Re: DSM: dancing
Wed, 24 Jan 2001 22:44:43 -0500

  Both of my children had "unschooling" situations, with a local open school and at home doing what they wanted. But the school was small, and home was home. And their dad wanted them in traditional schools. So they both went off to son in 9th grade and my daughter in 5th.

Neither of them is a gung-ho student, although my daughter during her first year of school is getting all A's and even 1 A+. But my sense is she's doing it out of fear of displeasing her father and because of a sense of shame if she doesn't complete what's expected by teachers. This isn't good, and I'd change it if I could. All I can do is make it plain that I don't care what grades she gets.
My son got "good grades" for 2 years, just to prove he could do it. Now he 's a senior and thinks school is silly, ranting and raving about the lack of respect there. He says he'd help me start a SVS school if I did it.

I haven't seen any indication that they were pretending to want openness, but my daughter did like her first year of school, worksheets and all. It seems to me that there are some good things about each model. She now feels included in the mainstream of society, has friends of many ethnic groups, is in a large school choir, and knows what the mystery of "middle school" is about.
And I'd like to see her in a democratic school.
Oh well! It is her choice.

Karen wrote:
> Anne, et al,
> My youngest went to Highland as a preschooler (the child of staff members).
> After we moved to Maryland, she went to hand-picked local private schools.
> Hand-picked for being as close as we could get to democratic schooling. At
> sixth grade age, she decided to go to the local public school. The school she
> had been at was too small for her highly extraverted soul. In addition, her
> own sense of wanting to fit in led her to want to try the public school.
> She is now a freshman in the local public high school and, while I can't say
> she has thought all that highly of her recent schooling experience, she has
> excelled at it. She has managed straight A's all the way through. She does
> this with absolutely no rewards from us, no mandates to complete homework
> before television/computer, and with the awareness that we would have
> preferred that she stay in her old school...the one we had picked for her.
> She does this with a minimum of effort, fuss, or bother. She works hard when
> she has to (to get the results she wants) and plays the system like a
> master...tracking her grades and working the extra credit game to bring that
> 89% up to an 89.5%, which rounds to an A (for example).
> I don't know if this is the type of story you were looking for, but it's what
> your question provoked in me!
> ~Alan
> Anne asked:
>   I would like to invite stories in this vein from DSM participants, I'm sure
> the stories are out there. They would help people like Susan and me a great
> deal. Stories about "Sudbury" parents with offspring in a mainstream coercive
> school (by the choice of the kid, not due to the circumstance of no "free
> school" being available).
>   You see, how do I know, how does any "newby" know, that Sudbury kids aren't
> being coerced into behaving as Sudbury kids should?
>   Ever sceptically,

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