Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Torn over sending our son to Fairfield School a Sudbury Valley Mo deled School

From: Carol Hughes <>
Date: Tue Apr 1 13:13:01 2003

Hello Reg and June,
I love this question. The fundamental difference that fairly shouts at me
is that you say you have debated among yourselves, family and friends, with
a majority being on the side of the tried and tested... A Sudbury School
application typically asks your child to sign that they are going to this
school and choosing this educational model. What is your son's opinion? In
my never to be humble opinion, that is the only majority that matters. If
you ask a group of people who have never been to a Sudbury School or had any
part in such an endeavor, of course you will get reservations, so I'm really
glad you're asking here.

I say trust your gut. My children are 18, 22 and 25 and I'm seeing the
results of trusting my gut and I absolutely love what
I see. They are competent beings, taking their place in the world. They
have good judgement of character, well-developed skills, and a grasp on a
balanced quality of life. All three of them only experienced a Sudbury
Valley School growing up. I have been a Sudbury Valley parent for 15
years. A veritable book comes to mind when you ask this question. I'll try
really hard to stick to the fundamental question here. I long ago read
Education and Ecstasy by George Leonard. In it, he describes the ideal
school. My 25 year old was 3 then. Something clicked for me that I never
turned back from. I knew that none of the schools that I had ever heard
about or seen came even close to that environment. Leonard also describes
in detail the changes in the brain that occur in a learning process. The
idea that if something is learned in a non-productive way, the student then
proceeds to the next learning experience bringing along the mis-firing
process and this begins to snowball. As a piano and voice teacher, I have
seen emotional block after emotional block in my students. I currently have
an 82 year old College graduate taking lessons. 25% of every lesson is
spent on teaching him to love learning. This is a very educated, artistic
man, but I see him looking for the old ways of learning. We laugh a lot in
my music lessons. Leonard says, the only things I remember are the things I
learned with joy. Boy did that hit home for me. Another book that got to
me was Kozol's book, Death at an Early Age. I realized as he described the
inner city school and all the deprivation of spirit, that my experience in a
traditional school had better furniture and intact window panes, but it had
the same effect on me. My way of thinking and reasoning and studying was
not valued. Oh I had the top of the class rating and all that blah blah
blah, but I truly feel that I didn't experience relevence in study and
learning until I wasn't attending any school at all. Well I guess you can
see where I stand on this. If your guts are telling you that your son has
great things inside of him
and that he is perfectly capable of discovering and developing those gifts,
then go for it. You will be soooooo glad you did.
Good luck in whatever you do
Carol Hughes

----- Original Message -----
From: "Reg Ogilvie" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2003 8:55 AM
Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Torn over sending our son to Fairfield
School a Sudbury Valley Mo deled School

> To anyone out there that wishes to respond:
> My wife and I are in the midst of deciding whether to send our son to
> Fairfield or to a Public French Immersion program. This choice has created
> much debate between ourselves, family and friends with the majority being
> the side of the tried and tested Public system with my wife and I
> a system we know little about other than in our gut it feels right.
> If I could be so forward as to ask people to send me their experiences
> bad and good with this type of schooling? Any other thoughts are also
> welcome.
> Thanks in advance for any info.
> Regards
> Reg and June Ogilvie
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list
Received on Tue Apr 01 2003 - 13:12:53 EST

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