Why I Started Club GPS

I started Club GPS because I wanted as many kids as possible to have a Dead Poets Society kind of learning experience…as EARLY as possible—including the ones who can’t afford a $30K private school. You know, the kind of experience where young club members realize,

Club GPS vs. Traditional Classroom Education“You must strive to find your OWN voice because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it all.”

…and…

“We must constantly look at things in a different ways.”

…and…

“You must trust that your beliefs are unique, your own, even though others may think them odd or unpopular.”

…and, most importantly…

“No matter what anybody tells you, your words and ideas can change the world.”

So, how does this differ from what’s valued in the current US educational system?

I’m not saying that there’s not a place for the education taking place in traditional classrooms. They serve a vital function in developing many of the habits of mind that are needed for success outside of school. But it’s far from a complete solution. We need to give students the opportunity to look at a more expansive and holistic view of learning and life. A view where there’s not necessarily a clear cut, black-and-white answer to all questions, but a whole spectrum of possibilities. Here are just a few of the ways the educational experience in the clubhouse will differ than the ones most kids experience in the classroom:

thinking



Classroom

Thinking quickly, fluency drills, processing speed evaluations


Clubhouse

Thinking deeply and broadly

achieving



Classroom

Being “cut out” for the system and teacher-defined mold


Clubhouse

Finding your own, authentic voice

collaborative



Classroom

Competition for “best in class”


Clubhouse

Collaboration to make sure everyone lives the best possible life

interacting



Classroom

Quiet, Orderly Classroom


Clubhouse

Collaborative, Creative Clubhouse

interpreting



Classroom

Looking for the one “right answer” to a question


Clubhouse

Looking at the same question from multiple points of view

listening



Classroom

Listening with the intent to soak up and parrot back the right answer


Clubhouse

Listening with the intent to be changed by what we hear

producing



Classroom

Recreate or come to the same conclusion as the “expert”


Clubhouse

Dream up and bring to life a new solution or conclusion that is uniquely yours

retaining



Classroom

Filling a bucket with past knowledge


Clubhouse

Lighting a desire fire to reveal future insight

Click the links below for more information about:

Registration
Our Curriculum
Our Instructor
Our Location
Virtual Tour

Leave a Comment December 18, 2014

Top 9 Questions We’ll Be Asking in Club GPS

So many philosophical questions…so little time!

Here are just a few of the questions we’ll be contemplating together during our time in Club GPS.

While we’ll have lesson frameworks, each session will unfold slightly differently based on who’s in the room.


Good idea

#9 – SHOULD YOU BE REWARDED FOR YOUR EFFORTS OR FOR YOUR RESULTS?

#8 – HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE?

#7 – IS TIME WHAT YOU SEE WHEN YOU LOOK AT A CLOCK?

#6 – HOW DO WE REALIZE OUR HUMAN POTENTIAL?

#5 – IS IT ALWAYS CLEAR WHAT CAUSED EVENTS TO HAPPEN?

#4 – CAN ANOTHER PERSON TRULY UNDERSTAND YOUR FEELINGS?

#3 – DO WE REALLY SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE OR JUST AS THEY SEEM TO BE?

#2 – CAN COMPUTERS THINK LIKE WE DO?

#1 – CAN YOU WONDER ABOUT SOMETHING THAT’S ALREADY DEFINED BY THE DICTIONARY?




General Structure of Each Club Session

(All times approximate.)

30 min GROUP WARM UP with one of the questions above to give our brains a good stretch

5 min GET INSPIRED by a short video about a REAL kid who’s changing the world

10 min HOW TO do the day’s activity

30 min SOLO ACTIVITY with 5 min BRAIN BREAK halfway through

5 min REFLECTION on where we are on the activity

2 min MINDFULNESS MOMENT to refocus and share thoughts

20 min PAIRED ACTIVITY with someone who “thinks different” than you (10 min for each partner) with 5 min BRAIN BREAK halfway through

5 min Vote for this week’s coolest LIFE HACK

CONTEMPLATION PICK for next week

Our only required at-home work for ClubGPS will be for students to ask themselves the contemplation question for the week before bed at night and record the first thing that pops into their mind on the topic first thing the next morning in their journal, then bring in their journal each week. However, if kids want to think about their individual final project during the week, try one of the life hacks that came up, or talk to other club members about their projects or ideas, they are welcome to do so!

Take a Virtual Tour of the Clubhouse




Location: The Kidzmet Clubhouse – 112 W Cota St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(Top floor of the Dubin Learning Center)

Minimum 4/Maximum 6-7 children per group.

Classes start the week of Jan 5.
Cost: $350 per child (20 hours)

Register Your Child Now!


Child’s Full Name
Preferred Class Time
Current Grade
Donation Choice
25% of your pre-registration fee will go toward the non-profit of your choice below.


Leave a Comment December 17, 2014

Coming in January to Santa Barbara!

Ideas Worth Spreading…For Kids

Empowering Kidzmet Kids to transform their thoughts and ideas into actions that can make their world and community a better place.

DesignedCollaborative Learning for 9-12 year olds, this NEW Santa Barbara area enrichment club will be grounded in shedding light on the causes closest to our hearts while developing both the unique strengths of each participant and critical 21st Century success skills like collaboration, critical thinking, effective communication, awareness building, problem solving, time management, and project planning.

During our time together, club members will discover an inspiring and enriching program that sparks learning through FUN as we work together to develop presentations and promote a final event chock-full of kid-developed ideas about how we can make our world a better place.

Location: The Kidzmet Clubhouse – 112 W Cota St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(Top floor of the Dubin Learning Center)

Minimum 4/Maximum 7 children per group.
Each group will meet once per week for 2 hours.

Several needs-based scholarships available. Inquire for more information.
Classes start the week of Jan 5.
Remaining class DAY options: M, Tu, or W
Remaining class TIME options: 1-3p or 3:30-5:30
Cost: $350 per child (20 hours)

Register Below


Child’s Full Name
Preferred Class Time
Current Grade
Donation Choice
25% of your pre-registration fee will go toward the non-profit of your choice below.


 

About the Instructor

Jen Lilienstein, multi-award winning author, businesswoman, and Kidzmet Founder will lead each class. Jen’s background combines 20+ years of marketing, advertising, writing, and speaking with a passion for celebrating, embracing, and nurturing kids’ unique learning strengths. A former UC Regents Scholar that earned her Bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine at 19, Jen has won a multitude of awards for her work with Kidzmet.com the past 5 years, including:

  • being named one of Startup Nation’s Leading Moms in Business 2010,
  • the 2011 Parent Tested Parent Approved award for Kidzmet,
  • the 2012 National Parenting Center’s Award for her Kidzmet work,
  • the MIT Enterprise Forum audience award in 2013,
  • the Spring 2013 Pinnacle Award for Best Parenting and Family Book, and
  • the Summer 2014 Academics’ Choice Smart Book Award for A Parent’s Playbook for Learning.

Kidzmet Awards

At home, Jen is Mom to an extraverted-intuitive daughter who has a passion for the arts and an introverted-sensing son who is enthralled with nature and engineering.

2 Comments October 13, 2014

On Cyber Bullying as a Social Phenomenon

by Dr. Tali Shenfield, Clinical Psychologist

Our society has changed a great deal over the last fifty years. Technology has increased our ability to communicate with each other. The world has gone wireless and the average human being today carries in his or her pocket more communication potential than that possessed by any mid-Twentieth Century government office.

It is not surprising that this vast network of communication has a great deal of influence on our children. The continuous adoption of new technologies has become a social game-changer. Lifestyles, and modes of social interaction are in a constant state of flux. These new developments also cause a number of new problems, not the least of which is a loss of social skills. Social skills are an art form. An analogy can be made to the art of painting. At one time, it was quite beneficial to be able to paint a recognizable reproduction of a real-life scene. Then along comes the camera, making it possible to reproduce an image without having to pick up a brush. The camera reduced the necessity of realistic painting, and also had a great deal of influence on the kind of image which is created.

While we have, in our present society, a greater ability to communicate than at any time in the past, the quality of that communication has dropped drastically. The ability to engage in coherent and intelligent debate has almost completely vanished. Political candidates now debate in sound bites because that’s what the technology facilitates. Disagreements are now often reduced to shouting matches, both on and off the Internet.

Technology has also given rise to a new form of harassment called cyber bullying. For young people, online social networks have become an important part of gaining social acceptance. Children are considered outcasts if they don’t have a Facebook page. In fact, the need for communication over the Internet is so great that children often use it as an argument against their parents attempts to restrict Internet access.

When a universal increase in the ability to communicate is coupled with a lowering of the quality of communication, it results in an inevitable increase in rudeness and cruelty. Bullying is often the result.

Because of this, parents should be informed of the dangers as well as the advantages of the Internet.

One of the big problems with cyber bullying is that it is not direct and face to face. Anyone with a computer can make rude, viscous or denigrating remarks against another person without fear of physical reprisal. While the anonymity of the Internet may give power to the powerless, it also gives power to the crude and the ruthless.

Cyber bullying has become a very serious problem that has already resulted in more than one death by suicide. Cyber bullying is most severe among teenage girls, although boys are sometimes victims or the bullies.

The lack of face-to-face contact gives courage to bullies and makes them feel invincible. Because of this, they may make a far more serious assault than they would if they had to physically confront their victim.

One of the dangers of cyber bullying is that children rarely report it to their parents when it happens. This is primarily due to fears that parents will restrict internet access, overreact, under-react, or simply not understand.

Since your child may not reveal when he or she is being bullied, it is very important to understand and look for the signs of cyber bullying. Here is what you should look for:

  • Sudden withdrawal from online communication
  • Your child blocks or clears the screen or closes the browser when you enter the room. The same applies if your child closes or quickly puts away his phone.
  • Withdrawal from friends or an unwillingness to participate in social activities with his or her peers.
  • A rapid change in mood after being online or using a cell phone.
  • Your child suddenly changes his circle of friends.
  • Your child is withdrawn, sad or agitated for no apparent reason.

Here’s what you can do about cyber bullying.

  • Maintain communication with your children. Don’t lecture or fuss, just let them know that you are willing to listen and that they can come to you if they have a problem. They are not alone.
  • If they have done something over which they are embarrassed, such as sending an inappropriate picture of themselves to someone else, or they are embarrassed by the bullying itself, let them know that you won’t punish them, you are simply concerned for their safety.
  • Take action. Let the school or the authorities know what is happening. Many law enforcement agencies now have special task groups who investigate incidents of cyber bullying.
  • Be particularly vigilant if your child has a developmental disorder. Children with disorders such as ADHD, ODD, and Autism are more likely to be bullied and to be bullies. They tend to act impulsively and don’t always understand the subtleties of social interaction.

And finally, stay computer literate. Learn the language of social media. You can find out a lot at netlingo.com. By learning about social media, you open up the communication lines between yourself and your child, because you have knowledge of social media in common. A parent who knows social media is one of the best defenses against cyber bullying.

Child Psychologist- Dr. Tali Shenfield, C.Psychotherapy.Author Bio: Dr. Tali Shenfield is a Child Psychologist and a Clinical Director of Richmond Hill Psychology Center. She holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Toronto and is a member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario, Canadian Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and Canadian Psychological Association. If you’d like more information about Dr. Shenfield, you can find it on her website: www.psy-ed.com

1 Comment August 21, 2013

Head Start for Back to School

class-roll-ups

Simple changes that will make life easier for everyone

Going back to school is tough for most kids—it’s a sudden blast of social anxiety, new responsibilities, and unfamiliar territory that hit all at once, and can leave both parents and kids feeling a little shell-shocked. Here are some ways you can make the transition more pleasant, and help your kids do better in school.

1. Identify your child’s learning style

Not all kids speak the same learning language—and that creates a monumental challenge for teachers, who have to learn how to reach dozens of kids with unique and sometimes incompatible learning styles. Parents can make this task much simpler by working to identify how their children learn best, and shoring up the teacher’s efforts at home. Parents armed with that understanding can change the way they handle homework, help kids study more effectively, and identify when it’s time to schedule a parent-teacher conference.

2. Maintain consistency and responsibility

The kids who struggle the most with returning to school are the ones who have the fewest responsibilities and rules at home. The timetables and assignments that school brings can be overwhelming to a child who hasn’t had opportunities to practice accountability, or whose home environment isn’t consistent. Kids who have chores, schedules, and responsibilities at home will adapt to the rigors of school much more readily.

3. Create social opportunities now

Especially for teens and pre-teens, the social pressure of school overwhelms almost every other consideration. Kids who have difficulty making friends can find the first week of school almost paralyzing—where will I sit at lunch? How will I deal with a classroom full of unfamiliar faces?

Parents can help by getting to know neighbors whose children will be in the same classes, and creating opportunities for kids to get to know each other too. This type of arrangement can be a little awkward, but you can make it easier by being aware of your child’s personality and learning type, and creating situations where they’ll be more comfortable.

4. Talk about back-to-school fears

Without grown-up tools to handle and express emotion, kids who face the stress and anxiety of going back to school will often become withdrawn or act out. Parents can help guide kids through this process by encouraging kids to talk through their fears. Depending on how your kid best expresses themselves, you might want to provide paints or music to help them get in touch with their feelings—asking them to paint a picture of the first day of school, inviting them to pick a song that they want to hear, or asking them to tell the story of their first day.

In most cases, they’ll express healthy, normal fears about school, but just having a safe place to let them out will make them feel (and behave) much better. And if there are other problems like fear of a particular subject or even bullying, you’ll have more tools to take the necessary action.

5. Keep sleep schedules consistent

Sleep is probably the most underrated element in school success, and the first couple weeks of school are a challenge for millions of kids who don’t have a good sleep schedule during the summer. The first month of school is critical for building healthy relationships with schoolmates and teachers, as well as retaining essential information—but kids who are still experiencing a summer “hangover” won’t be able to do their best. By starting the adjustment to school-year sleep schedules now, parents can give kids a huge leg-up as they start classes.

 

Mike Freiberg is a staff writer for HomeDaddys, a resource for stay-at-home dads, work-at-home dads, and everything in between. He’s a handyman, an amateur astronomer, and a tech junkie, who loves being home with his two kids. He lives in Austin.

Leave a Comment August 7, 2013

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