The Case for Experiential Education

How do you know your children are really learning in school? By their test scores?

Learning is a process that develops depth and breadth of understanding. It’s knowing how to think, figure out solutions, ask questions, find answers, be intrinsically motivated, take responsibility, be patient, work alone AND collaborate, make mistakes and learn from them. Living a truly fulfilling life is all about learning.

Educating Children's Feelings

Educating Children’s Feelings
By Nancy Monson

“Education today is directed almost exclusively toward the development of the mind. There is an exaggerated admiration of what is referred to as intelligence, or intellectual capacity, at the expense of feelings and the body. It is this unbalanced emphasis that makes us give only theoretical explanations to children both at school and at home. These are directed solely at the mind of the child who hears and records them, but does not understand them since his body and his feelings are not involved. Therefore, these explanations are not assimilated.

Education must be a process through which an attempt is made to develop the mind, the feelings, and the body in an integrated and balanced way. An education that only focuses on one or two of these sources, or elements, leaves in the hands of society and in the hands of the individual himself, a being who is more or less incomplete. His lack of harmony does not allow him to develop to his full potential. This article will focus on the feeling aspect of this equation since it is the fundamental element needed for the development of the child’s self worth and confidence.” Paraphrasing from the book, A Sense of Wonder When I do not Know, by Nathalie De Salzmann DeEtevan.

What does it mean to “educate a child’s feelings?” Read more.....

Educating for Inner and Outer Development in Children

Have you ever asked yourself what you would do or how you would be if you were going to die tomorrow? I’ve thought about it, and hope I would take a deep and inward account of myself, as well as my appreciation and love for life. And if I knew that I was going to live forever, I would want to know as much as possible about how this world works, and master many skills to both enhance my own life and serve humanity and the planet.

Why Parent Education Is Useful to All Parents

Do we need a manual for parenting?  Yes. There are three main ways that most parents go about figuring out HOW to parent:  do the opposite of what their parents did; do what their parents did that worked; or read some books and do something totally different that sounds better than the other two.  Also, most parents go to an expert when there is a problem, instead of seeing that parent education can help from the very beginning, and is something that all parents would benefit greatly from.

What’s Wrong With My Kid?

When difficult behaviors start being daily occurrences for our children, what do we do?  Behavior problems are an expression of an unmet need.  But where to start?  In our recent parent group, we were discussing aggressive behaviors in children, from talking back to hitting.  Instead of just focusing on what we could do to STOP the behavior, we began making a list of all the possible sources of the behavior.  What could be causing the child to be angry, defiant, and decidedly in charge?

Children Need Quiet (alone) Time

How do you feel when you are alone, it’s quiet, and you are not doing or working?  Are you comfortable, at ease, relaxed, appreciative of the simple things around you?  When I was growing up I never spent time alone, and when I did stop to be quiet, I was unsure of what to do.  I felt almost scared to face the stillness, aloneness.  There was one exception, and that was when I was at camp and we had rest hour every day.  We had to sit or lay on our beds and either rest or be quiet.  At first I resisted. I felt focused on others and wanting to get their attention, be silly or whisper.  But after awhile, I began to feel differently.  I started to relax, listen to the wind in the trees, feel the bedding on my skin, let my mind wander over things that had happened to me that day, become aware of feelings about people or experiences.

Loving Learning

Does your child wake up in the morning excited to go to school, or do they complain, drag their feet, or even act out?  On the week ends do you hear your child ask if they can go to school?  Does you child TALK AND SHARE ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE LEARNING, freely, with enthusiasm, even asking you to get more information at the library or off the internet?  School should be a source of joy, enthusiasm, great interest and above all interactive and stimulating learning for all children.

Family Meetings

Are you having an ongoing problem with your child?  Not going to bed at night?  Never picking up their room?  Coming home late?  Not doing their chores?  Here is a way to create a format for communication that can work for ages 3 1/2 through teenagers.  It’s called family meetings.

A Balance Approach to Education

The goal of parenting and education is to provide the gradual and step by step guidance system needed to take children from a position of being 100% dependent as infants to becoming 100% independent adults capable of standing on their own two feet, We want children to grow up and be able to provide for themselves, contribute to society, make well informed conscious and responsible decisions, and have and achieve their own goals.

Children and Posture

Parents… there is one thing that you can be sure of: your children are watching your every move!  We all notice how much families look alike, but take some time to notice how much they MOVE alike. Why is this? The body is the instrument through which children make contact with, and learn about the world. By imitating what they see with posture and movement, they are gaining a physical and emotional understanding of the important people in their lives.

Meaningful Learning

Schools desperately need a new vision that meets the needs and truly addresses the crises of our youth. The cry for more academics, more testing, back to basics is a band-aid that won’t stick on an open wound. What children need are qualitative, meaningful, valuable experiences in living life, in being useful, in coming to deeply know themselves and our responsibilities as human beings, in engaging a process of working, giving, taking, and being fully prepared to negotiate adulthood with competence in every area of living