“Holistic education is a philosophy of education based on the premise that each person find identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to humanitarian values such as compassion and peace. Holistic education aims to call forth from people an intrinsic reverence for life and a passionate love of learning.” — Ron Miller, Pioneer in Holistic Education
Our program starts with the mental wellness of the students. Proper sleep, gut health, purpose, silent reflection, community and connection, play and movement, boundaries and discomfort and adversity prepare and inspire us for lifelong learning. The remote location allows participants to reset their internal clocks and adjust to the natural circadian rhythms. We have about 13 hours of sunlight a day year-round. We spend almost a third of our life sleeping, so we will put extra love into the accommodations, creating a sacred space with comfortable mattresses, pillows and sheets and many little artistic touches to honor the space where we rest and dream.
Although the curriculum is for adults, we utilize some of the methodologies from Waldorf and Montessori schools in the program design, de-emphasizing the use of text books. Emphasis is on learning by doing and providing hands-on projects and opportunities with an integrated curriculum design focused on thematic structure. The goals of holistic learning are understanding and action as opposed to rote memorization. We will emphasize listening and retaining information without the presence of a phone, recording device or internet search engine.
These methodologies promote collaboration instead of competition, crucial when it comes to building a community, which is one of the goals of Harmonia. Indigenous tribes and cultures taught people about the great adventure of being human – trials and tribulations, the challenges, and the enormous possibilities for human goodness and even greatness. Unfortunately, many public schools encourage competitive conformity wherein learning becomes a necessary chore, driven by competition, rewards and punishments and too often the subjects are devoid of direct meaning in student’s lives. Human resilience has been pushed aside to teach children to see themselves perpetual victims of a ruthless humanity and to judge those who do not conform to political correctness. Popular culture reinforces this dystopian vision. We have few examples of healthy relationships, positive conflict resolution and two-way communication. If we want to make Harmonia a holistic experience, we have to address social and emotional development, healthy relationships and human resilience. We will do this through the practices and traditions of our human ancestors.
The spiritual practices of many ancient indigenous tribal cultures throughout the world center on the alignment of the Earth and Nature. The personal, social and ecological are interwoven. “Health” is the state in which everything is in balance.
Harmonia was created to share ways of living in balance with the Earth, incorporating ancient wisdom into the modern world. Our purpose is to expose people to the beauty of Nature and the interconnectedness of all living systems, inspiring and empowering us to be caretakers of this magnificent planetary creation as co-creators of a culture that honors, protects and restores the vibrancy and health of ourselves and the planet.