the birthday dream
A DREAM TRANSFORMED IN TO REALITY
The Birthday Dream is a very important – and some might say the reigning favorite - of the many special and unique rituals at Little Dolphins, and an expression of the individual attention the school pays to each child. In his or her final year at school, each child is invited to share a "dream," which the entire school community helps to realize, celebrating not only the birthday but the vision and interests of that child. During his Birthday Dream, a child creates the curriculum for the day and is honored by having his parents and teachers listen to his ideas and help them turn them into reality. Children are asked why they are interested in the idea, they learn to dig deep and develop thoughts on why and how. It is not about hiring entertainment or having a party – far from it. It is the ultimate hands-on introduction to Project Based Learning and design thinking where parents and child become dedicated to manifesting their ideas and making a whole dream world come true. The adventure in creativity encourages students to use their language to express their ideas by telling them loud and clear. It shows students that they – and their ideas – matter. Supported by their classmate and their parents, it becomes a day when the whole school stops and observes a very special kind of magic take place through a sensory and constructivist approach. Each birthday dream is as simple or elaborate as each child and their parents deem to make it. It is about each child’s authentic, individual discovery of their world.
In sum, it is an elaborate birthday party that calls on participation from all to make a child's dream come true. The beauty of it is that children learn to honor, and then also, be honored in return, teaching a beautiful life lesson at the same time. We can't say who enjoys it more, the children or their parents; in our world, it is a coming of age event, a ritual, an atelier, a celebration. Each birthday dream is closed by a ritual reading of Debra Frasier's book, On the Day That You Were Born, where the line is continued..."the world became a better place," making each child recognize how special they are and appreciate their unique place on the earth. The Birthday Dream is a truly magical event that remains to this day as one of the most empowering and signature pieces of the Seven Arrows Way of Education.