Parents

Articles and blogs written by parents of Sudbury school students.

It Feels Good

Associated School: 

Yesterday was the second day of school at The Hudson Valley Sudbury School. For me it was an emotional start to the year. My youngest is now officially enrolled as a fresh five year old, and two of my oldest graduated last year leaving me to start the year without them. It’s been bittersweet. I know that they were ready to leave.  One is at Sarah Lawrence College, not too far from home so I can still lay eyes on him every so often. I look forward to watching him grow, I eagerly await the stories of his classes, his adventures and what it’s like to be a Sudbury grad, and of course to watch him serve as an alumni at various school events. The other has flown across the world to conquer the professional video game stage, signed as a well-paid, pro player on a team in Asia. He’s on a team that is navigating having players who speak 4 different languages; he’s training, he’s greeting fans, he’s keeping color-coded spreadsheets about technical play - the opportunity of a lifetime. They are both exactly where they should be, and they have taken these steps with a grounded confidence that makes me proud. And I’m doing what I can to miss them in a positive way.

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Instant Availability Without Continuous Presence

Author: 
Hanna Greenberg
This blog was originally published as an article in our journal, May 1, 1994. Somewhere I read this quote by Lotte Bailin: “Instant availability without continuous presence is the best role a mother could play.” A lovely quote, I thought, … Continue reading

To Strew Or Not To Strew?

Author: 
Hanna Greenberg
  Strewing is one of the latest techniques used by educators and parents to lure children to learn things that the adults want them to learn at a time of the adult’s choosing. It has become especially popular among “unschooling” … Continue reading

Separation and Transition

Author: 
Silvia Beier
There was a Separation and Transition Workshop for parents at my son’s college orientation that I went to, and I don’t regret going, even though I thought I would. Convinced that the last thing my SVS educated son needed on … Continue reading

The First Casualty

Author: 
Scott
Children are born with one overriding drive. They seek to grow up and to gain mastery over their own lives. Any child who grows up in a wider culture that values freedom is naturally jealous of what s/he feels to … Continue reading

Sudbury and the FEAR OF FALLING BEHIND

Author: 
Associated School: 

Not long ago a parent told me that her son had “never been happier” since he enrolled earlier this spring.  And indeed, that very morning I had seen him running across the back hill with his arms outstretched and his head thrown back; it was like a scene from Free Willy.  His parent told me that, while his former school had stretched itself to make things work for him, he remained miserable there.  His needs, for space and time and companionship, were not being met.  I hear it a lot: it was like trying to fit the old round peg into the unforgiving square hole, but here, at last, there was no hole to conform to.  Out the window at this moment I can see three little bands of kids wandering the grounds, gesticulating excitedly, creating worlds beyond my kin.  One of them has green hair and no shirt.  One of them is carrying a bag by a strap around his forehead.  And one of them is being led by another...on a leash.  It’s so easy to forget that homo sapiens have developed a complex set of needs - and the skills to meet them - over 200,000 years of evolution, and they are embedded in us like algorithms that find expression one way or another.  We need to explore our identities and forge them in the context of intense social interaction in order to be successful, healthy, and happy.  Welcome to our “school.”

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No Morning Bell Rings at the Sudbury Valley School

Author: 
Foss Tighe
Recently I was struggling with ideas on how to get the kids to help out more around the house. I found myself pondering what leverage I had over the kids. We have chosen not to make their allowance dependent on … Continue reading

Know Thyself - Know Thy Fun

Author: 
Associated School: 

Student readingLooking through children’s toy catalogs I’m always struck by the language. Scattered throughout the pictures of all sorts of toys, plastic or wood, bright colors or neutral colors, puzzles, trucks, dolls or whatever, there are special snippets of language designed to tell me something important. But what are they telling me? Phrases like “kickstart your child’s play,” “support your child’s development,” and “piano keys that play music and encourage creativity.” They make me suspicious. The first sounds violent, the next obvious, and the last sounds absurd. Since when did piano keys not play music or discourage creativity? Phrases like “helps your baby develop from a crawler to a walker through adaptive technology” are possibly reassuring to those concerned their children might instead develop from a crawler to a swimmer, or perhaps an orthodontist. Phrases like “differentiate among colors and sizes” make me imagine my toddler sorting white and brown eggs into large, extra large and jumbo sizes in an egg factory. 

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Floundering in Contradictions

Author: 
Daniel Greenberg
I have been extremely puzzled for some time that our society seems to be eagerly pursuing mutually inconsistent goals, almost as if we are unaware that in so doing, we are trying to go in opposite directions at the same … Continue reading

Death Knell for “Not on a School Night”

Author: 
Foss Tighe
There are so many ways that SVS challenges the way we think about school and education. Some are deep and profound others are just strange. Recently my daughter asked if she could sleep over at a friend’s house. It was … Continue reading

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Contact Us

Hudson Valley Sudbury School

84 Zena Road
Kingston, NY 12401
 
Phone: 845-679-1002
Fax: 845-679-3874