Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] New to Sudbury-Cottage Grove, OR

From: Blue Mountain School <>
Date: Fri May 30 01:55:01 2003


      Hi my name is Cory k-l and I'm a student at Blue
Mountain School. i just wanted to say that i am so
glad that you enjoyed visiting our school. i hope
that Steven will come for a visit, i think it might
help him decide what he wants to do. i'I've been a
student at BMS for 5 years now, since the day it
opened and i love every minute of it. if you or
Steven have any questions you would like to have a
student answer feel free to send them my way.
                  Cory K-L


--- R FAYE BYREM <> wrote:
> Dear Everybody ;0)
> I'm fairly new to the whole Sudbury thing, but knew
> from the very beginning of reading about it, that it
> was right for our family.
> Steven, who is 7 years old, joined us in our journey
> in our later years, when he was just 18 months old,
> and we were pushing past 50.
> When our (4) older children were growing up,
> homeschooling wasn't even in my vocabulary, but I
> eventually began to hear more about it, and became
> very interested.
> I knew from the very beginning of our journey with
> Steven, that he would be homeschooled. The more I
> read about it, the more unschooling just seem to fit
> in with everything I believed about learning,
> living, and just enjoying the journey.
> There have been some drawbacks, though. One being
> that at our age, most of our friends don't have
> children Steven's age, and trying to find social
> opportunities for him has been disheartening in a
> way, because his interests just don't fit into
> what's available. We try different things, but he
> usually gets bored of it (whatever 'it' happens to
> be at the time) fairly quickly. When he senses
> 'expectations' creeping in, from any direction, he
> bows out.
> When he was younger, there were lots of things that
> interested him, and I loved being involved alongside
> him in those things. Now, he's more interested in
> being with the family, doing family things, and
> nature walks. When he's not involved in family
> things or our nature adventures, he's either in
> front of the t.v. or playstation or computer. He
> loves most anything with an electrical plug on it
> ;0) Also, he loves using power tools..not to
> worry..he has been taught how to use them properly
> ;0)
> I have also felt somewhat isolated in our 'road less
> traveled'. There is only one other family we know
> who share most of our beliefs about children,
> learning, spirituality, and all the things that make
> us feel 'connected'.
> We don't attend any institutional church. Although
> we are of the Christian faith, we have some major
> differences in our beliefs with conventional
> Christianity. Not that we wouldn't like to
> fellowship with more Christians, but we don't want
> our child to be indoctrinated in things from the
> pulpit or the Sunday School class, that we believe
> would be harmful to him spiritually. We visited a
> few churches here when Steven was younger, but
> didn't find that special church that we could call
> 'home'.
> We also have strong leanings toward TCS philosophy
> in raising children, and are 'trying it on for
> size', so to speak. That in itself, is reason
> enough for most people to be 'wary' of our direction
> in life.
> Not that we would ever find a 'perfect' place for us
> to 'fit' anyway, but our choices and beliefs and
> direction, seem always so unconventional that it
> causes people to wonder about us. Most of our
> family and friends are just aghast at how we have
> changed since Steven joined our journey. And they
> seem appalled that we could be so 'lenient' with
> him, and they seem to believe that treating him as
> an equal is somehow very damaging to him.
> Especially when it comes to his education choices.
> I went through a long period of time questioning
> whether or not we were on the 'right' path, and
> thinking 'maybe we ARE 'weirdos'. And our child is
> the one who suffered most when those times of
> intense scrutiny and self-examination prevailed over
> our own rational thoughts and beliefs. Because it
> was during those times that I lost touch with my
> 'delight' in my child. And we all 'lost'.
> I began an agonizing process of trying to fit this
> little soul into a 'box' that others would accept.
> I tried the 'school at home' approach. I tried to
> limit his freedoms to what was 'normal' for a child
> his age. I tried to 'teach' him how to behave
> 'properly'. I resorted to things that go against my
> very own convictions. All for the sake of
> 'appearing' to be 'just like everyone else'. I
> didn't want him to be tagged a 'weirdo'.
> But gratefully, his spirit was stronger than my (or
> anyone else's!) efforts to subdue! He is who he is,
> and I am who I am, and my husband is who he is, and
> we were born to be 'us'! Not some 'moldy' replica
> of what 'they' consider 'normal'!
> And I continue to cling to the biblical promise that
> "He will restore ALL that the locusts have eaten
> away"!
> I have learned to pretty much keep my mouth shut
> regarding our beliefs with most people, because I've
> seen too many eyebrows go flying off of saucer-eyed
> faces, and have been challenged to 'justify' our
> beliefs, 'especially' in light of our Christian
> faith.
> When I began hearing about Sudbury, my ears were
> wide open! And then I discovered there was one right
> here in our little town ;0) THAT was a wonderful
> feeling!
> I visited the Blue Mountain School in Cottage Grove,
> Oregon last week, and was so delighted to see
> firsthand a school such as this. It was amazing to
> me that children were involved in all sorts of
> different activities, and that the children just had
> an air of freedom about them that was so refreshing
> to see in a school environment.
> The appointment was really for Steven, but he
> changed his mind the morning of the appointment, so
> I went by myself. Once I was there, I didn't want
> to leave. Although I was a bit overwhelmed with the
> 'freedom' that was in the same place as 'school',
> ('am I in the twilight zone?'..) I didn't want to
> leave!
> As soon as I walked in the door at home, after my
> appointment, Steven began quizzing me...'what was it
> like?'...'what did they have there?'...'were there
> lots of kids?'...on and on and on the questions
> came.
> He asked me if we could go back to the school so he
> could get a look at it. We made another
> appointment, and he missed that one too...
> Now, he's fluctuating between going to school or to
> continue homeschooling.
> It seems he's 'testing' to see if this is just one
> more 'box' that I'm trying to cram him into. I'm
> leaving the decision entirely up to him. I'm
> 'hoping' he will choose to go, because he wants more
> interaction with other children, and I believe he
> will eventually choose to go, because he is a very
> sociable person, but if he chooses not to, that's
> perfectly okay too.
> The simple fact of there being such a school is such
> validation for me in my personal journey! Whether
> or not Steven chooses to attend Blue Mountain, I
> feel more freedom than ever before in living my
> convictions, and with more peace and enthusiasm than
> ever before!
> Thank you, Sudbury! And thank you, Blue Mountain!
> Living my dream,
> Faye Byrem

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Received on Fri May 30 2003 - 01:54:49 EDT

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