Any Dem/sudbury parents out there??? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 64 Old 04-19-2010, 11:11 AM
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My son (age 7, an only child) just started at a small local democratic free school a few months ago and it has been SUCH a blessing! It's a tiny group of kids and we knew some of them from church already (unitarian) so we fit right in. As for not knowing what goes on at the school, my son has told me it's a "secret" but that is just HIS way of saying, Hey, Mom, I finally have something of my own here! :-) I respect that distance and I do not pry. Sometimes he will proudly tell me what he did during his day. I leave it up to him. But once, before I realized that this was important to him, I did ask the "teacher" what they did, and she happily gave me a big long email full of details for the day. So I don't think it's that they want to keep anything from us in a creepy or secretive way, but instead to regard the children as separate, whole people who don't really need us to be involved.

He is there only two days a week, 5 hours each of the two days. If the kids don't decide to do anything academic in that time, so be it....we have time outside of school for that. But it has been nothing short of a blessing for us....their democratic and respectful methods are such an education for us as parents as well as for our son. He is now feeling heard in a way that he never was before, and his little group of kids gets along well and works out any conflicts peacefully etc. There are only 6 kids ranging from my son's age up to age 14. Two staff members. But it is a new school so I expect it to grow.
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#62 of 64 Old 05-09-2010, 07:47 PM
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Hello! We are moving over the summer to a city with an alternative school and both my kids are planning on attending it in the fall. We are traveling down for a visit next week and they are going to spend a day at the school. I really hope it goes well.

The move is for my DH's job and the kids and I don't want to move. The school could make it seem very worthwhile for us, though. We used to homeschool and it is no longer the right option for us for a bunch of reasons. The girls currently attend a traditional public school. It's a great school with a wonderful staff, but the opportunity for an alternative school brings the promise of what we liked best both about homeschooling and school in one place.

but everything has pros and consĀ  shrug.gif

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#63 of 64 Old 05-20-2010, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ejsmama View Post
I'm a new Sudbury mom and could use some support. I don't want to cross post - I posted a long comment about my emotional struggles with my 5 year old's free access to violent media on the new Sudbury thread.
I'm very interested in this issue (not a sudbury mom yet - DS is only 1, but I plan to have a 2nd kid just about the time we would be looking into schooling options for him). I'm looking into a/the Sudbury Valley school (in MA), and one of my hang-ups with the idea has been the access to media. How is it possible to, say, keep kids out of internet chat rooms or off of facebook/myspace while at school? I understand about letting go & letting them make decisions & learning from mistakes, but from a personal safety stand point, I don't see how unfettered media access is a good idea. I was a kid once, and I know how quickly a kid can get into a dangerous situation, in way over their head. Access to media seems like it could get a lot harder a lot quicker.

It's a bit funny. I don't worry about DS reading books that are 'too mature' for him (his dad & I both had that habit as kids), but I do worry about movies/shows/etc being too mature. Especially given the wide mixture of ages.

Anyone have any idea how this sort of thing is handled at a Sudbury School?
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#64 of 64 Old 05-21-2010, 06:17 PM
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I was a volunteer at the Village Free School here in Portland, Oregon, and their solution to media access is based on becoming qualified. That means there is a process that students have to go through in order to have access to some things. They use this kind of system for everything that involves danger, expensive equipment, or substantial controversy. The qualification system is based on conversations between the staff, the parents and the student about what responsibility goes along with their being permitted access. They require qualifications for access to video games according to the game rating system (where they also have a group that rates unrated games.) They also require qualifications for open campus privileges, use of kitchen equipment, and many other things.

Many schools have similar systems.


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