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core values

PRINCIPLES WE STAND ON.

The values or principles that we stand on are the foundation of our practices or pedagogy. They are guidelines we use to support your child on their learning journey with us. We are a young school with big ambitions for your children and their dreams. We will inspire your child to look deeper into themselves and the world around them. Our values are the personality of our school. The fertile ground from which all our creative programming and conduct grows.


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AWARENESS

Whole-child education is at the heart of Road Less Travelled Academy. Our nature-based pedagogy engages all five senses while stimulating both the imaginative and the curious mind to perceive, analyze, and interpret new experiences and discoveries.

Through a balance of explicit and implicit instruction, your child is encouraged to follow the trail of their senses and innate curiosity to awaken and entrain their natural intelligence. Trusting that the child wants to learn, we create an environment that invites wonder and discovery. Each learner has opportunities to let their senses guide them into authentic learning experiences, while teacher-mentors facilitate a deepening of understanding through group and one-on-one activities.
 

It is very easy to talk about nature or the laws of the universe that man experiences through his five senses. But to know the Self who makes sense of what our eyes, ears, taste, touch and smell, together with what our feelings and thoughts tell us, is not very common. The earlier we introduce our children to this great adventure in Self-discovery, the more prepared they will be to lead the world into a new stage of evolution.
— Deborah Rozman Ph.D., Meditation for Children

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CONNECTION

We live in a global age. Internet and modern transportation now connects the entire habitable surface of the earth. Science now backs up what indigenous cultures always knew, that the natural world is entirely connected through magnetic fields. At RLT Academy we strive to communicate and demonstrate to your child, through hands-on experience that humans are part of a greater ecosystem, and that each of us can impact the worlds around us, whether alone or in collaboration. At Road Less Travelled Academy, we are creating a community uniting individuals from diverse cultural, and social backgrounds within a shared ecological environment. Through the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the technology we use, cars we drive, books we read, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the stories we tell, we are connected to the broader global community.

This recognition of our membership with local, and global communities takes the form of actions of gratitude and thanksgiving, connecting with elders, learning with local community members, and recognizing the relationships we have with other humans, other beings and the broader ecological web through our consumptive and productive modern lifestyles.

Coupled with gratitude is the encouragement of compassion, reciprocity, and celebration. We believe that each member of our Earth community has a valued part to play in the dynamics of life. When we strive to build symbiotic relationships, we support the creation of harmony, and wellbeing at all levels of community, society, and ecosystem.

“Community is the natural context of human life and activity. We are, one and all, social beings living in relation to one another. Our physical and biological survival is intimately interwoven with the communities that we create and which, in turn, create us.”
— Gregory A. Cajete, Indigenous Community Rekindling the Teachings of the Seventh Fire

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THE LEARNER’S PATH

What is it to learn or wonder? What passionate pursuit does the spark of curiosity awaken in us? There is a unique potential in each of us at the time of birth. Through interactions with the outside world, and experiences engaging with other members of our community, inborn intelligence, and gifts are called upon, and compelled into expression. Sometimes this expression is inspired into word, movement, song, a painting, a story, a structure or a joke! At Road Less Travelled Academy, we strive to honour the unique gifts that each child carries within their minds, bodies, and hearts. As such, our lesson plans and Units of Inquiry (U.O.I.) offer diverse opportunities for your child to interact with new, and familiar information. In this way, multiple learning styles will be acknowledged, encouraging intellect and imagination, insight and analysis, interaction and observation to be an integrated part of your child’s learning.

At Road Less Travelled Academy we also encourage your child to follow their own line of interest (L.O.I.). A line of interest is a spontaneous discovery that your child may have that is connected to his or her current or emerging interests. We do not view this as an inability to focus on the task at hand, but rather an exciting new discovery worthy of their exploration. In addition, we tailor our Units of Inquiry to the unique interests of your child and encourage them to pursue exploring topics they naturally gravitate to.

“Human resources are like natural resources; they’re often buried deep. You have to go looking for them, they’re not just lying around on the surface. You have to create the circumstances where they show themselves.”
— Sir Ken Robinson

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Natural Rhythms

There is a reason for every season. A rhyme for every time. When your child follows the natural cycles of life, they step into the flow. Exploring in the summer; harvesting in the fall; crafting in the winter, and planting in the spring.

Intention brings attention, so we purposefully select certain times in the day to teach subjects that require our intellectual faculties. During a day at Road Less Travelled Academy, we engage your child with learning material at a time of the day best suits that area of study. For example, we practice our math mid-morning in an engaging and practical context, like cooking or tracking to learn units of measurement. We don't teach math at 2 in the afternoon when attention has already left the building to wander, and wonder.

We know that we have to inspire before we move, and put in hard work before we enjoy the rewards it brings. We take time to reflect and integrate what we have learned before we jump up to the next level of knowledge. The learning journey is as cyclical as the seasons, spiraling round and round.

Once we tune into these natural cycles with our conscious awareness we will see - just like watching a magic trick with wiser eyes - subtle happenings that we’ve been subject to all along and never fully appreciated.
— Jon Young, Ellen Haas, Evan McGown. The Coyote's Guide to Connecting with Nature

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CULTURE OF KINSHIP AND PEACE

This pillar extends beyond the recognition of the interconnectedness between all life and speaks to the quality of relationships that we inspire to cultivate. At Road Less Travelled Academy we encourage and model relationships based on respect, consent, compassion, empathy, tolerance, love, and appreciation. These attributes are first nurtured through a positive relationship with our own bodies, minds, and hearts; extending out to our human and non-human community as well.

A Culture of Kinship because it speaks to the importance that life and peace sustaining practices will have in the lives of your children. Students experience and learn techniques of meditation, self-awareness, and self-care. They will practice using non-violent communication techniques to engage in diplomacy, and conflict resolution.

By aligning ourselves and our students with a Culture of Kinship, we strive to inspire a high level of integrity and sustainability in our relationships. Your child begins this journey by being held in heartfelt and consistent accountability to their own wellbeing and that of friends, community, and the environment. Together we strive to cultivate a culture of harmony, peace, and co-creativity.

In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.
— Baba Dioum

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THEORY INTO PRACTICE

To turn knowledge to wisdom, there must be an experience in which the knowledge is put into practice. Too often the knowledge is taught in school, but there is no opportunity given for the students to apply it in the real world. Learning and never applying is disempowering to the student. Yet when your child learns something new and then puts it into action, they see that there is power in their ability to act on what they know. We learn units of measurement like cm’s or meters, doing conversions on a piece of paper or measuring lines on a page. We learn of the terrible effects of war yet never meet a survivor of war to hear the raw emotion of their experience while looking into their eyes. For true connection to occur, we must do so in reality and not simply virtually.

At RLT Academy we always seek to turn knowledge into wisdom. In building and tending a fire, your child will see what works and what does not, instantly. Your child will learn music theory, write a song and share it with our community. They will learn math and then apply it to build a bench or other structure for our classroom. Our teachers and mentors are always seeking ways to engage our students and empower them to create positive real-world results.

An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.
— Mahatma Gandhi