Art & Blog post courtesy of ROA parent Besi S.
Remember the last time you were worked up, angry or frustrated? As adults, we feel stress or despair when we are doing the very thing that we believe is the golden rule to receive attention, love, or power and it doesn’t work. Take me for example, I grew up believing that the meaning, purpose, and function of education is to pass on knowledge; that to educate someone is to give them knowledge – generally, the accumulated knowledge of one’s particular family, society, nation, and world. Yet, education has very little to do with knowledge but has everything to do with wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge applied. So shouldn't children learn how to think instead of being taught what to think?
While this pattern of thinking has gotten me to achieve certain societal standards I lived and looked up to. As a parent, I couldn’t help but wonder what if we provided our children with the ability to discover their internal wisdom by providing very little knowledge of what we believe is true but rather, how to get to their own unbiased truth.
A wonderful wise friend once told me “Be the change you want to see”. Observing the world and humanity as it stands right now, I can’t help but notice separation, confusion, fear, shame, violence, and deception. Isn’t it time to change our patterns of belief? How are our children to learn compassion, love, and empathy if we are stuck on patterns of judgment and misconception? We don’t have to repeat the patterns of the past. We don’t have to threaten or punish them to grow into good humans. They ARE good humans. Our job is to walk alongside them as they grow and we grow together with them. To heal our own hurts, acknowledging our unmet childhood needs, expand our emotional intelligence, and deepen our awareness. To hold our families sacred as we learn to trust, evolve, and have fun along the way.
“Acceptance is always the need. Kindness is always the answer. Love is always the way.” -L.R.Knost
While making the choice of River Oak Academy went against all my old patterns of thinking: no grades, no books, no homework, the freedom to decide their own goals instead of having it laid out for them, I couldn’t be more grateful. Deep inside my heart it just feels right. I would want nothing more, not only for my children, but every child in this world to be in a school in which love is unconditional. Where the programs are calling for them to develop abilities and skills rather than memorization and regurgitation of answers. While history should teach and portray purely facts of what happened, I would like my children to question decisions that were made by their parents, grandparents, and other generations. Why did we have to use bombs in a war? Wasn’t there another way out of that conflict? How can we learn? How can we do better? If we don’t allow our children to draw their own conclusions then we’re doomed to repeat the same mistakes. Let's break that cycle.
Do the old patterns in me sometimes kick me into fear mode and doubtful of my decision? Yes! There are rare moments when I question if I made the right choice by pulling them out of the standard way of learning. Miraculously, it is usually at that same instant that I receive a Slack notification and witness and observe the beauty of my children learning (concepts and not subjects).
Diversities and Similarities
Celebrating Self and Valuing Others
Being a Good Friend
“It is the job of each generation to solve more problems than they create and to lift up the next generation to be better than the last. Simply repeating the past does neither.”