To create sustainable communities where independent highly conscious human beings live in truth from their hearts.
To guide our students to reach and sustain a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual balance and well being, so they will thrive in all aspects of their lives.
The Lawrence School of Love first opened its doors in the fall of 2015, in Lawrence, Kansas.
After eight wonderful years of operation, we closed the school in the United States, and we are relocating to the beautiful island of Cyprus. We will start school at our new location, which will be around the Paphos area, in January of 2024, for children ages 4-14.
As a year-round school, we have 6 weeks break in the summer, 3 weeks in the fall, 3 weeks in the winter, and 3 weeks in the spring.
-Children come with different gifts and talents, different backgrounds and abilities of learning, with various interests and passions.
-We want to give them the opportunity to be successful by nurturing, encouraging, guiding and supporting their uniqueness and not make them conform and lose who they really are.
-Their emotional, physical, and mental excellence is as important to us as their academic excellence.
-We are part of nature even though we have managed so well to disconnect from it. We will bring back this awareness and all the teachings that come with that.
-We want our students to love learning, to be curious, to explore, to investigate, to be challenged, to be critical thinkers, to think for themselves, to be creative, to have fun learning and to evolve in all areas of their being.
-We will consciously assist them to develop both sides of their brain for critical as well as creative thinking.
STANDARDS AND CURRICULUM
-Standards are expectations, statements, they define what is to be learned by the end of the school year.
-Curriculum includes many resources: activities, projects, lessons, units, assessments, books. It’s the detailed plan for day to day teaching.
-Standards are the end. Curriculum is the means.
-We are aware of the Common Core educational standards. However, we are not defined or limited by those standards.
-We will also follow our own standards that are in alignment with our vision and mission.
S.T.E.M or S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) or (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math)
S.T.E.M education fosters critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, creativity, imagination, curiosity, initiative, analyzing information, applying knowledge, and more! These are qualities that are necessary to succeed in the real world. For example, our study of the 6 simple machines (levers, wheels and axles, screws, incline planes, wedges, pulleys), lead them to create Rube Goldberg machines using 2 or more of the simple machines we studied.
Hands–On Experiential Learning
Our students will be learning what is appropriate for their age through real-life applications, through projects that will help them:
1. Acquire skills that they can use in their daily life.
2. Use both their critical and their creative thinking.
3. Not only use their mind but also their body, their hands, and their heart by being passionate and having fun while doing it. Research shows that this is how students learn best.
4. Acquire knowledge, information, and skills from different subjects and disciplines in projects that are related to their lives, their world and that they will remember and that will make sense to them.
For example, in building a solar oven, students can learn:
--Writing or drawing the steps of the project
--Explaining orally the process of building the solar oven, benefits etc.
Listening and following instructions
Social skills of collaboration and co-creation
Imagination and creativity
Increase of self - esteem and sense of accomplishment
Patience and persistence
Since students learn in different ways and since the best way of learning is a combination of various mediums, we will use them all to teach: Visually, Auditory, Kinesthetically.
If we see it, hear it, say it, and feel it in our body, it will stay.
The natural inclination and curiosity of children to learn new things becomes alive through our studies about all disciplines of science and science experimentation. We experience science in our daily lives, so it's natural that children find so much interest and joy in learning more about it.
One of our goals is to help our students to see the use and application of math in their daily lives, and as a tool or skill to have in studying other disciplines. We use the math knowledge and understanding they have learned in various experiential projects so they can learn first hand the importance and use of this discipline.
There is so much research that supports various benefits of learning a foreign language. The younger the child is, the easier it is to learn a foreign language. We start studying the Spanish Language in our kindergarten class.
TEACHING THROUGH THE ARTS
-One way to teach math is through music. Rhythm in music is math. Acquiring rhythm is acquiring number sense which is the basis for understanding math.
-The way students acquire rhythm is developmental and they learn it through their body. The body has to be ready for the mind to get it. The same with math. Usually schools teach subtraction after addition. However, research says that the step toward number sense that follows addition is making groups of equal size and that is multiplication!
-We will use music everyday in our teachings. We will use rhythm, songs, playing instruments, listening to music, dancing, movement, even giving instructions with music. We will use music to teach literacy.
-We will use pretend play, acting, theater as a way to teach literacy. We will act out stories. To be able to do that you have to listen to the story, be able to talk about the story and its characters and then become one of them through acting.
-We will use story telling not only to teach literacy but also teach about appropriate behavior, different cultures, geography, emotional intelligence, and so much more.
-Literacy: listening, speaking, reading, writing.
-The art of storytelling and its benefits are not the same as reading someone a story. Research shows that students are more engaged, they listen better and they retain the information more by listening to someone telling a story than reading a story to them. Story telling, they say, goes into the mind through the heart. Children are emotionally engaged while listening to a story.
-Visual literacy, which is the pictures in our head while telling the story, is developed through storytelling.
-Students will learn to tell their own stories, draw or write them down and then we could act them out in class.
-We will use music and art and making crafts in storytelling.
INCORPORATING THE ARTS
-We know for a fact that the arts stimulate learning. A 1995 analysis by the College Board showed that students who studied the arts for more than four years scored forty-four points higher in the math portion and fifty-nine points higher on the verbal section of SAT.
-When we will go into the grades we will have professional staff that will teach these various forms of art. This could include but not limited to: dancing, singing, theater, learning how to play different instruments, painting, drawing etc. It would depend on the student’s interests and our resources.
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND BALANCE, AND MENTAL WELL-BEING
-To be successful in life, to be at peace, to feel loved and love others, to be abundant and in great health you have to have emotional and mental well-being. This balance will affect your physical body too.
-We give tremendous emphasis on this well-being. One of the underlying themes of our curriculum when we teach is this emotional and mental balance and awareness.
-We will help our students to reach and sustain this balance through many mediums.
-We will talk and explore about our emotions, feelings, thoughts and beliefs through our daily interactions with the students, through their social interactions with their peers, through concerns that they have.
-We will use yoga to help them be in their bodies and not only in their heads. This will increase body awareness and awareness of their emotions. Yoga can help them balance almost all the systems in the body: hormonal, nervous, circulatory, respiratory etc. It can help to keep their energy within the body moving and for the emotions not to get stuck and manifest in an illness. It can also balance their mood, boost their immune system, help them sleep better, focus and concentrate more.
YOGA, BREATHING PRACTICES, GUIDED MEDITATION
-Yoga with a combination of guided meditation and breathing techniques can do wonders.
-All these practices will be age appropriate, fun and engaging.
-Guided meditation can be used as part of a story. It can be very beneficial to creative imagination too.
-There is a tremendous body of research of the benefits of all these practices for children and their mental, emotional, physical well-being.
-When we consciously move our body, it affects our brain and can activate different parts so it can work more efficiently and effectively. Brain gym works this way too. We will be using some of that in our daily lessons.
-Also, guided meditation and breath work has a tremendous positive impact on our brain, as well as our body and emotions.
-The students will have daily time to play, explore, learn, work, commute and connect with our natural world.
-We will teach how to connect with all the beauty that is around us every day and every season.
-Nature and its rhythm will strongly guide our lessons. We will use nature to teach social skills, build confidence and trust through various activities and games. We will also use our natural world and its seasons to teach literacy, science, math, sustainability. We will go out into our community and visit the parks, woods and other organizations related to the environment and sustainability. We will bring guest speakers to teach about their organization regarding the environment from Operation Wild Life, Audubon Society, Grassland Heritage Foundation, etc.
-Nature is the best healer, teacher and provider. There is so much research now that is telling us that we need to be outdoors in order to be healthy on the physical, emotional and mental level. Nature reduces depression, it balances our emotions, it literally grounds our emotions and clears our body energetically.
-It helps children with ADHD, autism, and in general with focus and concentration.
-It helps with anxiety, it can help with sleeping problems, and increase productivity.
-We are going to plant with our students, take care of the plants and then harvest and eat what we have grown.
-We will build raised beds, hoop houses, collect rain, and teach other core subjects (math, literacy, science) through these projects.
-We want students to be curious, to be excited, to have fun, and to be and stay healthy.
-We want our students to use their whole body, their hands, their heart, their mind and be active in their learning.
-We will help our students avoid what Richard Louv calls ‘Nature–Deficit Disorder’.
-What we eat affects our mind, our emotions, our physical body, our overall well-being, and our happiness.
-What we will offer our students to eat will be organic, as much as possible local and plant based.
-We will teach them how to cook and again teach other subjects while doing that. We can teach math, science, nutrition and health, sustainability, independence, and literacy.
-We want their education to make sense and be linked with their daily lives. We want them to learn how to read and write, and do math and know how things work in our world and how they will use this knowledge, tools and information in their lives from a young age.
LEARNING THROUGH PLAYING
-There is a body of evidence showing how learning through playing is beneficial to the child’s physical, mental, emotional, and social development.
-Emotional benefits include: enjoyment, fun, love of life, relaxation, release of energy, tension reduction, self-expression.
-Cognitive development: creativity, abstract thinking, imagination, problem solving, social cognition, empathy.
-Increase of self-confidence, self-esteem, anxiety reduction, therapeutic effects.
-Development of gross and fine motor movements and experiences, physical challenges, self-help skills.
-Language development: communication skills, vocabulary, story telling, emergent literacy.
From the website play=learning
OUR VIBRATIONAL WORLD
I would like to introduce you to the world of energy, of vibration. This is the world we live in and this is the basis to understand our world. What is introduced here is based on science. Quantum physics says that we are made of energy and everything else in our world is too. Everything in the subatomic level vibrates. Energy doesn't disappear it just changes form. Everything in our world has a vibration and thus an energy field. We are all connected through this universal energy field and we influence, affect each other. Not only we affect others, but our thoughts, words and emotions affect our own body, our health, our energy and vitality our overall well being.
If everything is energy and everything vibrates then we vibrate too. There is really no good and bad, there is high and low vibration of words, thoughts, emotions, places, food etc. The quality of vibration we hold with our emotions, thoughts, words, belief systems, with the food we eat, the places we go, our daily activities, that's the quality of vibration we will attract. Unconditional Love and Joy is high in vibration, so are kind and compassionate thoughts and words, our beautiful natural world, our local organic fruits and vegetables. Examples of low vibration: negative thinking, jealousy, worry, judgments, anger, fear, shame, guilt, victimhood.
One of our intentions is to raise our awareness, our consciousness and thus our vibration. Everything has a vibration and when we are aware of the quality of that vibration then we can more consciously choose how we live. We will have the opportunity to bring more love and joy in our life. It is critical to learn from a young age how our body really works. How we create the quality of our vibration with how we feel, think and what we say and eat. It is huge to be able to identify how we feel and express that in a healthy way and thus release it from our body, our energy field and as a consequence out of our experience and our life. We can keep our bodies and minds healthy by doing that.
Our kindergarten students have been learning sign language from the second part of the school year on. It has been such a wonderful addition to our curriculum. Our students embraced this learning time with so much love and enthusiasm. It gave them so much confidence and a new way of communicating with others. The American sign language uses the whole body to communicate. Sometimes we use only our fingers, hands, and facial expressions and other times our whole body to communicate. When someone signs we have to give him/her our full attention, we actually have to look at the person that is signing, unlike the verbal communication where a lot of times we don't even look at the person who is talking to us.
We also have used the American sign language as a tool to teach literacy. The teacher would write on the board words that the students would spell and read and then sign! It was such a fun way to learn how to spell and read! The students also have learned to sign the English alphabet and then use the letters to construct words and then sign them! It is a real success!
LEARNING THROUGH VOLUNTEERING
-The Lawrence School of Love is not going to be a fairy tale place living in its own bubble. Our students will learn about and be involved in the community. Volunteering is a wonderful way to do that and the benefits are tremendous not only for the ones that receive it but especially for the ones that give their time and energy
-We will be collaborating with other schools where students teach other students. This can be through reading to them, through story telling or presentation of projects. For example our students could make a craft about space and our solar system and go to a preschool and talk about that. What a learning experience would that be! At the same time we are forming relationships and building community.