I remember when my kids took their first steps. They first learned to stand on two feet, then, slowly, how to put one unsteady foot in front of the other. When they fell, we cheered. We didn’t say, next time try with your left first, or great, now take 7 steps. We cheered because we saw their effort, and the joy they got from this momentous first event. We also saw how each fall brought them closer to their goal of walking. After a few weeks, they were waddling across the kitchen floor, hands in the air, giggling, of course.

When my kiddos were figuring out how to walk, we let them figure it out. We supported the effort and comforted the fall. We honored their pace, their style, their disposition because we had faith in the process.

And this, my dear friends, is my vision for how we watch and support our children in all kinds of learning. There’s no right way or wrong way. Instead, there’s standing, wobbling, balancing, unsteady steps, more wobbling on unsteady feet. And when they fall, we cheer. We cheer because we’re trusting the process, knowing they’ll get there when they get there.

Because just like walking, we are made to learn.

This is the big idea behind student centered learning. With every student, we give them the space and tools they need to take their first steps in learning how to learn. This approach allows for self-discovery, for learning their gifts, passions, interests, and curiosities. It accounts for our kids’ unique learning styles. Through this method, they learn the tools they already possess—instead of trying to give everyone a hammer and bang away at learning.

The process is always non-linear, built on the idea that we need to meet each on our own terms. Student centered learning says, “I see you, and I know you’ll get there.” And with each step and failure, we let them know they’re not failing, they’re just learning to take their first steps.

Yellow Parachute Academy is built on the belief that all of us are made to learn.  If there is any way that I can send this message to young people, then I will do all I can to make this clear.  We are building a place where there’s more than one way to learn, where we think about each student’s needs. We are building a place of hope, a place where we believe that each learner can and will find purpose and connection. Join YPA in revolutionizing education one sweet step at a time.

Find out more about getting involved as a student, mentor, parent volunteer, entrepreneur, or about giving your student the opportunity to open doors in learning at www.yellowparachuteacademy.org then contact us for a conversation!