Rules are made to be broken and despite understanding that old adage on an intimately personal level, I fell into the trap, yet again, and, in a moment of pure frustration declared an edict. Which, I have to say, failed spectacularly, once again proving, beyond a doubt, that if someone wants to do something badly enough – they will find a way to do it, whether that desire is contraband, or not.
When humans are told “no”, “you can’t”, or “absolutely not”, we all get intensely creative. Because in all our “big brained” glory, most of us are perverse, persistent, and imaginative as hell, by nature (and design), and we will find a way around any mandate.
I (you) cannot change someone’s behavior, simply by dictating what they cannot do. Apparently, I needed this lesson to hit me upside the head one more time – to really drive it home.
External control doesn’t work – however, engagement, conversation, intrinsic motivation, collaboration, kindness, and mentoring do. When a young person is completely involved in all aspects of their education and life, including making important decisions, as well as being held responsible for adverse behaviors – they have nothing to rebel against. Their creative energies will be used, instead, to pursue their interests, imagine new ideas, share important insights, and build on previous work.
Consider all the vigor, vitality, and innovations those “rule breakers” and “trouble makers” could inject into our community, if only, they were not spending so much time inventing ways to circumvent systemic barriers.
DRC FAQ Q - How does DRC work? A – Deep Root Center student members leave public school to build their educational plan based on their interests and goals with guidance and support from DRC staff members. Homeschooling is the the legal mechanism to accomplish this. The student’s family completes the application and financial agreement. It is important to note that Deep Root Center has an economically diverse population; we have never refused a student based on their family’s financial situation. Deep Root Scholarship aid is available to anyone who needs it. The second step is to meet with the Executive Director to write the NYS required Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP). This becomes the students personal learning plan. Once that is completed, our members attend the Deep Root Center facility every M, T, Th, & F.
The Seedlings Program (5-9 year olds) offers children the gift of time to: learn, grow, experiment, work, play, and explore independent thoughts and interests, all the while questioning the world around them.
The older students (ages 10-19) participate in group or one-on-one classes, work on independent and hands-on projects, spend time outside, play music, create art, and socialize. In addition, our teens also have the opportunity to audit classes at SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam. Each older student has a mentor who meets with them once a week to talk about their progress as their interests and ideas evolve. Their mentor serves as a sounding board as well as a personal guide who makes proposals toward the student’s goals and objectives. The mentor can help to find internship and/or volunteer opportunities in the community. They also assist with college visits and the application process.