Category Archives: Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Poor Claude (Monet)

“I was born undisciplined. Never, even as a child, could I be made to obey a set rule. What little I know I learned at home. School was always like a prison to me, I could never bring myself to stay there, even four hours a day, when the sun was shining and the sea was so tempting, and it was such fun scrambling over cliffs and paddling in the shallows. Such, to the great despair of my parents, was the unruly but healthy life I lived until I was fourteen or fifteen. In the meantime I somehow picked up the rudiments of reading, writing and arithmetic, with a smattering of spelling. And there my schooling ended. It never worried me very much because I always had plenty of amusements on the side. I doodled in the margins of my books, I decorated our blue copy paper with ultra-fantastic drawings, and I drew the faces and profiles of my schoolmasters as outrageously as I could, distorting them out of all recognition.”

== Claude Monet, quoted in: Denis Rouart (1972) Claude Monet, p. 21 : About his youth

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Claude_Monet

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Filed under outdoors, quotes, school = prison, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, The three Rs

Ergo, Sudbury Valley School

“Children learn to read the way they learn to talk. Reading, like speaking, is a social activity best taught by communities and through relationships. Children learn by watching older people, especially older children, read. They learn to read by discovering that important things they want to know are in the symbols. They learn to read because of the pleasure of discovery and praise from parents, teachers, siblings, and friends for their achievements. They learn to read because it both makes them part of a broader community and because they become independent of others, more grown up. Children learn to read because it gives them a private place to visit, and because in the end, they learn to love to read because it opens their imaginations to unseen worlds.”

Ergo, Sudbury Valley School

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-singer/pearson-takes-big-hit-in-_b_7792202.html

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Filed under collaboration, communication, community, motivation, private, reading, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

encouraging casual collaboration… also at google

I’ve read about this at Apple, Yahoo, MIT Building 20, and Fogcreek

Now google:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidburkus/2015/07/02/the-real-reason-google-serves-all-that-free-food/  
“food sources are strategically placed between two separate work teams, and the goal of that placement is to draw these different folks together and nudge them to interact and collaborate.”

Previously…

Yahoo, MIT: 
https://ehaugsjaa.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/sudbury-valley-as-the-21st-century-coffeehouse/

Fogcreek: 
http://blog.fogcreek.com/improve-your-culture-with-these-team-lunch-tips-from-20-startups/  
“At Fog Creek, we deliberately have rows of long tables in our cafeteria. … with long ones you just go and sit at the end of the row. You end up speaking to different people every day…”

Apple:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141007161621-73685339-why-steve-jobs-obsessed-about-office-design-and-yes-bathroom-locations  
“When Steve Jobs designed a new headquarters for Pixar, he obsessed over ways to structure the atrium, and even where to locate the bathrooms, so that serendipitous personal encounters would occur.”

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Filed under collaboration, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, work

Sad college kids

Another sad book that could surely be a long NYer article instead, but still.

At Stanford: “Often brilliant, always accomplished, these students would sit on my couch holding their fragile, brittle parts together, resigned to the fact that these outwardly successful situations were their miserable lives.”

Kids of Helicopter Parents Are Sputtering Out
Recent studies suggests that kids with overinvolved parents and rigidly structured childhoods suffer psychological blowback in college.
http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2015/07/helicopter_parenting_is_increasingly_correlated_with_college_age_depression.html

Seems to me this approach to kids is going about things backwards and also forgetting that kids are fully human people. So I say something more like this…

1. Start with unconditional love.

2. Next add exploration, conversation, art, moving your body. Personal freedom and responsibility. Pursuit of happiness.

3. Then, maybe when you are 14 or 16 or later, add in thinking about adulthood. Maybe this will include college, maybe not. Who cares! Life is both too long and too short to be miserable as a kid.

Sounds kinda like Sudbury Valley School.

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Filed under attachment parenting, college, depression, happiness, kids are complete people, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

The ADHD Personality: A Normal and Valuable Human Variation

Great article…

The ADHD Personality: A Normal and Valuable Human Variation
For good evolutionary reasons, some people are highly impulsive
by Peter Gray on Aug 19, 2010 in Freedom to Learn
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201008/the-adhd-personality-normal-and-valuable-human-variation

Excerpts…
Continue reading

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Filed under ADHD, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Is the Common Core killing kindergarten?

Is the Common Core killing kindergarten? – The Boston Globe
https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2015/06/13/common-core-killing-kindergarten/lydG3pnscVEnTEoELUZWdP/story.html

I guess you know the answer…

No brainer. 2 main points in the article 1) drilling shows nothing if kids aren’t developmentally ready 2) People are different. And any benefits fade quickly for those who ARE ready, and the negatives DO NOT fade for those who are not (shown in studies both in reading and math)

I would add: 3) school in general ends up being at least 90% extrinsically motivated learning, because people are all different and interested in a HUGE range of different things AND at different times. So to expect someone to be interested in the same topic at the same time at the same pace, etc. it difficult. If school were not compulsory, ok, but it’s not.

Anyway, my kids have been going to Sudbury Valley School since they were 4 where all of this is moot, thank goodness, because it’s just left to the kids themselves, with the staff and other adults in their lives to support them as they desire. http://sudval.org/

My kids are each very different from each other. One has a dyslexic brain (one of the 5% or so) and it has been frustrating the heck out of him that reading hasn’t just clicked like it has for most of his friends, cousins, etc. So he has been absolutely loving going to an amazing, enthusiastic reading tutor on the side who has been helping with his decoding skills. His choice. But to imagine this in a non-age-mixed, compulsory school setting is difficult.

SEE ALSO:
Peter Gray: How Early Academic Training Retards Intellectual Development. Academic skills are best learned when a person wants them and needs them.

– “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities… It is neurobiological in origin, meaning that the problem is located physically in the brain. Dyslexia is not caused by poverty, developmental delay, speech or hearing impairments, or learning a second language, although those conditions may put a child more at risk for developing a reading disability.” http://www.ldonline.org/article/14907/

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Filed under Common Core, dyslexia, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

The future is not worth wasting today

“When each nurturing act is administered with the distant future in mind, what becomes of the present?”

How to raise an adult(-child)
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/21/books/review/how-to-raise-an-adult-by-julie-lythcott-haims.html

“Haims has identified overparenting as a trap. But once you escape the trap, the goal remains the same: to mold your offspring into thriving adults. Whether a child is learning to ride a bike or doing his own laundry, he is still viewed through the limited binary lens of either triumphant or fumbling adulthood. The looming question is not “Is my child happy?” but “Is my child a future president poised to save the environment, or a future stoner poised to watch his fifth episode of ‘House of Cards’ in a row?””

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Filed under kids are complete people, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School, today