"Wait so there's no homework at this school?" It's a question that's asked at just about every single Open House. To which the most common reply is, "We don't have homework, but we can work from home when we want to." Yes, we don't have homework at THA. We don't even have grades. So how does that all work?
Our Warriors just returned back to status quo after embarking on various quests during Session 4. Our Spark Warriors had transformed into medical students, studying human anatomy, exploring the wonders of the human body, making anatomy models, and doing so much more. Our Elementary Warriors transformed into architects: they researched, drew designs using newly acquired scaling techniques, and created 3-D models of their future school. Last but not least, our MSLP Warriors became 007 Agents and applied classical physics concepts to levers, pulleys, springs, bungees, and projectiles in order to save the world. As our amazing community of parents watched the magic unfold during their exhilarating exhibitions, I couldn't help but think about the tremendous effort and engagement the parents didn't get to see. The work they put in behind the scenes, on the days leading up to the exhibitions.
On the very morning of the exhibition a parent of an elementary Warrior approached me and said, "Mr. Vijay, my children were up until midnight last night. I had to force them to stop working." Just days before, another parent shared that her Warrior was so immersed in the architecture quest, he sat for hours with his grandfather, who is an engineer, trying to learn principles of design and get feedback on his model. About a week earlier, we received an email from an elated parent with pictures of her young Warrior working for hours at home. She was in disbelief; her Warrior usually just comes home and plays, not really engaging in any school related work. It's become a norm for MSLP Warriors to regularly schedule time outside of studio hours to give each other feedback, collaborate on presentations, and go the extra mile for a deliverable even when they don't have to. Spark Warriors were not only singing anatomy songs at home, "The head bone's connected to the neck bone..." but constantly used their new anatomy vocabulary...
During free time a Spark Warrior came running up to me and said, "Mr. Vijay I got hurt during free time."
I replied, "Oh no, are you okay? Where did you get hurt?" He wasn't crying and seemed unusually excited about this "injury."
With a smirk on his face he said, "I'm okay, but I think I broke my gluteus maximus." I could tell he was fine, but just excited to apply his newfound knowledge of the human body!
So no, we don't have "homework" at THA. We don't pile on assignments or give busy work. We strive to ignite their passions so that they choose to work from home, not because they have to, but because they want to. Because deep down inside we are all curious, we all want to learn, and we all want to make a difference in the world. We're all destined to be on a Hero's Journey, to find a calling, and change the world. And we see our Warriors doing just that.