Sudbury education discussion - Mothering Forums
1 2  3  ... Last
Other (Reggio Emilia, Sudbury, Democratic) > Sudbury education discussion
Missgrl's Avatar Missgrl 03:28 PM 03-02-2003
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

khrisday's Avatar khrisday 08:51 PM 03-02-2003
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?
gurumama's Avatar gurumama 10:30 PM 03-02-2003
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.
Missgrl's Avatar Missgrl 11:08 PM 03-02-2003
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.
khrisday's Avatar khrisday 11:45 PM 03-02-2003
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)
Missgrl's Avatar Missgrl 03:05 PM 03-05-2003
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?
Liz's Avatar Liz 07:05 PM 03-10-2003
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!
Liz's Avatar Liz 07:11 PM 03-10-2003
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!
Openskyheart's Avatar Openskyheart 11:57 PM 03-12-2003
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
Missgrl's Avatar Missgrl 12:33 AM 03-13-2003
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???
Openskyheart's Avatar Openskyheart 04:02 AM 03-13-2003
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:

[email protected]

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
Missgrl's Avatar Missgrl 06:22 PM 03-13-2003
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!
Missgrl's Avatar Missgrl 06:48 PM 03-18-2003
Openskyheart....did you get my email???
Openskyheart's Avatar Openskyheart 01:59 AM 03-19-2003
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


Missgrl's Avatar Missgrl 03:36 AM 03-19-2003
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.
Openskyheart's Avatar Openskyheart 10:02 PM 03-22-2003
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
Missgrl's Avatar Missgrl 12:06 AM 03-26-2003
Missgrl's Avatar Missgrl 12:10 AM 04-02-2003
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?
Kateri's Avatar Kateri 07:44 PM 08-25-2003
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) .
Greaseball's Avatar Greaseball 02:13 AM 08-30-2003
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.
CurlyTop's Avatar CurlyTop 04:48 AM 01-22-2004
Oh I hope some of you are still here and reply! {{{{hope}}}}

I just found out about Sudbury and couldn't believe how great it sounds! Plus, I live in sunnyvale (next town up from santa clara).

Kateri, is your child going to cedarwood valley? What's the news?

I am ravenous for details!
Kateri's Avatar Kateri 03:58 PM 01-22-2004
Hi Curlytop,

We visited the school once and I had a hard time envisioning my children there. Definitely check it out and see what you think.

We're moving down to Sunnyvale in a couple of weeks. Maybe we'll run into each other.
CurlyTop's Avatar CurlyTop 08:01 PM 01-22-2004
Oh it would be awesome to meet you. Where will you live? I'm pm'ing you with my addy.

I will go look at Sudbury. I have no idea what to expect. I just thought that it would be like unschooling but with extra benefits. For example I don't have access to a pottery wheel or post-production video equipment etc. And I have a somewhat controlling personality which serves me well in work but some kids try to please their parents and I want my girls to be THEMSELVES. Ramble ramble, thanks for writing!!!
mamarain's Avatar mamarain 03:00 PM 01-29-2004
I had a boyfriend who went to Sudbury - and he told me about it on our first "date" and that was one of the things made me fall for him... The school sounded awesome - just like you would like to have your child supported as they grow. I know that the school did a lot for my ex - sorted his head in some manner (he's a Tibetan monk now, so go figure). Most of all i liked the fact how they have to give a speech at the end of the school to say what they have learnt and what they will do.. etc.. and the people vote wheter they get to graduate. Ah, true democracy!
CurlyTop's Avatar CurlyTop 02:56 AM 01-30-2004
Thanks for sharing about your prior boyfriend. A tibetan monk, wow!

So was this boyfriend from the Sierras too? I have family in Mt. Shasta.

I'm going to visit the Cedarwood Sudbury school in February. I know it's early, my kids are 3.5 years away from being old enough to attend, but I'm sooo curious!

edited to add I don't think Mt. Shasta is IN the Sierras, oh well, I'm a product of public schools so I can't really be expected to know geography (joke!)
cloudspinning's Avatar cloudspinning 03:15 AM 02-16-2004
If anyone is still out there I have a tiny bit of experience with a Sudbury school. My dd and I went to "preschool playdays" at the Clearwater School in Seattle. I loved it! I don't know how the other ones are, but Clearwater has such an amazing atmosphere. The kids are not afraid to talk to you, to tell you what they think, to be themselves. The staff members all exhibit a level of trust and confidence in the kids that makes me feel completely secure knowing how valued my dks would be there. Over the course of a few months I made some lasting friendships there. As soon as we go back to Seattle my kids are welcome to attend.

For our family, homeschooling/unschooling was always my choice. Until I my dd started growing up! She is so incredibly social. Every morning she would beg to be with her friends. Well, I'm not a complete introvert, but I do get exhausted being around people as much as she needs to be. But, most schools leave me feeling dirty, even most "alternative" schools. So, sudbury filled our needs quite nicely.

The disadvantages I see (these are specific to Clearwater, since that's the one I have experience with) are that the school and outside space is small. That will take a few more years to remedy, considering the price of real estate in Seattle. The demographic of the school is...male. I think they have 3-4 girls but 23 or so boys. The only reason that is a concern is that my dd always wants more girls to play with (even though her really good friends always seem to be boys!). But I think that's unusual, I know it's more balanced at Sudbury Valley in Mass. Clearwater is a young school, also, so they're still balancing themselves in a lot of ways. The only other thing that I can think of is the price. Clearwater currently does not pay their staff so that all tuition can go to keeping the school running. Yet, it is still hard to find the money for it in our budget. If I could, though, I would pay 3x the tuition they are asking now because I trully believe in what they are doing.

All that said, if my ds decides he doesn't want to go to school, I'll definitely homeschool him. I think that if you visit a school and it's the right fit you'll know. And I trully believe that it should be a choice for the child, if at all possible. If a child knows that they can say yes or no to a particular place they are more likely to get all they can out of what they choose. So that's my 2 cents!
CurlyTop's Avatar CurlyTop 04:38 PM 02-18-2004
I'm really looking forward to going to the Cedarwood Sudbury school. I still haven't made it to one of their Friday "open houses." Luckily I have 3.5 years til my girls are school age. I totally agree that it will be their choice.

Thanks for the personal info. That's so wonderful how the adults and children respected each other and were comfortable together. Awesome! I hope anyone who has some to share will post here. After my visit, I'll be back to share!

Yours,
CurlyTop
darkstar's Avatar darkstar 02:15 AM 02-21-2004
One of my friends sends her dd to Sudbury school here in Chicago. I know that it is really new to the area, or at least the school that she goes to is. I went to their house this weekend for a party. Their dd is 4. Everyone that came were sudbury students and parents. 95% were hippies. The party was awsome. There were kids their from 2-16. And they all got along great. the big kids played with the little kids. Totally mentoring going on their. I had such a great experience at the party I am defintley checking out the scholl when my DD is old enough.
Greaseball the thought of these kids being sexual predators was truly never a concern. All of these kids are just being kids...And with such kind loving parents...
Anyways, Its top on my list if I am still in a city
Greaseball's Avatar Greaseball 07:51 PM 04-23-2004
I forget how old this thread is, but I was wondering if someone knew the answer to a question I had - how much supervision is provided at a Sudbury school?

The one closest to where I am is on a 5-acre campus, and only has 3 full-time teachers. I'm concerned about young children exploring the woods, stream, and the rest of the grounds without an adult present. Accidents can still happen in a self-governed environment!
cloudspinning's Avatar cloudspinning 03:33 AM 04-25-2004
Well, I don't know how it works at the school near you, but the one in Seattle they have only a small area outside for the kids. The gate doesn't lock. It made me nervous for a while, so I asked about it. The staff told me (also about 3-4 adults for 20 kids) that if the kid asked and the staff member was available they would go with. But basically that the kid was on their own. They did say that you could certainly tell your kid that they were only allowed to do (or not do) certain things, etc. But they wouldn't enforce it. They of course will take them to parks, or the swimming pool, other public places, etc.

I had the luxury of having a long time to explore the philosophy of the school, and this is my interpretation (and I am not affiliated with any of the schools, so take my opinion as opinion only). Sudbury is about trust. Complete trust. It's damn hard to do, for me, for a myriad of reasons. But, it is an idea that I hold valuable, that I strive for, and that I find worth the effort. The "motto" of the Clearwater school is Freedom, Trust, Responsibility. And they aren't kidding. They're Freedom, not Freedom lite. So, you have to be willing to trust your kids, too. I'm not saying that accidents don't happen, or that you're silly to be worried about it, cuz I worry about it, too.

Do you want to talk more about it? I'd be interested to hear what you think, what they say, how your kid feels...

namaste,
Brenda
1 2  3  ... Last

Up