Living Wisdom School

Living Wisdom School

What Makes Living Wisdom School Unique

Academic Excellence 

Cultivating a lifelong love of learning and critical thinking in an atmosphere of respect for the individual

Education for Life

Building character; practicing emotional self-mastery, conflict resolution, maturity, and compassion for others

The Inner Life

A curriculum that honors the values universal to all religions

WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES and dreams for your child—not just for kindergarten or first grade, but for the whole of his or her life? Financial security? A good job? A nice home? Happiness? Peace of mind? Love? A sense of empowerment, and an awareness of the greater purpose and meaning of life?

What role will your child’s school play in helping him or her realize these hopes? No other influence outside of the home will have a greater impact than the time your child spends in school.

At Living Wisdom School, the goal of education is the same as the goal of life: to help children become, on every level—heart, mind, body, and spirit—more balanced, mature, effective, happy, and harmonious.

We call this approach Education for Life. For over thirty years, we have helped children blossom in an extraordinary learning environment. Our students master skills that will help them immeasurably as they grow into adulthood.


At Living Wisdom School, your child will achieve:

Love of Learning to Last a Lifetime

Students learn how to learn, how to ask questions, how to listen and evaluate the answers. Children here learn to take risks and express what they think and feel, in an atmosphere of respect.

Maturity—Learning to Work with Emotions

Success in life depends on a lot more than just finding a good job. One must also know how to interact and respond successfully to the people and circumstances that life brings. A fundamental goal of Education for Life is to bring each child to true maturity, which we define as the ability to relate to others’ realities, and not only to one’s own. In the process, each student becomes more aware of his or her emotional reactions, under the guidance of skilled teachers.

The Inner Life

While eternal spiritual principles lie at the core of our approach to education, we do not provide “religious instruction” in the traditional, parochial sense. The focus here is on developing qualities that are universally valued in all religions—-such as inner peace, love, wisdom, and joy. Children of many faiths attend Living Wisdom School, and find that their understanding of their own faith is strengthened by their experiences here.

What do you want for your child?

In addition to learning yoga and meditation skills, every spring the children take part in an all-school theater production based on the life of a great person. Through re-enacting the life stories of great men and women, the children discover the potential for greatness that lies within themselves as well.

Academic Excellence Without Stress

Much of the rote memorization, standardized testing, and hyper-pressure that is commonly applied to elementary school children nowadays is actually detrimental to their long-term development and success in academics and in life.

At Living Wisdom School, children are encouraged to become independently curious, enthusiastic, and disciplined in all their endeavors. We prepare our students to do well in standardized testing, and we assign ample homework, but at the same time, we know that children develop at different rates.

Forcing a child to learn too fast may constrict or bypass vital stages in his or her development. Other children need to advance more rapidly than usual, and they are given ample opportunity and encouragement to do so at Living Wisdom School.

Our low student-teacher ratio makes it possible for each child to receive individual attention, every day. As a result, students are able to thrive, but without the stress that usually accompanies high performance.


The Curriculum


Students study the Physical Sciences, Earth Science, and Life Science.





ll students at Living Wisdom School learn basic mathematics skills through the teaching of concepts and experience of games and manipulatives. The program of study is individualized so that each child can proceed at his or her own pace. Children who are able to work at higher grade levels are encouraged to do so. And children who need more time to master a particular skill set are given the opportunity and support they need. We emphasize how mathematical principles can help children in the exercise of ordinary logic.


 Language Arts

In language arts, the children learn grammar as a gateway to clear thinking and writing. Literature is shared as an expression of great insights into life, human nature, and themselves. Reading is celebrated at all grade levels in myriad ways.






Social Studies/History

Social Studies lends itself to being easily integrated across the curriculum.









Physical Education

Living Wisdom School is unique in the training that students receive in stress management. The children learn yoga and meditation techniques that have been clinically proven in studies at Harvard and MIT to reduce stress and increase mental clarity. Yoga postures give the student tools for a lifetime of enjoyment and health. We believe that play and recreation are vital for a child’s social and emotional development.






Theatre Arts

As mentioned earlier, we challenge the students to participate in a yearly play, performed in spring, about the life of a great person from history. Because of their tremendous enthusiasm for the play, the children are eager to master the challenges of a sophisticated script.

For example, the third graders study the vocabulary of the script as an important part of their language development. In the process, they learn to use the dictionary, and they master “big words” so that they can better understand their lines. During the many rehearsals, the children automatically pick up vast stretches of each other’s parts. As they say the words with understanding, those words become a permanent and treasured part of their verbal repertoire.

 Conflict Resolution

Lack of conflict is not what builds character; rather, it’s how we learn to deal with life’s unavoidable conflicts that defines how we will lead our lives. Small class size means that conflicts must be resolved. The classroom is thus an excellent laboratory for mastering conflict-resolution skills.



 Building Character

In our school, we pay a great deal of attention to ensuring that each child masters basic skills, whether it be learning the phonetic alphabet, memorizing multiplication tables, or researching a term paper. But we also devote equal time and energy to developing character traits that will help the child be successful in later life experiences. The children do very well in other educational settings, where they become known for their kindness and friendliness, for their creativity in the arts, for their leadership, and for their academics and sportsmanship.

The Teachers

Our teachers are authentic, and the children sense it immediately. The teachers express in their own lives the positive attitudes, spiritual and moral values, and maturity that they seek to develop in the children. They are actively committed to their personal and spiritual development. They meditate regularly, and practice the principles of emotional self-mastery that form the foundation of our educational approach.

The teachers of Living Wisdom School are able to see the unique gifts in each child and to celebrate them in a hundred ways in the course of the school day: by encouragement, positive affirmation, challenge and support, celebration and joy. They understand that fine teaching is an art and a science, driven by inspiration, not coercion. They focus on the positive, not the negative—on solutions, not problems. Creativity and spontaneity as well as discipline and structure infuse their pedagogy. They, themselves, are life-long learners.

The Living Wisdom School Movement

The first Living Wisdom School was founded in 1971, at Ananda Village in Nevada City, California, to meet a deeply perceived need for a more balanced educational system. So much of education nowadays is focused on the intellect, while other, vitally important aspects of a child’s character are neglected.

Living Wisdom School was established to provide an education for children of all faiths that integrates body, mind, feeling, and spirit.

The system of education used at Living Wisdom School is called Education for Life. It is more fully described in a book of that name by J. Donald Walters, available at most bookstores or online.

From the preface of Education for Life

“The concept Education for Life can be understood in two ways, both of them intentionally so. Primarily, it is a system of education that will prepare children for meeting life’s challenges, and not only fit them for employment or for intellectual pursuits. It is also a way to see the whole of life, beyond the years spent in school, as education.

“For if indeed, as most people deeply believe, life has purpose and meaning, then its goal must be to educate us ever-more fully to that meaning. And the true goal of the education we receive during our school years must be to help prepare us for that lifelong learning process.”

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