After the fire, after wandering in the desert (of Thousand Oaks) for at least 40 days and 40 nights, we are finally returning to our promised land, our home, our beloved IRDS campus!
But what about the last two months? Did we learn anything while we were homeless “wandering Jews”? Just like our ancestors in the desert, the answer is a resounding Yes!
We the staff have learned humility, patience and appreciation for what we have. The children have had to REALLY learn to share, not just sharing of toys and games but sharing of space, time and resources.
But even more importantly, we firmly believe that real learning comes from experiences, not from dittos or textbooks. We all know this as adults in our own lives, we advocate “learning by doing” and we value “years of experience” but itʼs easy to think itʼs different for our children. Itʼs not.
The old-school model of training children to be obedient factory workers is over. We need to prepare our children to be innovative outside the box thinkers. They need to be able to function in a constantly changing environment and work well with a variety of different types of people. This is the world we are preparing them for and this is what we do here every day, regardless of our physical location.
Itʼs the process not the product. Itʼs more important to understand how a paint brush works, to see and feel what itʻs like to mix colors than it is to produce a pretty picture.
Itʼs more important to be able to feed that spark of imagination then to train them that everyone must produce an identical craft project to send home to their parents. If you want really want a pretty potholder, you can buy one on Amazon, but if you want your child to grow up to invent a better pot holder we have to feed their imagination and nurture their creativity. This is done through imaginative play, emerging curriculum and fostering significant experiences.
So while we are overjoyed to be returning to the promised land of our newly remodeled (although still a work in progress!) IRDS campus, it will just be a continuation of another experience, another opportunity for learning, growth and experiences for your children.
The newly painted walls are beautiful but a bit bare and we canʼt wait to fill them with the great colorful artwork of your children.