Category Archives: attachment parenting

“Just the freedom was better than breathing they said”

“Just the freedom was better than breathing they said”
Lupe Fiasco, “Kick/Push”

This is totally out of context of course (a rap song remixed by Bassnectar) but when L started (out of the blue) at Sudbury Valley School back in June (Mid-June, why not!), I could just tell that the freedom was *very* *very* important to him and his decision that NOW he was ready for SVS to be HIS school too. Now 6 months later, he is still a very little guy, so even though he goes to SVS 4 days a week, he still also really loves the cozier scene once in a while (once every week roughly) over at the neighborhood daycare he was previously at more regularly. Anyway, it’s his choice and I feel privileged to be able to provide it to him, and to just let him do HIS thing. Go L!

I am almost embarrassed that his quick transition to wanting to go to SVS surprised me, but it did. I mean, forget the terrible twos, I think ages 3-5 is an amazing and difficult and dynamic part of childhood because kids are growing in independence so quickly yet still needing/wanting the parental attention and attachment. Anyway, each kid is different… A and L certainly are, but it is a joy (usually ;-) to spend time with them and get to know them!

I should also note: this song is also appropriate because there is a lot of skateboarding and longboarding going on at SVS lately. An all-ages affair of course.

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Filed under attachment parenting, freedom, sports and outdoors, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

L’s surprising first day of school… in June!

It was 4 year-old L’s second day at Sudbury Valley School today. (This after months of a complete lack of interest, and now suddenly last week, “I want to go.” What? Really? We’ll see if he really means it…)

At the end of the day today, I had to leave and come back almost an hour later to try again because… he wouldn’t leave! He was too involved in an art project and would almost not acknowledge my presence, at least when the subject of “OK, time to go!” came up. He had also said on the 10am car-ride to school, “I’m eating my lunch as soon as I get there!” Go for it, I said. (There is of course no set “lunch time” at SVS.) But he forgot by the time we arrived. He was too busy!

Older brother A would occasionally pop into the art room (or wherever) to check on him. What a sweet, caring kid. Come on people, this is beyond awesome. All around me as I walk around the school and outside are kids from families… they are not age-segregated off in separate rooms, classes or grades. They are truly together (or very much not!) but the point is it is their choice. Kids age 4 thru high school.

And some of them actually know where their shoes are when I come to round up a carpool of 4 or 5 of them from 2 families. ;-)

I’m not saying SVS is utopia. I am not saying there might not be some disadvantages. (Certainly some us of parents sometimes wish we lived in Framingham or a magic school bus could drive the kids to and fro!) But I really can’t say that any of it could outweigh the advantages. At least for our family, this is real life… now. No waiting for tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, L has asked that he stay “even longer” so that he arrives home later, just before his favorite animal TV show starts. Not so fast mister! Maybe next week… it’s only your third day! Act like you miss me at least a little. Please!?!

LINK: Sudbury Valley School

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Filed under alternative education, attachment parenting, freedom, kids -- freedom and responsibility, responsibility, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Children Educate Themselves – by Peter Gray

The following is the 4-part series “Children Educate Themselves” from Peter Gray’s blog Freedom to Learn

PART 1: Children Educate Themselves I: Outline of Some of the Evidence
As adults we do have certain responsibilities toward our children and the world’s children. It is our responsibility to create safe, health-promoting, respectful environments in which children can develop. It is our responsibility to be sure that children have proper foods, fresh air, non-toxic places to play, and lots of opportunities to interact freely with other people across the whole spectrum of ages. It is our responsibility to be models of human decency. But one thing we do not have to worry about is how to educate children. MORE

PART 2: Children Educate Themselves II: We All Know That’s True for Little Kids
Have you ever stopped to think about how much children learn in their first few years of life, before they start school, before anyone tries in any systematic way to teach them anything? Next time you are in viewing range of a child under the age of about five years old, sit back and watch for awhile. You’re in for a treat. MORE

PART 3: Children Educate Themselves III: The Wisdom of Hunter-Gatherers
Our human instincts, including all of the instinctive means by which we learn, came about in the context of a hunting-and-gathering way of life. So: How do hunter-gatherer children learn what they need to know to become effective adults? MORE

PART 4: Children Educate Themselves IV: Lessons from Sudbury Valley
The Sudbury Valley School has, for the past forty years, been the best-kept secret in American education. … Professors of education ignore it, not out of malice but because they cannot absorb it into their framework of educational thought. . . . To understand the school one has to begin with a completely different mindset from that which dominates current educational thinking. MORE

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In the news…

“As for keeping up with the news I wonder what passes for “news.” Who played Mozart that day or composed a new symphony? Who wrote a beautiful poem? Who fell in love with their child that day? Who suffered of loss and pain? Who was born? Who died? Which bird finished its tour of the sky? Which penguin made it alive through the ice? How many people died of hunger? Who is suffering? Who is enslaved or abused? What games of joy and connection people played that day? Who had a new wise thought or a peaceful scientific discovery?… Most of what is happening in the world is not broadcasted.” — Naomi Aldort

See also:
Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves, Naomi Aldort

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On SVS and losing control…

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And let them amaze you…

What is this letting them go stuff? It is one thing to say let them play and converse. It is another to say let them make all their own decisions. But that is pretty much what I am saying. I am saying let Sara choose not to learn about the stars if she is not interested. Don’t make John eat asparagus. Let Brett choose not to ever listen to Bach if he doesn’t want to. Let Amy go to school without her sweater. Let Tom never learn algebra. And let them amaze you by what they do think about when their thinking is not circumscribed by a curriculum. Let them wow you with the things they get into, from developmental psychology to pottery. Let them flower into even more interesting members of the family than they were before; your reward for letting go: they will be closer to you than you ever imagined. They will thank you for the gift of freedom. They will be better parents than you were. They will be stronger about asserting their rights in this world, and more cognizant that their privileges are privileges to be guarded, than you could have hoped.

Mimsy Sadofsky, The Sudbury Valley School, “Why Does a Sudbury School Work?”

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ADD and Loving It

“And adults with ADD often make the same mistake in both domains, they marry and work for a caricature of a bad fifth grade schoolteacher. They marry and work for someone who is controlling, demeaning, picking and someone who doesn’t really like them all that much because they got the idea around about fifth grade that that’s what they needed, that they were a hopeless case so they had to be ridden hard on, they had to be controlled, they had to demeaned and put down and so on and so forth. So don’t do that.”

I don’t think I’m ADHD, but this was an interesting program on PBS.

“THOM HARTMANN: The single most consistent predictor of future of adult success among children is self esteem. It’s not intelligence. It’s not any particular type of neurology. It is self esteem.”

LINK

addandlovingit.com

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Kids and honoring the flow

“There are rivers that run smoothly with straight shorelines; there are streams meandering down steep slopes; there are creeks that carve their path around boulders and stones; there are gushing waterfalls with rainbows. There is soft rhythmic rain and there is a wild irregular stop and go storms; there are landscapes that look organized and neat and those that are wild and unpredictable. Such is life and such is the nature of babies, children, people, and families. There is no right or wrong and no need to match the ideas of others. Listen inside yourself and flow with your baby.” — Naomi Aldort

LINK

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