You may be wondering, “Is my child a good fit for ALCNO?”
Here are some factors to consider:
We welcome children with different physical, emotional, cognitive, and social abilities who want to work toward independence. They are able to use the bathroom on their own and ask for help when needed. They may occasionally feel frustrated, but they have tools to help themselves calm down without hurting others.
Learning is happening all the time, and children who are a good fit for our space do not have to like books and worksheets. They may like using YouTube or Google to search for things that interest them. They are willing to work with a facilitator or alone for short amounts of time without being forced. They may like moving or singing, but they can do so while respecting others’ space. They can tolerate being bored every once in a while. They listen to ideas from their parents and facilitators, but ultimately they decide what and how they will learn.
Small size but we're growing!
With a current group of 12 children, sometimes a learner can feel lonely in the space. Children who are a good fit are able to play by themselves or know how to invite others to play with them. We have a wide age range of children, so they may end up playing with others who are younger or older. They can relate to children with different backgrounds. They are flexible about doing a preferred activity later so they can enjoy what is happening at the moment.
Since this is a different environment than conventionnal school, we don’t assume that children who act out at school will do so in our space.
It is also possible that a child starts acting out in our space because they are not scared of or held by all the constraints, rewards, and punishments from their previous school and social environments. This might indicate that the child struggles with self-regulation.
The self-directed nature of our space means that facilitators are not with every child for every minute of the day. Children who do well are able to resolve conflict with others without yelling or hitting. They can find activities to do and clean up after themselves (with reminders). They do not lie to or bully others. They treat the space with respect and do not destroy or steal materials that are out in the open. We recommend finding qualified professionals to evaluate and begin treating children with a history of abuse or trauma before enrolling them.