At Light Way we believe that in order to create a nation of empowered, free-thinking people, we must begin with children. The rights and responsibilities of freedom are to be learned and earned as part of childhood. For how can we say we are a democratic society, if our children never experience democracy except as some vague concept studied in a social studies course? Democracy requires the participation of the people in order to fully function as intended.

We also believe that children "are not less intelligent, nor less worthy of respect than adults, they are merely less experienced." Children do not gain a greater IQ as they grow older, so we must respect their intelligence by listening to them and taking action based on their ideas. However, they do need experiences to grow EQ, or emotional intelligence and basic communication skills for rich relationships; therefore, it is incumbent upon adults to provide that experience in a nurturing environment based on mutual respect and equality. 

What Is KidPower(TM)?

KidPower(TM) is a system whereby children experience true power to shape their environment. At Light Way it is sociocratic in nature.

We have whole school KidPower(TM) council meetings weekly. Rules are made, conflicts resolved, and ideas shared. Action plans are defined and enacted. All participants have an equal vote in matters brought to the council. The meeting is run by an adult lead learner or a child.

Historically we have only had two areas that are open to veto by adults: health and safety. For example we do not serve or allow food containing food dyes, additives and preservatives. The circle may not vote to change this tenet. 

Why KidPower(TM)?

Participation in KidPower(TM) council meetings increases self-confidence, verbal abilities, listening skills, compassion, and understanding. It also empowers children in a way that leads them as adults to have the courage to speak their Truth. Combined with service-learning projects, KidPower(TM) builds capacity for making positive change in the world. 

Sociocracy vs. Democracy

Simply put democracy is the rule of the majority and sociocracy is the rule of consensus. In a sociocratic decision-making process, discussion continues until a solution is found that no-one objects to. At Light Way we believe that the rule of the majority is just another form of tyranny - that of the majority over the minority. Democracy was the highest form of government available until recent decades where we have seen the rise of sociocracy in schools and businesses. Sociocracy works because people feel heard and understood. For children it is especially powerful. For many participation in a KidPower(TM) circle is the first time in their lives that they have felt true power to shape their lives. The transformations we see in levels of confidence and creativity are amazing.