Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Where to begin?

From: Carol Hughes <>
Date: Sun Nov 28 13:23:00 2004

Hi Susan,
It is no surprise to me that your artistic daughter doesn't care for math. Our very artistic nineteen year old daughter who is brilliant, creative, sings, plays the piano, paints, writes well and has great wisdom with human behavior will probably never do math unless it is mandated by some outside authority. Right-brain oriented people simply don't respond to the abstract,symbol oriented world. In my humble opinion, they don't need it. Peculiar learning style, or just one this teacher doesn't relate to from her limited experience in the world. A traditionally trained teacher cannot easily change their stripes. I once visited a Montesorri school with a friend of mine and my three year old in tow. When we went into the classroom my son picked up a couple of the neat looking Montesorri things. The teacher quietly took them from him and put them back. So, from that one gesture I advised my friend to look again carefully. Have you read Maria Montesorri's biography? Some of the things teachers are doing in these schools would absolutely cause her to "turn over in her grave". Make no mistake about it, a Sudbury Valley School is as real as it gets. If you can, try not to make a big deal out of the subject. Let her try it as much as she can stand and then consequences be "%^&*&^%". The decision to make certain subjects a must for children is simply arbitrary. In truth your daughter can hire a good accountant who loves numbers if she needs the service. Calculators and computers can do the rest. She can live her entire life without knowing squat about math. Man, do I hate the words "failure to perform". It's definately not okay for your daughter to be described that way. Seems to me the "failure to perform" is the school's. Keep questioning. Trust your instincts. I would lose the tutoring. Tell her the school is not equipped to deal with her way of thinking and that's okay. Making her feel like there is some kind of defect, or fire to put out will stay with her for a lifetime. Ah, but mom taking a stand and backing off on her behalf... that will stay with her for a lifetime too.
Just my opinion,
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: susan robinson
  Sent: Sunday, November 28, 2004 12:01 PM
  Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Where to begin?

  I am reading Free at Last, which I obtained from Abraham-Hicks Publications. Our daughter is 8 and attends a local Montessori in Palm Harbor, Florida. Our sweet 8 year old is struggling with math, and I am struggling with trying to coerce her into learning it. It's a no win deal. We have her enrolled in Kumon math tutoring, which she attempts to avoid and postpone on a daily basis. Her teacher at Montessori told me that she has a "peculiar learning style". I tried to explain that she loves the freedom to choose, that her "failure to perform" certain class assignments are due to a lack of interest rather than a lack of intelligence. Our daughter sparkles. She loves people and loves art, but loves people best of all. I consider it a rare gift, and I can see how the use of coercion, even in the forms of rewards and incentives, dims her. I'm looking for a frame of reference that builds a foundation for integrating freedom into living in the "real world" of responsibilities. I'd like to receive suggestions. We're not quite ready to move to Massachusetts for our daughter to enroll in SVS (although it is certainly an option to be considered). I also need to understand more about how democracy can work; I've often found myself in the minority opinion and outvoted in many so-called democracies.
Received on Sun Nov 28 2004 - 13:22:30 EST

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