Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Newbie with Question

From: Naomi Bennett <>
Date: Wed Dec 1 14:03:01 2004

Speaking from the point of view of the child, and
having worked with children with this trait (though
only at an early age, I have not seen these children
grow up and how it affected them), one of the most
important things (I think) that the SVS schools teach
is self motivation. And I think that the older you
are the harder it is to learn. But eventually
everyone finds something that interests them enough to
really dedicate themselves to learning.
In the kids that I have taught, in rare instances, I
have found that not wanting to do something 'hard' is
a learned trait from their environment, whether they
have been forced too much into learning what they are
not in the least interested in, or in one instance,
which I think is very rare, I had a 5 year old child
actually tell me the reason she would not try to learn
to swim, was that her mother had told her not to try
anything hard because she might fail - (I am not in
the least suggesting that this is the cause, but
children not wanting to do things that are 'hard' can
come from many different influences.)
What I think that SVS model provides, is an
environment were no subject perceived as harder to
master, more important, or more valuable. So that,
there is no stigma that learning one subject is more
difficult than another. And if someone is really
involved and interested, the difficulty becomes a
challenge, it becomes fun.
I think your son will be fine, he just might have a
little bit of an adjustment figuring out what he is
interested in enough to meet the challenge of keeping
himself motivated. But honestly, I think that
learning self motivation is more important that any
other subject anyone has to offer.
And if he decides to go to college, there will be no
one there to regulate his study schedule, or make sure
he keeps up with his classes.


--- Mary Torgersen <> wrote:

> Hello All,
> I absolutely love reading all the posts on this
> list. What a very interesting and passionate group!
> I am just thinking about Sudbury Valley for my 9
> year old son. One of my concerns is that my son will
> not attempt things that he finds difficult. Even
> things he likes, like football, he is not willing or
> able to do his time to become better. For example,
> he wanted to take trumpet lessons
> (totally his idea). He was so excited. He
> immediately realized it was "hard" and has ceased
> practicing. Now he has fallen behind and unless I
> start mandating practice, I know he will not ever
> learn to play this instrument.
> So, my question is obvious at this point. How would
> he fare in the Sudbury Valley model? Sometimes I
> feel that the only reason he has learned as much
> math, science, and writing as he has is that he is
> required to do so in public school. If it were not
> required, I fear he would never be willing to work
> hard. Never gain the discipline to master things,
> but perhaps always just do enough to get by. Are
> some people just by nature like this? Or will
> everyone, given the space and time, come to master
> the things that are important to them.
> Thanks
> Mary
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list

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Received on Wed Dec 01 2004 - 14:02:22 EST

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