Education is our greatest resource
to ethically and ecologically nourish life
and transform the future.
The primary mission of PERMIE KIDs is to help us remember what we all know, but may have forgotten – the art and wisdom of designing beautiful relationships that nourish life. In partnership with community (which includes not just people but also Nature and our interconnections), our children, families and communities co-create ethical, ecological relationships that honor the intrinsic dignity, worth and transformative potential of each and every person and all our relations.
The word Nature was traditionally used to represent all of the universe including the living and nonliving things within it. Nature was viewed in a spiritual context, deserving of respect and admiration.
As we have come to think of Nature as a natural resource to be managed, used and consumed, we have replaced the capital letter “N” with a lowercase one. Coincidence? Maybe, but language is consciousness.
Children are not separate from the world around them. They are part of an intricate ecosystem. In order to fully understand one’s authentic self, we need to understand our connection to, role within, and our responsibility to nourish our place, time, culture, and community.
Our learning community is dedicated to helping our children come to know their essential “life story.” The unfolding of our children’s life stories is the conscious creation of life. It is a process, not a destination, that connects our children to the past, transforms the future and enables balance in the convergence of science and spirit in their learning and life landscapes.
Children and our youth develop not just academically and individually, but holistically and collectively as part of community. Education is a resource that we can use to nourish life and transform the future. A deep relationship with Nature, family and community lays the foundation for exploring emerging values, beliefs, passions and talents.
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Our children have a keen longing to have their authentic self, voice, talents and passions honored and valued while at the same time being connected to others, community, ancestors and the natural world. In the early and primary years, we work closely with families to help the parents learn the art, science and wisdom of mentoring our children on their unique journeys in learning and life.
The Swedish word for business is närings – liv. It means nourishment for life or nurturing life. In English the word business means “to be busy” – “a state of being much occupied or engaged”, or “what one is about at the moment,” (comes from bisignes in Old English).
What are we about in every moment we are in the “business” of education and child development? Yes, business. What has happened over the past 100 years is a burgeoning of business (busy-ness) in education and youth development which some have termed the “child industrial complex”… a far cry from the idea of business as “nourishing life.”
-Dr. David Blumenkrantz, Center for Youth & Community
Just as we map out and design the physical landscape like our garden or backyard, we can help our children to apply this same methodology to map, design, and explore their learning landscapes. Parents and educators learn to use whole systems thinking tools and ethics to help children leverage their interests and passions learn about… everything.
This framework provides a guide for our children to start taking action with what they are learning and come to understand themselves in place and time, their communities, and the natural world around them. We network to help ourselves and our children self-empower the learner and educator within to explore traditional academic subjects, life skills, business and entrepreneurship, social-emotional development, and so much more.
Children’s questions and passions become the foundation playfully and naturally for holistic educational design… think ethical, patterned-based STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) to the “nth” degree with the n standing for nature – nature of self, community, and Earth. Taking action with this new knowledge through projects that weave in language arts, history, economics, as well as business and entrepreneurship, children acquire an education that is more than just academically rigorous. They acquire critical life skills, empowered mindset and connections to their community that encourages them to move full “STEAM” ahead to care for themselves, others, and the earth.
A tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it.
– Peter Wohlleben
Learn more about joining our commmunity and start your journey to empower the educator within. Join parents and educators just like you who are re-imaging what it means to learn, educate, and be educated.
Patterns: The Fabric of Our Community
The PERMIE KIDs network of families, educators, and communities is grounded by the whole systems thinking tools and ethics of permaculture.
Permaculture is the art, science and wisdom of designing beautiful relationships that ethically, ecologically and systematically nourish life.
Our whole systems thinking methodology is not dogma or doctrine, but a covenant that we use to responsibly seek truth, meaning and connection with the great Mysteries of Life. It guides us to connect with and intentionally design not just the physical landscape, but all our natural relationships. Designing a permanence in culture changes the “story” and ethically transforms the future.
Through this framework, people see, use, and value the patterns and the “edges” that integrate and interconnected us with world around us. It is a methodology that allows us to define and design what we want in all areas of life through mindful observation and positive interactions that respect how we are interconnected globally, but empowered to take individual responsibility and action locally.
Time of Transition
Children don’t have to follow the beaten path or even the one less traveled. Together we explore the language of and consciousness for youth and community development through community-oriented rites of passage. In the earliest years, we can co-design a holistic education that helps our children find, follow, and use their niche of brilliance in the early and primary years to better care for themselves, others, and Earth. Then, as our children come to the time of transition from childhood to adolescence, the time is ripe for initiation and helping all our children remember their deep connection with one another and love for the earth through community-based and culturally relevant rites of passage.
Informed by 50 years of exploration capturing 50,000 years of human history, Dr. David Blumenkrantz from the Center for Youth & Community has been planting seeds for this consciousness to take hold in communities. At this critical time in our children’s lives, whole communities can co-learn and co-create a new educational story that can change the future for our children and the planet. Education is indeed our greatest potential resource for nourishing life.
Our learning community works collaboratively with our children, local communiites and Nature. Together we:
- Embrace an attitude of playfulness in learning about our place, oneself and all our relations providing fertile soil for future learning of “things” (aka subject knowledge, ideas and concepts) to emerge
- Transcend self-paced, self-directed learning and design holistic lifelong learning
- Value inquiry, exploration and “failure” as essential elements for reflection and development
- Honor the reciprocity between the individuals and community
- Seek challenges as a potential opportunities to nourish life and create a more just, equitable and compassionate world
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Thank you Travis Swan for the featured image titled Mountain Kids (CC-BY-SA 2.0)