Originally Posted by carmel23
This is what I'm concerned about. My son is very academically inclined, he loves to do academic stuff beyond the basic learning how to read, and do basic math. I'd hate for the school culture to not
value his intellect... although he does love art and is a good artist...
Let us know how it goes.
I know for sure that there are at least two children at my kids' school that would be classified as "gifted" if they had ever gone to a public school. They both seem to be well liked and follow their passions (my kids are not really friends with either, although my dd is very close to sister of one of them). I'm not sure exactly how you meant value his intellect, could you expand on that? The impression I get from my kids' school is that nothing is really favored over anything else. I don't feel like art is valued over intellect...in fact, it's confusing me a bit to think about this in the context of a Sudbury school. If a child has something they are interested in, they pursue it. If they need help pursuing it, then they ask other people (staff or students) for help, be it for a quick explanation or a longer class or a field trip or a mentor relationship. It's not that there aren't classes at a Sudbury school, it is that they need to be entirely student initiated. And they only last as long as the kids are interested.
This is the part of Sudbury that many people have the most difficulty with (and I've had my moments of, "Oh crap, what are we doing here??" too.). It is something that is hard to trust, that your kids are really going to end up knowing what they need to know. I do believe that it happens, and I value the fact that the kids develop initiative and the ability to follow what interests them to the end, without having to stop and move on to some new subject they couldn't care less about.
I think if you go with a Sudbury school you have to watch your kid(s) and keep up with them (not to say that you should be hasty in changing schools, sometimes it is just a rough spot). I've known several kids who pursue outside interests via classes and other kids who arrange to go part time and other kids who graduate early because they want to move on and others who decide they want all-day classes and choose to go to a new school. Sometimes Sudbury feels amazing to me and other times I am insecure, but my kids are happy with it and often astonish me with the things they know, so we're sticking with it. I know the staff fairly well at our school and I know they are great about helping kids find information. Good luck carmel23!
Oh, and thisiswhatwedo, how is it going with your kids? Did the parent meeting go well? I am really interested in all of this, even if I don't often have time to post...
My kids are doing well so far; my 6yo ds has been playing with lots of different kids this year, not just his two close friends. This seems to have helped with his feelings of ambiguity; he rarely has days he doesn't feel like going anymore. He has already grown so much in the few short months; he is mellowing out a lot. The main problem he's having is there have been many many ghost stories travelling around, which he does NOT like. Hehe, we spend hours talking about it at home. Now we have moved on to evil fairies...help! lol He is so much like me, I can't stand scary things either (although to be honest he handles it much better than I do...).