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

From: Carol Hughes <>
Date: Sun Nov 28 18:34:00 2004

HI JoLynne,
I never ever discouraged my kids from any subject, but if they were struggling with how they felt about themselves, then you bet I stressed that who they were was more important than absolutely any subject. How many of us have regrets about something we wish we had applied ourselves to more somewhere along the line? It is also part of life to question the values you were raised with. You may be a better math learner now because of your life experience. All knowledge is linked in some way, and yes I have seen the correlations of math and music on a daily basis. I am a teacher/performer of music. My focus with my answer was not on math, but rather on this child. I see the results of negative experiences in school on little children's psyche's every day as I teach music. The timing and pacing of the learning process is individual. It is sooooooo important.
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: JoLynne Martinez
  Sent: Sunday, November 28, 2004 2:31 PM
  Subject: RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Where to begin?

  My understanding from psychology (Howard Gardner's work primarily) is that musical and mathematical intelligences are linked. Learning music is considered to be excellent training for mathematical thinking and vice versa.


  Personally, although I don't often use math in my current life and do rely on other people and technology to assist me in this area, I regret that I do not know more. I was brought up in an artistic family being told I didn't need to know math and that I was simply too artistic to be able to understand it. I think there was also some gender bias there: It's not feminine to know too much about math.


  Now at age 44, I regret listening to all these messages. One of my personal goals is to learn more about math, and I have been doing some reading in this area. Surprisingly (or perhaps not so), now that I have stopped listening to those discouraging messages, I find math isn't really that difficult, at least what I've attempted so far. And it's fascinating.


  Best wishes,




  From: [] On Behalf Of Carol Hughes
  Sent: Sunday, November 28, 2004 12:23 PM
  Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Where to begin?


  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,


Received on Sun Nov 28 2004 - 18:33:02 EST

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