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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › Other (Reggio Emilia, Sudbury, Democratic) › Wow! This is the first time on MDC where I don’t even know what a forum is about?
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post #21 of 30
Great thread!

This all sounds very interesting.

I have a question, for those who are familiar with the concept of "unschooling":

Reading about Sudbury, and to some extent Reggio Emilia as well, it sounds as if they have a lot in common with the educational philosophy behind unschooling, i.e. self-directed learning, kids choosing what, where and when to "study" (for lack of a better term), self-reliance etc.

Now, I know you could argue that unschooling excludes any type of institution or school-setting. But, doesn't the "school" in unschooling refer mostly to the rigid conventional schools with grades, age-based classes, externally directed learning, etc? Of course, in a school the kids are in the same place (the school grounds) all day, which isn't really an idea unschooling philosophy would support.

Still, I see some similarities.

What do others think? I'm especailly interested to hear from unschoolers and parents who have kids in Sudbury/ Reggio Emilia schools, but everyone else is welcome to chime in, too, of course.
post #22 of 30
Actually when my daughter attended SVS it was open campus for all students. Any student could go off campus at any time, and if a parent wanted any restrictions, the parent would have to arrange that with the child.

Then, after some reactions from the community (seeing six and seven year olds alone in the adjacent park) the rules were changed. Four-to-seven year-olds had to stay on campus, eight-to-twelve year-olds had to sign in and out and only go with a buddy, and thirteen and up still had open campus.

Students have to sign in by 11:00 a.m. and attend for at least six hours. Many older kids had real jobs off-campus, and that counted has school, too! So it is pretty close to unschooling. And yet very convenient for working parents.
post #23 of 30
MommyTo3 - Many thanks for your input.

I was thinking to myself while reading the description of Sudbury that it might be a good option for working parents who want to create a self-directed, "unschooling"-like environment for their children but cannot home educate.

It sounds very interesting.
post #24 of 30
Another reason it is good for working parents is that they don't get most of those Monday holidays that public schools do. And they don't have "teacher's conference" days or half-days. And they are open 8:30 to 5:00, with the option of requesting 8:00-8:30 and 5:00-5:30 if needed. The whole seven years when dd was there I only worked three months, but I remember thinking that it was fantastic for working parents.

Now I am getting divorced and will be working, but my two youngest will not be allowed to attend SVS. My oldest daughter may be able to, but I don't need child care for her!
post #25 of 30
Why won't your kids be allowed to attend SVS?

Is it a school decision, or other factors? Do they have an admission policy?
post #26 of 30
I'm a homeschooler, but if I had to put my boys in a school I think I'd pick Sudbury or Reggio. They seem very close to child led/inspired learning. I also like the fact that Sudbury doesn't do tests or grades.
post #27 of 30
Girl_Named_Sandos,
My two younger kids won't be able to attend SVS because the admission policy requires signatures of both parents. My STBX won't let them attend because it must be a "cult", since my older dd wants to be back there with her friends. As part of the separation agreement, I gave up any hope of the younger two attending (the wording says that if we don't agree, the status quo will prevail). But in return, I get to make educational decisions for dd (though she has only three more years left). She should be able to get in with one signature based on that agreement. It is a big compromise, that's for sure.
post #28 of 30
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post #29 of 30
From what I've read, I don't think Reggio Emilia is very similar to Subdury or unschooling. It IS teacher-directed. But, they drive the projects to the individual needs/abilities of the kids. They focus a lot on observation to see where kids are at, and then use "scaffolding" to provide the tools to help kids get to the next level, whatever that may be. So, it is child-centered, but not child-directed. Kwim? The teachers role is really quite extensive.
post #30 of 30
Boatbaby--
Cindy...is that you??? How have you been?
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