Monday, April 12, 2010

Government Schools, Making Kids Brown

Recall I read up a bit on that *revolutionary* unschool Sudbury Valley in Framingham, Massachusetts. That's the one where there're no classes, no curriculum, chaperones in place of teachers, and the kids aged 5-18 can well do what they please - even if it's playing video games all day long.

One thing that the founder, Daniel Greenberg, of SVS thinks vital to a healthy educational environment is to have decent proximity to, if not outright immersion in nature - trees, trails, bodies of water, and whatnot. His whole shtick is pretty crunchy, pretty hippy so I just figured an outdoors fetish went with the territory.

BUT, as my kids get older, I'm noticing more and more how much they enjoy being outside. From right when they wake up in the morning to late at night, they are continually slipping their shoes on and sneaking outside to hop on their bikes, whack golf balls, poke each other in the eye with sticks, to test the temperature, or just to catch some fresh air for a minute.

I don't think it's merely a reaction to the cabin fever suffered over the past five months; there's definitely something else at work here. Perhaps Greenberg has a not-to-be-dismissed point.

Perhaps locking kids away all day in walled rooms as the *system* does is so unnatural that it stunts *natural mind development* in unforeseen ways?

And so long as my kids keep hacking at bushes, tree limbs, and flowers with baseball bats (the Princess takes the scissors to them!)....I won't be scared of them turning into little eco-pagans!

See also - Sudbury Valley Empricism.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe a one, Thoreau, from your neck of the woods was another big proponent of being outdoors.