From the Founder: As you all know we are a school that seeks to practice the Sudbury model as much as we can. We are not quite at total freedom (we are at about 50/50 freedom 50% freedom and 50% Classical education) at the school, but it still gave us a space to practice it with our students and to continue to live it out in my home. My prayer is that my example will open people’s hearts and minds to this philosophy. On that note here’s another personal testimony on how freedom plays out with my family. My oldest son learned how to ride his bike this week. It wasn’t through me or his dad saying “Now it’s time for you to learn to ride your bike.” In fact with tying shoes, potty training, reading or any of those milestones, we have really tried to trust the child to tell us when they are ready. With potty training, letting them chart that course created kids so well potty trained that they potty trained at night and day at the same time. It seems the freedom they had to figure that out, gave them the inner wisdom to know how to manage that. I can remember hearing them as little ones getting up in the night to use the bathroom. They learned to listen to their bodies on their own. So with riding the bike it was sort of the same. Dillon listened to his heart and passion when he experienced it at his Uncle’s house. It’s not that adults don’t help children, it’s that we don’t always initiate when they learn stuff, and when they ask for our help, we are available to help them reach their goals. We let life sort of happen. He happened to be at my brother’s house and his older cousin that he adores was riding his bike and his younger cousin was riding his bike (with no training wheels, I mean) and he felt within himself that it was time to learn too. He came home from my brother’s house and stated that he would be taking time to practice it for himself and learn it. For the past few days, he has gone outside to learn. He would fall off his bike, and get back up. His dad would help him and encourage him and he got better and better. Today I was sleeping and he runs in. “Mommy! Mommy! I can ride a bike without training wheels now!!” Next he was riding with 1 hand and just gone with it. The funny thing I had anxiety within myself about him not knowing how to ride his bike. I learned at 6! Giving our kids freedom doesn’t mean we don’t feel anxious or impatient with the process, it just means we set it aside and trust the child. It is totally ok to trust the child! Just as David knew he was ready to kill the giant, even though all the adults thought he shouldn’t, our children know themselves! Well, time for a new school year at the Living Water School. Even though we are online, we are still preaching the same thing. We are encouraging families to give their children as much freedom as possible, like totally hands off freedom. No scaffold freedoms. No suggested activities. When they have finished the few classes we do offer, leave them alone. This summer, we let our kids have a great deal of freedom on the computer and they have learned to code on their own. Now they are learning to design video games on their own. Listen, we have got to set these kids free man! And this season is the perfect time to do it! You will be amazed at what your kids will learn and accomplish when you shut the heck up and get out their business. I’m sorry to be so harsh, but seriously….trust God and trust your child. Here’s to year number 6!
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