[Discuss-sudbury-model] Communicating SVS Philosophy

From: Carol Hughes <hughes0005_at_comcast.net>
Date: Sat Jul 24 11:39:00 2004

Hi Ann,
I'm not sure that overviews and philosophical discussions sink in better
than real-life stories. I remember two very clear moments in time when my
boys were using watercolors and painting and spending hours "playing" and
suddenly started sprouting times tables. We have a french door with 5 rows
of three panes. My son sat there dreamily looking at them and announced
that three times five was fifteen. Another just began reciting his twelves
tables seemingly out from thin air. That kind of stuff is so fun to watch.
I saw this fun program on WGBH where it was demonstrated that one can
designate musical notes on a graph that follow the pattern of a healthy
heart's EKG chart. The music sounded a lot like Bach to me. The unhealthy
heart's EKG produced a smaller range of notes. It is this very rhythm that
our bodies have that runs through every thought and motion. I have always
been struck by the importance of time to assimilate, time to experience, and
time to explore. Nothing exhausts me more than to have day after day of
input, input, input. I used to look at the faces of children leaving a
traditional school for the day. They become more animated as the minutes
pass AFTER school. This was my "report card" at SVS. My children came home
and went right on learning, creating, doing, laughing, planning. Now that
they are grown they are still doing all of that. How sweet it is.

> Ah, what memories. My kids were always much more interested in making a
> story out of a game. In fact, we still rarely play by the rules, and they
> are now 10 and 14 ! However, we do all have to be in agreement as to how
> will play/ change the game. I know this goes on at Sudbury Valley all the
> time; and,personally, I think that's far more valuable than playing a game
> by a set of standard rules all the time (unless you choose to do so to
> develop mastery ). It's great preparation for life and much more fun !
> Back to changing paradigms..... I guess Don must have said it more
> but I was trying to say the same thing. I also think it would be helpful
> put less focus on the process of how kids learn at Sudbury Valley; and to
> talk more about the underlying beliefs of the philosophy. Even freedom is
> one of the means to fulfilling what we believe is important for our kids.
> ( What we believe about our kids is important, too, in terms of how it's
> possible to trust them to learn what they need.) It's tricky to
> them apart; because we say we believe in freedom and the kids' rights to
> choose, etc. Yes, we believe in childrens' rights; but even deeper than
> that, why do we send our children to free schools ? What kinds of adults
> we hope they will be able to develop into by having their freedom ?
> Seems when we talk about how the kids can do whatever they want, it is a
> huge distraction from talking about what else is really important. People
> need to understand why it makes sense first, don't you think ? ( I did.)
> When we slur them together, it's too much. We humans seem to have this
> need that things make sense and have some sense of order that we
> Beliefs provide that underlying, often unconcious stucture; hence why they
> are so hard to change ( at least, this is my belief ! ). In order to
> a belief, it needs to take care of that same need and take care of what is
> important to the person.
> Danny has written about what skills are needed to be prepared as an
> effective adult in the 21st century. I think we could do more and more of
> that kind of talk. And what is an effective adult ? How about that one ?
> Most parents want their children to be effective and prepared; in fact
> seem to live in fear that if they don't have a certain education they
> be those things. They just misunderstand what the standards are; and they
> think that gathering knowledge is the key; and they trust the government
> history that tells them so. John Gatto is good at debunking that.
> Yea, it is still going to be hard. There are so many issues to deal with.
> However, it has been my experience that if someone is at all unhappy with
> what is, and open to talk about it; that taking this approach at least
> creates an opening for continuing discussions.
> Ann Ide
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <Hunderhill_at_aol.com>
> To: <hughes0005_at_comcast.net>; <discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org>
> Sent: Friday, July 23, 2004 9:03 PM
> Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Paradigms
> >
> > In a message dated 7/22/04 8:05:07 PM, hughes0005_at_comcast.net writes:
> >
> > << She settled into the chair her eyes intent and picked
> >
> > up two chess players on the board and moved them any ole place in the
> blink
> >
> > of an eye. She was neither self-conscious, nor fearful. The can-do
> energy
> >
> > at this table was delicious. >>
> >
> > Wonderful vignette, Carol. My 2 1/4 year old granddaughter picks up
> chess
> > pieces and slams them down like her older brother, wham. Then I move a
> > piece. Then she moves two or three pieces. And we have great fun,
> until her mom
> > either tries to teach her how to do it right, or says she's too young.
> I
> > just don't know why parents of wonderful kids get so anxious. Why did
> for
> > my son? I'd better reflect on that one.
> >
> > Harlan Underhill
> > _______________________________________________
> > Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list
> > Discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
> > http://www.sudval.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/discuss-sudbury-model
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list
> Discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
> http://www.sudval.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/discuss-sudbury-model
Received on Sat Jul 24 2004 - 11:38:49 EDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Mon Jun 04 2007 - 00:03:08 EDT