This is our second year at the Circle School and my kids love it. They are happy and well-adjusted. They are learning things they are interested in and becoming self-motivated. I am also happy that they don't talk about clothes or how they look (as they were beginning to do in public school). They are too busy being creative and using their imaginations.
Look at schools in other countries - they're all trying to get away from "drill and kill" and rote memorization. If you've ever met a person who left Circle School and is now in college or working, you'll meet interesting, intelligent and (most importantly) happy people. If you find yourself saying things like "work isn't supposed to be fun, that's why they call it work" or "better get used to it: the world isn't fun", you probably won't like the Circle School. My daughter is in her second year at Circle School. She doesn't know the lexicon of the parts of speech, but she speaks well to adults and other kids. She's working on her handwriting but only because she values good handwriting (because I do). Just like ANY school, if you aren't involved as a parent, your child won't succeed. If you think that it's ONLY the school's responsibility to teach your child, NO school is going to bring your child to excellence.
Set up some kind of curriculm for those entering in the Kindergarden grade level so they can at least read and write appropriately, so as to not be teased or looked at strangley when they are around children who otherwise can.
After researching several other schools in the area, we settled on The Circle School four years ago, and have not been disappointed. Our daughter is excited every day about going to school. If you are looking for a safe place where your child is free to explore their world at their pace, look no further. They have regular informational meetings, where you can tour the school and hear about it first hand from staff, parents, students and alumni.
There are 13 year-olds who can't read or write yet, 8 year-olds who don't even know how old they are, you can't get a diploma, and the staff asks the students and students' parents for money all the time, even though they pay thousands of dollars a year.
When it comes down to what really matters in living life, The Circle School's *curriculum* of freedom, coupled with responsibility, allows young people to grow in ways that far surpass what is possible with a curriculum based on memorization of facts, submission to authority, and rote practice. My daughter has been a student at The Circle School for 8 years. Her grasp of interpersonal relations, communication skills, responsibility, cause and effect, the power of decision-making, justice, fairness, and ownership of her own personal power are the skills that do and will continue to support her in living her life- not whether or not she can diagram a sentence. The three 'R's are easy- it's the lessons that young people learn everyday through being in an empowering environment where they are respected that will stay with them through life.
I am a graduate of the Circle School and am currently attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, majoring in Environmental Design, which is comprised of Architecture, Urban Planning, Landscape Architecture and Design Studies. I am constantly amazed by how applicable my experiences at TCS are to my college life. Once you start college, it is up to you to choose your own classes, to attend them and to do the work required. The professors and faculty do not breath down your neck or send you reminders if you don't come to class or turn in assignments. The self-directed learning method used at TCS and Sudbury Schools in general directly prepared me to think for myself and take responsibility for all my actions relating to my studies and my life here. In terms of school-book knowledge I don't think I am lacking in anyway in terms of my ability to understand and complete assignments. Most of the students here who went to a traditional high school are struggling even more then those who didn't because they didn't retain any of the information they learned in school because it held no interest for them. College is about pursuing your interests and at TCS, you get a head start.
"We change the world not by what we say or do, but as a consequence of what we have become." ~ Dr. David R. Hawkins The Circle school provides an environment for my daughter to become and exceptional human being. Our 10 year old daughter is thriving at the Circle School and we know that whatever she chooses to "become" she will have the best shot by attending this School. The staff are wonderful, open and loving, highly educated people who care deeply about and appreciate every aspect of her. A safe, loving and supportive school that allows her to pursue whatever passion(s) she has. We know that whatever makes her heart soar may end up being the one thing she was meant to become in this world. Knowing that she has the freedom to light that fire, in a capable and supportive environment any "academic" concerns we have quickly diminish because we know she'll be eager to master them. It will all be part of HER plan. Oh and yes, she will be a productive citizen participating in democracy too. Knowing our daughter, she may end up running for President ...and she'll probably win! I hope so. We could use someone like her.
The philosophy of the school supports the development of 'real' people: self-motivated, self-determined, critically thinking, responsible and community orientated, in an atmosphere of mutual respect, loving support, and freedom.