I've been working with the adolescents to make a plan for their personal prayer time this summer. I pray that this is a prayer you can pray as a household as the school year closes and summer opens up:
Father, Creator of all, thank You for summer!
Thank you for the warmth of the sun
and the increased daylight.
Thank You for the beauty I see all around me
and for the opportunity to be outside and enjoy Your creation.
Thank You for the increased time I have to be with my friends and family,
and for the more casual pace of the summer season.
Draw me closer to You this summer.
Teach me how I can pray
no matter where I am or what I am doing.
Warm my soul with the awareness of Your presence
and light my path with Your Word and Counsel.
As I enjoy Your creation, create in me
a pure heart and a hunger and a thirst for You.
The article below explains the 3rd plane of development, ages 12-18 and how Maria Montessori's Adolescent theory seeks to build up the "social man."
"At the time when we would expect an increase in responsibility, capability, academic performance, and independence, the adolescent appears to regress, and is less able to do what society expects of him than he was in elementary school. Consider too the typical educational setting for middle-school – hundreds of students, challenging classes with a great deal of homework, a different teacher for every subject, pressure to get “good grades,” and increased exposure to negative influences.
Although Dr. Montessori’s work with adolescents is not as fully realized as her work with children in the first and second planes, her answer for the educational environment that would “aid the life” of the young adult in the third plane is just as radical and beautiful as the Casa dei Bambini was for the three year-old. Montessori sought to prepare the adolescent for adult life both socially and economically, in a safe, protected environment. She proposed that we “abandon the schoolroom and open the gate of life,” (Montessori, Education and Peace, “the Education of the Individual,” p. 111, Clio, 1999) creating a “center for work and study” in the quiet countryside where the whole of daily life would revolve around the changing needs of the adolescents. She believed that “If young people at a certain point are called upon to take an active part in the life of humanity, they must first feel that they have a great mission to accomplish and prepare themselves for it.” (Montessori, Education and Peace, “Fifth Lecture,” p.70, Clio, 1999)
Montessori called these children the “Erdkinder” - children of the land. They would experience that same path that human civilizations began when people settled on the land and worked together cooperatively. They too would live together in a cooperative social group, and in living together would become responsible to each other and to themselves. Montessori wanted young people to be “producing, selling and working not in order to learn a trade, but because working means coming into contact with life, participating in the building of the supernature.”4 (Montessori, Education for Peace, “Fifth Lecture, p.70, Clio, 1999)
Participating in real life, with real consequences, leads the young person to “valorization,” a term Montessori used to describe the internal and external validation of personality. For a healthy, confident entry into adult society, the young person must feel that he can contribute in a meaningful way to the community and see that value reflected back upon himself. This might come from watching his peers enjoy a meal he has helped prepare, mucking out the barn so that the cow has a clean place to stay, performing an original song in front of his friends, or selling all of the garlic flowers they brought to the farmers market. The young person realizes that he can do adult work in the adult world; he can “succeed in life by his own efforts and on his own merits, and at the same time it would put him in direct contact with the supreme reality of social life.” (Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence, “Appendix A,” p. 64, Clio, 2003)
See this link for the full article:
The adolescent community embarked on a new adventure in beginning their micro-economy with their Catholic peg dolls.
One student developed the proposal for the peg dolls and gathered the supplies needed, painted them, packaged them, and ensured they would be ready for sale. With A1 classmates assisting, the adolescents sold the peg dolls at Grandparent's day on North and South campus. At the end of the morning, the adolescents had accrued $130 dollars from their sales! Some of the proceeds will go to repaying their materials loan, but the remainder will go towards a fund of purchasing necessary items the adolescents desire for the A1 environment.
These students are capable, resourceful, and ready to contribute to the community as active individuals in society and this project is just another example of their skill and readiness!
Instead of reading my ramblings, take a look at this awesome article from psychologist and author Dan Siegel about adolescence and the plane of development the A1 community is on:
What an adventure Wolf Ridge was. From learning about the weather, cross country skiing, doing the high ropes course, and ending up hip-deep in snow, not only was the trip physically challenging but intellectually engaging as we spent time in nature and learned about how the earth works!
Monday afternoon we jumped right into learning about the weather and used tools to predict and assess the weather. Monday evening we did the challenging rock climbing wall - where everyone climbed and some even did the most difficult climb and were the 9th person to finish it. To see fears turn into satisfaction after the climbing was amazing and brought tears to my eyes and the adolescents cheered each other on.
Tuesday morning we cross country skiied for three hours. To be honest it was frustrating - the snow had melted and then refroze, making the trails very slippery. Mr. Goodwin and myself fell over 20 times. The adolescents were frustrated too at times, but fell together in groups, encouraging, slowing down for the other, and literally helping each other get up after they took a spill (or I took a spill!) One student in particular was a verbal encourager and champion for his classmates and again brought TEARS to my eyes.
Tuesday afternoon we learned about renewable energy and worked with windmills and tried to create a solar heater to heat water. The adolescents enjoyed learning about ways to reduce our use of non-renewable energy. Tuesday evening we did the high ropes course. This was the activity I think most were excited and most were nervous for (including me!). The ropes were 50 feet above the ground and had different sections of varying difficulty. Some students made it just across the rope bridge, others made it through three times, even going backwards and blindfolded! I had to go first because I was the adult to assist at the last station (zipline) and the students ran beneath me encouraging me, "Yeah, Mrs. Goodwin!" Their encouragement of others and their ability to take risks was inspiring and truly beautiful, no matter how far across the course they got.
On Wednesday morning we had a three hour course on Winter Survival - we made shelters in the trees, gathered our own firewood, and made hot cocoa over our fires! The adolescents broke into groups of two and competed to have the best fire and the most creative shelters with tarps in the trees.
Filled in between these activities was free time of fellowship, games, and loving teasing and joking around. From teasing about the smell from the boys' cabin to conversations at meals, the community and sense of togetherness grew exponentially at Wolf Ridge and I can attest that we brought it back to the classroom as well.
On Monday afternoon, we drove to Brooklyn Park to the Planned Parenthood and prayed a rosary and a prayer to end abortion. The area has a low socioeconomic status and there were many signs of economic depression around. We prayed the sorrowful mysteries with reflection specifically relating and interceding for the abortion process - comparing Jesus' scourging to the pain the babies feel when they are aborted, and the like.
As we were praying, people stared at us as they drove by. We saw several cars go into the parking lot - many people dropping a woman off and driving away. There was one woman who limped her way to a car that was waiting to pick her up, the music blaring. Her gait very obviously spoke pain and trauma that she had just endured and it brought a seriousness and tears to many eyes. To end our time, we prayed a lengthy prayer to end abortion:
A Prayer about AbortionLord, you are the Creator of all things; you breathe life into every human before they leave the womb. Lord, we don't know how to stop something this horrible on our own; it is devastating that abortion has weaved its way into many people's minds as an acceptable choice. Please stop the enemy's lies from seeping into the minds of the confused, take away the voice of the wicked.
Help us to have compassion on the women who made or were forced to make this horrifying choice and are now suffering the consequences. Surround them with Your love and remind them that Your sacrifice covers even this and that those who belong to You are free in Christ from the guilt of every sin. Break the chain of guilt in those who have repented before You, revive them to live their life knowing true joy in You. May their changed lives speak volumes about the amazing power of Your forgiveness and love.
Help us to remember the unborn who are unwanted and tossed aside every day; help us to be a light in a world of darkness. Give us opportunities to love people and present the truth of Your Word, use us to offer alternative options to women in desperate situations. Jesus, You have the power to change hearts; we pray for the women considering this option - help them to see there is another way.
We pray for our government to change laws and close the doors of abortion clinics. We pray for a renewal of family and faith in the world, and may the Church come alongside single parents and families in need, helping to raise these children for Christ. In your Almighty Name, Jesus, by which all things are possible. Amen.
Each of the students offered a prayer for the specific intentions surrounding the abortion issue: for the mother and support of fathers, for clarity of what they are considering, for the government to change the laws, for doctors and medical professionals to stand up for life.... While they seemed uncomfortable and very aware that in their state of activism, they were definitely standing out, they also seemed encouraged and a little more confident because they were going out of their way to prayerfully protest and intercede.
Earlier in the day, I gave a lesson discussing the issues of abortion with the adolescents. We discussed eugenics and Margaret Sanger's white supremacy, we discussed the debate of when life begins, and we discussed the lack of education, knowledge, and clarity regarding life and how murky and confusing the culture of death tries to make things. Some of them even shared their awareness of the NY legislation allowing 3rd trimester abortions and the conversation that followed the lesson was honest and real and sobering.
While this violence is sickening and the reality painful, I believe making our students aware of the facts and harsh truth of this issue is important in order to equip them to combat the culture of death in our world. If we can inspire them to speak out against the injustice, we can set them up with the tools necessary to make a change in their generation as they come out into the community and the world. The babies being aborted and those who are uneducated about the truth of abortion demand an urgency from us and in turn, are relying on the awareness and passion of young people like the students in the adolescent classroom at the Way of the Shepherd.
Parents Guide to Fortnite Addiction
WORRIED ABOUT YOUR KID? TAKE A SHORT QUIZ ON FORTNITE ADDICTION.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
So teenagers are playing a video game, what’s the big deal? Parents report losing their sons to Fortnite addiction 3 – including one who emailed me that she discovered her son stole her credit cards and spent over $200 on the game.
In the U.K., a 9 year old girl has been sent to rehab 4 for Fornite addiction, after wetting herself to keep playing. When her parents removed the game, she attacked them.
Should you be concerned about Fornite? And if you are, what can you do about it?
What is Fortnite: Battle Royale?
It is a shooter game (of a similar vein as Hunger Games) where players are dropped unarmed onto an island. There, they must make their way to ‘houses’, where they find weapons they then use to shoot and kill, they build structures and try to avoid the destructive storm that threatens all outside its safe zone. The last player standing after all else are killed is deemed the winner.
Unlike many online games where you are ‘respawned’ should you die and are able to continue to play, keeping alive is the difference between winning and losing and means a lot more in Fortnite than in many other shooter games. 5
Warning Signs of Fortnite AddictionVideo game addiction is real, and the World Health Organization has officially classified it under the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).
Gaming Disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour, which may be online or offline, manifested by:
The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.
Video Game Addiction TestThe American Psychiatric Association recommends a set of nine questions to screen for a video game addiction. Take our quiz below:
Video Game Addiction Quiz for Parents.
Common Mistakes Parents MakeChances are, you’ve already tried countless things to help your teenager:
Here’s what you tried: You removed their devices, and took away the modem.
Here’s why it didn’t work: Your teenager throws a tantrum so intense you feared for their life. Maybe they even got violent. Your teenager also still needs access to the computer in order to complete their homework, so simply removing devices is only so realistic.
Try this instead: You must enroll them in the process. Taking away their access without supporting them to fill the void can be very dangerous for them. Your teenager must be part of the process! Learn more about this in Reclaim
Here’s what you tried: You told them their friends online weren’t their real friends.
Here’s why it didn’t work: Their online gamer friends are their real friends, and usually, their only friends. When you tell them to quit gaming, what they really hear is to stop having friends.
Try this instead: They need help making new friends outside of gaming. They don’t know where to start, or what to talk to people about other than gaming. Most kids at school play games. Help them join clubs and find new group activities.
Here’s what you tried: You told them games are a waste of their potential.
Here’s why it didn’t work: Gaming is where they feel a sense of accomplishment. When you tell them games are a waste of their potential, you’re not acknowledging the incredible accomplishments they have made in their games. “I wish they fully grasped the gravity of what I’ve accomplished in games over the years…” -Rushlite
Try this instead: By being curious, and learning more about the accomplishments of your son or daughter in their games, you will build rapport with them. Rapport creates trust, and trust creates influence. Start to have conversations about gaming – what games they play, what they enjoy about them, and so forth. Be genuine!
Here’s what you tried: You just let them continue to game, giving them responsibility for their decisions.
Here’s why it didn’t work: They are unable to moderate their time. They continue to game even amongst their knowledge that gaming is negatively impacting their life. 84% of gaming addicts knew they had a problem over 12 months ago!
Try this instead: Support them in improving their time management skills. Help them create environments conducive to their ability to focus, such as bringing them to the library to study. You have to be both parts equal support while not enabling their problematic behavior further.
Here’s what you tried: You bought them their new favorite game or console.
Here’s why it didn’t work: Games are specifically designed to hook your teenager. Gaming companies use state of the art practices, and behavioral psychologists to make their games as pleasurable (and addictive) as possible.
Try this instead: By understanding more about why your teenager is drawn to games, and how games are specifically designed to hook your teenager, you will be empowered to support your teenager to have a healthy relationship to gaming (and technology).
Extra Support for ParentsCam’s book Reclaim is brilliant and is highly needed. We strongly recommend Reclaim to parents seeking help and solutions for their kids struggling with digital media overuse. – Andrew Doan, MD, PhD (author, speaker, and neuroscientist) and Julie Doan, RN (author, speaker, and life coach)
Friday was a day where the air was filled with fluffy snowflakes and we had the pleasure as a classroom to go cross-country skiing in Bunker Hills. Our WARGO leader, Mr. Todd, led us with enthusiasm through the Bunker trails. He instructed, encouraged, and taught the students how to wishbone, bomb hills, and glide through the pre-made tracks. Some students jumped in with all limbs (literally) while others were more hesitant but by the end, the students felt a sense of satisfaction (and sweat).
As I took up the rear of the line of 7th and 8th graders, I was overcome with a sense of gratitude. For the year thus far, for each individual student in my classroom, for how they are particularly made and how we all came to be at the place and moment in time together. Nature tends to give me existential moments such as this and I felt called to share this...that the Lord has us at Way of the Shepherd for a reason - even though summer and 8th grade graduation seems so close, that his work is not finished in this school year and that He will continue to guide and lead myself, the students, and you, their families, through the journey He has pre-appointed.
Whether you are going somewhere warmer for Spring Break or staying in snowy Minnesota, know of my prayers and appreciation for you.