About Earthwise Education
We wish to educate people in the skills and cultural practices that they need in order to be able to thrive in harmony with the natural world and with the human community at the same time. We recognize and strive to mirror the interwoven-ness of nature, spirit, and culture. We offer first-hand experiences of healthy wild eco-systems, and we are inspired by them to learn and teach how to be resilient, cooperative, and generous with our gifts. We honor the positive contributions that humans can make to the earth community, as well as the contributions of every other species. We humans can learn to be wise and creative tenders of wild and cultivated communities, and truly leave the world better than we found it.
We hold a strong intention to recognize and nurture each individual’s unique gifts while simultaneously nurturing their ability to recognize and appreciate the gifts of others.
We are particularly inspired by models of holistic, project-based learning, where everything a child is learning is clearly related to everything else and brought to consciousness within a relational context. For example, in the autumn we learn stories about Squirrel and Acorn Woodpecker and the Oak Sisters. We sing songs and recite poems and play games that allow the children to learn about and relate to these species, and recognize the relationships they have with each other. Then when they are ripe, we gather acorns, learning much about oak trees in the process. Then we get to practice motor skills and develop our will-power as we grind acorns and make them into meal, after which we make acorn cookies and host a harvest festival for our community and share the delicious acorn cookies. All of this allows us to experience the direct relationships between all that we are learning about, including ourselves.
At Earthwise, we also realize how important it is to meet people where they are at developmentally and we know that children of different ages need very different kinds of support for their optimum development. Rudolf Steiner, the creator of Waldorf education, shared deep insights into how to best support children through different stages of development. Subsequent educators have grown these insights and we draw on many of the rich understandings and wise practices of Waldorf education. We draw on wise ideas for raising and educating children wherever we find them, as we all evolve together in this time of The Great Turning. This also includes integration of indigenous teachings from our own land-based ancestors and from the indigenous people of Turtle Island.