RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Parents on campus

From: Joseph Moore <joseph_at_ivorycc.com>
Date: Wed Nov 29 15:22:00 2006

Two cents:

One of the things I like the most about our school is that, for at least
5 hours a day, my kids are out from under my influence*. Control is,
ultimately, an illusion: we do not make our kids who they are, all we
can really do is set an example of happiness and trust, and offer
support. Their lives are their own. What better place to learn how to
live their own lives than a Sudbury school?

I'm at the school for brief periods at least a few times a week, to sign
checks (I'm President of the Assembly) pick up kids, fix something,
whatever. I don't try to be invisible, but I don't check up on my kids,
and try not to even wander around too much. It just seems best to
respect their space.

We've had similar experiences with parents teaching classes, except
(speaking as non-staff, so this all second hand) we seem to have had
better overall experiences - a couple of parents, in particular, have
had repeat requests for their classes. It can work. It can also fail.
The key, as others have intimated, is that the particular parent has to
have a working understanding of and respect for the model and the kids.

Finally, as Dilyara mentioned, DVS has worked pretty hard over the years
to develop a strong parent's group. We've been lucky, I suppose, in that
our founder's group and many of the original families were perhaps a
bit, I don't know, saner and more grounded than what I get from other's
descriptions of their experiences at other schools. At any rate, we see
parental get-togethers and activities as very important to growth and
retention, as it reinforces that families are not alone, others are
successfully working through the challenges of Sudbury schooling. What's
great now is that, 10 years into it, we have all kinds of wonderful
success stories to share, about how well it is working out for our kids
and families.

Joseph

* the idea with standard schooling is that the model of control that
parents are assumed/bullied to buy into extends throughtout the day,
even so far as having homework that presumes to tell parents what *they*
must do with their kid after school. So, even though kids are away from
their parents at school, they are presumed to be under tight control
with the state taking on the roll of the 'good' parent. Once you've
stepped outside the box a little, it becomes amazing how willingly and
completely parents buy into letting some minion with an education degree
tell them how to run their families! At this point, if by some tragedy I
found myself with kids in standard schools, and some punk tried to tell
me that I needed to spend several hours at night going over busywork or
my kid might 'fail' 8th grade, I'd tell 'em put it where the sun don't
shine! How can people live like that? Rant off.
Received on Wed Nov 29 2006 - 15:21:14 EST

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