DSM: RE: Re: Homeschooling and the sense of community

From: Liz Reid&Errol Strelnikoff (lizanderrol@home.com)
Date: Mon Dec 10 2001 - 23:18:35 EST


> grow, while the Sudbury model believes that, as the African
> proverb states,
> "It takes a village to raise a child."

As I said I went to free schools and I have also spent time in African
villages. I shrug my shoulders when you claim there is a resemblence.
You can find resemblences between all kinds of things if you look hard
enough, and differences also. I am surprised, however, that you didn't
notice how in my post the children are in a town where they are in and
out of each others houses, pretty well free to do what they want, within
the bounderaries of each family. I would imagin that an African village
would have a lot of families. I wonder if the care givers in those
villages aren't actually different families or if they woud be more
similar to the staff in Sudbury Schools?

Children and parents
> have complex
> relationships and interdependencies which make it harder for
> children to
> discover true independence within the family.

I am so pleased that children at Sudbury have 'true' independence. Amen
and hellelujah!

 In the environment of a
> Sudbury school, children face direct personal responsibility for their
> actions, without the emotional baggage that family-based
> accountability can
> sometimes carry.

I think that this point is a very interesting one. I am curious as to
what _you_ mean by this. Often when people talk of emotional baggage
from the family they are speaking from personal experience. This
personal experience does influence how those people make decisions about
their own family which could involve the parents deciding to send their
kids to a Sudbury School rather than burden them with all the negative
experiences they had at home. You see I never found the emotional
baggage at my home to be burdensome, I found it rather comfortable. But
my parents were the kind of parents who did send us to free schools,
maybe that had something to do with it.

In addition, children are more able to develop some
> important social skills in a democratic school -- the ability
> to tolerate
> diversity of opinion,

In our homeschool group there is so much diversity of opinion, each
family is so different from the other. I assume that since the children
are friends they must be tolerating each other.

> to speak out against inappropriate
> behavior,

Happens all the time, there is a variety of responses too, so that makes
life even more diverse :-)

> and to
> develop and carry out group projects, for example.

Sounds cool! I'd like to hear more about this part, what kinds of
projects are going on? The children around here have lots of stuff
going on that seems to be developed and carried out. Sometimes this is
started by a group and finished by individuals, sometimes vice versa.
There are on set rules here.

 In most
> homeschooling
> families, the parent sees him or herself as ultimately
> responsible for the
> child's education, while at Sudbury schools, that responsibility rests
> squarely with the child.

Since it is the child that does the growing and the developing and the
learning the responsibility will always rest with the child. All a
parent can do is try and provide a healthy environment and love.

Liz

>
> [excerpt from: "OK, SO YOU'RE SORT OF LIKE..."]
> http://www.fairhavenschool.com/frameset.htm
>
>
> David Rovner - rovners@netvision.net.il
> Haifa 34675.
> Favors ending government involvement in education,
> working for the Advancement of Democratic Schools
> & the Freedom of Learning, Individual Rights and Ayn
> Rand's philosophy in Israel.
> http://www.sepschool.org/cgi/RegDisp.cgi/global
>
> *****************************************************
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Liz Reid&Errol Strelnikoff" <lizanderrol@home.com>
> To: <discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org>
> Sent: Monday, December 10, 2001 10:45 AM
> Subject: DSM: Homeschooling and the sense of community
>
>
> > This is the interesting thing about these discussion lists.
> There are
> > times when a subject pops up that is exactly what I have
> been thinking
> > about lately. This has happened now from two subjects:
> Scotts' view of
> > homeschooling and Anne's questions regarding community at Sudbury
> > Valley.
> >
> > From Anne's post it sounds like she as a parent does not
> feel connected
> > to the community at Sudbury Valley that her children are
> involved in.
> > She doesn't know the kids they play with, in fact her kids
> don't even
> > know the names of some of those kids.
> >
> > Meanwhile Scott is saying that homeschooled kids spend the
> bulk of their
> > time with their parents and the parent's curriculum. He
> makes the point
> > that children need to be a part of the greater community,
> i.e. Sudbury
> > Valley. A community sans parents.
> >
> > So in your studies of how children grew up prior to school,
> Scott, is
> > the communal situation at Sudbury Valley a good
> representation of how
> > things used to be?
> >
> > How about this homeschool situation: groups of children of all ages
> > spend two or three days a week at parks playing with each
> other for up
> > to eight hours non-stop. On the days when they aren't
> doing that they
> > are at friends' houses doing whatever is going on in that household,
> > usually playing, but sometimes baking bread with an adult,
> or playing a
> > game, or doing some painting.... the myriad of things that other
> > families do differently than your own family. Or they may
> be at their
> > own houses with their friends visiting them, playing in
> their own space.
> > Or they may be at their grandparents house playing with the
> kids from
> > that neighborhood or doing stuff with grandma or grandpa.
> >
> > Of course there are parts of the day, or even whole days when the
> > children are home with a parent or two. Children often
> like to just be
> > at their own home and play with their own toys or read
> their own books
> > without other friends around. They like to play with their
> parents too
> > at times. They like to get involved in organising dinner parties,
> > writing long lists to Santa, making cakes, planing social
> events, being
> > bored, watching tv, etc. etc. the mundane everyday stuff of family
> > life.
> >
> > One, not necessarily negative, side-effect of all of this
> is that the
> > bulk of our friends tend to be the parents of our
> children's friends.
> > We get together almost daily, in large or small groups at different
> > parts of the town, we have lively parties with dancing and music, we
> > cook up copious amounts of food and have picnics or
> potlucks, we share
> > art and craft materials and ideas. We drop by each others
> houses for
> > cups of tea and chats, at least that is what the grown-ups
> do, the kids
> > find their own things to do together.
> >
> > We started _homeschooling_ (I find that word less and less
> useful, but
> > can think of no other), only recently. I had always
> considered it as a
> > poor substitute for a free school situation (I went to free
> school and I
> > was unschooled so I do know what they are missing). But
> there are so
> > many people in my area that are homeschooling and a huge
> portion of them
> > are unschooling, and that number is growing month by month.
> I am just
> > bowled over by how many there are. Lately I have realized
> that things
> > have changed from when I was a child, we wanted to go to
> school because
> > that's where our friends were, but now there are so many kids in the
> > neighborhood that are at home that why would anyone bother with a
> > school? Why would any of us put all that time and effort
> into putting
> > together a free school when we can just do it at the park
> and at each
> > others houses? And you don't have to answer to anyone, we are each
> > fully responsible for what we are doing.
> >
> > I'll tell you what, I much prefer living this way than when I was a
> > chaufeur driving back and forth to my kids school.
> >
> > Liz
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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