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COMPASS BLOG

Unschooling + Other Teens = One Happy Ash

Unschooling + Other Teens = One Happy Ash

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Forward by Abby Karos, Compass Co-DirectorAsh is, at 16, not only one of our oldest members, but is also a role model for the other transgender teens at Compass, although he would not identify as such. His trademark cat ears and tail signal confidence, indifference to the opinions of others (I have ...
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Strength in Diversity

Strength in Diversity

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By Abby Karos, Compass Co-DirectorThis year we continue to quietly increase our profile in the community while our assurance in self-directed learning grows. We witness as teens we have known since the inception of our program find their own rhythm of learning – proposing physics challenges in com ...
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What if Compass didn’t exist?

What if Compass didn’t exist?

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Categories: Uncategorized
While I love the work I do at Compass, sometimes I begin to feel that our voices are dim compared with the bellows of anxiety for far-off goals, certification,  measurement, and the like.Very justifiably, parents are concerned about their children’s futures. They may be feeling like they are fail ...
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Gaming and Self-Directed Learning

Gaming and Self-Directed Learning

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Categories: Uncategorized
Student teacher intern David Lacalamita reflects on his five weeks spent at Compass by exploring his own relationship with gaming and questions both the impact of too much adult control over youth and what skills are most important to foster in a changing technological landscape.I don’t know what ...
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Collaborate

Collaborate

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Categories: Uncategorized
A few teens and I met last week to prepare for a talk they will give on May 8th at Hub Ottawa - a co-working community for innovators, artists, professionals, and entrepreneurs. I hope those attending are ready to be blown away.At our open houses, Compass teens have spoken individually about their e ...
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Choice + Trust + Appreciation = Youth Engagement

Choice + Trust + Appreciation = Youth Engagement

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Last week we held our teen mental health panel. It was minus 30 outside. We had more panelists than attendees. Ok, if I’m being honest, we had twice as many panelists as attendees. We did the only thing that made sense: we put our chairs in a circle and began by asking attendees what they wanted t ...
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Testing Her Wings

Testing Her Wings

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Categories: Uncategorized
Unschooling is a relatively new movement and one that is perhaps not well understood. Often I hear people reproaching Unschooling as being as a free-for-all, where kids do whatever they want and have no guidance or support. Unschooling isn't unparenting. On the contrary, unschooling implies that fam ...
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Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

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Much goes on at Compass that is not on the calendar or visible to others outside of our community. As with school, work, and family life, socializing and being with others for several hours at a stretch inevitably results in occasional misunderstanding, blunders, and wounds. The luxury of being at C ...
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An Open Letter to Parents

An Open Letter to Parents

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Categories: Uncategorized
Dear Parents,We have just concluded our first family meetings of the year with you and your teens. It is energizing for us to meet with you to get an indication from all parties of Compass's role in the life of your family. We are left with the feeling that we are all part of a team, supporting one ...
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The Bus

The Bus

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The first three weeks are over. Most of our teens came every day in the first two weeks in order to get a sense of the classes we have on offer, and to spend time with each other and confer over who is coming on which day. The energy of the first two weeks is exciting, but I’m content when week th ...
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