Friday, August 24, 2012

Ask Linda: Do Homeschooling and Sudbury Mix?

Ask Linda is a new series of articles from the Sudbury School of Atlanta where SSA founder and unschooling mom, Linda Levine, answers parent questions about the Sudbury model, transitioning to Sudbury from different educational models and other common questions.  If you have a question for Linda, just email us!   

Q: My homeschooled child is using a specific curriculum at home. How will that fit in with the Sudbury Experience?

All self-chosen pursuits are valued and respected.  What families choose to do in their own homes is, of course, their choice. If there is something that a student has been learning about at home, that s/he would genuinely like to pursue further while at the Sudbury School, the staff will be pleased to discuss any topic of interest with the student/s, provide (or recommend) books on the subject, help the student find interesting websites, videos, DVDs, hands-on materials, etc, related to the subject, and, to the extent possible, arrange for the student to meet with an "expert" or professional in the subject. There is a process through which classes or lessons in a given topic can be requested by students, as well.

We strongly recommend/encourage parents to NOT send curriculum-based "work" with students, but to instead *ask* if the student has anything in particular they want to bring to the Sudbury School for the day, and to respect their child's answer.  If they really are self-directed to work on homeschool "work" they will choose to bring it! If they choose to bring a favorite toy, game, hobby-related materials, or something else that is meaningful to them that day, that is equally valuable, and will contribute just as well to the child's learning experiences! 

The most common/typical time-frame for a Sudbury student (or a homeschooled student) to choose to pursue formal academic studies, if s/he chooses to learn in that manner at all, is when s/he is in her/his teens, and wanting to prepare for college - if attending college is the student's goal.

Here is a link to the first in a series of talks given by alumni of the original Sudbury Valley School, about their experiences at SVS, and what they went on to do after they graduated:

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