast with her picking cherries and eating their fill!  There are quite a few fruit trees on our school property.  The cooking corporation uses the apples to make apple pies in the fall :)


Must have been a sour one!

We miss you Munchitrot!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Who ever knew that rotten food could be so exciting?!?

Sending a big thank you to EcoScraps for giving us such a generous deal on 10 cubic yards of compost. We're very happy to be using EcoScraps for a number of reasons:
  1. Very good quality compost - Plants grow better in EcoScraps compost than in soil using chemical fertilizers.
  2. No need to use chemical fertilizers - Yuck. Who wants to eat petroleum?
  3. Local company - EcoScraps was started by a couple of students in Utah.
  4. Sustainability - Last (but not least), EcoScraps uses food waste from restaurants and grocery stores to produce their compost. This business model saves a valuable resource from going to the landfill and provides an economic incentive for all involved.
Very cool.

Thanks also to Wasatch Community Gardens for all of the valuable training and resources as well as the grant we used to buy the compost and the drip irrigation system (soon to come).

And of course... thanks to our students and parent volunteers for their hard work getting the compost spread out and leveled! We're one step closer to growing food!

EcoScraps delivering the compost

Gorilla Girl helps to spread it out

Cassandra and Cocoa The Destroyer declare victory!

Skippy and his father tilling the compost

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Children run the school at Sego Lily School

On Wednesday we took Shad Engkilterra, a reporter for The Examiner, on a tour of our school. We had a great time... it's fun to share stories about our school with new people! The article came out today. Click on the name of the story below to check it out.

Enjoy! It's a quick read and it does a good job of explaining some of the basics of our school.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Creating a 'Cool Spot'

Huge Thanks to the Peaceful Uprising Volunteers!

Today, Peaceful Uprising came to the Sego Lily site and helped us put in our garden. I'd nearly given up on the possibility of having a garden this year and then I got a call from Ashley Anderson asking if we needed any volunteers!?! They chose us as part of a community audit where they identified "hot" and "cool" spots on which to focus their efforts. Sego Lily School was identified as a cool spot... a place where organizations are already at work creating the world we want to see. (Read more about their three days of solidarity actions here).

I was thrilled at the thought of 4 or 5 volunteers working on our garden. I spent the morning gathering up shovels, rakes, a wheelbarrow, etc. Then shortly before 2pm, Ashley called and said that the entire crew was on their way over to work on our garden!

About 20 people showed up, including Tim DeChristopher, and made light work of a project that had seemed too daunting to even begin. Within TWO HOURS the crew had turned the sandy, gravely weed patch into a real garden... complete with compost bin! Not only did they help us build our garden... they did it with joy and resolve... letting 5 year old Batman work alongside the crew and being careful with their shovels wherever he went. What happened next may have been the most amazing part of all. As the volunteers packed up to leave they THANKED ME for letting them come work on our project!!!

I am so inspired by this wonderful community of people dedicated to and actively creating a world of cooperation, support and sustainability... and I'm honored to be part of it!

Much gratitude to all the folks at Peaceful Uprising for your hard work and the commitment behind it. Today you transformed this little space on our planet... tomorrow... well, the possibilities are endless.

-- Gorilla Girl

Beginning work on the weed patch.

Batman takes this break opportunity with Henia to propose marriage.

Batman working in the midst of the Peaceful Uprising crew as the garden takes shape.

Steve and the others carrying logs from across the site to contain the soil.

Tim leveling the soil and removing the many many rocks as Roi delivers more logs.

More volunteers showed up and wanted to get in on the fun... they built us a compost bin.

While the rest of us relaxed in the shade, Tim set about attacking the thistles.

Shadows growing long on our new Sego Lily garden plot.

We'll get the compost and drip irrigation system in... and we'll be on our way!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Finally Starting to Look Like Summer!

Cocoa the Destroyer, R. , Batman and Strawberry enjoying the outdoors now that the rain has stopped!

Wee little monkeys :)

Yeah for summer!