Category Archives: Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Whatever you do, don’t go into debt for college

Excerpt from an interview with Ran Prieur at Boing Boing:
http://boingboing.net/2011/05/27/interview-ran-prieur.html
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Avi: What advice would you give to a smart kid in high school right now?

Ran: My first advice would be: Whatever you do, don’t go into debt for college. This is a point about college that some people don’t understand. And that is, the main thing you learn in college is how to think and act like an educated person.

If your parents both went to college, then they raised you, then you already know how to think and act like an educated person. You don’t need to go to college to learn that. If you come from a lower class family and your parents did not go to college, then college is much more beneficial to you.

People who’ve been to college and learn to think and act that way get a lot more respect in the dominant society. Just the way you say words, the way you carry yourself. So that’s a big benefit of college. You don’t necessarily have to pay tuition to do that. You could learn that by osmosis. Hanging out in a college campus.

When I was in high school, I was completely unmotivated. I did not know how to motivate myself at all. I was just going through the motions. So I went to college because college was the thing to do. It was a lot cheaper back then in the late 80’s when I went to college. My parents had some money saved up so I didn’t have to go on debt for college.

But, boy, I would not want to be a smart kid in high school right now because unless you’re tremendously good at self motivating, it can be hard for you to quit high school and not go to college and find something to do and not just crash and burn.

Maybe I would say go to community college to get your basic stuff out of the way or hang out at a college campus. If you could get a staff job at a college campus, then you can kind of get the college experience, and even take a few classes.

I don’t know. I would not want to be a kid in high school right now. The generation that is coming up now is going to have a really tough time. Be adaptable, that’s the advice I’d give.

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Filed under advice, alternative education, college, person: Ran Prieur, raising kids / parenting, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Shel Silverstein rockin’ the SVS vibe

The Voice
poem by Shel Silverstein

SVS-shel-silverstein-the-voice

Sudbury Valley School and Sudbury Model Schools
http://sudval.org/

The Voice

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel this is right for me,
I know that *this* is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you–just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.

― Shel Silverstein

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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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