As the snow piles up around my house, I reflect on what an amazing autumn we have had at Pathfinder.
24 kids and 6 adults have come together in a community with a simple philosophy: to treat children as people.
We believe the best way to make leaders for tomorrow is to let children lead themselves- today.
We share decisions and everyone's voices are heard- including staff, children, and parents. Kids have consented to new rules, and have brainstormed how to spend our money. Our Non-Violent Communication conflict resolution processes have made their way into homes as our members realize...these practices really work!
Things have settled down to a comfortable groove with members- a healthy mix of outdoor play, crafting, creating and exploring new imaginary worlds whether through digital media and games, Legos, books, or paper and pencil. These pursuits may seem frivolous, but research continues to show that play is vital work for children.
I can't express how wonderful it is for me as a founder to see children thriving in this environment- skipping down the hallway for joy, frolicking in the leaves, and settling down to their chosen tasks with intense and happy concentration.
When we take off time for a holiday break, the response is, "No! We don't want days off! We want to stay at Pathfinder!"
In any place that resembles "school," that is a rare thing indeed.