Monday, June 8, 2009

Living Wisdom School Philosophy

* What Do You Want for Your Child?

What are your hopes and dreams for your child? Not just for kindergarten, but for the whole of his or her life?

Financial security? A good job? A nice home?

Material goals are self-evidently necessary and worthwhile. But surely, many intangibles are also worth considering, such as happiness and peace of mind.

We all want our children to acquire an awareness of positive, inspiring values and ideals, as well as a deep understanding of the ultimate meaning of life. What role will your child's school play in helping her to become an inwardly strong and secure person? No influence outside the home has a greater impact on children than the countless hours they will spend at school.
Education Reflects Parents' Goals

Nowadays, little attention is paid to developing children's higher values. But what if your dreams for your child go beyond the material?

Intellectual training surely is essential. It's difficult to succeed in our culture without it. But life itself teaches us that success and happiness depend to a great extent also on other human skills such as knowing how to get along with others, how to persevere, how to focus one's attention, how to cooperate, and how to be a good friend.

At Living Wisdom School, we feel that children should benefit from the storehouse of wisdom that humanity has gathered throughout the ages concerning the best way to achieve a happy, fulfilled life. We feel it is a God-given duty to teach children these essential life skills, beginning at a young age? This is a useful education, indeed!

For over thirty years, we have observed that children who are taught how to have a happy life are far more likely to achieve academic success as well. But please don't take our word for this. See What Parents Say.

At Living Wisdom School, children learn the art of being balanced, mature, effective, happy, and harmonious human beings. We call this art "Education for Life," because it relates the children's classroom lessons to life as a whole. At Living Wisdom School, we study not only the great things that people have achieved, but the human qualities that enabled them to attain those achievements.

The Secrets of Success

Before we can be happy and inwardly secure, we must know a great deal about the world around us. We need to learn how to interact appropriately with the people and circumstances in our lives, because life seldom molds itself to our personal wishes. We must be ready to adjust to realities that lie outside our own. We must learn practical skills, and we must master academic knowledge. Education for Life helps children prepare for maturity on all levels--the material, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

More Than Natural Talent

At Living Wisdom School, children are guided in developing the five "tools of maturity": the body, feelings, will, mind, and soul. With increasing health and high energy, sensitive feeling, dynamic will power, and mental clarity, each child is given the opportunity to discover a gradual expansion of awareness that brings a concomitant sense of meaning and joy.

Success in our school is gauged not only by results, but by the quality of each child's attitudes, effort, and interactions with others. In an Education for Life, the children practice dealing with whatever life may bring them.

True Teaching is Individual

Each child reveals a broader array of individual traits than adults generally do. Rather than force the child to conform to strictly standardized learning methods, we feel that it makes more sense to discover the child's essential strengths and encourage them. Children develop self-confidence and enthusiasm for learning when their individual strengths are continually and consistently encouraged.

Classes are kept small so that teachers can work closely with each child. The teachers are trained to assess the child's physical, mental, and emotional development, and to guide the child accordingly. They relate to the children much as their parents do, from the perspective of the child's ever-changing needs. We respect and encourage individuality.

Joy in the Classroom

We feel that we have been given a responsibility as adults to help make the early years a joyful experience for children, while laying a foundation for happy adulthood. In a Living Wisdom classroom, the atmosphere is happy, relaxed, and family-like, while at the same time there is order, appropriate discipline, and a clear sense that the teacher is in charge. Living Wisdom School teachers win the children's respect by skillfully awakening their enthusiasm and energy for the tasks at hand. The children learn that they are expected to behave with consideration and respect, and that they can approach the teacher for appropriate individual guidance.

Creating a positive learning environment doesn't automatically transform children into angels. At Living Wisdom School, you'll find the same issues, interactions, and challenging transitions that you would expect to see in any classroom. What's different is that the children are given the opportunity to learn effective, enlightened ways to deal with these situations as they arise.
The Inner Life

At Living Wisdom School, children's natural spirituality is acknowledged and encouraged. Each classroom has a universal altar with symbols from the world's religions. The classroom may also be decorated with objects that the children consider personally sacred and spiritually meaningful.

At Living Wisdom School, spirituality isn't defined as a particular dogma or religious creed. Thus, it isn't "religious instruction" in the traditional sense; rather, the focus is on the child's own, direct experience of universal spiritual truths. The key is Self-realization--the individual perception of the unifying reality behind all spiritual paths.

Every morning and occasionally throughout the day, we set aside time for chanting, singing, quiet meditation, affirmations, prayer, yoga postures, or other uplifting activities. Through these forms of worship, the children experience for themselves what it feels like to be in harmony with a higher level of consciousness.

When it's appropriate, discussions are held and questions are answered concerning spiritual truths. The children discover that expansive feelings, thoughts, and actions increase their sense of well-being, whereas the opposite choices take that happiness away. "Right and wrong" thus become first-hand experiences of the consequences of personal behaviors, rather than a fixed set of abstract rules. The children become deeply interested in changing their behavior when they realize that doing so is an effective way to increase their inner sense of joy. At Living Wisdom School, children talk about God, angels, saints, and the spiritual side of life as readily and naturally as other children talk about sports or TV.

The Importance of Good Teachers

"Who you are speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you're saying!" This adage is especially true when it comes to selecting teachers. Living examples inspire children far more effectively than rules or books. A teacher who loves and deeply understands his or her subject is much more likely to awaken a similar love and commitment in the children. Living Wisdom School is built around the teachers' open-hearted sensitivity to the children in their charge. It's essential, therefore, that the teacher expresses in his or her life the positive attitudes, spiritual and moral values, and maturity that we seek to impart to the children.

Our teachers participate in Education for Life as a lifelong process. Each teacher is deeply involved in personal development, and the teachers receive on-going support and training to keep them fresh, enthusiastic, and expansive.