FAQs

Below is a collection of FAQs that we have accumulated over years of talking with parents who were new to the Sudbury model of education. We encourage you to read through all of these and then pursue other sources, like books, articles, and CDs to learn more.

Sudbury Philosophy

What documents would my child need to enroll?

Aside from our enrollment documents, we will also need:

1) FL Certification of Immunization (DH Form #680 OR Religious Exemption (DH Form #681)
2) School Entry Health Exam (DH form #3040) OR Exemption
3) a copy of the student’s birth certificate

How do children learn if no one tells them what to do or learn?

“Children are born passionately eager to make as much sense as they can of things around them. If we attempt to control, manipulate, or divert this process…the independent scientist in the child disappears.” ~ John Holt

We believe that all children are born with a strong desire to learn what they need in order to become an effective adult in the society to which they are born. In fact, our species would not have survived for very long without this inner drive. Our current education system was designed to short-circuit this process in order to make people into cogs of the industrial machine. It made sense at one point in history. However, in this post-industrial, or information, age, children know that traditional schooling is a waste of time, so more and more of them are tuning out. Our community provides your child with the time and space to get back in touch with their own natural desire to learn without being told to do so.

How do children know what they like if they are not exposed to it (with classes, etc.)?

“When you teach a child something you take away forever his chance of discovering it for himself.” ~ Jean Piaget

We live in the information age, where knowledge is available at your fingertips. For this reason, when kids are free exposure is not an issue. Furthermore, because students are free to explore and interact with students and adults of all ages all day long, they are exposed to a wide variety of topics, more than they would typically get in an environment where only one person is delivering the curriculum. Students in our program don’t look at learning as a set of fixed subjects to be mastered. Instead, they follow their curiosity and interest, which isn’t limited to a classroom.

How do children learn the basics (reading, writing, and math)?

When a child is ready and willing, the basics like reading, writing, and math are quite easily learned. Traditional schooling forces children to learn these at the same age and at the same rate, often before a child is ready or interested. Thus, the process seems to be difficult and time-consuming. The fact is that we have seen children teach themselves to read, some at the age of 4 and some as late as 12, with absolutely no instruction. By age 13, you can’t tell the difference between the child who learned to read at 4 from the child who learned to read at 12. As for math, it has been proven over and over again that all of the math content from K thru grade 8 can be learned in just 6 weeks when the child is ready for it. Imagine all of that time saved for valuable play!

For a different perspective, watch the TED video Why Math Instruction Is Unnecessary.

What if my child doesn’t want to do anything all day?

“If you force kids to study things that they are not interested in, they may come to appear to be lazy.” ~ Jerry Mintz, founder of Alternative Education Resource Organization

Depending on how many years your child has been in a traditional school setting, they may go through a period of de-schooling when they first arrive at our program. We see this as a valuable and necessary transition time in which the student gets back in touch with themself. This may include long periods of doing nothing at all. Your child may also be testing the adults around them to see if they are serious about not interfering with their choices. All of this is completely normal and you have to be prepared to accept this as part of the process before enrolling your child.

What if my child spends all day on the computer?

It is quite possible that your child will spend all day on the computer. With all of the negative media attention surrounding screen time, it is not surprising that many parents are concerned about this. Some parents see the computer, including video games, as a mind-numbing activity that “rots your brain”. At Sunset Sudbury, we recognize that computers are the most important tools of modern society and that there are many advantages to playing with them. Furthermore, computers and gaming are very social activities in our community in which students engage with each other, learn from each other, and constantly problem-solve together.

What if my child just plays all day long?

“Play is the highest form of research.” ~ Albert Einstein

Play is exactly what your child should be doing! There is a reason that nature has endowed children with an intense need to play in their earliest years of development, at a time when they are learning the most and the fastest than at any other point in later life. Not only do children make meaning and construct models of the world through play, they also practice their physical, intellectual, social, and emotional skills.

Is there any structure in your program?

Although students are free to do whatever they want all day long (within the boundaries of safety and respect), the community has two very important structures that make up the heart of it: 1) School Meeting – the weekly community meeting where things like rules, processes, and budget are decided democratically by the majority vote of students and staff members.  2) Judicial Committee – The student-led justice system where rule infractions and disagreements are handled daily.

What does a typical day look like?

There really is no typical day at Sunset Sudbury!  People of all ages mix freely, doing whatever they want within the boundaries of safety and respect. Students and staff can be found everywhere talking, laughing, playing, and working. There may be a group of students huddled around a computer discussing video game strategies while another group is in the kitchen having lunch and planning the next field trip. Some may be coloring, painting, or making something out of clay while others are outside playing basketball or picking flowers in the garden. Always there are people playing happily and busily, indoors and outdoors, in all weather.  Each day is rich with opportunity that is only limited by the students’ imagination and interests.

Is your program like a Montessori school?

Sudbury and Montessori are similar in that children are given more freedom to make decisions about what interests them and how to pace themselves. Both models also hold the basic assumption that people are naturally curious and don’t need to be forced to learn. The Sudbury model, however, gives students even more freedom and makes no assumption about how individual children will learn.

Learning

What documents would my child need to enroll?

Aside from our enrollment documents, we will also need:

1) FL Certification of Immunization (DH Form #680 OR Religious Exemption (DH Form #681)
2) School Entry Health Exam (DH form #3040) OR Exemption
3) a copy of the student’s birth certificate

How do children learn if no one tells them what to do or learn?

“Children are born passionately eager to make as much sense as they can of things around them. If we attempt to control, manipulate, or divert this process…the independent scientist in the child disappears.” ~ John Holt

We believe that all children are born with a strong desire to learn what they need in order to become an effective adult in the society to which they are born. In fact, our species would not have survived for very long without this inner drive. Our current education system was designed to short-circuit this process in order to make people into cogs of the industrial machine. It made sense at one point in history. However, in this post-industrial, or information, age, children know that traditional schooling is a waste of time, so more and more of them are tuning out. Our community provides your child with the time and space to get back in touch with their own natural desire to learn without being told to do so.

How do children know what they like if they are not exposed to it (with classes, etc.)?

“When you teach a child something you take away forever his chance of discovering it for himself.” ~ Jean Piaget

We live in the information age, where knowledge is available at your fingertips. For this reason, when kids are free exposure is not an issue. Furthermore, because students are free to explore and interact with students and adults of all ages all day long, they are exposed to a wide variety of topics, more than they would typically get in an environment where only one person is delivering the curriculum. Students in our program don’t look at learning as a set of fixed subjects to be mastered. Instead, they follow their curiosity and interest, which isn’t limited to a classroom.

How do children learn the basics (reading, writing, and math)?

When a child is ready and willing, the basics like reading, writing, and math are quite easily learned. Traditional schooling forces children to learn these at the same age and at the same rate, often before a child is ready or interested. Thus, the process seems to be difficult and time-consuming. The fact is that we have seen children teach themselves to read, some at the age of 4 and some as late as 12, with absolutely no instruction. By age 13, you can’t tell the difference between the child who learned to read at 4 from the child who learned to read at 12. As for math, it has been proven over and over again that all of the math content from K thru grade 8 can be learned in just 6 weeks when the child is ready for it. Imagine all of that time saved for valuable play!

For a different perspective, watch the TED video Why Math Instruction Is Unnecessary.

What if my child doesn’t want to do anything all day?

“If you force kids to study things that they are not interested in, they may come to appear to be lazy.” ~ Jerry Mintz, founder of Alternative Education Resource Organization

Depending on how many years your child has been in a traditional school setting, they may go through a period of de-schooling when they first arrive at our program. We see this as a valuable and necessary transition time in which the student gets back in touch with themself. This may include long periods of doing nothing at all. Your child may also be testing the adults around them to see if they are serious about not interfering with their choices. All of this is completely normal and you have to be prepared to accept this as part of the process before enrolling your child.

What if my child spends all day on the computer?

It is quite possible that your child will spend all day on the computer. With all of the negative media attention surrounding screen time, it is not surprising that many parents are concerned about this. Some parents see the computer, including video games, as a mind-numbing activity that “rots your brain”. At Sunset Sudbury, we recognize that computers are the most important tools of modern society and that there are many advantages to playing with them. Furthermore, computers and gaming are very social activities in our community in which students engage with each other, learn from each other, and constantly problem-solve together.

What if my child just plays all day long?

“Play is the highest form of research.” ~ Albert Einstein

Play is exactly what your child should be doing! There is a reason that nature has endowed children with an intense need to play in their earliest years of development, at a time when they are learning the most and the fastest than at any other point in later life. Not only do children make meaning and construct models of the world through play, they also practice their physical, intellectual, social, and emotional skills.

Is there any structure in your program?

Although students are free to do whatever they want all day long (within the boundaries of safety and respect), the community has two very important structures that make up the heart of it: 1) School Meeting – the weekly community meeting where things like rules, processes, and budget are decided democratically by the majority vote of students and staff members.  2) Judicial Committee – The student-led justice system where rule infractions and disagreements are handled daily.

What does a typical day look like?

There really is no typical day at Sunset Sudbury!  People of all ages mix freely, doing whatever they want within the boundaries of safety and respect. Students and staff can be found everywhere talking, laughing, playing, and working. There may be a group of students huddled around a computer discussing video game strategies while another group is in the kitchen having lunch and planning the next field trip. Some may be coloring, painting, or making something out of clay while others are outside playing basketball or picking flowers in the garden. Always there are people playing happily and busily, indoors and outdoors, in all weather.  Each day is rich with opportunity that is only limited by the students’ imagination and interests.

Is your program like a Montessori school?

Sudbury and Montessori are similar in that children are given more freedom to make decisions about what interests them and how to pace themselves. Both models also hold the basic assumption that people are naturally curious and don’t need to be forced to learn. The Sudbury model, however, gives students even more freedom and makes no assumption about how individual children will learn.

Testing

What documents would my child need to enroll?

Aside from our enrollment documents, we will also need:

1) FL Certification of Immunization (DH Form #680 OR Religious Exemption (DH Form #681)
2) School Entry Health Exam (DH form #3040) OR Exemption
3) a copy of the student’s birth certificate

How do children learn if no one tells them what to do or learn?

“Children are born passionately eager to make as much sense as they can of things around them. If we attempt to control, manipulate, or divert this process…the independent scientist in the child disappears.” ~ John Holt

We believe that all children are born with a strong desire to learn what they need in order to become an effective adult in the society to which they are born. In fact, our species would not have survived for very long without this inner drive. Our current education system was designed to short-circuit this process in order to make people into cogs of the industrial machine. It made sense at one point in history. However, in this post-industrial, or information, age, children know that traditional schooling is a waste of time, so more and more of them are tuning out. Our community provides your child with the time and space to get back in touch with their own natural desire to learn without being told to do so.

How do children know what they like if they are not exposed to it (with classes, etc.)?

“When you teach a child something you take away forever his chance of discovering it for himself.” ~ Jean Piaget

We live in the information age, where knowledge is available at your fingertips. For this reason, when kids are free exposure is not an issue. Furthermore, because students are free to explore and interact with students and adults of all ages all day long, they are exposed to a wide variety of topics, more than they would typically get in an environment where only one person is delivering the curriculum. Students in our program don’t look at learning as a set of fixed subjects to be mastered. Instead, they follow their curiosity and interest, which isn’t limited to a classroom.

How do children learn the basics (reading, writing, and math)?

When a child is ready and willing, the basics like reading, writing, and math are quite easily learned. Traditional schooling forces children to learn these at the same age and at the same rate, often before a child is ready or interested. Thus, the process seems to be difficult and time-consuming. The fact is that we have seen children teach themselves to read, some at the age of 4 and some as late as 12, with absolutely no instruction. By age 13, you can’t tell the difference between the child who learned to read at 4 from the child who learned to read at 12. As for math, it has been proven over and over again that all of the math content from K thru grade 8 can be learned in just 6 weeks when the child is ready for it. Imagine all of that time saved for valuable play!

For a different perspective, watch the TED video Why Math Instruction Is Unnecessary.

What if my child doesn’t want to do anything all day?

“If you force kids to study things that they are not interested in, they may come to appear to be lazy.” ~ Jerry Mintz, founder of Alternative Education Resource Organization

Depending on how many years your child has been in a traditional school setting, they may go through a period of de-schooling when they first arrive at our program. We see this as a valuable and necessary transition time in which the student gets back in touch with themself. This may include long periods of doing nothing at all. Your child may also be testing the adults around them to see if they are serious about not interfering with their choices. All of this is completely normal and you have to be prepared to accept this as part of the process before enrolling your child.

What if my child spends all day on the computer?

It is quite possible that your child will spend all day on the computer. With all of the negative media attention surrounding screen time, it is not surprising that many parents are concerned about this. Some parents see the computer, including video games, as a mind-numbing activity that “rots your brain”. At Sunset Sudbury, we recognize that computers are the most important tools of modern society and that there are many advantages to playing with them. Furthermore, computers and gaming are very social activities in our community in which students engage with each other, learn from each other, and constantly problem-solve together.

What if my child just plays all day long?

“Play is the highest form of research.” ~ Albert Einstein

Play is exactly what your child should be doing! There is a reason that nature has endowed children with an intense need to play in their earliest years of development, at a time when they are learning the most and the fastest than at any other point in later life. Not only do children make meaning and construct models of the world through play, they also practice their physical, intellectual, social, and emotional skills.

Is there any structure in your program?

Although students are free to do whatever they want all day long (within the boundaries of safety and respect), the community has two very important structures that make up the heart of it: 1) School Meeting – the weekly community meeting where things like rules, processes, and budget are decided democratically by the majority vote of students and staff members.  2) Judicial Committee – The student-led justice system where rule infractions and disagreements are handled daily.

What does a typical day look like?

There really is no typical day at Sunset Sudbury!  People of all ages mix freely, doing whatever they want within the boundaries of safety and respect. Students and staff can be found everywhere talking, laughing, playing, and working. There may be a group of students huddled around a computer discussing video game strategies while another group is in the kitchen having lunch and planning the next field trip. Some may be coloring, painting, or making something out of clay while others are outside playing basketball or picking flowers in the garden. Always there are people playing happily and busily, indoors and outdoors, in all weather.  Each day is rich with opportunity that is only limited by the students’ imagination and interests.

Is your program like a Montessori school?

Sudbury and Montessori are similar in that children are given more freedom to make decisions about what interests them and how to pace themselves. Both models also hold the basic assumption that people are naturally curious and don’t need to be forced to learn. The Sudbury model, however, gives students even more freedom and makes no assumption about how individual children will learn.

Discipline & Safety

What documents would my child need to enroll?

Aside from our enrollment documents, we will also need:

1) FL Certification of Immunization (DH Form #680 OR Religious Exemption (DH Form #681)
2) School Entry Health Exam (DH form #3040) OR Exemption
3) a copy of the student’s birth certificate

How do children learn if no one tells them what to do or learn?

“Children are born passionately eager to make as much sense as they can of things around them. If we attempt to control, manipulate, or divert this process…the independent scientist in the child disappears.” ~ John Holt

We believe that all children are born with a strong desire to learn what they need in order to become an effective adult in the society to which they are born. In fact, our species would not have survived for very long without this inner drive. Our current education system was designed to short-circuit this process in order to make people into cogs of the industrial machine. It made sense at one point in history. However, in this post-industrial, or information, age, children know that traditional schooling is a waste of time, so more and more of them are tuning out. Our community provides your child with the time and space to get back in touch with their own natural desire to learn without being told to do so.

How do children know what they like if they are not exposed to it (with classes, etc.)?

“When you teach a child something you take away forever his chance of discovering it for himself.” ~ Jean Piaget

We live in the information age, where knowledge is available at your fingertips. For this reason, when kids are free exposure is not an issue. Furthermore, because students are free to explore and interact with students and adults of all ages all day long, they are exposed to a wide variety of topics, more than they would typically get in an environment where only one person is delivering the curriculum. Students in our program don’t look at learning as a set of fixed subjects to be mastered. Instead, they follow their curiosity and interest, which isn’t limited to a classroom.

How do children learn the basics (reading, writing, and math)?

When a child is ready and willing, the basics like reading, writing, and math are quite easily learned. Traditional schooling forces children to learn these at the same age and at the same rate, often before a child is ready or interested. Thus, the process seems to be difficult and time-consuming. The fact is that we have seen children teach themselves to read, some at the age of 4 and some as late as 12, with absolutely no instruction. By age 13, you can’t tell the difference between the child who learned to read at 4 from the child who learned to read at 12. As for math, it has been proven over and over again that all of the math content from K thru grade 8 can be learned in just 6 weeks when the child is ready for it. Imagine all of that time saved for valuable play!

For a different perspective, watch the TED video Why Math Instruction Is Unnecessary.

What if my child doesn’t want to do anything all day?

“If you force kids to study things that they are not interested in, they may come to appear to be lazy.” ~ Jerry Mintz, founder of Alternative Education Resource Organization

Depending on how many years your child has been in a traditional school setting, they may go through a period of de-schooling when they first arrive at our program. We see this as a valuable and necessary transition time in which the student gets back in touch with themself. This may include long periods of doing nothing at all. Your child may also be testing the adults around them to see if they are serious about not interfering with their choices. All of this is completely normal and you have to be prepared to accept this as part of the process before enrolling your child.

What if my child spends all day on the computer?

It is quite possible that your child will spend all day on the computer. With all of the negative media attention surrounding screen time, it is not surprising that many parents are concerned about this. Some parents see the computer, including video games, as a mind-numbing activity that “rots your brain”. At Sunset Sudbury, we recognize that computers are the most important tools of modern society and that there are many advantages to playing with them. Furthermore, computers and gaming are very social activities in our community in which students engage with each other, learn from each other, and constantly problem-solve together.

What if my child just plays all day long?

“Play is the highest form of research.” ~ Albert Einstein

Play is exactly what your child should be doing! There is a reason that nature has endowed children with an intense need to play in their earliest years of development, at a time when they are learning the most and the fastest than at any other point in later life. Not only do children make meaning and construct models of the world through play, they also practice their physical, intellectual, social, and emotional skills.

Is there any structure in your program?

Although students are free to do whatever they want all day long (within the boundaries of safety and respect), the community has two very important structures that make up the heart of it: 1) School Meeting – the weekly community meeting where things like rules, processes, and budget are decided democratically by the majority vote of students and staff members.  2) Judicial Committee – The student-led justice system where rule infractions and disagreements are handled daily.

What does a typical day look like?

There really is no typical day at Sunset Sudbury!  People of all ages mix freely, doing whatever they want within the boundaries of safety and respect. Students and staff can be found everywhere talking, laughing, playing, and working. There may be a group of students huddled around a computer discussing video game strategies while another group is in the kitchen having lunch and planning the next field trip. Some may be coloring, painting, or making something out of clay while others are outside playing basketball or picking flowers in the garden. Always there are people playing happily and busily, indoors and outdoors, in all weather.  Each day is rich with opportunity that is only limited by the students’ imagination and interests.

Is your program like a Montessori school?

Sudbury and Montessori are similar in that children are given more freedom to make decisions about what interests them and how to pace themselves. Both models also hold the basic assumption that people are naturally curious and don’t need to be forced to learn. The Sudbury model, however, gives students even more freedom and makes no assumption about how individual children will learn.

Transitioning to a non-Sudbury environment

What documents would my child need to enroll?

Aside from our enrollment documents, we will also need:

1) FL Certification of Immunization (DH Form #680 OR Religious Exemption (DH Form #681)
2) School Entry Health Exam (DH form #3040) OR Exemption
3) a copy of the student’s birth certificate

How do children learn if no one tells them what to do or learn?

“Children are born passionately eager to make as much sense as they can of things around them. If we attempt to control, manipulate, or divert this process…the independent scientist in the child disappears.” ~ John Holt

We believe that all children are born with a strong desire to learn what they need in order to become an effective adult in the society to which they are born. In fact, our species would not have survived for very long without this inner drive. Our current education system was designed to short-circuit this process in order to make people into cogs of the industrial machine. It made sense at one point in history. However, in this post-industrial, or information, age, children know that traditional schooling is a waste of time, so more and more of them are tuning out. Our community provides your child with the time and space to get back in touch with their own natural desire to learn without being told to do so.

How do children know what they like if they are not exposed to it (with classes, etc.)?

“When you teach a child something you take away forever his chance of discovering it for himself.” ~ Jean Piaget

We live in the information age, where knowledge is available at your fingertips. For this reason, when kids are free exposure is not an issue. Furthermore, because students are free to explore and interact with students and adults of all ages all day long, they are exposed to a wide variety of topics, more than they would typically get in an environment where only one person is delivering the curriculum. Students in our program don’t look at learning as a set of fixed subjects to be mastered. Instead, they follow their curiosity and interest, which isn’t limited to a classroom.

How do children learn the basics (reading, writing, and math)?

When a child is ready and willing, the basics like reading, writing, and math are quite easily learned. Traditional schooling forces children to learn these at the same age and at the same rate, often before a child is ready or interested. Thus, the process seems to be difficult and time-consuming. The fact is that we have seen children teach themselves to read, some at the age of 4 and some as late as 12, with absolutely no instruction. By age 13, you can’t tell the difference between the child who learned to read at 4 from the child who learned to read at 12. As for math, it has been proven over and over again that all of the math content from K thru grade 8 can be learned in just 6 weeks when the child is ready for it. Imagine all of that time saved for valuable play!

For a different perspective, watch the TED video Why Math Instruction Is Unnecessary.

What if my child doesn’t want to do anything all day?

“If you force kids to study things that they are not interested in, they may come to appear to be lazy.” ~ Jerry Mintz, founder of Alternative Education Resource Organization

Depending on how many years your child has been in a traditional school setting, they may go through a period of de-schooling when they first arrive at our program. We see this as a valuable and necessary transition time in which the student gets back in touch with themself. This may include long periods of doing nothing at all. Your child may also be testing the adults around them to see if they are serious about not interfering with their choices. All of this is completely normal and you have to be prepared to accept this as part of the process before enrolling your child.

What if my child spends all day on the computer?

It is quite possible that your child will spend all day on the computer. With all of the negative media attention surrounding screen time, it is not surprising that many parents are concerned about this. Some parents see the computer, including video games, as a mind-numbing activity that “rots your brain”. At Sunset Sudbury, we recognize that computers are the most important tools of modern society and that there are many advantages to playing with them. Furthermore, computers and gaming are very social activities in our community in which students engage with each other, learn from each other, and constantly problem-solve together.

What if my child just plays all day long?

“Play is the highest form of research.” ~ Albert Einstein

Play is exactly what your child should be doing! There is a reason that nature has endowed children with an intense need to play in their earliest years of development, at a time when they are learning the most and the fastest than at any other point in later life. Not only do children make meaning and construct models of the world through play, they also practice their physical, intellectual, social, and emotional skills.

Is there any structure in your program?

Although students are free to do whatever they want all day long (within the boundaries of safety and respect), the community has two very important structures that make up the heart of it: 1) School Meeting – the weekly community meeting where things like rules, processes, and budget are decided democratically by the majority vote of students and staff members.  2) Judicial Committee – The student-led justice system where rule infractions and disagreements are handled daily.

What does a typical day look like?

There really is no typical day at Sunset Sudbury!  People of all ages mix freely, doing whatever they want within the boundaries of safety and respect. Students and staff can be found everywhere talking, laughing, playing, and working. There may be a group of students huddled around a computer discussing video game strategies while another group is in the kitchen having lunch and planning the next field trip. Some may be coloring, painting, or making something out of clay while others are outside playing basketball or picking flowers in the garden. Always there are people playing happily and busily, indoors and outdoors, in all weather.  Each day is rich with opportunity that is only limited by the students’ imagination and interests.

Is your program like a Montessori school?

Sudbury and Montessori are similar in that children are given more freedom to make decisions about what interests them and how to pace themselves. Both models also hold the basic assumption that people are naturally curious and don’t need to be forced to learn. The Sudbury model, however, gives students even more freedom and makes no assumption about how individual children will learn.

Parenting

What documents would my child need to enroll?

Aside from our enrollment documents, we will also need:

1) FL Certification of Immunization (DH Form #680 OR Religious Exemption (DH Form #681)
2) School Entry Health Exam (DH form #3040) OR Exemption
3) a copy of the student’s birth certificate

How do children learn if no one tells them what to do or learn?

“Children are born passionately eager to make as much sense as they can of things around them. If we attempt to control, manipulate, or divert this process…the independent scientist in the child disappears.” ~ John Holt

We believe that all children are born with a strong desire to learn what they need in order to become an effective adult in the society to which they are born. In fact, our species would not have survived for very long without this inner drive. Our current education system was designed to short-circuit this process in order to make people into cogs of the industrial machine. It made sense at one point in history. However, in this post-industrial, or information, age, children know that traditional schooling is a waste of time, so more and more of them are tuning out. Our community provides your child with the time and space to get back in touch with their own natural desire to learn without being told to do so.

How do children know what they like if they are not exposed to it (with classes, etc.)?

“When you teach a child something you take away forever his chance of discovering it for himself.” ~ Jean Piaget

We live in the information age, where knowledge is available at your fingertips. For this reason, when kids are free exposure is not an issue. Furthermore, because students are free to explore and interact with students and adults of all ages all day long, they are exposed to a wide variety of topics, more than they would typically get in an environment where only one person is delivering the curriculum. Students in our program don’t look at learning as a set of fixed subjects to be mastered. Instead, they follow their curiosity and interest, which isn’t limited to a classroom.

How do children learn the basics (reading, writing, and math)?

When a child is ready and willing, the basics like reading, writing, and math are quite easily learned. Traditional schooling forces children to learn these at the same age and at the same rate, often before a child is ready or interested. Thus, the process seems to be difficult and time-consuming. The fact is that we have seen children teach themselves to read, some at the age of 4 and some as late as 12, with absolutely no instruction. By age 13, you can’t tell the difference between the child who learned to read at 4 from the child who learned to read at 12. As for math, it has been proven over and over again that all of the math content from K thru grade 8 can be learned in just 6 weeks when the child is ready for it. Imagine all of that time saved for valuable play!

For a different perspective, watch the TED video Why Math Instruction Is Unnecessary.

What if my child doesn’t want to do anything all day?

“If you force kids to study things that they are not interested in, they may come to appear to be lazy.” ~ Jerry Mintz, founder of Alternative Education Resource Organization

Depending on how many years your child has been in a traditional school setting, they may go through a period of de-schooling when they first arrive at our program. We see this as a valuable and necessary transition time in which the student gets back in touch with themself. This may include long periods of doing nothing at all. Your child may also be testing the adults around them to see if they are serious about not interfering with their choices. All of this is completely normal and you have to be prepared to accept this as part of the process before enrolling your child.

What if my child spends all day on the computer?

It is quite possible that your child will spend all day on the computer. With all of the negative media attention surrounding screen time, it is not surprising that many parents are concerned about this. Some parents see the computer, including video games, as a mind-numbing activity that “rots your brain”. At Sunset Sudbury, we recognize that computers are the most important tools of modern society and that there are many advantages to playing with them. Furthermore, computers and gaming are very social activities in our community in which students engage with each other, learn from each other, and constantly problem-solve together.

What if my child just plays all day long?

“Play is the highest form of research.” ~ Albert Einstein

Play is exactly what your child should be doing! There is a reason that nature has endowed children with an intense need to play in their earliest years of development, at a time when they are learning the most and the fastest than at any other point in later life. Not only do children make meaning and construct models of the world through play, they also practice their physical, intellectual, social, and emotional skills.

Is there any structure in your program?

Although students are free to do whatever they want all day long (within the boundaries of safety and respect), the community has two very important structures that make up the heart of it: 1) School Meeting – the weekly community meeting where things like rules, processes, and budget are decided democratically by the majority vote of students and staff members.  2) Judicial Committee – The student-led justice system where rule infractions and disagreements are handled daily.

What does a typical day look like?

There really is no typical day at Sunset Sudbury!  People of all ages mix freely, doing whatever they want within the boundaries of safety and respect. Students and staff can be found everywhere talking, laughing, playing, and working. There may be a group of students huddled around a computer discussing video game strategies while another group is in the kitchen having lunch and planning the next field trip. Some may be coloring, painting, or making something out of clay while others are outside playing basketball or picking flowers in the garden. Always there are people playing happily and busily, indoors and outdoors, in all weather.  Each day is rich with opportunity that is only limited by the students’ imagination and interests.

Is your program like a Montessori school?

Sudbury and Montessori are similar in that children are given more freedom to make decisions about what interests them and how to pace themselves. Both models also hold the basic assumption that people are naturally curious and don’t need to be forced to learn. The Sudbury model, however, gives students even more freedom and makes no assumption about how individual children will learn.

Students

What documents would my child need to enroll?

Aside from our enrollment documents, we will also need:

1) FL Certification of Immunization (DH Form #680 OR Religious Exemption (DH Form #681)
2) School Entry Health Exam (DH form #3040) OR Exemption
3) a copy of the student’s birth certificate

How do children learn if no one tells them what to do or learn?

“Children are born passionately eager to make as much sense as they can of things around them. If we attempt to control, manipulate, or divert this process…the independent scientist in the child disappears.” ~ John Holt

We believe that all children are born with a strong desire to learn what they need in order to become an effective adult in the society to which they are born. In fact, our species would not have survived for very long without this inner drive. Our current education system was designed to short-circuit this process in order to make people into cogs of the industrial machine. It made sense at one point in history. However, in this post-industrial, or information, age, children know that traditional schooling is a waste of time, so more and more of them are tuning out. Our community provides your child with the time and space to get back in touch with their own natural desire to learn without being told to do so.

How do children know what they like if they are not exposed to it (with classes, etc.)?

“When you teach a child something you take away forever his chance of discovering it for himself.” ~ Jean Piaget

We live in the information age, where knowledge is available at your fingertips. For this reason, when kids are free exposure is not an issue. Furthermore, because students are free to explore and interact with students and adults of all ages all day long, they are exposed to a wide variety of topics, more than they would typically get in an environment where only one person is delivering the curriculum. Students in our program don’t look at learning as a set of fixed subjects to be mastered. Instead, they follow their curiosity and interest, which isn’t limited to a classroom.

How do children learn the basics (reading, writing, and math)?

When a child is ready and willing, the basics like reading, writing, and math are quite easily learned. Traditional schooling forces children to learn these at the same age and at the same rate, often before a child is ready or interested. Thus, the process seems to be difficult and time-consuming. The fact is that we have seen children teach themselves to read, some at the age of 4 and some as late as 12, with absolutely no instruction. By age 13, you can’t tell the difference between the child who learned to read at 4 from the child who learned to read at 12. As for math, it has been proven over and over again that all of the math content from K thru grade 8 can be learned in just 6 weeks when the child is ready for it. Imagine all of that time saved for valuable play!

For a different perspective, watch the TED video Why Math Instruction Is Unnecessary.

What if my child doesn’t want to do anything all day?

“If you force kids to study things that they are not interested in, they may come to appear to be lazy.” ~ Jerry Mintz, founder of Alternative Education Resource Organization

Depending on how many years your child has been in a traditional school setting, they may go through a period of de-schooling when they first arrive at our program. We see this as a valuable and necessary transition time in which the student gets back in touch with themself. This may include long periods of doing nothing at all. Your child may also be testing the adults around them to see if they are serious about not interfering with their choices. All of this is completely normal and you have to be prepared to accept this as part of the process before enrolling your child.

What if my child spends all day on the computer?

It is quite possible that your child will spend all day on the computer. With all of the negative media attention surrounding screen time, it is not surprising that many parents are concerned about this. Some parents see the computer, including video games, as a mind-numbing activity that “rots your brain”. At Sunset Sudbury, we recognize that computers are the most important tools of modern society and that there are many advantages to playing with them. Furthermore, computers and gaming are very social activities in our community in which students engage with each other, learn from each other, and constantly problem-solve together.

What if my child just plays all day long?

“Play is the highest form of research.” ~ Albert Einstein

Play is exactly what your child should be doing! There is a reason that nature has endowed children with an intense need to play in their earliest years of development, at a time when they are learning the most and the fastest than at any other point in later life. Not only do children make meaning and construct models of the world through play, they also practice their physical, intellectual, social, and emotional skills.

Is there any structure in your program?

Although students are free to do whatever they want all day long (within the boundaries of safety and respect), the community has two very important structures that make up the heart of it: 1) School Meeting – the weekly community meeting where things like rules, processes, and budget are decided democratically by the majority vote of students and staff members.  2) Judicial Committee – The student-led justice system where rule infractions and disagreements are handled daily.

What does a typical day look like?

There really is no typical day at Sunset Sudbury!  People of all ages mix freely, doing whatever they want within the boundaries of safety and respect. Students and staff can be found everywhere talking, laughing, playing, and working. There may be a group of students huddled around a computer discussing video game strategies while another group is in the kitchen having lunch and planning the next field trip. Some may be coloring, painting, or making something out of clay while others are outside playing basketball or picking flowers in the garden. Always there are people playing happily and busily, indoors and outdoors, in all weather.  Each day is rich with opportunity that is only limited by the students’ imagination and interests.

Is your program like a Montessori school?

Sudbury and Montessori are similar in that children are given more freedom to make decisions about what interests them and how to pace themselves. Both models also hold the basic assumption that people are naturally curious and don’t need to be forced to learn. The Sudbury model, however, gives students even more freedom and makes no assumption about how individual children will learn.

Legal Notice

What documents would my child need to enroll?

Aside from our enrollment documents, we will also need:

1) FL Certification of Immunization (DH Form #680 OR Religious Exemption (DH Form #681)
2) School Entry Health Exam (DH form #3040) OR Exemption
3) a copy of the student’s birth certificate

How do children learn if no one tells them what to do or learn?

“Children are born passionately eager to make as much sense as they can of things around them. If we attempt to control, manipulate, or divert this process…the independent scientist in the child disappears.” ~ John Holt

We believe that all children are born with a strong desire to learn what they need in order to become an effective adult in the society to which they are born. In fact, our species would not have survived for very long without this inner drive. Our current education system was designed to short-circuit this process in order to make people into cogs of the industrial machine. It made sense at one point in history. However, in this post-industrial, or information, age, children know that traditional schooling is a waste of time, so more and more of them are tuning out. Our community provides your child with the time and space to get back in touch with their own natural desire to learn without being told to do so.

How do children know what they like if they are not exposed to it (with classes, etc.)?

“When you teach a child something you take away forever his chance of discovering it for himself.” ~ Jean Piaget

We live in the information age, where knowledge is available at your fingertips. For this reason, when kids are free exposure is not an issue. Furthermore, because students are free to explore and interact with students and adults of all ages all day long, they are exposed to a wide variety of topics, more than they would typically get in an environment where only one person is delivering the curriculum. Students in our program don’t look at learning as a set of fixed subjects to be mastered. Instead, they follow their curiosity and interest, which isn’t limited to a classroom.

How do children learn the basics (reading, writing, and math)?

When a child is ready and willing, the basics like reading, writing, and math are quite easily learned. Traditional schooling forces children to learn these at the same age and at the same rate, often before a child is ready or interested. Thus, the process seems to be difficult and time-consuming. The fact is that we have seen children teach themselves to read, some at the age of 4 and some as late as 12, with absolutely no instruction. By age 13, you can’t tell the difference between the child who learned to read at 4 from the child who learned to read at 12. As for math, it has been proven over and over again that all of the math content from K thru grade 8 can be learned in just 6 weeks when the child is ready for it. Imagine all of that time saved for valuable play!

For a different perspective, watch the TED video Why Math Instruction Is Unnecessary.

What if my child doesn’t want to do anything all day?

“If you force kids to study things that they are not interested in, they may come to appear to be lazy.” ~ Jerry Mintz, founder of Alternative Education Resource Organization

Depending on how many years your child has been in a traditional school setting, they may go through a period of de-schooling when they first arrive at our program. We see this as a valuable and necessary transition time in which the student gets back in touch with themself. This may include long periods of doing nothing at all. Your child may also be testing the adults around them to see if they are serious about not interfering with their choices. All of this is completely normal and you have to be prepared to accept this as part of the process before enrolling your child.

What if my child spends all day on the computer?

It is quite possible that your child will spend all day on the computer. With all of the negative media attention surrounding screen time, it is not surprising that many parents are concerned about this. Some parents see the computer, including video games, as a mind-numbing activity that “rots your brain”. At Sunset Sudbury, we recognize that computers are the most important tools of modern society and that there are many advantages to playing with them. Furthermore, computers and gaming are very social activities in our community in which students engage with each other, learn from each other, and constantly problem-solve together.

What if my child just plays all day long?

“Play is the highest form of research.” ~ Albert Einstein

Play is exactly what your child should be doing! There is a reason that nature has endowed children with an intense need to play in their earliest years of development, at a time when they are learning the most and the fastest than at any other point in later life. Not only do children make meaning and construct models of the world through play, they also practice their physical, intellectual, social, and emotional skills.

Is there any structure in your program?

Although students are free to do whatever they want all day long (within the boundaries of safety and respect), the community has two very important structures that make up the heart of it: 1) School Meeting – the weekly community meeting where things like rules, processes, and budget are decided democratically by the majority vote of students and staff members.  2) Judicial Committee – The student-led justice system where rule infractions and disagreements are handled daily.

What does a typical day look like?

There really is no typical day at Sunset Sudbury!  People of all ages mix freely, doing whatever they want within the boundaries of safety and respect. Students and staff can be found everywhere talking, laughing, playing, and working. There may be a group of students huddled around a computer discussing video game strategies while another group is in the kitchen having lunch and planning the next field trip. Some may be coloring, painting, or making something out of clay while others are outside playing basketball or picking flowers in the garden. Always there are people playing happily and busily, indoors and outdoors, in all weather.  Each day is rich with opportunity that is only limited by the students’ imagination and interests.

Is your program like a Montessori school?

Sudbury and Montessori are similar in that children are given more freedom to make decisions about what interests them and how to pace themselves. Both models also hold the basic assumption that people are naturally curious and don’t need to be forced to learn. The Sudbury model, however, gives students even more freedom and makes no assumption about how individual children will learn.