[Discuss-sudbury-model] on community

From: Ann Ide <ann.ide_at_rcn.com>
Date: Sat Dec 4 16:26:01 2004


This is our 5th year at SVS. I think the effect it has on one's neighborhood community depends on the neighborhood. I hear of other SVS kids who still hang out with their neighborhood friends. We just don't have much of one where we live. The kids that are around require that we call and plan "playdates", and they tend to be for a few hours, with one friend at a time !( If they already have a friend over, then no one else can come over ! ) It is so different than how my boys are used to being with their friends while at school; where a more organic flow is allowed, playing whenever and for as long as they wish. So our neighborhood contact gets less and less over the years as it becomes less and less satisfying, in a number of ways, I presume.

What we do have is an extended community of families of their school friends. Since they don't live near one another, they tend to have sleepovers ( even during the week ), or, at the least, a full day visit when there is not school. We have friends' toothbrushes that we keep in our bathroom ! It is a norm that they all sleep over each others' houses; and I think it feels like a huge family. It's different, and less convenient; but still has its good points.

Personally, as a parent, I feel less community than I did in the public schools. There are far fewer opportunities for parents to get to know each other, or to feel that sense of togetherness. The school is clearly for the kids, not us. However, over time, I have eventually grown to know a good number of people. I may see them infrequently, but I am so much happier with these folks than I am with the public school parents I knew. We just have so much more in common; and it feels so good.

In sum, I guess there are some gains and some losses. It's best just not to compare, really; and just let it be different and good in new ways.

Feel free to contact me if you want to talk more about SVS. I have two boys there, 10 and 14; totally in love with it.

Ann Ide
Received on Sat Dec 04 2004 - 16:25:24 EST

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