Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] compulsory element of sudbury model

From: Hughes <>
Date: Mon Oct 10 21:26:00 2005

What if I asked you to let any of the kids at an SVS school join in with your kids projects or activities whenever the mood struck them? What if your child didn't happen to particularly like the personality of the child who wanted to jump in with your child's activity? If you paid for the supplies, how would you handle the expenses? I just don't get why you think this is a good idea. If I had a job and someone wanted to participate in my work whenever they liked, it would drive me nuts. SVS frequently has people who want to come have a look and participate in the school day. When the adult, child, sibling, visitor, media or whatever is not a day-to-day part of the community it disrupts the flow. SVS is a community, a way of life, a home, a work in progress. Changing that balance that is created among the students by their own enormous effort is very frustrating. A part time job, a part time family, a part time anything just doesn't have the same results as a full time commitment. If my kids had had their way, SVS would have been year round. It is incredibly ironic to me that you want to have some of this "school" experience when you are so firmly commited to unschooling? What is it that you are not getting from your experience that makes you want this connection? Tis a puzzle. Are you aware that students sign their own committment to attending SVS when enrolled?

----- Original Message -----
  Sent: Monday, October 10, 2005 2:08 PM
  Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] compulsory element of sudbury model

  In a message dated 10/8/2005 12:58:41 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

    If unschooling kids could benefit from going to Sudbury Schools, how do the kids who are choosing to be there more often benefit from the unschooling kids? Do you want everyone else to create a community for your children that they can drop in here and there to participate? Doesn't seem balanced to me. Attendence has to be there for the school to thrive. Part time attendence assumes that one could reap the rewards of other people's efforts.


  This is not reflective of my intent at all, when I wrote about opening sudbury schools to unschoolers, who may choose to not enroll because of compulsory attendance policies.

  Maybe because of the nature of their lifestyles, folks who unschool understand the important reationship between freedom and responsibility. Therefore, these are not people who are out there trying to benefit at the expense of others. I'm sorry if I somehow inadvertantly painted that picture.

  Speaking for my family and the dozens of unschoolers we know, these are people who are often enthusiastic about working (often in democratic settings) to make their communities better places. This was the reason for my statement that I thought an infusion of unschooling kids could actually be a positive rather than a negative thing for sudbury schools.

  I understand that if all kids used sudbury as a drop-in center, the school could not thrive. But shouldn't an institution as worthy as a sudbury school should be able to attract attendance based on its own merits - not on forced attendance policies? I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but by removing the compulsory aspect, perhaps a sudbury school would enhance its daily culture by attracting those unschoolers who are currently deterred because of the perceived forced attendance policy.

  It could follow that kids who want the flexibility of being able to "drop-in", and who spend fewer hours a day on campus than others, might end up being more involved and active in the school meetings - or, might make more positive contributions in other ways - than even some kids who choose to spend every hour on campus. In any case, the forced attendance still seems at odds with the rest of the sudbury philosophy, and doesn't feel right to many of us unschoolers.

  Molly Mancasola


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Received on Mon Oct 10 2005 - 21:25:31 EDT

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