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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › Other (Reggio Emilia, Sudbury, Democratic) › "Free school" for a kid who thrives on routines?
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"Free school" for a kid who thrives on routines?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
We're looking at a free school (not free tuition, but freedom in choices, lessons, etc.). I love it. When we went to visit the class my DD would be in next year there was a group of kids listening to the teacher tell a story, another group carving a pumpkin with the Spanish teacher (this was the week of Halloween), other kids painting, building blocks, etc. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and I'm sure it's a great way for them to learn. The problem is that my DD depends on routines. I'm a very non-schedule oriented person who finds routines irritating, but DD loves them. Every night before we go to bed we have a vitamin and a glass of water, go upstairs, put on jammies, brush teeth, read two books, talk about what we're going to do the next day, sing a song and say goodnight. The whole thing takes less than 30 minutes, but if any part is left out she just can't sleep.

She currently goes to a Waldorf preschool and loves it. It is very predictable. Every Monday they have rice for a snack and color. Every Tuesday it's oatmeal and baking. Etc. They play outside, they hear stories, etc. Every day it's a predictable routine and she is really blossoming there.

Does anyone have a kid who goes to a "free school" and do you think a child who likes routines could thrive there?
post #2 of 10
I have no experience with either, I just wanted to say my ds would love the Waldorf school. He also thrives on a predictable routine, when you were describing it I was shaking my head up & down thinking how great it would be for him! Good luck with your choice.
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by momtokay
We're looking at a free school (not free tuition, but freedom in choices, lessons, etc.).
Is a "free school" the same thing as a Sudbury school?

Thanks, David
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
This school is more structured than our local Sudbury school, but does have some commonalities. They have "classes" of similar aged children (say 6, 7 and 8 year olds). Each class has a teacher. It is not fully a democratic school although they do have all school meetings where they can take up grievences etc. and each child in considered important. They are more directed in that each classroom has somewhat "age appropriate" materials, like the classes for 8+ have more computers than the younger ones. The younger ones have more blocks, etc. The cirriculum is governed by the kids, but there is a cirriculum. I'm not sure if I'm making any sense. It does have a lot of similarties, but kids aren't just allowed to wander off campus and I don't believe that they can spend all day watching TV or surfing the internet, but I could be wrong about that.
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by canndw
Is a "free school" the same thing as a Sudbury school?

Thanks, David

No. Sudbury Schools are Democratic Schools. A Free School is slightly different from a Democratic School.

Check back in the previous posts. I'm sure that I posted about this subtle (but important) difference.

PM me if you have no joy. Probacly about time that I started posting about this anyway.

a
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by momtokay
We're looking at a free school >SNIP<. The problem is that my DD depends on routines.

>SNIP<

Does anyone have a kid who goes to a "free school" and do you think a child who likes routines could thrive there?
I ahve 2 that do. One is as free as the breeze, the other eats up routine like railway track!

The answer is not so much about whether it is a "this type" or a "that type" of school. More whether or not the school is willing to provide routine if children ask for it.

More importantly, is the school sensitive enough to recognise that certain children need routine, but do not have the inclination or social skills to ask for what they want.

We have optional structure in our school because some of the children ask for it, and we make sure that our ears a really open.

That would depend not only on whether the school has the strcture to allow for instant and convienient change, but also staff that are atuned to the needs of the children.

Without a staff member that understnads that certain children need to be offered structure as an option every morning in school, I would regard the school as unable to offer an important part of education.

a
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much!! The school we are considering doesn't even start looking at new applicants until March, but if/when we get a chance to talk to them I'm going to find out how they deal with kids who like routines and see if it "feels" like it would work for DD. I'm glad to hear that there's a good chance they'll be able to work with her.
post #8 of 10
As a matter of interest, where are you considering?

a
post #9 of 10
If it's free, she can set up any routine she wants!
post #10 of 10
That is indeed, exactly the point.

And a routine could include no routine at all.

a
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