K-9: What to Expect

K-9 learning allows the unique spirit of a child to evolve naturally, today and into the future. As learners transition from childhood to adolescence, their interests and priorities shift, and this can have an impact on how they like to learn. At SelfDesign, we have developed offerings that speak both to the playful spirit of the child and the emerging maturity of the young person.

If you decide to enrol in SelfDesign, here are the first steps in the K-9 experience.

Choose a learning consultant

Each family with children enrolled in grades K-9 works one-on-one with a learning consultant – an educator to guide them through the SelfDesign experience and validate their child’s learning for academic credit. All learning consultants are BC-certified educators and specialists in the SelfDesign approach. The learning consultant communicates primarily with the parents for younger children, and as children begin to mature, their direct relationship with their learning consultant grows as well. To provide the best possible educator/family pairing, parents select several choices from a diverse pool of candidates, and SelfDesign completes the match.

Create a learning plan

Parents and children work with their learning consultant to create a personalized learning plan. The plan maps a child’s interests and curiosities, specifying resources and activities that will be used to facilitate learning and meet BC educational requirements.

Start Observing for Learning

The learning consultant coaches the family in how to observe daily activities, assisting them in noticing learning as it unfolds in everyday moments. At SelfDesign, we call this Observing for Learning. For younger children, parents collaborate with the learning consultant in the Observing for Learning process resulting in a deepened understanding of and connection to their child’s development. As youth mature they gradually take on more of the responsibility themselves – building a deepened awareness of their own integrated learning.

Document your Observing for Learning

Weekly Observings for Learning are central to SelfDesign’s K-6 learning. Each week parents submit a written reflection of their child’s engagement with learning – with the option to also include videos, images, or sound files. The learning consultant then provides a written response including insights, recommendations, questions, and resources to clarify and deepen the reflection. These Observing for Learning reflections provide evidence of learning that is validated by the educator for academic credit, and they create rich documentation for the child and family about the breadth of learning that has occurred over the year.

Take the course for parents called A SelfDesigning Path

This optional online course guides parents through weekly explorations about the fundamental ideas of SelfDesign. A SelfDesigning Path is highly recommended for parents of kindergarten learners and other parents new to SelfDesign. The online interface blends imagery, video, audio clips, and journaling that draws parents into self-reflection. There is also a facilitated, online conference that connects parents to one another and to a facilitator for the course. The Path course journal entries prompt discussion with the learning consultant and can alternate with Observing for Learning reflections.

I wanted to let you know how much I've been enjoying the Path course. It is really helping me to broaden and deepen my understanding of myself and of my parenting behaviour; it has opened me up to new tools and ways of being with myself and my children.
SelfDesign parent
Our learning consultant has been a great source of guidance and comfort. Her genuine interest in my children's learning means a lot to me.
SelfDesign parent
One of my favourite aspects of this program has been the 'observing for learning.' ... Just in these past few months, I have really been able to see my son's strengths, weaknesses, and interests, while watching him do what children do best: be curious creatures who simply cannot get enough of this world.
SelfDesign parent

Connect with the SelfDesign community

Families who like to feel engaged in community can connect with other SelfDesign families by spending time in the online “Village of Conversations”, by participating in or initiating local learning activities, and by meeting informally with SelfDesign families living nearby or attending one of our community gatherings. Learn more

Parents of learners in grades 7-9 often find themselves stepping back a little as they support their youth in building new learning relationships both with peers and with adult mentors. At SelfDesign, we support this emerging independence by encouraging learners to form more direct relationships with their learning consultants and by inviting them into online group learning environments.

Grades 8-9: Participate in workshops

With a playful approach, these drop-in workshops are low-pressure opportunities for learners to enter into a collaborative online learning environment, to develop foundational skills, and to interact with core area curriculum through a thematic lens. Learners can participate as observers or jump into the fray sharing stories, laughter, and perspectives on a variety of engaging thematic topics.

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