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

From: Caren Knox-Hundley <>
Date: Mon Nov 29 11:44:00 2004

It seems like it would be inherently impossible to utilize the Sudbury model in any type of "traditional school" setting -- Montessori or not. You can tell your daughter she will learn math when she needs it and wants to, but until then, there will be consequences for her not learning it now, but it seems like those consequences would only undermine her belief in her own ability to learn at her own pace. I don't see how anyone can participate in a school (other than democratic/free) and live the values of Sudbury Valley. They would continually be getting messages (from the school, teacher, and peers) that they were not OK, and they will not be OK until they fit in.

Take her out! Until you find a democratic school in your area, or one you want to move to, unschool with her! Someone previously mentioned unschooling -- there are many, many resources and lots of support out there. As far as integrating freedom into the "real world" of responsibilities... unless the school itself is a free school, it ain't gonna support that. The model of kids following a set curriculum at a set time is too ingrained. Here in NC, we have end-of-grade tests in 3rd, 6th and 11th grades. If the kids don't pass the test, they don't move on to the next grade -- so everything, everything is now geared toward these tests -- AND annual tests that kids must pass in order to prove the school is doing its job. There is NO WAY they're going to hear anything about the Sudbury Valley model. SO, I pulled my oldest son out to unschool with him after the 2nd grade four years ago, and now his younger brother is with him, and we are beginning the beginning work to start a democratic school here in Cha
rlotte. (Saving to get the kit from SVS)

Best of luck -

in Charlotte, NC

-----Original Message-----
From: susan robinson <>
Sent: Nov 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 suggest
ions. 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 Mon Nov 29 2004 - 11:43:41 EST

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