Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Re: Questions about their Future

From: Alan Klein <>
Date: Mon Feb 24 18:41:00 2003

And this issue of who gets to have say over a kid's life is the
philosophical nub. As a parent (26, 24, and 16) I often made choices that of
course affected my kids. To the extent that any choice is a gamble, I did,
indeed, gamble with their lives. As I look back, though, these choices
almost always had to do with things that affected others in addition to the
kids, so they were not the kids' choices alone per se.

On the other hand, when it has come to matters that affect them and them
only, it has always been their choice. This included my youngest's decision
to leave the school we thought best for her and to go to public school. It
included her choice to join the Pom Squad at her high school, even though I
see it as the equivalent of the "Jocks' Auxiliary".

As to kids from democratic schools being "behind the curve", we have found
that they are usually ahead of it and, where they are behind, it takes them
a VERY short time to catch up.

~Alan Klein

----- Original Message -----
From: "Liz Godwin" <>

> They are the _parents_. Of course it's their place to "gamble with the
> child's life" to some extent. That's why I respect (and am petrified of,
> to some extent) parenting so much - every moment is a gamble if you reduce
> it enough. "How do I handle the fact that little Jane just smacked her
> baby sister? Do I yell at her? Smack her in return? Remove her to
> 'time-out?' Talk to her about how that isn't nice? Tell her Mommy is
> mad? Take away her toy? Tell her to wait until her dad gets home?" "Do
> home-school? Sudbury school? Waldorf school? Public school? Fancy
> private school?" "Do I allow little Jimmy to wear dresses and makeup
> because that's what he likes, allowing his gender expression but
> potentially exposing him to social ridicule, or do I make him stop,
> reinforcing ridiculous social "norms" about boys and girls but saving him
> from cruelty at the hands of that society?" It seems like child-rearing
> a dance between trying to make the world a better place and also equipping
> your child for the fact that it's not perfect yet. I can't fathom how
> agonizing it must be. But to say that the parents shouldn't make
> about a child's life ignores the fact that, while the child DOES have a
> will and an ability to judge, it is a _developing_ one, and needs guidance
> and sometimes even some not-so-gentle steering. Just my $.02.
> ----------
> One last thought I had about the exchange between Michael and some other
> writers: it struck me that perhaps what Michael was getting at was not so
> much that Sudbury-style graduates would NEVER meet calculus (to borrow his
> example) as that they would meet it so LATE compared to others. They
> be "behind the curve."
Received on Mon Feb 24 2003 - 18:40:06 EST

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