We are big fans of natural parenting. The more gentle, child-centered approach. We believe that this is the way to raise our children, as confident and happy adults of tomorrow. We want our children to know true value of things (money is not necessarily the route to happiness), be true to themselves, but also respect others. It is also important for us that our children love nature and want to live a sustainable life.We are not convinced that mainstream schooling in UK will support us in our efforts to convey these values to our children. So we are taking a gamble. We are flying halfway across the world, to offer Big F a school, which we believe is more in tune with our approach to raising happy children. Enter Wood School Bali.
I know what you’re thinking. That we are crazy. Surely there are good schools closer than Bali?! Well, the Wood School got in touch via the blog (just one more reason why I love blogging!) just at the time when we were looking at local schools and nurseries. Big F got to the stage where he needs more stimulation than I can offer at home, and he craves contact with other children his age. Because we were looking for schools and had our list of priorities fresh in our minds the Wood School Bali idea fell on fertile ground. None of the local schools met all our criteria, while the Wood School exceeded them!
Daddy instantly felt the spirit of adventure, it took me some months before I got on board. As much as I loved the school it is a big decision to relocate half-way round the globe. And I was pregnant. I find that I am unable to plan anything post birth. It’s like my world finishes on my due date. There’s so much uncertainty when it comes to babies and until they are born and all is well I find it impossible to make future plans.
Why we chose Wood School Bali
So what is so wonderful about the Wood School Bali – apart from being located on a paradise island that is! There’s a lot I could say, and I will indeed explain in more details, but the long and short of it is that this school feels like a place where our child will be loved and looked after, as well as encouraged to do his best. It is a school, which offers lessons not only in maths or science, but also introduces children to a lifelong philosophy, a way of living, which will help them be happy in their lives.
It is a small school with less than 30 pupils and thanks to this each child is treated as a unique individual. The underlying philosophy is neo-humanism, simply explained on the school’s website:
”The philosophy of Neo-Humanist education is based on extending the inherent love of human beings to all people, animals, plant life and the inanimate world.”
And here is why the school chose to adopt neo-humanist principles:
” Holistic alternative education teaching morals and values and how to live in a sustainable environment. Sustainable school teaching children how to be part of the life cycle and how to be environmentally conscious in a creative way. Our goal is to create a warm, open environment where students feel safe enough to ask questions, explore and seek answers.”
Each day starts with the love circle (above). It’s very important for me that the element of ‘responsibility for ourselves’ is included. I am raising my children the gentle parenting way, which means we don’t physically or emotionally punish them. The aim is to teach them to control themselves, rather than make them do what we want under threat of punishment. It’s not always easy to stay calm and guide my toddler (baby is too small for that), but I believe that self-control and self-awareness is a crucial life skill.
The school also uses Buddhist heritage teachings like these ’10 commandments’. I love the focus on self-care and belief in one’s own strength, while respecting and caring for others around you.
Ahimsa: Don’t be violent to myself or others; Be caring to myself and others
Satya: Don’t lie; Be truthful with myself and others
Asteya: Don’t steal; Be generous
Brahmacara: Don’t waste my energy; Use my energy wisely
Aparagraha: Don’t be greedy; Be grateful for what I have
Saucha: Be clean
Santosha: Be happy with myself and others
Tapas: Always work hard
Svadhyaya: Studying is important. Take time to learn about myself and the world around me
Ishvara pranidhana: Always trust the power inside of me
We don’t eat meat, so it’s wonderful that the school is vegetarian. In fact children help in the organic veg garden and in preparation of meals – two very grounding activities. There are also animals, kept as pets, and children help to look after them. It’s not only fun, but also teaching them love of nature and pleasure in little things in life.
We are set to leave in August and stay in Ubud for a year. But you never know, we may love it so much we’ll want to stay forever!
Subscribe or follow my social media accounts for regular updates on our travel preparations and sustainable life in Bali.
NOTE: all images are courtesy of Wood School Bali.
PS. This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own and entirely honest.