From Bloomington Reddit:
I didn't go to Harmony, but I grew up with 3 friends who did. For context I am in first year of grad school, so this was all 2009-2016.
The first, swapped to my sixth grade class after going to Harmony for their entire life. They did not know anything about fractions nor did they know about multiplication and division. They were constantly having to be removed from the rest of the class or separated from us in order to teach them. Apparently they went to the same schools as me from then on out, however, I literally never saw them and never had any classes with them. They have since joined the Army.
The second friend went to Harmony from 3rd grade to 7th. Then in 8th grade switched to public schools. Similar situation in being WAY behind on many subjects, especially math. Humanities stuff they were okay on. They weren't as bad as my previously mentioned friend. Switched back to Harmony for highschool. This is the only one of the three who has graduate college, but they struggled through all of the properly academic portions (the GenEds, writing papers, and so on) but did well in the hands-on, artistic stuff (they majored in studio art). Due to not doing well in their GenEds and some other classes, they had to retake a few, resulting in them having to take an extra year to graduate.
Third friend was making switch from Harmony to public schools in 7th grade (start of middle school here). They hated every second of it and had horrible anxiety attacks almost every day because of the "rigid" structure of public schooling. Really, they just had never experienced a normal school system. They were failing nearly every single class. They didn't even make it a full year before switching back to Harmony. They had a child in 2019 (a few years out of high school) and are taking part time classes at the community college.
From my understanding from how these friends described things, Harmony had very little structure compared to public school. The kids were also had much more easy access to drugs and alcohol. They were also much more sexually active. Of course these things existed in public school as well, however the proportion of students who engaged is much higher in Harmony compared to public schools. Of course, I heard all of this second hand, so it might not be true.
In public school (I went Childs, Jackson Creek, South), I knew many kids with ADHD or other things which necessitated having IEPs (Individual education plans). I know many of them look back fondly on things, especially many of the teachers and general way they were educated. Many of the kids sucked, but that's just school in general and unavoidable.
edit: I forgot to mention something important: all four of us were raised by at least mostly by single, super liberal moms and of around the same socioeconomic class. So we all had very similar starting positions, with the major difference being education.
User avatar level 2 afartknocked · 17h i was surprised to see so much negativity in the other comments. i think this comment really highlights the trade off correctly. i didn't go, but i've known a bunch of harmony students over the years (though mostly people who went in the 80s and 90s), and harmony tends to produce people with strong social / communication / conflict management skills. a lot of harmony grads are strong at defining and pursuing their own goals. not to point fingers but i think some harmony students do suffer a significant handicap from an underlying condition of affluenza.
but every one of them that went into anything math/science in college found they were severely remedial. for sure. without exception.
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User avatar level 3 aquas_rift · 17h I've had that same issue going into the STEM field as a recent Harmony Grad. There was a lot of catching up to do, but I don't at all regret my decision by going. It just highlights something different than public school does, in the end.
Beachbodyvacay · 20h My sibling went to Harmony for high school. They got kicked out of public school, so Harmony was pretty much their only option other than military school.
My sibling didnt do well at Harmony because of how unstructured it is. He is the type of person that needs guardrails and discipline and you just dont get that at Harmony. He picked up some bad habits while there and basically has an 8th grade education.
My sibling is very creative and enjoyed that aspect of Harmony a lot. He is extremely into sustainability and eco-friendly living and Harmony taught him a lot about that. His influence has helped me to shift more towards a more sustainable/low waste lifestyle.
Harmony is fantastic for students who are self-motivated and can manage themselves and their workload. Every senior has a senior project they work on throughout the year and present at the end of the school year. I was blown away with what some of the other students produced.
In short, it really depends on what type of student you are. Also, the tuition can be quite high depending on your familys financial situation.