If I had to come up with a motto for Fairhaven it would be, "We don't care what you can't do, we care about what you CAN do." Using the Sudbury method, Fairhaven allows kids to develop, grow and learn at their own rate, based on the passions that motivate them. By interacting in a mixed age group, kids can develop friendships based on their social/emotional needs rather than being forced to only interact with same age peers (whether they are comfortable with those peers or not). The democratically run system of decision making allows every student and staff member the opportunity to make real world decisions about how the school is run -- field trips, school rules, discipline, what classes will be held & how the budget will be allocated is decided by the school community -- one person = one vote. Everyone has an equal say & every opinion is respected and considered. Although students have the freedom to make their own choice about their education, they are also expected to take responsibility for their own outcome. Fairhaven has eliminated academic pressure that was crushing my child's spirit and helped her to find her voice and her path. I finally believe she'll be okay.
This school is amazing. I can now finally live in peace and and enjoy freedom. I am now a popular student at the school and people understand who I am. I deeply recommend this school to kids of all ages who want to live in peace and just be understood.
Fairhaven allows children to live their lives NOW, learning and growing, laughing and climbing trees, tackling tremendous intellectual challenges, and debating and resolving real life issues on a daily basis as citizens in a democracy. As a college professor, I see far too many students who succeed academically through traditional schooling only to end up intellectually dead; all the cramming in the world means absolutely nothing if it kills the love of learning. Fairhaven students, my own children included, are able to prepare for college and adult success in the best and most powerful way possible: without even trying. Everything they learn, they learn for the joy of it and their intellectual curiosity and problem-solving creativity make them simply unstoppable. And they're happy! They can't wait to get to school and are reluctant to leave. What other school can make this claim?!
My children couldn't wait for school to start again! They are free to explore their own interests in a beautiful, magical setting. They learn what they need to learn (and want to learn) in their own time, when they are ready, with guidance from the staff and other students. The democratic process fosters lots of dissection of issues so they can see it from all sides and points of view and they learn that they have a say in what goes on in their community, their thoughts and opinions matter. They also learn really important life skills such as respect and responsibility through the judicial process. To the left of where I am writing there is a box telling me "a great school has challenging academic programs"....there is nothing mandatory at Fairhaven in the way of curriculum/academics, but learning independent thinking AND how to work together to make a community function is quite a challenge. If you are looking for a non-traditional, extraordinary school for you kids to learn that their imagination is limitless and their creativity is valued, this is the place.
An amazing place for children to thrive! Students utilize their own natural curiosity about the world around them. They play, explore, interact with staff, students, and abundant resources to learn naturally, in a working democracy. Beautiful wooded 12 acre setting!
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