• Appreciation,  Building Community,  Education for Life,  Teaching Values,  Transitioning

    Start with your Heart

    Several years ago, when my children attended Living Wisdom School, I drove carpool in the mornings. The car was filled with different ages of students ranging from 1st to 7th grade. On one particular morning, the older children brought up a news topic involving leaders behaving in ways that they couldn’t understand. There was a pause for several blocks, and then, while looking out the car window, the 1st grader says, “Well, I guess they didn’t go to Living Wisdom.” The culture of kindness, positivity, empathy, and joy is felt by all ages at Living Wisdom. We’ve primarily offered this Education for Life education since 1997 through our school programs,…

  • Balance,  Education for Life,  Tools of Maturity

    Balance for Better

    In Education for Life we frequently talk about balance. Our focus in the classroom is to support the development of the body, feeling, will and intellect in our students and ourselves. We believe that a balanced person is able to successfully meet life’s challenge when he or she is able to use their innate tools of maturity. This year’s campaign theme for International Women’s Day (March 8th) was Balance for Better. Isn’t that the truth when talking about anything? Balance in equality and opportunity, balance in our ecosystem, balance in our personal lives, balance in our family lives, we could go on and on with examples. There’s also the balance…

  • circle time
    Appreciation,  Calm,  Education for Life,  Experiential learning,  Focused Attention,  Meditation,  Teaching Spiritual Principles

    Circle Time

    Every morning, in every Living Wisdom School classroom from preschool to middle school, the school day begins the same way​. ​ Circle Time is a ​special part of the day for the class to come together in unity, set the intention for the day, share and support one another, and s​end​ collective well-wishes to friends, family, and all of humanity.​ A short meditation is part of each classroom’s Circle Time. ​For our ​Preschool and Kinder​garten classes,​​ a highlight of Circle Time is being a “Shining Star.” Each day a new student is a Shining Star, taking turns in this role to lead the blessing, “light” the candle, and be a…

  • mural
    Art,  Curriculum ideas,  Education for Life

    Cathedral to Learning- post two

    Below is the second in series of four blog posts about how an inspiration of the Intermediate class Art teacher, Heather Utter, manifested in the classroom. After the field trip and back in the classroom, the students began to develop a plan to create their cathedral to learning. As a class, they decided they’d like to create some form of mural, stained glass windows, and décor related to learning. They wondered, “how can we make a piece of artwork together?” Their first project was a type of ceiling mural, which they created using circles of construction paper decorated with abstract patterns. Each student had to complete at least three circles,…

  • drawing
    Appreciation,  Calm,  Education for Life,  Energy,  Experiential learning,  Focused Attention

    “I like how things are right now!”

    Our Middle School teacher, Matthew Fredrickson, shares a moment from his classroom. On what seemed like an ordinary Monday morning in our Middle School classroom, one of the sixth grade girls smiled cheerfully as she looked at me and said, “I like how things are right now!” For a moment, I didn’t comprehend her meaning. What, the stories? I wondered to myself. The children were crafting stories using their new vocabulary word list-nothing unusual for a Monday morning. The intent serenity of the room was occasionally, and thoughtfully, interrupted with questions about content, phrasing, grammar, or spelling. Smatterings of friendly chatter would follow for a minute or two until gradually,…

  • thumbs up
    Education for Life,  Energy,  Evenmindedness,  Experiential learning,  Focused Attention,  Teaching Spiritual Principles

    Raising Consciousness with Affirmations

    One of our older students came to me expressing frustration about a difficult situation. Knowing this student and her learning process well, I suggested a positive affirmation. “How about, I am healthy, happy and whole?” “What’s whole?” she asked with a puzzled look. “It sounds like I’m a piece of pie or something”, she added. I laughed and said, “How about, I am healthy and happy?”. She replied, “That works,” and proceeded to say these words to herself and move through resolving the potential negativity of an everyday situation. A kindergarten mama shared a story of her child’s experience while receiving immunizations. She explained how her daughter was calm and…

  • Pioneer Courthouse Cathedra
    Art,  Education for Life,  Experiential learning

    Cathedral of Learning- part one

    Below is the first in series of four blog posts about how an inspiration of the Intermediate class Art teacher, Heather Utter, manifested in the classroom. Or, in the case of the below story, out of the classroom. “Cathedral to Learning,” is the theme to this year’s Intermediate Art class, based on the school-wide theme of Community. As the initial discussion regarding cathedrals began, the class realized that more than half of the students had never actually been to a cathedral! This prompted a special class field trip to the Presbyterian Church in downtown Portland. During their visit, the class was awed by the huge vaulted ceilings, beautiful Douglas fir…