Crowdfunding a democratic free school in Dallas


Flexible funding, 7 days left, only $700 of a $10k goal raised?

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The ambiguity of the title made me think it was like Liberty University, a school that has essentially banned Democrats. My mistake. It involved homeschooling and Texas after all…


Makarios Community School is sponsored by Makarios Ministries

“Makarios” means blessed, as in sermon-on-the-mount “Blessed are the poor in spirit”.

Dear Anthony,

Thank you so much for your comment. Describing a school as free and democratic can indeed be very ambiguous if we do not explain what free and democratic means in the context of this school model.

Being a free school means that 1) children are free to play as much as they want; 2) children are not given compulsory lessons, tests, grades, and homework; and 3) there is no proselytism or indoctrination of any kind.

In this way, children can continue learning in the same natural and instinctive way in which they learned their language during their first childhood years; and they have the time and space to discover their own interests and pursue them to the extent they wish. Children can have classes or instruction, but instruction is not given when children do not ask for it. Because the model makes no assumptions concerning what children should learn, and how and in what sequence learning should happen, the compulsion of the official curriculum and the policies of the public school are not being replaced by the compulsion of an alternative curriculum and methods that are considered to be better. The freedom that this model requires also means that these schools cannot have religious and political affiliations.

Being a democratic school means that children are given a voice and a vote in decisions going beyond what they wish to learn and the rules governing their interactions. The school government decides over all matters regarding the management and operation of the school.

Because children operate and negotiate themselves a socialization structure where their individual rights are protected and where there is no need to be abusive, an additional feature of this type of schools is that bullying is almost non-existent.

The success of free and democratic schools is based on the implications that play has for learning and the mental health of children, as well as on the benefits of having children run a democratic government structure.

The book Free to Learn by Peter Gray is strongly recommended to all people interested in the foundational ideas of this type of education.

If you wish to learn more about free and democratic schools, you can also access the following links.

Dr. Jeri Quirk discusses ten reasons to support a Sudbury education

Conference by Peter Gray at Clearview Sudbury School

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