Play Mountain Place Support

Join Teacher Maydée Aguilar on the podcast “Speaking Kid” as she discusses how we navigate children’s hurts, upsets and feelings here at Play Mountain Place. Get coached on supporting and empowering children through our process of listening and being curious, while staying neutral. Also join Director Joe Ringlehan on the podcast as he discusses his history and relationship with Play Mountain Place, supporting parents and his experience as a child and as a parent. Both are a must listen!

Literacy at Play Mountain Place An article written by former teacher Unity Imani-ImoJah that can help parents understand how children learn to read at Play Mountain Place.

Listen here to the Hand in Hand Teleseminar entitled “Conflict Resolution: In School and at Home” with Play Mountain Place Director Judy Accardi and Hand in Hand’s Patty Wipfler. During this Teleseminar, Patty introduces Hand in Hand Parenting and welcomes listeners. Patty then introduces Judy, and Judy discusses the way we use respectful ways to help children resolve difficulties with one another at Play Mountain Place, and the important role a parent can play as limit-setter, listener, and guide through the problem-solving process.

It’s Magic – With Parent and Alumni Allegra Hill on Re:Work by the UCLA Labor Center Listen on SoundCloud. Join Parent and Play Mountain Place Alumni Allegra Hill on her journey to become a midwife. From Re:Work, “We often refer to birth as miraculous, and it can also seem mysterious. Many times there is a veiling around birth and labor, and the types of work mothers and birthworkers do to bring new life into this world. In this episode, Allegra Hill shares birth stories from her family and how her personal journey led her into the world of birthwork, including her time as a student at Play Mountain Place. Part of a miniseries on Black midwives in Los Angeles devoted to helping women experience empowered births.”

Peaceful Parenting Support

Hand In Hand Parenting
RIE (Educaring™ Approach)
Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
Louise Derman-Sparks
Bev Bos
Defending The Early Years
Mindful Parenting Dr. Dan Siegel
Naomi Aldort – Authentic Child
Attachment Parenting International
Ruth Beaglehole
Echo Parenting & Education
Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) Dr. Thomas Gordon
Center for Nonviolent Communication Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
Taming Your Anger Workshops – Steve Wolf
Well Baby Center

Alternative Education Resources & Organizations

Alternative Education Resource Organization
American Institute For the Child’s Right to Play
California Homeschool Network
Alfie Kohn
Sandra Dodd – Radical Unschooling
European Democratic Education Community
Peter Gray’s Freedom to Learn
Froebel USA
John Taylor Gatto
Growing Without Schooling Magazine
John Holt
International Democratic Education Network
Institute for Democratic Education in America
Life Learning Magazine
The National Association for the Education of Young Children
The National Institute For Play
The Natural Child Project
The Alliance for Self-Directed Education
Learning for Justice
Whole Family Learning with Kerry McDonald


Questions I Would Ask Myself If I Were A Teacher By Carl R. Rogers
How Teachers Make Children Hate Reading By John Holt
Can We Play? By David Elkind
Biological Foundations for Self-Directed Education By Peter Gray
Five Reasons to Stop Saying “Good Job!” By Alfie Kohn
Rethinking Homework By Alfie Kohn

For a list of book suggestions, see our reading list.


Sir Ken Robinson Learning Revolution (TED Talk)
Dr. Peter Gray The Decline of Play and Rise of Mental Disorders (TED Talk)
Sugata Mitra The Child-Driven Education (TED Talk)
Yaacov Hecht What is Democratic Education?
Hand in Hand Parenting
Joseph Chilton Pearce Play is Learning


Approaching the Elephant

August to June A wonderful 88 minute documentary film that invites you inside a public school happily and purposefully going against current trends. Amy Valens, who is the teacher followed in this documentary was a teacher at Play Mountain Place in 1969-70. She says, “Even though it follows a public school, with some of the limits that creates, much of who I became as a teacher was informed by my time at Play Mountain and my contact with Phyllis, and I think it shows in the film.”

Being and Becoming

Garden of Children (Trailer)

Bev Bos Starting at Square One

Democratic Education by Jan Gabbert

Free to Learn: A Radical Experiment in Education (2006)

Finding Joe

Learning From The Intangible

Summerhill BBC Documentary/Drama

Other Helpful Websites

Information About Carl Rogers:
Carl Rogers Information & Wikipedia
Center For Studies Of The Person
Passages from Freedom to Learn
Passages from On Becoming A Person

Information About A.S. Neill

Gregg Fleishman

Other Alternative Schools & Community Centers

Los Angeles Area:
Acton Academy (Venice Beach, CA)
Alcove (Downtown Los Angeles, CA)
Angeles Workshop (Culver City, CA)
Career Online High School (Online – Los Angeles, CA)
Cottage Co-op Nursery School (Pasadena, CA)
Dig Childhood Center (Los Angeles, CA)
Frog Creek Adventure School (Palos Verdes, CA)
Manhattan Beach Nursery School (Manhattan Beach, CA)
Northeast LA Forest School (Los Feliz/Griffith Park, CA)
The Open School (Orange County, CA)
Realm Academy (Santa Monica, CA)

Albany Free School (Albany, NY)
The Brooklyn Free School (Brooklyn, NY)
The Chicago Free School (Chicago, IL)
Clonlara (Ann Arbor, MI)
Kinma School (Terrey Hills NSW, Australia)
LightHouse Holyoke, Personalized Education for Teens (Holyoke, MA)
NorthStar: Self-directed Learning for Teens (Sunderland, MA)
Open Connections (Newtown Square, PA)
The Patchwork School (Louisville, CO)
Puget Sound Community School (Seattle, WA)
Roots Radical Learning (Oxford, England)
Roseville Community Preschool (Roseville, CA)
The Sudbury Valley School (Framingham, MA)
Summerhill School (Leiston, England)
The Village Free School (Portland, OR)
Village Home Education Resource Center (NE Portland and Beaverton, OR)
Wallaroo Playschool (Cork, Ireland)
Wildflowers Playschool (Putney, Vermont) (Temporarily Closed)

For a full listing of alternative schools and colleges please see the AERO website Education Alternatives Section.

Support our long tradition of innovative, child-initiated, experiential education.