At Hudson Valley Sudbury School, students take responsibility for every aspect of their education. All day, every day, students decide how to spend their time. They identify what is important to them — today, tomorrow, this week, this year — and establish their own goals. They figure out how to accomplish these goals for themselves. In doing so, they develop confidence and skills through experiencing success and failure. They learn that they have control of their lives and that if they want to do something, it is up to them to make it happen.
Much of the learning at a Sudbury school occurs naturally; reading, writing and math are learned through every day experiences such as playing yu-gi-oh cards, writing a D&D; adventure, or working in the School Store. Students also passionately dive into interests such as painting, physics, skateboarding, sewing, cooking, music, carpentry and Chinese — the list is endless. A Sudbury school is alive with activity. There is a wealth of exposure to various avenues of interest. Students see each other pursuing their passions and are inspired by them.
More important than anything students choose to do with their freedom is that they have the freedom to choose. Students take this responsibility seriously and set high expectations for themselves. Often they pursue what challenges them, instead of what is easy. The Sudbury philosophy acknowledges what research shows: people learn best when motivation comes from within rather than from an external source, whether it be parent, teacher or national curriculum.