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Set up a meeting to talk about your child's needs
to see if this is a good option for him or her.
A Children’s Pod in France learning “Pebble Meditation”
The Pebble Meditation by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is commonly taught to children as an introduction to meditation. By using four pebbles the children foraged together, this meditation teaches the four qualities of happiness: beauty/freshness (flower), stability/solidity (mountain), peace/tranquility (still water), freedom/liberation (space/emptiness).
Kids need connection. They are hard-wired for it. In this time of unprecedented change and uncertainty, children are adapting to circumstances that no one in their family has faced in living memory. Without connection, children feel lost and unable to express both their deepest held feelings and their innate gifts and talents. They cannot grow and learn from those around them in meaningful ways.
As essential policies are implemented to protect the physical health of the classroom community, many opportunities to foster and develop social-emotional learning are lost. Children need these interactions to support healthy growth and development. These fundamental skills cannot be measured by standardized tests.
In “How Will The Coronavirus Shutdown Affect Education Next School Year And Beyond?”, founder of Academic Business Advisors and EdChat Interactive, Mitch Weisburgh writes:
“Learning is social, we learn best from and with each other. This will take many forms. Schools will initiate some programs where older students will help younger students, others where students will work in groups, and others where students will share accomplishments and offer encouragement and feedback to other students.”
There’s no denying we are on the verge of a whole new way of human interaction. This is the time to come together to imagine new possibilities. But how can we safely bring our children and support their learning at a crucial time of development when it's so risky to do so in public and private places?
Ms. Merritt Micro-Schooling is a new way of social interaction and education for the future which focuses on building social networks between cultures and communities. Our learning method creates engaging experiences of unified aliveness and connection between participants of online groups.
The Ms. Merritt Micro-School was founded in the Summer of 2019 by teachers with years of experience teaching in the Washington, D.C. public school system, animating Children's Programs in Europe, and facilitating different ways of learning in Thailand. Instead of designing and developing a better solution to online education, our teaching methods were discovered through our direct experience of what's possible in mental performance, well-being and the mastery of everyday living.
You know how there's a land-rush to figure out the best 'one-sized' fits all solution to online learning? That's not what this is. Our curriculum is a framework of dynamic practices, processes, and methods which are fun, engaging, and life transformative.
We have a big vision to grow a small global school of schools. We invite you to find out more about our June 2020 Summer School Micro-Schooling Pilot-Pod!
What you and your child will experience in this Summer Camp
This micro-schooling pilot will be the first tight-knit “pod” that operates from a place of mutuality (e.g. from the field of our shared human experience), trust (e.g. from our own innate intelligence and ability), and deep connection (e.g. global awareness and interbeing) with each other and all things.
In this new experience of a ‘We-space’, we will be expressing ourselves, our hopes, dreams, and desires. We don’t have to be “right” or “perfect.” This is a place where we have space for the MAGIC, IMAGINATION, and EXPLORATION that a typical school day doesn’t allow.
We will learn about the world we want to know and discover the possibilities together. We will look at the world we inhabit and the one that our hearts know is possible. We will explore and research topics that interest us and start “writing for life” -- answering the question of why life matters to us, not just to prepare for a test or to meet a goal. From “goal to whole”, Ms. Merritt’s Micro-schooling is an expression of the future of whole-being education.
Come, children and caregivers, join us this June 2020!
Set up a meeting to talk about your child's needs
to see if this is a good option for him or her.
“Museum Day” in Ms. Merritt's 3rd grade classroom
At different “stations” students created their own bird feeders, planters, and art projects. They wrote letters to Senators about climate change. Other students came to visit the classroom and they taught them about the environment.
The Summer Camp Micro-school Pilot-Pod
32 hours over 4-weeks in June 2020
A four-week, 32-hour, Summer Camp is being offered this June 2020 as a way to engage with children and caregivers in a test run of a viable innovation in the micro-schooling movement. The Summer Camp will be a taste of our full program being launched this Fall. Enrolling your child will shape and guide the delivery of this innovation in micro-schooling.
The core elements of our learning method
1. Student Pods: Student pods are groups of five students who stay together for an entire school year or summer school. Parent caregivers do not participate in Student Pods. These five-student pods are located around the world and connect with each other regularly for cross-cultural learning and engagement. The Ms. Merritt Micro-schooling learning pod framework of processes and practices is supported by the work of Integral philosopher and author Terry Patten and his book A New Republic of the Heart as well as the philosophical thinking of Charles Eisenstein and his book The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible.
2. Parent Pods: Each five-student pod has a corresponding pod of five parent caregivers which meets independently from the Student Pods. The parent’s pod - known as the Parent’s Heart Circle - will meet with a trained facilitator four times during summer camp or ten times over the regular school year. More than a ‘PTA,’ it’s a safe space for mutual nourishment and engagement, deeper self-awareness, and seeing ‘Self’ through the other’s eyes. Caregivers are given space to be held, seen, and to speak about “what’s up” for them. It’s the key differentiator of this micro-schooling solution. The methods and teachings of the Ms. Merritt Micro-schooling Parents’ pod are supported by the work of Saniel and Linda Groves-Bonder and their teachings on Waking Down in Mutuality™.
3. Character Strength and Virtues: Our curriculum is guided by creating direct experiences of the positive qualities of character and virtue. This emergent approach to learning prepares students to become masters of everyday living, motivated to learn by their own intrinsic values, rather than teacher-enforced systems of reward and punishment. Children are guided to discover a larger commitment to life and what really matters to them, moving from ‘goal-based’ to ‘whole-based’ learning.
Like preventative medicine, this approach to learning fortifies psychological wellbeing early in life, rather than later in adulthood, when ‘fixing’ and ‘coping’ strategies don’t lead to a sense of completion or solidified learning. The Ms. Merritt Micro-schooling learning framework is supported by research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center and the research of Christopher Peterson and Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman on the twenty-six universal character virtues common among all cultures of the world.
4. Affordability and Inclusiveness: Our larger vision includes making this micro-schooling experience affordable and accessible to anyone who wishes to participate. To enable this vision, an education economy for affordability and inclusiveness is needed to deliver what we all want for our children: education excellency. A currency is needed that is based on a market of education, whose value is not influenced by school zoning, politics, and fluctuations in world financial markets. The Ms. Merritt Micro-school proposes its own digital currency called the Dana Chip.
Transferring your debt-based currency to DanaChips for education purposes makes sense. Anyone will be able to buy DanaChips at 10% less the value of the local currency, earn them, or trade or gift them to other parents in need. The Ms. Merritt Micro-schooling education currency is supported by the development of purposeful, direct, and secure digital blockchain crypto-currencies and tokens being created around the world. The Summer School shall be paid in local currency (e.g. USD, Euro, SGD, Bhat, etc.), while the regular 10-month Micro-school year may be paid in Dana Chips or local currencies or both.
The admissions process includes 3 steps:
2. Schedule a one-on-one interview by Sunday, June 7th, and pay the $25 admissions fee. (Admissions fee is credited for paid enrollment into the Summer Camp)
3. Admission decisions may be made at the end of the interview or after enough interviews have been conducted to determine an optimal class profile. Since classes are limited to five students, emphasis will be placed on assembling the first pod. Depending upon demand and compatibility of applicants, multiple pods may be created to run simultaneously.
Cost and Affordability
We are offering this Summer Camp at a significantly reduced admission price of $45 per day to make it available to those experiencing financial hardship or uncertainty. At whatever level you decide to join this summer camp micro-schooling pilot, we will receive the benefit of learning from you and your child. You and your child will receive an exciting experience of the future of education. The Parents’ Heart Circle is included in the admissions price as it is an integral part of how the program works.
Which price level would you like?
1. Suggested Admission: $840 ($105/day)
We appreciate your continued support
2. Reduced Admission: $360 ($45/day 8 x days)
For those experiencing financial hardship or uncertainty
3. Supporting Admission: $1,080 ($135/day)
Support our applicants with financial need and uncertainty
Invite your friends to join!
20% Discount Off Suggested & Supporting Admission
For you and each parent and child you bring
Referral Program: $100 paid for each parent and child enrollment
Set up a meeting now to see if this is right for your child!
The Ms. Merritt Micro-schooling Manifesto
So far, the story of humanity has been a story of separation--less for you means more for me--and that happiness can be found through greater growth, advancement and having more things in life. But now we need to move into a whole new world and way of being, one in which we develop confidence and character as the sovereign individuated ‘me’ and learn to operate with the larger Collective of humanity from a higher sense of ‘We.’ The social technologies and human potentialities being explored and refined since the 1960s have matured to the point that a sense ‘We-ness’ can be experienced, felt and most importantly, taught. A whole new world full of ‘We-Spaces’ awaits..
As children, we do not see the barriers between Self and ‘other’ so distinctively. So why not learn from the place of non-separation at an early age before we are conditioned to believe otherwise? How do we do this?
We do it by trusting ourselves, trusting others, and trusting life itself…
...rather than forming those barriers, only to dismantle them later.
Trust is a teachable subject in our curriculum.
As children, when we look ‘out’ into the world, we are dreaming alive the positive qualities within us and mirroring the qualities of others we see around us. This is why the Parent’s Heart Circle is so important. When we learn to express our aliveness, we can transcend the limitations that society and culture place upon us. Information stored in the body comes forth from that point of aliveness, and can be expressed through the wisdom of innate knowing, rather than from conditioned response.
The world within becomes the world outside. It’s not out ‘to get us,’ -- we can learn that it’s actually working FOR us! And it’s so important for the human race that we learn this as early as possible.
We’re fearless in this state. We’re not conditioned to be afraid of certain things, and in that sense, certain people, and certain others who are not ourselves.
“But, I’m not always going to get along with everyone...am I ?”
This is where the practices of Mutuality comes in. Tension and conflict naturally arise in life. In order to grow and have the truth revealed to us through those experiences, what matters most is how we step towards those experiences, rather than away from them. It’s one thing to conceptually say “we got it”; and it’s another thing to fully integrate and embody our experience.
Can we step towards these tensions and conflicts with courage, bravery, and a sense of knowing and trust?
Before we even learn to speak, we have a sense of fearlessness to do things that we didn't know we were supposed to be afraid of... It’s the only way we really grow.
Through trust, we can imagine a world where the child’s learning is…
Trust in life is what matters most. When we establish trust in life itself, we are able to establish trust in ourselves and all others. We feel safe to be ourselves more and more fully and reveal our authentic expression to the world. That trust grows best when children are surrounded by parents, teachers, and peers who allow them to be who they are, who radically support their attempts; and who enthusiastically celebrate each small step along the way. We can teach children the power of trust.