Because it offers an educational alternative to the traditional path. Kuska provides a space of respect, where a child is the protagonist of their own learning, where their rhythms and times are acknowledged, where there is time and space for movement, listening, dialogue, play, and self-knowledge. In Kuska, children experience a wide range of activities where thinking, feeling, and doing are present. This is something that is not found in a traditional school and that is fundamental for the development of all human beings. If we want to change the world, we have to change the way we raise children.
In Kuska, we use the methodology of active learning based on multidisciplinary projects where areas of knowledge (mathematics, communication, science, English, etc…) are integrated into a topic of interest that comes from the group. For example, if the chosen theme is insects, the teacher will help develop and deepen the knowledge of insects through the arts, mathematics, readings, music, and movement. We look for significant moments and experiences that children will always rememeber.
The psicomotricidad room is a space that allows the child to be a child, and to be in their element. During this time their whole being emerges and is totally free, as long as it does not harm anyone. After playing comes a graphic or verbal representation and reflection of the playing where children express their feelings about everything that happened. In this space we work with empathy, patience, and tolerance, feeling the limits in an experientially, not only theoretically.
What is clear, of course, is that you can not achieve any of this without a committed team and love for children. The school is a living organism that requires all its parts to function and walk; everything adds up and contributes.
Academic development is one our primary aims as a school. Students are encouraged to think both creatively and logically through our wide variety of course options. Classes include mathematics, language (Spanish, English, and Quechua), communication, art, music, physical education, science, and more! Located on small organic farm, we also have courses about plants, soil, agriculture, and gardening. Children are given the option to request and choose subjects they are interested in, and our teachers design classes around student’s specific needs.
Project-based learning is a staple of Kuska school. While we do spend time exercising our minds through reading, writing, and mathematics, we believe hands on activity to be vital to the learning process. Each subject is approached from many angles, being discussed in both English and Spanish, worked creatively in art and cooking, and experimented with pragmatically through hands on construction, providing children with a well-rounded educational experience.
At Kuska School, we utilize Psychomotor Education to help our students grow physically and emotionally. Our Psicomotricidad room is a safe space filled with mattresses, pillows, cushions, and sheets, where children are able to release energy and explore creatively through play. During this time children develop awareness of their body, and use movement not only to increase coordination and confidence, but also to express and work through emotions that may not have other outlets. This practice involves having all the children together within this space, where conflicts and resolutions arise without simply abandoning their peers to a new location, thus preparing our students for proper interpersonal emotional processing in future environments.
Following play and motor expressivity, proper closure and reflection is practiced through artistic mediums catered to the students. Children may use drawing, modeling, construction with wood, etc… to represent themselves, their peers, and the emotions that were expressed within the space. Through this reflection, students can gain insight as to why they (and their peers) felt the way they did. This closure also helps bring students to a calm state to serve as a launching point for their next academic endeavor.