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

From: Shelli Buhr <>
Date: Tue Oct 11 02:24:01 2005


Very well said. I am not stating I agree with you and
not Molly. I identify with what you have written.

I am having a hard time identifying with unschooling.
I have a hard time getting the concept of part time or
drop in participation in school even though I know it
was merely thrown out there in context with

I guess I equate my understanding of school as 'in
preparation of' adult life. I dont know if my judgment
of 'being responsible' enables me the flexibility to
be a drop in employee, or a part time parent as I
equate a lot of emphasis on responsibility.

I can see that clearly it is working for Molly, in
fact, I really like how it is opening your children to
really become part of their community and I think that
is fantastic.

But here is my inner critic asking questions... How do
individual needs get addressed? Is there a lack of
structure (foundation) necessary to build on? Are they
doing what they want or what the group is doing, or
are they doing this because this alternative
unschooling is incomparable to the concept of any kind
of structured education?

It comes down to this... I personally dont know if I
am that courageous to simply allow that much freedom.

I guess there are times in life when part of my growth
came when I have to do things that are not good or fun
or pleasing, but are good for me and are in my best
interest. Only then, I would have lacked the
experience or knowledge or simply thought that I knew
better or enough to make the right choice for me at
that time.

Carol, something else that you said triggered and
"Aha" sense in me. "it disrupts the flow." The process
of "IS" the flow.

For me, I tried imagining myself at work; it would be
hard to get something accomplished, especially if
there was a pre-defined group effort, if an outside
force came in and lended its influence without regard
to 'the flow' of what already was.

--- Hughes <> wrote:

> 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?
> Carol
> ----- Original Message -----
> From:
> To:
> 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:
> Molly,
> 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.
> Carol,
> 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 Tue Oct 11 2005 - 02:23:10 EDT

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