Grassroots School

Students ages 5-14 use self-directed learning to explore freely, think critically, and work collabor

Grassroots is a private school in Tallahassee, FL that was founded by a group of parents seeking an alternative for their children. Modeled after Summerhill School in England, Grassroots School encourages interested parents to read the book "Summerhill" by A S Neil before visiting the school.

Operating as usual

Photos from Grassroots School's post 12/14/2022

Grassroots Gives Back: kids and families have donated toiletries, socks and food, and packaged them to share with people in our community in need

Photos from Grassroots School's post 12/02/2022

It was a great day to explore the caverns! I love going on adventures with these kids!

Photos from Grassroots School's post 11/01/2022

Halloween and HardBite Cafe 2022

Photos from Zinnia Collective's post 10/29/2022

Thanks Amy for making the beautiful centerpieces with the kids for Hard Bite Cafe!


good read!

Hey everyone!

We are very excited to announce our online Role of the Adult course will take place again this Winter. Register your interest now to get £50 off! :)

The Role of the Adult online *CPD/CLPL course aims at helping practitioners working with children explore some of the core values and concepts that have been at the heart of A.S.Neill’s philosophy and Summerhill School’s practice for a hundred years.

It will engage participants in a reflective and impactful observation of their practice, focusing on healthy relationships, social-emotional well-being and a happy, fulfilled childhood. It will stimulate adults’ resourcefulness and capacity to free children’s emotions and break down barriers restricting their development.

The course offers 50+ hours of certified training. Out of these, 30 hours will be of live interactions and 20+ hours of independent learning. Presentations, group activities, discussions and workshops as well as books, articles, academic papers, films, interviews and stimulating exercises will offer participants a broad understanding of the topics addressed; all these through a bespoke interactive virtual workspace.

Please find the full details about this course here:

Photos from Grassroots School's post 10/22/2022

A successful Family Workday!

Timeline photos 10/16/2022

Timeline photos

"A child does not have to be motivated to learn; in fact, learning cannot be stopped. A child will focus on the world around him and long to understand it. He will want to know why things are the way they are. He won’t have to be told to be curious; he will just be curious. He has no desire to be ignorant; rather he wants to know everything." -Valerie Fitzenreiter


The Open School is a Self-Directed Democratic School with a campus in Orange County, CA and a virtual program for students everywhere. To find out more, visit our website

Momentum builds for helping students adapt to college by nixing freshman grades 10/04/2022

Momentum builds for helping students adapt to college by nixing freshman grades

Today in Academic research

Per Academic Researcher Alfie Kohn ... " Any group committed to academic excellence ought to be demanding an end to grading since research shows that grades undermine quality of thinking + preference for challenging tasks (as well as intrinsic motivation). "

Momentum builds for helping students adapt to college by nixing freshman grades Critics deride ‘un-grading’ as coddling, say it risks creating ‘snowflake’ students

Photos from Grassroots School's post 09/30/2022

Field trip today to check out the Alex Ross (Marvel comic characters) display!


Country With No Exams


From Ed researcher Alfie Kohn


Trusting Children to Learn

Photos from Grassroots School's post 09/07/2022

Fun Friday field trip!

Photos from Grassroots School's post 09/06/2022

Fun Friday Field Trip!


hey ... I know a school like that ...

🦋Self government

The school is democratic — each person having an equal vote in the school meetings and an equal right to be heard.

It is not unusual for this group of adults and children to make their own rules and decisions.

Three times a week the Summerhill community meets together for an hour to discuss issues, hear grievances and mete out sanctions (known to us as “fines”) to those who are “brought up”.

From this experience children learn to be self-confident, tolerant and considerate, being accustomed to hearing the other person’s point of view.

Photos from Grassroots School's post 07/12/2022

Exploring at Wakulla Beach

Photos from Grassroots School's post 07/05/2022

Field trip to Maclay today. A little hiking and a little swimming



At Summerhill, play belongs to the child. We do not dress up learning situations so that the play will be “productive”, we do not look on and evaluate what they might learn form this or that game. Our children just play — and they can do it pretty well all day if they want to.

Of course sometimes things go wrong during play. Sometimes people get into conflict. This is part of being a child. There are structures in place that protect the rights of each of us and there are big kids or adults who can help you out if needed. You are also encouraged to deal with a lot of it yourself. You cannot always have a ‘nanny’ to look after you and solve your problems in life.

Sometimes play can lead to other interests. You might start off by making a sword in the woodwork and then decide you want to make something more… you may mess around on the old school piano and then find that you want to make music… you might help out with the class 1 shop and find that you want to learn more Maths, or make a big bang in Science and then sign up for Biology. There are so many areas for inspiration and enjoyment.

Photos from Grassroots School's post 06/23/2022

Summer camp fun!


Keeping cool 😎

Sense and Nonsense About Video Game Addiction 05/30/2022

Sense and Nonsense About Video Game Addiction

IN FACT, some of the research reviewed by Palaus and his colleagues indicates that gaming not only results in transient activity in many brain areas, but, over time, can cause long-term growth of at least some of those areas. Extensive gaming may increase the volume of the right hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex, which are involved in spatial memory and navigation. It may also increase the volume of prefrontal regions of the brain that are involved in executive functioning, including the ability to solve problems and make reasoned decisions. Such findings are consistent with behavioral research showing that video gaming can produce improvement in these cognitive abilities (which I previously reviewed here). Your brain is, in this sense, like your muscular system. If you exercise certain parts of it, those parts grow bigger and become more powerful. Yes, video gaming can alter the brain, but the documented effects are positive, not negative.

Sense and Nonsense About Video Game Addiction What does research really tell us about the brain effects of video gaming?

Photos from Grassroots School's post 05/20/2022

Field Day and Food Fight fun!!!

Photos from Grassroots School's post 05/17/2022

Lots of fun at Wakulla Springs today!

Neighborhood Kids & Authentic Freedom 04/26/2022

Neighborhood Kids & Authentic Freedom

"The range children are allowed to travel on their own is what psychologist Roger Hart has termed the “geography of children.” This range, for an eight-year-old, has shrunk from six or so city blocks a few decades ago to barely beyond the front door today.
In the 1970’s, Dr. Hart spent two years conducting informal walking interviews with every child between the ages of four and 12 in one Vermont town to discover where and how they played. Kids particularly enjoyed the type of play that manipulated the physical world, making forts or using sticks and dirt to create (as one child did) a miniature airport. Dr. Hart observed that four and five-year-old children were allowed to play in the neighborhood without direct supervision, and children had the run of the town by the age of 10.
He went back to that town three decades later to see how childhood might have changed. No surprise, parents were much more involved in the moment-to-moment details of their children’s lives, resulting in much less freedom for children (and adults, presumably). As he did in interviews back in the 1970’s, he asked children to talk about secret places they liked to play. One child called out to his mother to ask if he had such a place. Dr. Hart wrote, “That would have been inconceivable 30 years ago. Then, most children I interviewed had places they went to that their parents had never been to.” Thirty years later, Dr. Hart found no children who played with sticks. This impeded freedom to play away from adult gaze has only gotten worse since."

Neighborhood Kids & Authentic Freedom A tale of two gentlepersons, or what I’ve learned about warthogs.

Why I Threw Away My Rubrics 04/20/2022

Why I Threw Away My Rubrics

From a College Lit Prof

"...Ditching my rubrics freed me up to make the kind of comments that could most help my students."

When we acknowledge our students as individuals, when we read their work with respect and openness, we can let go of the terrible psychic burden of being their judges and “executioners.” I no longer dread reading my students’ work. I am excited to see what they have to say and to see how I can help them. Try a semester without rubrics and grades, and you will never go back.

Why I Threw Away My Rubrics I have a rubric that took over ten years of teaching college English to develop. Want to see it?

This is why Finland has the best schools 04/15/2022

This is why Finland has the best schools

This is why Finland has the best schools The Harvard education professor Howard Gardner once advised Americans, "Learn from Finland, which has the most effective schools and which does just about the opposite of what we are doing in the United States."

Photos from Grassroots School's post 04/14/2022

I little bit of farm time today

Summer Program 04/05/2022

Summer Program

Summer camp enrollment is now available on our website

Summer Program Summer Enrollment 2022Download May 31st — July 29th (Monday — Friday 9:30 a.m. — 3:00 p.m.) Cost: $120/week, $35/day (Before and After Care available for additional fee) “Let summer be summer!” Ki…


Study: A delay in learning to read has no effect on reading fluency at age 11; indeed, later learners had slightly superior comprehension. Also, as other studies have shown, explicit instruction usually wasn't required for phonemic awareness:


50th birthday tshirts and stickers available

The real reason why the US is falling behind in math - The Boston Globe 03/18/2022

The real reason why the US is falling behind in math - The Boston Globe

Tara Holm, chair of the math dept. at Cornell, explains how - as research has shown - making kids engage in “persistent memorization” of math rules & formulas tends to undermine their logical thinking and ability to see the bigger picture.

The real reason why the US is falling behind in math - The Boston Globe If my seatmate on an airplane asks me what I do for a living, I tell the truth: I’m a mathematician. This generally triggers one of two responses. Either I’m told that I must be brilliant. . . or I hear about the person’s inability to balance a checkbook. The truth is, I’m not brilliant, jus...

Grassroots 50th Birthday 03/05/2022

Grassroots 50th Birthday

Auction ends at 6:00pm today. Come out to Grassroots FreeSchool today to celeabratw our 50th birthday. If you can’t come you can still participate in our online auction !

Grassroots 50th Birthday Silent auction 'Grassroots 50th Birthday' hosted online at 32auctions.

Grassroots 50th Birthday 03/01/2022

Grassroots 50th Birthday

The silent auction has begun. Items will continue to be added all week. So keep checking and bidding. You can see the items in person at the Birthday Party this Saturday, beginning at 4:00pm!

Grassroots 50th Birthday Silent auction 'Grassroots 50th Birthday' hosted online at 32auctions.

Videos (show all)

Grassroots Free School | Family Campout To Falling Waters 2019




2458 Grassroots Way
Tallahassee, FL

Opening Hours

Monday 7:30am - 5:30pm
Tuesday 7:30am - 5:30pm
Wednesday 7:30am - 5:30pm
Thursday 7:30am - 5:30pm
Friday 7:30am - 5:30pm

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