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Sudbury education discussion

post #1 of 112
Thread Starter 
I've been doing some research on Sudbury schools and like
the theory behind it.
So I don't really need to know anything about how the school
runs I'd really like to get some personal experiences from any
of you that have dealings with these schools. I"ve read alot
about both sides of the fence....I'd like to hear from some
mothering members.

tia
post #2 of 112
I don't have any personal experience, although I am familiar with the Sudsbury model. The one thing that I don't understand about these schools is, if you wanted your children to be schooled in such a child led manner- why not keep them home and unschool them?
post #3 of 112
khrisday,

the biggest argument is the social experience and the opportunity to be mentored and have many mentors. because the kids are aged 4-19 at most sudbury schools, the little ones have the chance to ask the older ones for help with projects, ideas, etc., and as they grow up, the kids have the chance to become mentors and guide the little ones.
post #4 of 112
Thread Starter 
I completely agree with both of you! On one hand it does sound like it's just an unschooling program that is at someone else's house.....but on the other hand the interaction amongst the students and staff seems like a very important part of it.
That's why I'm seeking personal experiences that could sway me one way
or another.
post #5 of 112
the biggest argument is the social experience and the opportunity to be mentored and have many mentors. because the kids are aged 4-19 at most sudbury schools, the little ones have the chance to ask the older ones for help with projects, ideas, etc., and as they grow up, the kids have the chance to become mentors and guide the little ones.

I find that this is what hapens naturally in life- unless one lives in a very isolated atmosphere.

It seems to me, that being home, where a child can form a strong famial bond would be just as good a place to do this. (As well as saving a lot of money)
post #6 of 112
Thread Starter 
I tend to agree with you Khrisday! That's why dh and I are
searching for a new place to live that has way more of a
'tight knit' homeschooling community so we can get that type
of socialazation you are talking about. Right now we are
surrounded by a bunch of yuppies that drive me crazy. My
oldest ds just turned 5 so I am in search of a better place
to get out and learn from others and the environment.
Sudbury sounds great.....but it is very expensive and I'm trying
to find out what we would get for our money that we can't
provide for him at home.KWIM?
post #7 of 112
We have a public alternative school near us that I am considering for ds. I had breakfast with a couple who's 5 year old is there right now this weekend. They are very happy with it. There is allot of interaction between the age groups. The kids are loosely grouped by age but there are allot of things they do all together. The kids are directly involved with the governing of the school. The little kids witness this even if they don't choose to participate.

I went to an alternative high school with allot of kids that had been in alternative schools for years. They were amazingly independant and secure in their individuality - decidedly different than school kids their age that went to "normal" schools.

I am not in a position to home school (work full time from home) but even if I could I don't feel qualified. The teachers at this school are really passionate about this type of education. I can't imagine being able to summon that much energy every day. I'm sure it can be done, I'm just not the type!
post #8 of 112
We have a public alternative school near us that I am considering for ds. I had breakfast with a couple who's 5 year old is there right now this weekend. They are very happy with it. There is allot of interaction between the age groups. The kids are loosely grouped by age but there are allot of things they do all together. The kids are directly involved with the governing of the school. The little kids witness this even if they don't choose to participate.

I went to an alternative high school with allot of kids that had been in alternative schools for years. They were amazingly independant and secure in their individuality - decidedly different than school kids their age that went to "normal" schools.

I am not in a position to home school (work full time from home) but even if I could I don't feel qualified. The teachers at this school are really passionate about this type of education. I can't imagine being able to summon that much energy every day. I'm sure it can be done, I'm just not the type!
post #9 of 112
Missgrl,

I homeschool (very close to unschool) my ds8, dd6 is in a private school by choice. I'm very interested in the Sudbury model, but have not been able to find any criticism of it on the net, or from library resources - only praise. I'd be interested to learn about all sides of the issue. Do you have any links/resources that could be useful to me?

Khrisday: I live in Northern California too, in a very homeschool/unschool friendly town. Sometimes I forget that other people may become more socially isolated by making the decision to unschool/homeschool than our family has. (I think my ds' social life has gotten even more full since he left school!)

Laura
post #10 of 112
Thread Starter 
Openskyheart~Here is the link that I use to get all my info.
on the schools. http://www.sudval.org/
It tells you all about philosophy and such and gives you a list
of all the sudbury schools and links to them.
I can't believe you responded! We are looking to move to
California soon and Santa Cruz is a definate maybe!!! PLEASE,
tell me what you can about the place! I know all about what
the internet says.....but I want to know the real deal!

Now about Sudbury, I"ve been looking into the new Marin County
school that will open this fall. They say they are going to ask
about $7000 dollars yearly for tuition. I want to know what I'm
getting for that money that I cant do myself and with my unschoolinkg
friends???
post #11 of 112
Missgrl:

I was going to say, "Hey, if you want to homeschool/unschool - come to Santa Cruz!" Homeschooling is so common here, no one seems to blink an eye when I tell them that's what we're doing. They all seem to have a neighbor/friend/neice/nephew, etc. who's homeschooling. And talk about resources and things to do: it's a homeschooling mecca.

If you're looking at Marin, you already know about the ridiculous housing prices/rents out here - so Santa Cruz prices won't scare you away! LOL (Marin prices are actually much higher than Santa Cruz). I didn't check to see if you left your e-mail addy before I started typing this, so, I'll give you mine:

grattan@surfnetusa.com

Feel free to e-mail me and I'll tell you what I can about Santa Cruz (and Marin for that matter - my Dad lives there, and I grew up visiting him there every other week).

Re: Sudbury link. Thanks! I've been to that link before, and I haven't been able to find any criticism about Sudbury - only praise. Praise is great, but I'd like to get a fuller picture. There has to be *somebody* who experienced it, had a different point of view, and wrote an article about it somewhere! LOL

$7000 for tuition sounds like alot, but is probably relatively cheap in Marin. We pay close to that for our daughter's tuition, and it is less expensive than the local Waldorf and Montesorri schools.

My dd's school is not even close to a Sudbury model, i.e. lots and lots of curriculum. I think, academically, that my son's homeschooling (we do about, oh, 5 to 45 minutes of "structured" stuff per day 4 - 5 days/week), education is superior to her private schooled education. And...if you move to Santa Cruz (hint, hint), you will have plenty of people to connect with, and resources every bit as good as a Sudbury school could provide. (Santa Cruz doesn't have a Sudbury school, BTW).

If you move to Marin, and check out the Sudbury school - just go and hang out there. Talk to teachers (facilitators?), students, etc., but also, just hang out quietly. Listen, breathe, take it in, and ask yourself: Would I want to hang out here 30 hours a week, 8 months out of the year for the next umpteen years? I looked at many private schools, and homeschool groups, and this is the method I used. It's worked pretty well...so far!

O.K., I'll end my ramble here!

Laura
post #12 of 112
Thread Starter 
Thanks openskyheart!
I'm gonna email later tonight when I have more time! I for sure
need someone that is actually THERE to talk to me!

About Sudbury...Do a search on this forum for Sudbury Schools
or Free Schools and you'll get many old/archived threads that
discusses some more praises but also offers some critisicm from
members as well!

I look forward to talking to you more!
post #13 of 112
Thread Starter 
Openskyheart....did you get my email???
post #14 of 112
Missgrl: Oh no! I did get your e-mail, and replied with a very long-winded e-mail of my own.

I'll try to find your original e-mail and respond again as soon as I can (dc want to eat, bathe, read, go to bed right now!)

Laura

post #15 of 112
Thread Starter 
I hope it didnt get lost into never, neve land.
I emailed you again. Wonder what happened?

Do you know about our PM system here? If our emails aren't
working, maybe PM would be better.
post #16 of 112
Missgrl,

Sorry I didn't get back to you. We've had houseguests for a few days. As I was browsing this site, I found a great thread on the attributes of Santa Cruz in the "Finding Your Tribe" forum. Go to California and Nevada, then to page 2 (or maybe page 1, think I'll bump it for you

The homeless situation downtown has been vastly improved lately. It was/is just as bad or worse in San Diego, so probably not a deciding factor.

In the Santa Cruz thread, there is also a little tip about AP friendly towns in Marin you might want to check out.

You can also check the San Diego thread on that forum. I have read other places that San Diego is not particularly homeschool-friendly. San Diego is also politically conservative (4 military bases there), and tho' it has a laidback vibe compared to, say, LA, it's more yuppy laidback than crunchy laidback, KWIM?

I never raised kids in San Diego, so I can't speak to that.

Santa Cruz is expensive, and dh and I are fortunate enough to be able to afford it, and work here in town too! And it's a great place to raise kids - great!

I couldn't find your original e-mail , so if you have other questions, don't hesitate to ask away!

Laura
post #17 of 112
Thread Starter 
thanks again openskyheart!
YES>>>>I have more questions (specific ones) so I'd like to keep
it private. I'll email you with them.
Here's my email missgrl@mac.com
post #18 of 112
Thread Starter 
Openskyheart.....I got your PM days ago and responded days
ago and my message tracking shows you haven't read it.
BUT...you've been online since then.
Do you know how to recieve PMs?
post #19 of 112
HI,

We were pretty set on homeschooling until I recently heard about these Sudbury schools, which to me sound too good to be true. I would also like to find some criticisms of it. I live in SF but we're thinking of moving to the Santa Clara area if we like the Sudbury school there. The Sudbury school opening in Marin looks beautiful but would be too long of a commute for my dh. It also is more expensive (around 9000, I think; I do remember reading that with financial aid it could get down to 3000) .
post #20 of 112
This is the kind of education I would like for my dd, but I'm not counting on it - mainly because of the cost, but also because the nearest one is a 2-hour drive, and I am a little uncomfortable with my 4-year-old being around people much older than herself, because of the sexual predator factor.

I once had a job that was democratic - no "bosses," and everyone there, even the new volunteers, had just as much decision-making power as people who had been working there for 30 years. The consensus was that the discussion was not to end until everyone there was happy, and discussions never took more than an hour - it was possible for everyone to be happy and still get out on time. I think it's the only way that business could thrive.
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