Re: DSM: books question

From: David Rovner (
Date: Tue Oct 30 2001 - 21:07:07 EST

Bruce at Alpine Valley, I have the slight feeling that The Sudbury Valley School Press and other "Presses" including your school's, are not going to be very happy with this entry of yours. David

----- Original Message -----

From: "Bruce Smith" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2001 9:59 AM
Subject: Re: DSM: books question

> Laura,
> This is Bruce at Alpine Valley. The last thing you need to spend a lot of
> time and money on is acquiring books. Put out a few feelers to your friends
> and connections -- ask your mailing list; ask people you know in
> conventional schools -- and you should be rolling in used books. Our
> problem in this regard is receiving so many donated books we hardly know
> what to do with them. I'd guess that maybe 1/10 of one percent of our
> library, if that much, consists of purchased materials -- and we've got a
> very well-equipped library.
> I do think books -- even textbooks -- are a good thing for a school to
> have. Think of them as being like computers, or furniture, or games: part
> of the physical facility, the general set of resources available for
> everyone. You're not going to open with bare walls and floors, right? So
> having some books on hand when you open is not automatically coercive.
> (Still, textbooks on "all" subjects? How many subjects is "all"?)
> Two facts stand out in my experience: 1) it's very easy and cheap to get
> lots of books; and 2) most of your textbooks will sit on your shelves,
> collecting dust, for months if not years. At Liberty Valley School, I
> remember hearing that a primary use of some of their textbooks was to help
> a small boy reach the height of a drumset he wanted to play. So appoint a
> few people to solicit and sort through donated books, if you like, but
> don't spend a lot (any?) money on it, and don't try to acquire a
> comprehensive set.
> Besides, it's not like you need brand-spankin' new books to teach math. I
> teach a few math classes at AVS and one of my texts, from our library, is
> old enough to have school-aged kids of its own. So far, I've used a total
> of four or five texts to teach everything from basic arithmetic to advanced
> algebra. (By the way, that's one book per class: I pick and choose
> problems, then make copies and cut and paste them into handouts.)
> Finally, until you acquire some books of your own, you might suggest to the
> student that he check out public and/or university libraries, as well as
> the internet and homeschooling supply stores. You could see if someone in
> your group can set him up with tutoring. If the student is sufficiently
> interested in "not falling behind," he'll be able to pursue any of these
> (and possibly other) options. What you can do is point out to him that at a
> Subury school, if he's "not learning anything" (which, incidentally, is
> very hard to do), then it's up to him to take the initiative and work with
> you to get that ball rolling.
> Bruce
> --------------------------------
> "I gave my life to become the person I am right now.
> Was it worth it?"
> -- Richard Bach



If you wish to be removed from this mailing list, please send an email TO with the following phrase in the BODY (not the
subject) of the message:

unsubscribe discuss-sudbury-model [the-subscribed-email]

If you are interested in the subject, but the volume of mail sent is too much,
you may wish to consider unsubscribing from this list and subscribing to

This mailing list is archived at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Mon Nov 05 2001 - 20:24:29 EST