Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] How can a young adult get into the world of Sudbury / unschooling?

From: Anne Crockett <>
Date: Sat Nov 1 19:47:00 2003

And now I feel compelled to respond. I have been a silent participant in
this list for a couple of years, but I can be silent no more. Elizabeth
    With all eyes on the
> children's development, advocating for them... we must at least
> be aware that the only kind of people who can really afford to
> deal with this process are not those on the financial fringe

I have been an SVS parent for over 7 years. I am a single parent. When it
became obvious that public school was not only not meeting my son's needs,
but was damaging to him I knew I had to do something. I found SVS through
the recommendation of a friend.

Scott had his interview and on the first day of his visiting week he told me
it felt like home. He was happy for the first time in years. He made a dozen
friends that week - this was a child who had 1 friend for all his years in
public school. I knew this was our answer. I also knew I couldn't afford it.
I was making $26,000 a year, and my rent was astronomical in proportion to
that salary. I was already struggling to make ends meet - and I am talking
about keeping food on the table, and the electricity turned on. I am not
talking about having to cancel vacations at Disneyworld. I was on the
financial fringe.

These days, I am happy to report that my salary has increased to something
more reasonable. But for 6 of the past 7 years, I had to make choices - do I
pay the electric bill this month or the phone bill? Can I skip a month so I
can buy winter coats for the kids or not? I worked 2, sometimes 3 jobs. I
shopped in thrift stores for clothes, and we went without a lot of things
that kids in America take for granted these days. And you know what? I would
do it all again in a heartbeat.

I have 2 of the most fabulous kids on the planet. Scott defended his thesis
last year and my daughter will defend hers next year. They are talented,
happy confident kids. Did they suffer because we never made it to Disney? I
doubt it. I think they learned a hell of a lot about making choices about w
hat's important. They learned what it means to sacrifice for something you
want. I spent a lot of time saying 'we can't afford to buy that because what
we have goes towards tuition'. That was all I had to say. They wanted to
stay in SVS badly enough that that was the choice they happily made - and if
you ask them, they wouldn't make a different choice on how I spent my money.
In fact they are profoundly grateful that I was willing to do what I did to
keep them there.

We are not and were not privileged. We made it work because we wanted it. So
I for one am sick and tired of hearing about how only the privileged folks
get to participate. Your life is what you make it - if you make it a
constant complaint, if it is always everyone else's fault for why you didn't
do something, then you are going to have a long lonely miserable time here.
Received on Sat Nov 01 2003 - 19:46:23 EST

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