Underlying Ideas

Summer Reading

Author: 
Silvia Beier
Through a series of coincidences involving shelving books at school, I recently found myself spending a weekend reading through Cynthia Voigt’s “young adult” cycle of books about the Tillerman family, starting with volume number two called Dicey’s Song. I haven’t … Continue reading

The Animal Hospital

Author: 
Wendy Lement
Part 1 – The Architects Where can insects, rabbits, and snakes go when they’re sick or injured? Two young SVS students not only pondered this problem, they took action. They had a history of creating entire worlds out of sticks, … 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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Senate Confirmations, Donuts and the Price of Justice

Author: 
Foss Tighe
Last week I found an example of “life imitating life”. Or more specifically life at SVS was imitating life in Washington. I am fascinated by the quirky details of democratic institutions. So, I got a little thrill when the 50-50 … Continue reading

Reading: The Great Escape

Author: 
Silvia Beier
… all I can do is read a book to stay awake, And it rips my life away, But it’s a great escape … BLind MeLoN, “No Rain” (1992) Recently, I did something very unhealthy. It started innocently enough with … Continue reading

What are They Doing?

Author: 
Associated School: 

Well it’s the first warm day of March, and most people here are outside, climbing trees and rolling in the mud, building sandcastles and playing street hockey.  I just played a game a student created called, “Sharktooth.”  I lost.  I was also, for a time, the overburdened father of two very demanding young girls, busily making dinners to order (why do I let them get away with that?!)  while attempting to regulate their screen-time (the “screen” was a slab of bluestone) and mediate their conflicts (you’d have to be a saint to do this well, I assured myself). I had to quit that game after less than an hour.  People sometimes complain about “kids these days” preferring the virtual world to the outdoors, but I don’t think it’s true; when all the obstacles - obstacles that adults have created -  are removed,  they go outside.  A lot, and really in all weather, not only when it’s nice.  But the spirit today is more celebratory than usual.

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When Artists Bake

Author: 
Wendy Lement
When I was voted in as a new staff member last spring, I knew I’d be doing a lot of cooking. Since the school’s inception cooking has been a vital part of SVS’s culture. The seeds for my own career … Continue reading

Free Books, Free Students

Author: 
Silvia Beier
Especially at the beginning of the school year, a new student, or somebody who has just not gotten around to it before, might ask about what’s the deal with the books at school. They might want to know if you … Continue reading

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

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Hudson Valley Sudbury School

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