Monday, October 14, 2013

Thoughts on school


Kim and I are looking at Clearview Sudbury School for Conan.

It's kind of a big step in thinking for me, because I had been very resistant to any kind of school. I wrote School and socialization at my other blog, before I started this one.

In that post, I wrote, "My experiences at the private Seattle Country Day School and the The Evergreen School feel as constricting, personally and intellectually, as the ones I had at the public Olympic View Junior High and Mariner High School."

And here I should note, as I neglected to in the earlier post, that not only were the first two private schools, they were intended, to one degree or another, to be provide an alternative teaching method. Something I think the result of which was little different, if at all, than the result of the traditional methods.

So, my position hasn't changed. In fact, I've been reading the Freedom to Learn blog by Peter Gray, and looking forward to reading his book, Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life, soon. This has, if anything, cemented my position that School is a prison!

As Kim and I spend more time trying to parent in our own way, we find it's increasingly difficult to do.

I realize that input and company from other children, as well as other adults, is an important part of life.

There are, as it happens, plenty of groups, but both of us have one trouble or another keeping up on that.  There are regular meet-ups and finding times and places, having to deal with other parents who might be several degrees opposed to us on one issue or another, which creates those awkward moments that are hard to get through with new acquaintances, especially ones who you're ostensibly around because of your common ground... and for a loud introvert like me, any block in developing a relationship, grows quickly into something difficult to tolerate at all. That's a failing, I know. At least somewhat.

I like their philosophy. You can read some further details regarding the original Sudbury School at Children Educate Themselves IV: Lessons from Sudbury Valley if you're interested.  It sounds like it fits with the needs I had as a child, that went woefully unfulfilled, as well as the needs I'm planning to fill for Conan.

If this turns out for him, like my schooling turned out for me, I'll turn back in a heartbeat.

But I have a very good feeling.

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