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

From: Brian King <>
Date: Thu Apr 3 13:29:01 2003

I will be adding material to the Marin Sudbury website. Your reply to "Torn
over sending... "should be read by everyone that is thinking of going to a
SVS model school. Can I include your reply in that website?

Brian D King
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph Moore" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2003 9:04 AM
Subject: RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Torn over sending our son to Fairfield
School a Sudbury Valley Mo deled School

> I would think almost everybody who has sent a child to a Sudbury school
> stories to tell.
> - Think of your child's happiness first. Is he likely to be happier in the
> public school or at Fairhaven? (This is a rhetorical question!)
> - Think of your own happiness. The major unanticipated benefit our family
> kids at Diablo Valley School, 4 next year) has received is a house full of
> happy, low stress kids. What a relief! Plus, I don't waste a minute
> kids complete busy-work homework, or fighting with them over grades and
> other nonsense. Things are pretty mellow at our house, and Diablo Valley
> School is a large part of that.
> - Think of a few years out, when the argument will shift from 'this can
> never work' to 'oh, maybe it works sort of for *your* kid - he's special -
> it just can't work for other kids who aren't so special.' Because, in a
> years, all but the most highly threatened people will notice that you're
> destroying your kid, in fact, he seems pretty happy and OK.
> - Realize where the opposition to your decision is coming from: people -
> especially 'successful' people - have typically invested huge amounts of
> time and effort into traditional school and have bought the idea that
> success at school defines self-worth. When you reject traditional school,
> you are personally rejecting, in a way, these people and everything they
> stand for! No wonder the reaction is strong, and the criticism is gloom
> doom. But it is not based in reality.
> - Comfort yourself by knowing that your son will be fine, he will be more
> than fine, at Fairhaven. He really is going to learn everything he needs.
> He really won't miss the stuff everyone is panicked about. He'll read.
> be able to balance a checkbook. And he will develop interpersonal skill
> beyond what he'd get at public school.
> In short, I, for one, have never regretted sending my kids to a Sudbury
> model school. After 5 years there, nobody who knows our kids even pretends
> (at least to my face) that there's any problem, because the evidence is
> right before their eyes.
> Follow your heart. Follow your mind.
> As to bad experiences: they all seem so trivial now, but you need to be
> prepared for the usual, because to certain people these will be PROOF that
> the school is WRONG:
> 1. Potty talk. Since there's no adult enforcing a ban on profanity, your
> little one will be hearing a lot of it from the older kids. Even though
> takes place in public schools as well (just out of teacher's earshot,
> usually) and even though the distinction that what is acceptable in one
> crowd may not be acceptable in another is quickly and easily learned -
> still, it can be a shock until they get over it.
> 2. 'Wasting' time. Kids play around all day. Classes are few and far
> between. Lots of kids choose to do stuff with their days that adults don't
> think are worthwhile. Watching your son 'waste' time - especially since,
> may say to yourself, he could be learning French! - is (sometimes) a
> exercise. But, again, the source of discomfort is 1) other people telling
> you he should be doing something else; and 2) your own doubts, based
> on your more or less unconscious acceptance of the traditional school
> model's claim to be able to judge people's worthiness by their success in
> completing a series of graded steps. This problem is very hard to get
> but it is unreal - just keep looking at how happy your son is, and
> yourself that the standards of our age are very unhappily skewed in favor
> the things traditional schools claim to be able to do.
> 3. 'Falling behind.' A subset of the wasting time worry is that your kid
> will be falling behind other kids. For some reason, this one is really
> tempting to some people, even though, objectively, it's nonsense. Your son
> may or may not learn to read before, after, or at the same time as other
> kids. Ditto for the other landmarks of traditional education. This is just
> absolutely not worth worrying about - the landmarks themselves as well as
> the whole concept of how people learn that underlies them are pure, evil
> fictions. It turns out that, at every point in his life, your son will be
> ahead of some people in some areas, behind some people in other areas and
> with some people in yet other areas - and that the mix and degree of ahead
> and behind are virtually meaningless in and of themselves. Is he happy?
> he take care of himself? Does he relate and work and play well with other
> people? If 'yes' - you're off the hook as a parent, and can pat yourself
> the back! Good job!!
> Good luck! Unfortunately, it is a struggle. But you know in your hearts
> your son would want.
> Joseph
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Reg Ogilvie []
> > Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2003 5:56 AM
> > To: ''
> > Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Torn over sending our son to
> > Fairfield
> > School a Sudbury Valley Mo deled School
> > Importance: High
> >
> >
> >
> > 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 on
> > the side of the tried and tested Public system with my wife
> > and I defending
> > 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 both
> > 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
> >
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list
Received on Thu Apr 03 2003 - 13:28:00 EST

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