Education as it has always been...
Education has shifted greatly from the original, innate way that humans learned for millennia. With extended family around in natural settings, children explored, questioned, imitated, and observed their mentors. They were trusted to practice the skills that were modeled and important in their community. They learned by observation, experimentation, discovery, and keen awareness.
At Rock Tree Sky, we provide an environment that is caring, non-evaluative, and dynamic so that children may freely engage in the natural state of learning. Children have agency to choose their daily activities, students and teachers determine the curriculum based on their interests, and all pursuits are equally valued. We honor and enrich play opportunities, social connection, creative expression, making, homesteading practices, and academic inquiry.
Following the model of extended family, we maintain mixed age grouping at Rock Tree Sky. This arrangement provides valuable learning opportunities for both younger and older children. Research, along with our own personal experience, shows that mixed age groups promote cooperation and mentorship rather than competition.
We are influenced by the self-directed learning model, where children have a voice in their education and are supported in developing the ability to direct their own lives, be accountable for their actions, and set priorities; by the makerspace movement, where students use both new technologies and traditional tools to work on real, and personally meaningful projects; by place-based education that utilizes the local community and natural environment for hands-on, real-world learning experiences; by the internship model of education, where children are invited to participate in work that serves the needs of the community, and where community members at large, in their diverse skilled professions, serve as mentors. For a deeper exploration of our philosophical influences see our further reading page.
Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.