The SelfDesign Graduate has a uniquely diverse and gifted faculty. Since our faculty mentors primarily connect with learners online, we have been able to engage faculty from every region of the US and Canada.
Josette and Ba Luvmour
Two of our faculty members, Josette and Ba Luvmour, live in Portland, Oregon. We are delighted that both Josette and Ba are members of our faculty. Find the courses they teach at SDGI.
Josette and Ba’s new project is the Summa Institute.
Summa Institute unites family development, education and research through an unprecedented child-centered, family supportive learning community where inspiration and wisdom emerge.
Natural Learning Relationships
In recent years Summa has offered programs in Portland for families and educators, grounded in what the Luvmours call Natural Learning Relationships, which they describe as follows:
- Natural: the essential qualities or inherent capacities which we are born with
- Learning: movement through life to gain knowledge, appreciation or mastery
- Relationships: mutual respect in which inspiration and wisdom emerge
Thus Natural Learning Relationships describes
our essential qualities or inherent capacities (natural)
which move us through life to gain knowledge, appreciation or mastery (learning)
nurtured by mutual respect in which inspiration and wisdom emerge (relationships).
Natural Learning Relationships (NLR) is an innovative theory of human development with wide-reaching applications in parenting, education, and counseling. At its core, NLR maps the development of the innate capacities in children and offers guidelines to creating relationships that lead to optimal well-being for both the child and the caregiver(s). NLR helps parents understand how to be in relationship with their children in a way that serves them both. As a comprehensive, thoroughly researched approach to child development, Natural Learning Relationships is a practical yet transformative vision that promotes greater depth and meaning in family relationships.
This fall the Summa Institute opened its newest program, the Summa Academy: a unique educational environment for students age 4-14 and their families. Using the holistic approach of Natural Learning Relationships, this private school nurtures the physical, social, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual development of its students in multi-age classrooms that have an 11:1 teacher-to-student ratio. The Academy runs on an extended year and integrates parent enrichment as a component of every family’s experience.
Ba and Josette are also prolific authors who offer many resources without charge on the Summa Institute Website
For example, several articles written by Josette:
- Developing Together: Parents Meeting Children’s Developmental Imperatives
- Education and the Consciousness Of the Developing Child
- Rites of Passage in Our Times
- Time Out on Time Outs
- Summa Institute: Changing the World, Baby-Step 1
The Summa website provides information about Ba’s excellent book, Optimal Parenting – Using Natural Learning Rhythms to Nurture the Whole Child.
Optimal Parenting focuses on well-being and describes the unfolding of the child’s consciousness, considering cognitive, emotional, physical and spiritual development. It includes easy to understand philosophical and psychological principles to make its points and has many practical applications including playing with children, nurturing non-sectarian spirituality, achieving academic excellence and remedying dysfunction. Sentient Publications – 432 Pages – Paperback
It also gives an introduction to another rich resource for parents, created by Josette and Ba together. Optimal Parenting – The Natural Learning Rhythms Approach to Family Well Being (3-CD Audio Book)
Natural Learning Rhythms (NLR) provides a practical understanding of child development that has helped families optimize relationships for over 25 years. This 3-CD Audio Book introduces the listener to the incredible power of NLR through case histories, detailed explanations and solutions to the problems faced by parents today.
In Optimal Parenting you will learn:
- How to stop ongoing battles over boundaries with your children
- Strategies for supporting academic excellence
- How to approach issues of children and media
- How to gain teen cooperation
- How to connect with children in the time available
NOTE: This is NOT a read-aloud version of the Optimal Parenting book. It is a stand-alone item. Running Time: Approx. 142 Minutes.
Both the book and the audio book can be purchased on the Summa Institute Website.