Riverstone Village


Riverstone Village is a diverse group of families committed to self-directed, life-long learning, inspired by the Sudbury Valley School model. We span a wide range of income and highest education levels, life style choices, religions and ancestral heritages. What connects us is respect for the learning process of all people, of all ages. We hope you will join us.


We are settling in as the first Democratic Self-Directed learning community in South Africa, and on the continent.

‘Democratic’ means participatory democracy – every member of our learning community has an equal say in all group decisions, including budget spending and staff appointments.

‘Self-Directed’ means that each person has full responsibility for their own choice of activities and educational process. We support their unique unfolding, without interference.

(For a super-quick intro to Self Directed Education for children, view THIS 2 min video from the ASDE)


We are based in and around Johannesburg, South Africa. We took on a fixup project on a big old house in Ferndale, Randburg to use as a venue for 2018. For 2019 we’ve chosen a 2ha plot close to Northgate Dome. We’re already moved in and enjoying it immensely, along with our sheep and chickens. There is also a subgroup interested in establishing a free-range live-in learning community. We also mentor and support other SDE and semi-SDE facilities around South Africa.


We love that there is currently such a boom of different options for education in Johannesburg, and we reach out to encourage and support a variety of alternatives. For ourselves, though, we are committed to 100% Self Directed Education and 100% participatory democracy. For us, this is the gold standard of best-practice.

Inside our learning community, everyone is equal, everyone is living their lives to the full, and nobody knows what anyone else ‘needs’ to learn. Each person, regardless of age or ‘ability’, is sovereign over their own body, life, and time. It is a place of caring and respect, and mutual support, where we can learn to be 100% ourselves in ways that celebrate other people’s freedom, too. Where we learn how to resolve conflict┬áso that everybody wins. Where we learn how to communicate, so that we can be fully ourselves rather than trying to ‘fit in.’

Your Child

Riverstone Village offers a space that people of all ages can use to self-educate. Many families choose Democratic SDE simply because it is the cutting-edge gold standard in education, growing fast across the globe. Others find that their child suffers in other educational models, and that this is where they finally thrive. We have an admissions process that lets your family assess whether or not Riverstone Village is a good fit for your family.


If this journey calls you, join us.

We’re growing our village day by day. Each new person who joins our founder’s group brings new skills and resources. You might bring some critical piece of the puzzle, without realising that it could make such a difference.

It’s time. Let’s live it : )