Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] 7 Lessons Taught in School

From: Scott David Gray <>
Date: Tue Nov 28 12:59:00 2006

On 11/28/06, <> wrote:

> This distresses me also. There is an unspoken assumption
> that children need to be protected from their parents -- the
> very people who love and care about them the most. This
> mindset exemplifies a lack of trust and faith in the laws
> of nature and in the importance of human's trusting themselves
> to do what is correct for their children. How can we ignore the
> heap of anthropological studies which show historically how
> children thrive and flourish as they grow up along side of their
> parents - without being "protected" by any institution!

Alongside, yes. Living together, yes. Spending hours with every day,
in the evenings and nights, yes. Returning to the home for support and
safety, yes.

Under constant care or supervision, an emphatic *no*. In *every*
pre-industrial society documented, children starting at age 3-6, and
for most of their lives, spend most of their days in play groups with
other children *away* from their parents -- forming their own
relationships and making their own names for themselves, with each
other and in the broader community.

This applies to communities across the board, in societies where
schooling has not taken over the daily life of children. For just one,
modern, case in point, I would suggest David Nasaw's wonderful work on
the life of children in New York City at the turn of the century
"Children of the City."

If a parent fels that his/her child is ready for a Sudbury school, and
that child agrees, those two are saying that the child is ready for
spending time *apart* from his or her parents. And the great bulk of
parents in Sudbury schools recognize that their home life with their
children is *enhanced* by the fact that the children are out with
other children forming their own experiences *apart* from the parents
during the day.

Sudbury schools are emphatically *not* interested in "protecting"
children from parents in the manner of Summerhill (which is a boarding
school for exactly that reason). And, in fact, parents and extended
family are welcome for occasional casual visits *much* more readily
than in traditional schools. But students and staff in the various
School Meetings have, by and large, spoken that they want a separate
community at the school during the day -- rather than operating as
"drop off centers" for homeschooling parents.

> Molly

-- Scott David Gray
Received on Tue Nov 28 2006 - 12:58:22 EST

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