DSM: What if....? about re-entry

From: SRF (Faulkner@cshore.com)
Date: Sat Dec 01 2001 - 20:37:51 EST


I've looked for postings on this topic and found a few from November. I'm
hoping for more discussion.

Bear with me, I'm new around here. And very happy to find this thriving
community, since I have not yet found anyone in my town that is familiar
with the Sudbury model.

I suspect that our path to your door is a familiar one.

Our 2 kids (ages 7 and 10) are in our local public schools. With each
passing year (now, each passing day), it has become more obvious that
something is terribly wrong with this warehousing of kids. While researching
a better way, I came across references to the Sudbury model, which I tracked
to their source. I've read everything I can find online, and will soon get
to the books.

Meanwhile, we've considered what this would mean to other aspects of our
lives. As it turns out, *this* is where we run into the difficult questions.
A possible relocation for work (and 'quality of life') opportunities might
be presenting us with a great opportunity to make changes. Well, that's nice
and positive when the direction is *toward* a better model. But what happens
if life's circumstances force a turn *away* in a few years? What if... a
child has brought herself to great understanding of some things (like
sciences), but completely avoided others (like writing) because of a lack of
interest, or because of her total absorption in something else? What if...
she has grown so accustomed to spending her days as a participating member
of a democratic learning society she can't handle the warehouse? What if...
she has adjusted to learning without artificial barriers and has not
developed any way to cope with the structures of a curriculum
(learn-on-demand)?

We have few (probably none, but we haven't read those books yet) doubts
about the success of the Sudbury model over the long run. But the hazards of
a possible re-entry are frightening. Of course, we don't like to let the
fear of unknowable risk keep us from rewarding experiences. But this isn't
really unknowable. I'm sure that many people have faced a re-entry into
mainstream schools. Any first or second hand experience to be found in the
list membership? Scott, you wrote about how easy the public school material
is and commented, "How hard can it be to catch up?" You may be right about
that assumption. What if a 14 year old child goes back to traditional school
on a 8th, 10th, or higher grade level in math, and a 3rd grade level in
writing? If she wasn't inspired to learn the skill in a SVM school, what
would motivate her to catch up in a public school? Especially if she has
lost her vulnerability to authoritarian pressures, test scores, and all
those other horrible sticks & carrots. And how do the parents of re-entering
kids deal with the administrator of traditional schools?

I hope any responses to Morticia's questions about Sudbury method in the
home get posted to the list, since I've also been wondering about this.
Morticia, I'd appreciate it if you'd share any off-list replies with me.
Thanks!

Sally  ......._/)
~~~~~~~~~~

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