Friday, August 29, 2008


Wouldn't it be great to be Debt Free? Well that's what many Seattle Free School students learned about this last week... here's the report:

During a rainy Seattle evening, a total of six people showed up at the new Ballard Library to attend "The $1.29 solution to reducing Credit Card debt" and learn what they could apply to their own personal situation. The speaker pointed out that banks, the issuers of credit cards, are not the cardholder's friend, despite any advertising to the contrary. He mentioned a recent experiment in Houston, shown on, where the family of four agreed to use cash only during one month. They saved $1,800 over a comparable month when credit cards were used. The wife said that the only inconvenience was in getting gas, which required dealing with the cashier twice per fill-up, so she would continue to use her credit card for gas as there was no risk of buying more than the tank could hold. The facilitator passed out memo pads to keep track of spending, designed to differentiate between wants and needs. Privacy was maintained, even when one student brought out her credit card statements to ask about some of the fine print.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Volleyball Class a Great Success!

Last Friday night at popular Alki Beach in West Seattle, Beach Volleyball for Beginners class was held for the first time through SFS. The instructor was James Fernandez, who has played volleyball for over 15 years and has taught for 3 summers. 6 courageous students came out to learn how to play this challenging, Olympic sport on a hot sunny night. All the students were enthusiastic and bonded quick with each other in teams! Everyone showed good progress during the class. The games were competitive, and students were diving all over in the sand! See you next summer!

From a student:

"James was a great instructor and helped us develop our volleyball skills very quickly. I met some great people and had a blast playing beach volleyball games in the sunshine at Alki. Would love to see more classes like this offered. "

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another Date Change!!!

We've got another date change for one of our classes. Apparently the libraries are having a big event on the same day as our Costuming on a Budget class so we've been bumped to November 8th. It will be the same time and place, just a new date, so mark your calenders and see you there!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Date Change for Assertive Communication

Just wanted to give folks a heads up that there's been a date change for the Assertive Communication class. It is now being held on Monday, September 22nd. Same time, same place, just a different day!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Seattle Magazine

Well, we're in Seattle Magazine this month... whoo hooo... hopefully that will bring in more folks and someone who will teach silk screening!
Check it out here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

More Classes!

We have a couple more classes added to our growing class list....

Costuming on a Budget- recreate your favorite movie or TV costume for cheap! Learn tips and resources that won't break the bank, and get some great ideas for Halloween, parties, etc!
Facilitator – Beth Wade
Schedule- Saturday, Sept 13th, 1-3pm at the Ballard Library

National Novel Writing Month - Learn what NaNaWriMo is, how to prepare for it, how to get involved and stay motivated, and the joy of writing a novel in 30 days!
Facilitator – Beth Wade
Schedule- Saturday, October 11th, 1-3pm, Greenwood Library

You can sign up for these classes on the Seattle Free School class page. And super big thanks to Beth for facilitating!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Seattle Free School inspires others

Well this weekend we got word that Seattle Free School has inspired one, maybe two more free schools! How exciting is that? (I know, I say that phrase on here too much but it's just TRUE!).

For neighbors to the north there is now Bothell Free School... you can find out more here:

And eventually it looks like there might be a free school starting in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Just in the thinking part of things it's exciting to see how blog mention here can grow the idea outside of our area.

I wonder in what ways other people have been inspired by Seattle Free School? And then too we should really thank the Olympia Free School for inspiring us!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Press

Yet again we've received press, and this time in someplace I didn't even know existed.... the botulism blog! Yes, there is one! Read more about our canning classes here:

Seattle PI Blog
Botulism Blog
Rob's Blog

Thanks to Rob's blog there might be a free school opening in Houston! That would be great.... Free Schools take over the world! YAY!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why you should teach...

This is feedback from Grace, our wonderful Embroidery teacher. She had mentioned that she felt she really got quite a bit out of teaching so we asked her to write something up. This is what she had to say:

I would have never thought I could stand in a room full of people, let alone instruct them on how to do something! Teaching has a lot of hidden benefits, including a genuine sense of accomplishment. I discovered a lot about my self, including that I could do more than I thought I ever could. After every class, I always feel that I learn just as much as my students. Teaching is a great way to look at any subject through a different set of eyes, even something that you may accept as "something you've always done". I've come to cherish my students accomplishments - its a very positive feeling knowing that I helped facilitate that success.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

THREE brand new classes!

Seattle Free School has three new classes posted this week. These are all classes we haven't had before and all have a sign up so register early!

Beach Volleyball for Beginners- Come learn to play beach volleyball. Have fun in the sun while getting a great workout! Bring water, towel, sunscreen, hat, extra clothes and sports attire.
Facilitator – James Fernandez
Schedule- Friday, August 22nd, 6pm to sunset at Alki beach.

Assertive Communication- Have you ever said "yes" when you wanted to say "no?" Or gotten so angry you said something you regretted later? In this class you will learn how assertive communication allows you to respectfully engage with others while also respecting your own needs. Come and assess your skill level, learn new techniques and practice in a supportive environment.
Facilitator – Heidi Lang, Leadership development trainer for 10
Schedule- September 23, 5:45pm, Greenwood Public Library

The $1.29 solution to reducing Credit Card debt-
If you're tired of owing your life to credit card companies, learn how to motivate yourself to control, reduce, and eventually eliminate that debt. Bring a calculator, your credit card statements, and a notepad. Your privacy will be respected.
Facilitator – George Kulstad (debt-free)
Schedule- August 25th, 6:30pm, Ballard Library

Sign up for any of these classes HERE!

Friday, August 8, 2008

More Facilitator's Classes

Thought about teaching at the Seattle Free School? Well here's your chance to learn how it's done. This class mainly covers the logistics of teaching a Seattle Free School class including how to use the spaces we have available, how to determine your needs for the class, etc. So if it sounds like something you'd like to do then come to one of the classes we're offering to help you get started...

August 9th, noon, Allegro Coffee House in the U District
Sept 9th, 7:30pm at Cascade People's Center 309 Pontius Avenue N
Sept 25th, 6pm at the Giving Tree- 2008 Westlake Ave
Oct 18th, 10:30am at the Ballard Library
Nov 1st, 10:30am at the Greenwood Library
Dec 4th, 6pm at the Giving Tree- 2008 Westlake Ave

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I promised you blog reader folks that you'd be the first to know about new classes and indeed you are. We have a new basic auto class posted on the class page. The sign up is very limited due to space restrictions so sign up soon and see you there!

August 7th class changed

Folks, the Plastics Knitting and Crochet class has changed from August 7th to August 9th from 1pm to 3pm. The class is still being held at the Giving Tree so sign up now on the classes page!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Students Speak

Here's a few comments from our recent Time Management class...

"Recently giving up a structured job where I had my whole day planned out and starting my own catering business, it can be difficult to manage the day. So I attended the Time Management class with Seattle Free School. The class size was perfect, the instructor knowledgeable and wonderful and the material useful. I didn't know what to expect when I walked into the room, but by the time I walked out I felt like I had a few plans to really help me manage my time. "

"The recent time-management class was a very enjoyable experience. I thought that Heidi did an excellent job of both sharing some of her insights on the topic as well as facilitating the sharing of ideas among the rest of the group - and there were some very interesting and useful suggestions."