DSM: RE: Parents and Philosophy

From: Liz Reid and Errol Strelnikoff (lizanderrol@home.com)
Date: Sat Jan 26 2002 - 12:10:11 EST


> Sadly, some people either don't listen to the school's
> philosophy as outlined in the interview and read into it
> whatever their fantasies are, or they decide that they can
> "use" SVS as a place for their kids to socialize in between
> pursuing the parents' curriculum. There are far too many
> situations like this in our school, but it is still only a
> small minority of kids who are bearing this particular
> burden.

There is no escaping the parents' 'curriculum', as you call it. When you
live in a group there are going to be certain situations where you will have
to take into account the interests of other members of the group. That
could be all kinds of things, i.e. doing the dishes, setting the table,
running to the store of some eggs, putting away the toys in the living room.
If I had a Sudbury school nearby I would consider sending my kids there and
the primary motivation would be as a place to socialize.

> When I was growing up my mother was "indifferent" to the
> school's philosophy. But my mother most certainly was _not_
> indifferent to the fact that I was happy at school and that
> my life was unfolding well while I was at Sudbury Valley.
> And guess what -- that was all I needed from her.

My parents spent as much time as they could at Play Mountain Place, they
learned as much as they could from Phyllis, the founder of the school. Then
when we moved to Europe and travelled around North Africa and the Middle
East our parents naturally unschooled us. My brothers and I still turn to
my parents for ideas and help with our children. Thank goodness they were
not "indifferent" to the school's philosophy.

I hate to say this but everything that I and my brothers do to make money or
to care for our families, we learned from our parents, from travelling and
living and talking and working beside them. What we got out of our times at
free schools is far less directly observable as useful life skills, but that
is because the social aspect is far less measurable. While we were growing
up my parents had no idea that what they were doing with us would have such
a direct influence on what we would be doing as adults, or they may have
approached it differently.

Liz

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