DSM: Class suggestions at SVS?

bud & barb brooks (barbb100@sunet.net)
Tue, 26 May 1998 03:16:55 -0400

Hi Liz,

You said,

> Why wouldn't subsequent learning be the same way? The adult might make
> suggestions which the child would be free to take or let go. I do
> understand that there could easily be a problem with the adult not being
> with a suggestion being let go, but if one was careful not to let that
> happen, why isn't that ok? Couldn't it be like recommending a book to a
> friend.....it's up to her whether she reads it or not?

We went back and forth on the whole issue. We would list "classes" on the
bulletin board that were available if kids were interested. SVS doesn't do
that altho I think they have done it at various times during their
existence. The philosophy is, I believe, in our society today, kids are
constantly stimulated and they WILL find stuff naturally that they are
interested in. You don't have to coerce them in anyway at all.

My husband and I found this a bit unnatural though and so did the rest of
the adults except one person who was definitely a "purist"( and a
Buddhist). He and his wife were homeschooling their 5 kids when he heard
me speaking about SVS. They were already doing the SVS philosophy in their
home without knowing there was actually a school that had formed almost 30
years ago with this philosophy. So they got quite excited about starting
one. They are VERY laid back people (the Eastern influence) and have very
cool, gentle kids. Their kids are really neat people who definitely seemed
to benefit from the non-pushing approach.

You say, "Why isn't that ok?" It is okay in my book but everyone
interprets this philosophy differently. My impression is that a "pure" SVS
school would not find this okay because suggesting stuff feeds on itself
and leads to more and more coercion, kind of like pot leads to hard core

What do the rest of you out there think on this issue?