Middle Childhood and beyond. 

The Light Way bridge model is seen more clearly now It is a highly flexible model that can be shaped to suit most schedules and spaces.  The main idea here is to provide the opportunity for learning in ways that are fun for children and respond to their needs and interests. 

The bridge is where the old transforms into the new. The children do choose what they learn, but most parents opt for requiring that they attend "lessons".  The lessons look very different to traditional models.  They are inter-disciplinary which means all the subjects are integrated and taught as a whole.  The topics are chosen in a democratic circle by the children and only half the day is spent on this part.  The groupings/classes are multi-age.  

As you design your alternative homeschool program and curriculum, you can exercise a lot of flexibility in deciding how to structure the day in terms of time spent on "BE" Time and time spent on "lessons." 

You may also choose to allow a child to develop his/her own topic rather than participate in the group topic.  Or you may choose to use one whole day for the "lessons" and have "BE" Time for a whole day another day. 

"Drying Out"

We highly recommend that children who participate in your program in this age group  and who are entering from traditional education be given a "drying out period".  "Drying out" is akin to detoxing. They have been in a highly controlled environment for a long time, perhaps even years. An environment that even dictated when they can go to the restroom. It is normal for there to be pushback, a testing of the limits. They may rail against having to do anything.  Allow this drying out to occur and do not worry, they will come back.  It may not be possible for them to do absolutely anything they want, but often just allowing them to not participate in the lesson is enough. They can read or otherwise occupy themselves until the afternoon when everyone is enjoying "BE" Time.  It should be made clear that whatever they decide to do cannot be disruptive to the activities the other children are participating in. 

They will return.  And perhaps quite quickly especially once they see how much the other kids enjoy what they are learning. What we saw at Light Way in the Woodlands, Texas, was that the kids spent the afternoon playing at activities related to the morning lessons. For example when studying Egypt, they decided to spend "BE" Time building an Egyptian city out of blocks. They even researched which animals would have been in that geographical location at that time in history.  They were integrating their new knowledge through physical action and play.  In traditional schools, this never happens. There is no time.  You can bet those kids still remember most of what they learned about Egypt.   

"BE" Time 

We believe that our beingness in terms of integrity, loving-kindness, balance, compassion, sharing, and honoring of ourselves and others supersedes our doingness in the world.  Who we are being is far more important than what we are doing. 

"BE" Time is total free choice time with children pursuing their interests as they see fit. Adults and children may offer each other classes at this time and outside instructors for martial arts and other requested classes can be provided.  The kids in the Woodlands had a huge board they could post classes on that they were giving. It included where it was to be held, a description, and the time.  Kids signed up for what they were interested in.  Due to the mulit-age environment, the younger children who couldn't read or write yet, would ask the older children for help with filling out the paper and posting it. They loved it! Oh and adults can offer classes too. I used to offer French. 


Throughout the Light Way journey, children are full co-creators of their environment and have equal voting rights in setting up rules and consequences.  Adult school creators are strongly encouraged to include children in the visioning process of their school and to listen deeply to what they have to say when that is possible. If you already have a program, you can still include the children in the transformation process of beginning to include some of the progressive principles used here. 


Spirituality is infused throughout a Light Way model through yoga, meditation, mindfulness practice and as much time as possible spent in nature communing with the mother and Spirit learning to build and garden.  These types of activities come under the mental, emotional and spiritual categories of a balanced program.  You can choose others that provide for children to develop in these areas. 

Please note that we define spirituality as connection to our true inner selves and voice, learning to trust ourselves and feeling part of our world. We do not have any religious preferences or agendas. So parents may engage in whichever religious or spiritual practices they choose as long as it's present in some form. 

Imagination and Play

Imagination and play for all ages are deemed extremely important. Please see "The Top Ten Fears Parents Face When Considering Alternative Education For Their Children and How To Overcome Them" for information on the crucial nature of play in child development.  You can get this free by signing up for our newsletter on the home page. 

Here is a summary of the some of the elements you may want to use in your program. See the Program Elements page for more information on these or download the pdf "The Light Way Model" for a full description of how it works, how to get started implementing it, and details on all the recommended elements for you to choose from. 


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