Updated: Dec 8, 2018
Community Conversations is a series of blog posts written and published exclusively by SSA parents, it is a space whey they share their stories, experiences & opinions about self-directed education, democracy, social justice, the Sudbury model and particularly, the Sudbury School of Atlanta.
Today, we have a parent of one of our youngest students at SSA, thank you, Jessie, for sharing your experiences with us.
One afternoon, probably about five years ago, my husband and I were watching videos, learning about different types of schooling. You see, we both had a difficult time in public school. For me, it was being bored with studies and fascinated with my classmates and friendship. I remember being so eager to learn but being annoyed that the subjects I was curious about were not being taught. It was during this research that we first heard about Sudbury Schools. Everything we heard excited us! We loved the idea of children being allowed to foster their own powerful curiosity. I particularly loved the idea of letting a child choose what, when and how they learn. I loved the beautiful freedom that a model like Sudbury offers.
There’s something so beautiful about watching a child learn; that light bulb that goes off in their eyes. You see, when children decide for themselves what they discover, they are driven and excited. It is not coercive; it is not about control, it is about freedom and learning as a natural consequence of curiosity and exploration and less of a force-fed information dump. We love the Sudbury model of Education because of the way our child is allowed to learn. She has such a thirst for knowledge, and we are happy to see it be nurtured and developed at her own pace.
However, I must confess it has not been easy. There are many times when I have to remind myself to trust the process, to be patient and adjust my expectations. Everyone learns at a different pace, with different interests and views.
Her favorite song right now is about the water cycle, and she loves songs about learning. She has become so confident and has bloomed as her true-self since starting school at SSA. This year, following her lead we even did water-cycle related Halloween costumes! We are so excited for the future, for the possibilities and all the opportunities she will be able to learn from, in a school where her voice matters and she gets to choose her journey.
Here’s to freedom, and to choose our own journeys!
By Jessie Wall