Holistic Education by Ark&Luna

Holistic Education by Ark&Luna

Self-reflective, creative, intrinsically motivated beings with a balanced world view is the ultimate goal of holistic education.

Holistic education models celebrate the child for who they are, here and now. Acknowledging and supporting their life experiences and barriers and adopting a solution focused mentality that works with the child to explore what works and what went well, instead of placing an emphasis on what isn’t working.

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BY HANNAH – ARK & LUNA

Holistic Ed

Self-reflective, creative, intrinsically motivated beings with a balanced world view is the ultimate goal of holistic education.

Holistic education models celebrate the child for who they are, here and now. Acknowledging and supporting their life experiences and barriers and adopting a solution focused mentality that works with the child to explore what works and what went well, instead of placing an emphasis on what isn’t working.

Holistic education acknowledges that each child has their own learning style. ‘Success’ is measured independently, valuing a child’s own abilities; their passions, curiosities and personal goals, not against standardised testing and rigid curriculums.

When growing a tree you would not attempt to fix a damaged or broken branch by taping in back together. Instead you would likely consider the ground in which is grows and nutrients in needs to flourish. Holistic education provides children with a space in which they can thrive while providing them with a freedom to be who they are meant to be in this world.

 “Holistic education is a philosophy of education based on the premise that each person finds identity, meaning and purpose in life through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to humanitarian values such as compassion and peace. Holistic education aims to call forth from people an intrinsic reverence for life and a passionate love of learning” -Ron Miller

Holistic education supports intellectual, emotional, physical, psychological, creative and spiritual growth. It is varied, flexible and its’ multiple layers mirror the complex nature of our very being. It provides space for children to truly be connected to their natural environments. This connection to nature supports all aspects of wellbeing as well as fostering a respect for our earth that will help to save it. 

It is now more widely accepted that our earth is in need of help. We need to live more sustainably. However, there is an increasing shift toward a lifestyle that is predominantly spent indoors. Raising a generation of children who can support these changes cannot happen without first adopting a true appreciation and connection to our natural environments. 

A child who feels connected to their environment is consequently more likely to treat it with the respect it deserves.

Connection to the natural word serves to support emotional wellbeing too. Gardening and unstructured, outdoor play serves as a mindful, grounding practice within itself. Reminding little bodies to be in the present moment and be guided by their intrinsic ability to learn and grow through play. 

For example, gratitude can be fostered from deep understanding of what is involved in growing food when children are provided with a hands on learning experience to nurture a garden. Literacy and numeracy need not be taught within the walls of a classroom and the realms of worksheets. Nature provides a space for child led learning. Gardening provides a space for measurement as one sows seeds or quantifies the growth of a plant. Literacy can be explored within the context of books related to the knowledge needed to garden, through story telling or simple documentation. 

Unstructured play can often be referred to as “risky play”. Such terms perpetuate an attitude of fear. The reality is that such “risky play” provides immense value to a child’s development, including their ability to understand their own limits, problem solve and develop executive functioning skills.  

Nature play isn’t a trend, nor should it be seen an extra or bonus to standard schooling. Time spent in nature is necessary to our overall wellbeing and functioning. In providing and educational space that serves to meet the needs of the whole child, we are establishing foundations for them to lead a meaningful life. A life that gifts them with a freedom to be who they are meant to be, to follow their passions, to take awe in the natural world but also foster compassion to care for it and others.

 

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