EPIC Learning Centre empowers children to co-create ecological and inclusive communities.
- Children are valued and seen. Each individual child follows their own path with the respectful loving guidance of the community.
- Children develop an integrated connection to self.
- Children are active members of the community with agency and power.
- Children’s creative play is essential to learning and development.
- Children see beauty surrounding them. We affirm that this beauty is inherent to us all and is a source of our interconnectedness.
- Children fall deeply in love with the Earth, leading to a commitment to protect the natural world.
- Children are supported in communicating with one another respectfully. Conscious communication is seen as fundamental to the learning experience.
- The bonds between children and community are mutual and supportive.
- Self-awareness is cultivated and diversity is celebrated.
- Systems of privilege and oppression are actively challenged.
- We honour indigenous lands, cultures, relationships and ways of knowing. We seek to consciously incorporate this knowledge into our words, teachings and actions.
- We are all committed to our continual learning.
- Children are co-teachers.
EPIC Connection Philosophy
EPIC aspires to embrace and apply the work of the Neufeld Institute in a school setting: “Work together towards emotional health and well-being, keeping children safe in a wounding world and support the unfolding of full student potential.”
How EPIC nurtures connection
- Strives to keep a child’s heart soft and relationships strong (you cannot lead a child whose heart you do not have)
- Practices the attachment-based developmental approach (e.g., collecting before redirecting)
- Creates a culture (rituals and customs) of connection
- Use an insight-based approach to address problem behavior (e.g. solicit good intentions)
- Supports kids to help them express frustration in non-harmful ways
- Values healthy expression of emotions to encourage growth and resilience
- Sets clear limits and boundaries and practice non-punitive interventions
- Makes space for immature brains that lack impulse control and logic
- We trust children are doing their best and we seek to understand the emotions behind behaviours
- Builds and supports high levels of trust to allow for creativity and innovation
“Children who can rest in our care and the boundaries we create, are able to play and grow.”
Dr. Deborah MacNamara
How EPIC families nurture connection and teachable children
- A parent’s responsibility is to preserve the relationship, so that children can let go and become their own selves.
- To meet the attachment needs and dependency needs of our children so they can truly begin to spontaneously emerge as viable, separate beings.
- Children need to feel safe at home to experience all their big feelings. When home is an easy place to have tears (a sign of adaptation), children are better able to navigate mistakes and failures.
- Encourage play so kids may naturally work through worries and stresses while expressing and discharging big feelings.
- Sleep is restorative. If you must wake your child in the morning, they aren’t getting enough sleep.
- Healthy diets can help prevent “hangry” kids.
- Routines can help kids feel connected because they know how the day will unfold.
- To feel safe, parents must take charge of health, safety, boundaries and support good decision making. Clear limits about the things kids cannot change allows them to trust us with the bigger things in life.
- Set limits with confidence so children can rest in knowing we’ll take care of them.
- Understand that upset is normal and take responsibility for preserving your relationship with your child.
- Lead with empathy, delight in your child (allow them to exist in your presence) and don’t take things personally.
- Care for yourself.