DSM: Introduction

From: Jamie Stouffer (jstouffer@westman.wave.ca)
Date: Tue May 01 2001 - 18:47:06 EDT


Hello all

I thought I would write a brief introduction. My name is Jamie and I am
35. I have 2 children ages 2 and 10. My partner's name is Daniel and he
is wonderfully supportive and involved in the lives of our children. We
live in Manitoba Canada. My son was home schooled up to grade 2 and then
we chose to place him in the only "alternative" school in our area. It is
an independent school (one of 2 that is not affiliated with any church and
the only one that does not charge a tuition.) We were pretty happy with
what was happening there up until this past year. Our eyes were opened in
a big way when for the first time in the history of the school there was a
parent board. My partner and I were both on the board and have learned a
great deal throughout the year. The school was owned and operated by one
woman. She received government funding but was accountable to NO ONE for
the spending of that money. The teachers were paid abysmally ($55.00 a
day.) Looking back from the outside I now see that it was basically the
same as a public school room except there were children of many ages and
grades together and there was no structure at all. My son began and quit
multiple projects but rarely completed any of them. He lost his interest
in learning and in reading that I was trying to prevent from happening by
placing him there. He is a very creative person who will spend hours lost
in self created worlds with friends. He likes to use his imagination
constantly and he hates to sit still which they were still completely
expected to do. *sigh* It's been a very trying year for everyone. We
tried to break away and start our own program but without considerable
planning and fundraising that is not going to succeed any time soon. I am
now faced with the choice to home school my son (with no home schooling
group for support) or place him in the somewhat progressive public school
close to us. They multiage (because of low numbers) he'd be going into a
4/5 split class with 16 kids. It's very disheartening for me and
terrifying for him. He told me today that he never expected to have to
think about going to a public school and the thought is frightening to
him. He's quite shy and quiet it takes him awhile to warm up to
people. Once he's made a friend though he rarely looses him/her. He's
very insecure with low self confidence right now (I think because of his
trouble reading) and I am afraid of damaging that further. Flip side, with
no one else to interact with on a home schooling basis - that's not
terribly appealing either. The new teacher we had this year (wonderful
woman) saw the 60 Minutes program and was very intrigued. I had printed
some Sudbury information back in October when I stumbled across it and was
thrilled with it. Because my partner is American we have discussed moving
back to the States (to Mass) so that Andree and soon Elaya will have the
advantage of the type of education I want the most. I practise as a
midwife and have been studying homeopathy for several years. With what I
was able to learn about that area of the States it sounds like we might
actually fit in down there!

Anyway, sorry that got so long. I didn't mean to blather on like that -
but I know I like to know who I am talking to....

Thanks for reading.
Looking forward to further contact
Warmly
Jamie

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