DSM: Support groups

Kristin Harkness (kristin@harkness.net)
Wed, 15 Nov 2000 18:46:23 -0500

>Kristin Harkness wrote:
>> For a child to be happy at a Sudbury model school, the parents have to be
>> comfortable. They will have to arrive at that comfort level themselves.
>> You can give them information, but they have to take it to heart.
> Kristen,
>I don't imagine that most people completely accept the whole SVM model all
>once -- or if they do, I bet that most of them have at least one really bad
>moment when the model actually starts to run and something happens that
>didn't expect. Do any SVM schools have ongoing support groups to help the
>parents get over their objections?

At SVS there are various activities for Assembly members which can be
loosely viewed as 'support groups'. The most on-point are the Informal
Assembly Discussion Group meetings, which are planned by whoever volunteers
for the coordinating committee, so they vary from year to year. The next
one will be "bagels and banter in the barn". The school itself hosts
various events throughout the year, and then there are some groups which
originate in the Assembly. For example, for a couple of years we had a
group which met about once a month to discuss a book. Most of the books
were from the Sudbury Valley Press, but we branched out a bit too. A group
of women organizes 'teas' (in reality feasts) four times a year. And,
personally, I find the round of thesis defenses in the spring to be the most
affirming experiences of the year.

There was an excellent article from the Red Cedar School News Fall/Winter
1998 issue (which was reprinted in the March 1999 SVS Journal) entitled
"Challenges of the Transition Time" which discussed the stages families go
through when a child first enrolls in a Sudbury model school. If you have
not seen it yet, you might find it interesting.

Kristin Harkness

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