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#1 of 30 Old 03-31-2005, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What are these things?

(Reggio Emilia, Sudbury, Democratic)

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#2 of 30 Old 03-31-2005, 05:45 PM
 
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they're types of schools

Erin, 33, salty southern mama, sitting by the sea with my DH35, DD10, DS4, &DD2!
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#3 of 30 Old 03-31-2005, 11:11 PM
 
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Thanks for visiting! We all learn something new everyday!

 
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#4 of 30 Old 03-31-2005, 11:13 PM
 
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Fascinating....

I had no idea...
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#5 of 30 Old 04-01-2005, 03:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yea, I get that they’re types of schools and did a little search. I’d love to hear more from those of you who have personal experience. DD is going to school one day and I’d like to know our options.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#6 of 30 Old 04-02-2005, 03:46 PM
 
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My daughter recently began attending the Sudbury Valley School (SVS) in Framingham, MA. She is 8 years old, and left a public school in the middle of second grade. SVS is a democratic school, accepts children 4 through 17, and the children are entirely self-directed all the time. There are no grades, no tests, and there are only classes if the kids specifically request them. From my observation, the kids are happy, relaxed and busy much of the time. There is lots of music, art and conversation going on. The kids seem very comfortable associating with all the different age groups. Now that warmer weather is finally arriving, the kids seem to spend a good part of their days outside. It's pretty wonderful to see children blooming like flowers in the sun now that spring is here.

Is my daughter learning? Yes, it's amazing to me how much she's learned so far. Much of it is life lessons like how to get along with such an array of people, how to structure her day, fiscal responsibility (there are oppportunities to buy some food items, and some art suppplies). She is much more interested in news and current events, and has lots of energy after school to pursue her other interests.

Sudbury Valley pretty much requires you to believe that children left entirely to their own devices will learn everything they need to know. Much like babies will learn to walk and talk without specific instruction, this school believes that in a rich and supportive environment, you can't stop children from learning.

My daughter was not thriving in public school, and I needed an alternative. Once I started researching this, it I was very excited. Honestly, I'm also a little scared, because this is so different from any idea of school I ever had.

The school has a good website http://www.sudval.org if you want more information. I'd be happy to answer any questions that anyone has about our experience.
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#7 of 30 Old 06-01-2005, 01:37 PM
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as lame as this sounds:

I thought "Sudbury Schools" Meant schools in Sudbury Ontario Canada

I knew Sudbury Ontario was different, but not THAT off the mainstream track! lol
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#8 of 30 Old 06-11-2005, 10:31 AM
 
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I am a Reggio inspired teacher. The Reggio approuch of education began in the 1960's for children age 3-5 and later also iinfants and toddlers in an Italian city called Reggio Emilia. It is child centered, project-based and sees the teacher as researcher not just as the all knowing head of the classroom. There is a real emphasis on documentation of the learning through photos, work samples, and video. Also, the children are encoraged to use their meta-cognition (think about their thinking) when they revisit the documentaion. Small group work and long term projects are encoraged. The teacher really is to follow the children's lead to develope the new provocations presented to them.

That is a very, very brief overview.

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#9 of 30 Old 07-28-2005, 02:08 PM
 
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I didn't know what these things were either. Thanks for starting this post and thanks to the people who helped explain these types of schools. I thought that Waldorf was all I would ever consider for dd, but now that I know about sudbury. I'm very excited to have more (and maybe even better) options to choose from.

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#10 of 30 Old 09-21-2005, 02:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyPam
My daughter recently began attending the Sudbury Valley School (SVS) in Framingham, MA. She is 8 years old, and left a public school in the middle of second grade. SVS is a democratic school, accepts children 4 through 17, and the children are entirely self-directed all the time. There are no grades, no tests, and there are only classes if the kids specifically request them. From my observation, the kids are happy, relaxed and busy much of the time. There is lots of music, art and conversation going on. The kids seem very comfortable associating with all the different age groups. Now that warmer weather is finally arriving, the kids seem to spend a good part of their days outside. It's pretty wonderful to see children blooming like flowers in the sun now that spring is here.

Is my daughter learning? Yes, it's amazing to me how much she's learned so far. Much of it is life lessons like how to get along with such an array of people, how to structure her day, fiscal responsibility (there are oppportunities to buy some food items, and some art suppplies). She is much more interested in news and current events, and has lots of energy after school to pursue her other interests.

Sudbury Valley pretty much requires you to believe that children left entirely to their own devices will learn everything they need to know. Much like babies will learn to walk and talk without specific instruction, this school believes that in a rich and supportive environment, you can't stop children from learning.

My daughter was not thriving in public school, and I needed an alternative. Once I started researching this, it I was very excited. Honestly, I'm also a little scared, because this is so different from any idea of school I ever had.

The school has a good website http://www.sudval.org if you want more information. I'd be happy to answer any questions that anyone has about our experience.

Is there any way you can build a time machine for the years 1985-1998? Seriously, that is the type of school I needed to attend. I made excellent grades as it were, but I know I would have loved that sort of atmosphere. It would have fitted my personality to a tee.

~Nay

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#11 of 30 Old 09-22-2005, 04:36 PM
 
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AntoninBeGonin, a lot of people I tell about the school feel exactly the same way, including me!

The school started in 1968, but I sure knew nothing about it during my school years. I would have loved it there. I feel like this is a gift that I am giving my daughter.
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#12 of 30 Old 09-22-2005, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It’s funny that I started this OP a long time ago and now we’re moving to an area with a Sudbury Valley School (Santa Clara, CA). I’m seriously considering if my DC starts school next year.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#13 of 30 Old 09-22-2005, 10:05 PM
 
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I was going to send my son's to Waldorf, but there were still things bothering me about them. So when I found Sudbury schools, it fit exactly what I was looking for. So I am so excited to live by one, and my son is going to start there next fall. I also wish I could have gone there, it would have fit my personality so well. I am an Indigo, and I would have thrived there.
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#14 of 30 Old 09-22-2005, 10:15 PM
 
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this is so much fun! thanks for starting this thread - i thought i knew a lot about different types of schools - guess not!
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#15 of 30 Old 09-22-2005, 10:20 PM
 
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: Cool info...

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#16 of 30 Old 09-23-2005, 05:51 PM
 
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We're in an alternative program within our public school that sounds just like what you're talking about. Very student-driven, no grades, the kids get to choose what they want to do. All mixed grade classes, they each get a buddy and are encouraged to work in groups, etc... They also have the same teacher two years in a row which I like. And they emphasize parent-teacher collaboration, instead of parent volunteers.

It's a wonderful program and it sounds a lot like what you're talking about; it also started in the late 60's. We are so lucky to have it in our public school.

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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#17 of 30 Old 10-25-2005, 01:41 PM
 
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I am REALLY not trying to sound negative about this but the Sudbury schools sounds A LOT like the school I am pulling my DD out of. Everything is pretty much self-directed, there are no "grade-levels" they are broken up by color and within the colors there are several different ages and the children are pretty much free to do what they want to a point. I loved the idea so in september I enrolled my daughter. Of course this could be school specific and maybe this has never and hopefully will never in any of the schools you all speak of but I am there quite a bit monitoring the activities and twice (not once but twice) the school has "lost" a child. Not just where did Johnny go, oh he is hiding under the table, but the first time the 4 yo left the school to be with his older brother. Nonetheless he left the school and the second time they accidentally let a 5 year old get on the but when one of the teachers was supposed to bring her home. There would be no one at her stop to get her. There were other disorganizational I had with them but I was not waiting for a third time they lose a child it be mine.
I apologize for sounding so negative but a place so free sounds a little disorganized with many repercussions possibly resulting in the harm of a child.
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#18 of 30 Old 10-25-2005, 06:08 PM
 
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UmmSamiyah-

That's an interesting point you bring up, but also one that could happen at any school. My dd is in a "regular" public school, and one of the other students in her class wondered out the door about 20 minutes before the end of the school day. He was just hanging out on the playground, but he *could* have left school grounds, gone home, whatever. My DDs teacher is a great lady, and her class is NOT disorganized, but you can't watch kids every second- as a parent or a teacher.

IME, by five or six, most kids really are responsible to stay (in general) where they are supposed to. But that's a great question to bring up when speaking to an administrator.

IdentityCrisisMama-

I'm in Mountain View, and considering the same school you are for next fall! We should talk some more.

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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#19 of 30 Old 10-26-2005, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurata

IdentityCrisisMama-

I'm in Mountain View, and considering the same school you are for next fall! We should talk some more.
Gladly. I'll be in the San Jose area beginning November 21st. Maybe a coffee.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#20 of 30 Old 10-28-2005, 07:07 PM
 
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At my daughter's Sudbury School, the kids take responsibility for where they are at any given time. The staff makes no effort to "keep track of" the kids - the kids keep track of themselves. They sign in and out to indicate their presence on the campus. They pay an attendence fine if they fail to sign in or out.

When at school, they can be where ever they want to be. I don't think it's at all disorganized, but from a traditional schooling perspective, it is radically different.

Of course, it does require the students to have the maturity to know the boundaries, and follow them. I don't think my son will be ready for this when he turns 4. We'll evaluate when he's ready for this much freedom as he matures.

I have absolutely no problem with this amount of freedom for my 8 year old daughter, however.

I'm sure this isn't for everyone, but it does work for some of us.
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#21 of 30 Old 04-26-2006, 09:36 AM
 
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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.
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#22 of 30 Old 04-26-2006, 11:29 AM
 
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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.
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#23 of 30 Old 04-26-2006, 11:34 AM
 
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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.
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#24 of 30 Old 04-26-2006, 11:55 AM
 
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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!
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#25 of 30 Old 04-26-2006, 01:23 PM
 
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Why won't your kids be allowed to attend SVS?

Is it a school decision, or other factors? Do they have an admission policy?
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#26 of 30 Old 05-19-2006, 03:02 PM
 
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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.
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#27 of 30 Old 05-23-2006, 09:56 PM
 
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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.
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#28 of 30 Old 08-05-2006, 01:20 PM
 
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Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#29 of 30 Old 01-31-2007, 03:55 PM
 
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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.

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#30 of 30 Old 11-27-2007, 10:57 PM
 
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Boatbaby--
Cindy...is that you??? How have you been?
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