Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] New to the list

From: Carol Hughes <carolhughes1_at_earthlink.net>
Date: Mon Aug 18 09:08:01 2003

Hi Christel,
If you total all the school years I sent my three children it comes to 32
years of Sudbury model schooling. Are my three children very different from
one another? You bet. In fact, it is the differences that are so inspiring
and beautiful to watch year after year in all the children who go there.
When people comment that it isn't for all personalities, I'm tempted to ask
them if breathing and living is acceptable and appropriate for all children.
Does it turn out the same in every case? Absolutely not. But what does
come through loud and clear is that each and every student is accepted and
an equal member however they choose to be. I wish I could think of a more
profound way to express how thrilling that is to watch happen. I still
remember the emotional wave of realization I had when I looked around the
campus and thought, what might my life had been like if I had been in this
environment. Being raised in a rigid waspy family I was always asking why
"we've always done it this way" was a good reason for doing anything. If
home life is troubled, then of course a child isn't going to flourish the
same. Sudbury model allows and facilitates, it does not dictate. How many
children are you seeing around you in your day-to-day life who are
emotionally "going it alone" in a troubled home? At a Sudbury school these
children will find respect and a belief that they can and will thrive when
they need to. For some, they will have a better chance at making it.

In my humble opinion most children who leave for a traditional school have
not made that decision on their own. There are a couple of phases in a
child's development where it can be scary to go against mainstream society.
Learning to read is a biggy. My oldest didn't really read well at all til
he was thirteen. Frankly he was interested in other things until then. He
got his black belt in kenpo when he was 14. He will be graduating from
College next March. I really don't care if my children go to college or
not. I think it's great to try a couple of courses and see what it's all
about, but we have encouraged them to seek out skills and learning as a way
of life. In short, that's what we as parents are showing them as a way of
life. When the so-called high school years begin some parents fear their
child's ability to thrive in academia and also that they might not want to
go to college. My kids occasionally expressed concerns about how they would
measure up in a traditional school and frankly didn't really get that answer
til they actually graduated and started realizing how they measured up in
the real world. They are now 18, 23 and 25 and measuring just fine. They
are whole, confident, healthy, competent human beings. That's my
curriculum. I'm a piano teacher and I asked a little bright delightful six
year old if she was looking forward to school (she will be attending public
school) starting soon, she said, "no". It was quick and matter of fact. We
have joyful music lessons, she is not however expecting any joy in first
grade for crying out loud. Have you ever watched the faces of children
leaving school for the day? Wait til you see the faces of children leaving
a Sudbury school. They're bouncing and bubbling and creating and looking
for ways to prolong the day.

Well there you have my two cents. Go for it with all your heart. Sending
your child to a Sudbury school will change the kind of student of life you
are as well and you're going to love it!
Carol
Received on Mon Aug 18 2003 - 09:07:26 EDT

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