Join Date: May 2003
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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.
Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds
Originally Posted by laurata
I'm in Mountain View, and considering the same school you are for next fall! We should talk some more.
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