A third-grader was given a 3 x 3 magic square puzzle (a grid whose numbers must add up to the same sum in all directions). He struggled for three days, then in the middle of class suddenly solved the puzzle. He exclaimed, ‘Yes! Yes!’ and kissed his paper three times. I then gave him a 4 x 4 magic square on which he struggled for four days. He finally solved it on Sunday night and phoned to tell me. A few mornings later, he was sick and debated whether or not to come to school. ‘Wait,’ he said, ‘Do we have math today? I need to go. My teacher needs me.
We challenge the students to participate in a yearly play, performed in spring, about the life of a great person from history. Because of their tremendous enthusiasm for the play, the children are eager to master the challenges of a sophisticated script.When I first heard about the kind of plays they do, I thought it was way too much for the kids. I don’t just mean how elaborate it is. I’m talking about the plot… I mean, we’re talking elementary school! But, as usual, the teachers know what they are doing. “The kids are thrilled to be involved in something profound, rather than the plays children often have to do. By acting it out, they truly get the point of what makes a great person great: courage, dedication, selflessness, and love. And they remember it. For years afterwards, I hear them talking about the things they’ve learned from the plays, and using what they’ve learned as a standard for their own lives.
“The school is like a home to me and is full of amazing people.” –H.S. Student
“Both of my children, now in their late twenties, went through a Living Wisdom School Program. I notice that, as young adults in professional settings, they have an acute sense of how to work with others. Each in her own way, brings to her work a sense of how to get along with people, how to create community, and how to cope with challenges.” parent
“I have been a student here since preschool. I am now in ninth grade and have had so many amazing experiences. One of my favorites was last year, our service adventure trip to Hawaii.” K.R.
Living Wisdom School is a place where my children are loved, supported, and nurtured. Where community and family matter. Where students are encouraged to explore and experiment, and to strive to become their best selves. Kindness is taught and modeled here. Different modes of expression and understanding are accepted and validated. Excellent teachers create a calm, gentle environment in which to instruct and inspire. Classes are small and each child receives personal attention. Field trips are numerous and outdoor learning a given. My kids are growing and thriving here! Each is learning to think for herself, to be a good listener, and to be sensitive to others. I couldn’t imagine a better place for them to be. —H.U., mother of a second and third grader
“Enthusiasm and self-confidence are what you need to be really successful in life. So often, when children go to school, they lose these qualities. Living Wisdom School makes them stronger.” Parent
“My daughter can be herself at Living Wisdom School. When she was at public school, I felt she was trying so hard to find out who she was supposed to be that she missed noticing who she actually is. My child feels really secure. She knows no one is judging her, so she’s not afraid to try new things.” Parent
“When you have such high-quality teachers and so much individual attention, learning happens naturally. The teachers know what is going on with each child, and because the classes are small, it’s easy to accommodate differences. It’s not boring for the bright kids, the way school often is. They can really excel and just zoom ahead as fast as they want.”
It matters to the young child who enters school with a shining sense of adventure and is told to sit down and open a workbook.
It matters to the teenager, yearning for an expanded experience of life, who is supposed to study for a standardized exam.
It matters to the college graduate who wonders whether the huge investment of time and money in education was really worth it.
What if schools focused on cultivating that youthful sense of adventure, opening up new avenues of experience for teens, and really preparing graduates to meet the challenges of today’s world?
You would have a new paradigm of education that integrates intellectual training with a balanced development of the body, feelings, and will to prepare young people for a life of accomplishment, satisfaction, and the joys of a continuously expanding consciousness.”
“My son has flourished in the preschool class. The teachers are centered, present, and loving with the children while providing a rich space & community support for each child’s unfolding. The focus on character and social skills development, as well as developing the gifts of each child is unlike any other school experience I have been a part of. Children feel safe and loved at this school, and with this foundation are able to learn and flourish.”M.B. parent
Children from Living Wisdom School have done very well, both in public high schools and in highly rated college preparatory high schools. One fifth grader who transferred into a large middle school is about to publish her first children’s book. A student from the Netherlands astonished us when she returned to her homeland and scored the highest in her class on the rigorous Dutch national examinations, even though she had arrived at our school the previous year with no knowledge of English.