As the COVID-19 pandemic imposes drastic change across all areas of society, (hospitals bracing for more cases, medical professionals putting their own lives at risk with limited protective equipment, businesses dealing with the ramifications of social distancing, airports becoming almost like ghost towns, schools being shut down, families confined to the home…) I can’t help but think about all the parents out there who are already dealing with unprecedented changes in society and now faced with an additional responsibility, perhaps society’s most important to ensure a better future: your child’s education.
For many parents, this is unchartered waters. It’s hard to imagine how overwhelming this could be and I want to acknowledge and empathize with your pain.
At the same time, this blog is dedicated to the “amazing things happening at THA” and I can’t help but share, based on the feedback from our own THA Parents and Warriors, how incredible this past week has been at THA. While the studio has been closed, THA is much more than just a physical location. THA is a learner-driven community, a place where young heroes take responsibility for their own education, and don’t need adults to teach them in order to learn. These young learners allow their curiosity and intrinsic desire to live a meaningful life fuel their learning. They reject the mentality of victimhood and strive to develop the mindset of a hero; they embrace the difficult path, the road less traveled, the Hero’s Journey.
While we see this spirit from our Warriors every day at THA in the studio, what has been incredible is how well they have maintained this spirit while at home. It’s like they haven’t missed a beat. As our school reached out and surveyed several of our parents, there has been overwhelming feedback about how independent and self-motivated our Warriors have been at home. Here are some direct quotes from parents…
“Things have honestly been ideal for me this past week. I don’t really have to do anything as a parent. Their learning has been on auto-pilot… I’ve always been struggling with providing them structure and routine while they are at home. Now she wakes up early, gets ready on her own, and is on time every day for Morning Launch… It’s been great, he participates in launch then sets his own goals every day and gets to work… I feel like she’s still in school!…We love, as parents, that we get to see the launches and get a glimpse of the processes at school, it’s great…”
At THA, it’s safe to say, our Warriors have embraced this monumental challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, not as victims, but as Heroes. They have been engaged in virtual discussions, core skills work, and learning challenges as if nothing has changed. Guides are also working hard to ensure only the highest quality of learning opportunities and resources stay available. The video conferences and discussions have been so high quality that guides feel like they are working with professionals in corporate offices (ages 6-15). One of our primary goals at THA is to nurture life-long learners. It incredible to see it happening right before our eyes…
Here are some of the amazing launch topics and Socratic questions they have discussed this past week. Please feel free to continue these discussions at home or use this as inspiration to question, inquire, broaden your perspective, and develop clarity in thought, which ultimately leads to a more purposeful life (thoughts lead to actions, actions to habits, habits forge character, and character shapes your destiny).
Launches / Socratic discussions and Questions from this past week:
MS Launch: New circumstances and adaptation – This week your tribe is finding itself in a very different situation. You are not in the studio, and you are also not on break. You are working from home. Do the same rules apply? Should there be a schedule? Should distance learning work more like the discipline of a studio or should learning from home be more relaxed? When you are faced with an entirely new scenario, what do you fall back upon to find solutions? In his book ‘Adaptability’, Max McKeown talks about different levels of adaptation. At which level do you think your tribe belongs? Why?
MS Launch: Imagine you are a sociologist. How would you describe the generation that is in their teens and pre-teen years? Here is what Simon Sinek says about millennials (watch this video up to 2:34) – do you agree that his conclusions apply to your generation as well? Can a school like THA help counter a culture of entitlement and laziness? How?
ES Launch: Warriors explored the classic fable about the ants and the grasshopper. Do you relate more to the grasshopper or the ants? What do you think the balance should be of work and play – how would you divide it? If you are having fun working is it still play? If you not enjoying your play then it is like work? Is anything related to school considered “work”? Where do PE and Art fit in? What about quest? is it work or play?
ES Warriors also explored the history of how the COVID-19 virus came into being… 1970s a famine in China where the government then allowed the farming and killing and eating of wild animals because 36 million people were dying — do you think that in that situation animals are resources for us to use as survival? What if it was your family that was dying of hunger would you choose that option??
Does creativity come when you have more or less options?
Imagine you were the medical director of a hospital and you are running out of supplies to help patients suffering from the virus: Who should get the first priority: young, elder, important roles in society? What advice would you give to someone in your house that shows only one symptom, e.g. a fever? How would you react around this person?
As we deal with these unprecedented circumstances, we are making history every day. How do you want to remember yourself in this time — afraid, creative, productive, happy… someone who spent a lot of time with family, someone who worked really hard?
No matter what the circumstance, whether it’s a Children’s Business Fair, an exhibition, producing a play, or just a typical Core Skills time, a Socratic Discussion, or being forced to work from home during a pandemic…these heroes continue to prove they are far more capable than we can ever imagine.
Can’t wait to see what’s in store for next week!