Free at Last: The Sudbury Valley School

Free at Last: The Sudbury Valley School

The best-selling description of the school is bursting with the excitement of life at Sudbury Valley. Free at Last is also chock-full of stories that illustrate the many unique features of this highly original model.

“Age mixing is Sudbury Valley’s secret weapon. I never could make heads or tails of age segregation. People don’t live their lives in the real world separated by age, year by year. Kids don’t all have the same interests or abilities at a particular age.

“Anyway, we soon found out how children mix when they are left to their own devices. They mix. Just like real people. The principle is always the same: if anyone wants to do something, they do it. Interest is what counts. If the activity is on an advanced level, skill counts. A lot of little kids are much more skillful than older ones at a lot of things.

“When the skills and rate of learning aren’t all on the same level, that’s when the fun begins. The kids help each other. They have to, otherwise the group as a whole will fall behind. They want to, because they are not competing for grades or gold stars. They like to, because it’s terribly satisfying to help someone else and succeed at it. And it’s terribly pleasing to watch. Everywhere you turn at school, age mixing confronts you.”

Title:Free at Last: The Sudbury Valley School
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781888947007
Format Type:

    Free at Last: The Sudbury Valley School Reviews

  • Kathryn

    I think I would have blossomed in this school. No PE unless I wanted it would have taken so much stress off of me. I like this concept of schooling and definitely would have looked into it for our dau...

  • Becca

    This was such a unique read about a method of education I never knew existed - unschooled private education. I admit I could not picture fully adapting these ideas for my homeschool but it was freeing...

  • Jill

    Books that challenge current beliefs of "how humans learn" are a bit of a hobby of mine. This is probably due to the fact that while I did very well in public school in every measure there is, it irri...

  • Jedda

    I read this book when I was in junior high and am excited to see how my perspective has changed now that I'm the mom with kids in school, rather than the student myself. It's not saying too much to sa...

  • Annika

    Absolutely Loved this book! Encouraging and inspiring!!! I would love to start something like this in Canada...

  • Victoria Wilde

    Fascinating. Read it in one day (partly by necessity as I have to return it to the library in two days and I can’t renew it). Free children are such a foreign concept to the world. So few of us expe...

  • Mandar

    Story of the inner workings of an amazing, un-orthodox school, started by parents concerned about a broken education system.Gives a lot to think about! I am reminded of Taleb's aphorisms on the Bed of...

  • Sarah Estes

    Compelling. I think I would trust it more if it was written by someone who wasn't so invested in the success of the school. Still, it was an interesting read....

  • Eli

    Sounds like an amazing way to spend a childhood - educational in a more human way....

  • Emma Swales

    This book is merely an insight into how the Sudbury school runs. It is insightful and interesting to anyone interested in Democratic Schools and Self Directed Learning. ...