Over the past few years Bali has welcomed thousands of families from around the world. These families are seeking something different to the 9-5 jobs and national curriculums in their children’s schools. A few years ago choices for schooling were slim, but now there are tons of amazing Alternative Schools in Bali to check out.
Bali One Love Homeschool
Founded by veteran teacher Natasha Darrell, Bali One Love Homeschool is a small homeschool in Dalung. Natasha says of her school “It’s not a job… it’s my life”. She really is passionate about education and also about having fun!
The kids at Bali One Love get a whole range of experiences from cooking, dressing up, swimming, sewing and tons more. Of course they also take time to write essays, read and discuss world issues. Can you imagine a better way to get a well-rounded education?
Bali Lighthouse Homeschool
Located in Seminyak, Bali Lighthouse Homeschooling highlights the importance of academics as well as other activities. Sports, art, music and cooking are part of the curriculum and often involve children from all grade levels participating together.
The curriculum incorporates innovative teaching methodologies from International Baccalaureate, as well as the Cambridge curriculums to keep the students current with other schools. However, small class sizes encourage students to express themselves, ask questions, and not get lost in the crowd.
TACCE Wood School
Another school located close to Ubud is Wood School in Pejeng. The beautiful campus is surrounded by nature – plants and animals that the children take care of. The curriculum consists of daily lessons in maths, English, social sciences, Indonesian language, fine arts, performing arts, and language arts. It might seem like a lot to fit into a day, but is fun for the children when combined with hands-on experiences.
The Children at TACCE Wood School get plenty of outside time, delicious vegetarian meals and lots of fun extracurricular activities as well.
Samadi Kids is an educational facility offering schooling for children aged 6-13 in Canggu, Bali. I say facility because it is far from your bog-standard school and welcomes short and long-term residents. Samadi Kids holds four 10-week education retreats a year. This allows families to enroll their children for just session at a time rather than commit to a whole school year.
Samadi Kids’ curriculum consists of art, cooking, crafting, surfing, yoga and plenty of other explorations. Personalized education is the name of the game at Samadi, so if you want your kids to learn in their own way, this is a perfect school for you.
Alam Atelier School was born out of the yearning to extend learning outside the classroom and connect the learner with the natural environment. Large outdoor areas, water, mud, seedbeds and wood working areas encourage kids to use their hands to explore nature.
Alam Atelier is all about creative exploration and purposeful play, for kids from 6 months to 6 years. The school also encourages community and family to join by holding themed playdates, fun educational sessions, BazGym and Kindermusik classes.
The Anak Atelier
The Anak Atelier is an early learning centre in Balangan, Bali that caters to families with children aged 18 months to 6 years. Whether you live in Bali or are passing through, there are programs for your child at this beautiful learning space.
The approach to learning at The Anak Atelier is centered around the hundreds ways and languages children use to learn and communicate. Fun and curiosity lead to creativity that enriches children’s learning.
Trihita Alam Eco School
Trihita Alam Eco School is one of the first majority local schools that is aiming for a child-focused, play-based curriculum. This playgroup through elementary school is located in Renon, Denpasar, and children are taught in both Indonesian and English language.
Children are encouraged to learn at their own pace of development through imagination, curiosity, and creativity. Social skills, language arts and numerical skills, as well as gross and fine motor skills are the main part of the curriculum at this school.
Choose Your Perfect Alternative School in Bali
Every child is different and these Alternative Schools in Bali are great for those who don’t fit into the ‘traditional’ schooling system. We hope this post has given you some ideas of schools that your children might thrive in.
Bali’s endless summer doesn’t mean there aren’t times when the kids are out of school and bored. The long break is coming and whether you live in Bali or are coming to visit, one of these fabulous Bali holiday camps might be just the thing to keep the kiddos busy and stimulated.
The Garden Early Learning Centre
5-Day Programmes, June 19th – July 28th 2017
Starting June 19th, The Garden will be running six 5-day programmes, each with their own unique theme. from Arctic adventures, to kings and queens, to getting down and dirty on the farm, kids will learn, play and get creative with all kinds of fantastic activities. Morning sessions run from 9am-12pm, lunch club from 12pm-1pm, and the afternoon session from 1pm-4pm. Kids from 2-8 years old are welcome, but spaces are limited and this is a very popular learning centre, so book soon!
Pelangi Kids Camp
July 3rd – 28th 2017 | 9 am – 2pm
Pelangi School offers a fun and educational school break program for children with activities that support their age and stage of development. Staffed by Pelangi faculty, each themed week includes daily lunch and lots of art, music, sports, weekly field trips and fun. Kids will be split into 4 age groups (2-4, 4-6, 7-9, 10-13) and you can choose to attend week by week or all 4 weeks. Camps for all ages run from 9am-2pm Monday to Friday.
Starting June 15th Super Hero Factory will run weekly camps from 10am-2pm, Tuesday through Saturday. If your kids have lots of energy, this is the camp for them! They’ll learn the skills of parkour, gain confidence and keep active during their time out of school. The camps are Rp300k per day including pizza lunch or only Rp1.2million if you book a full week. Carpooling is available for families traveling from Ubud.
June 20th – 23rd & June 28th – 30th, 2017 | 8:30 am – 12 pm
Regents Summer Classes will offer fun and challenging activities for your kids from grade 1 to 7. This programme is open to kids from any school and will include morning exercises, arts, exploring maths, adventures in science, recycling projects, amazing race/ survivor games and lots of imaginative play.
Bali Circus’ Summer Camp will run for 11 weeks this year, during which kids can learn tons of new skills. 5-12 year olds are invited to learn tricks, tightrope walking, juggling and even aerial acrobatics! Full and half day sessions are available. Every Friday at 3pm there will be a performance for parents and friends!
June 19th-23rd, June 26th-30th, July 3rd-7th, July 31st- Aug 4th
Girls and boys from 6 – 15 years old are invited to Bali Gym camp at Crossfit Wanderlust in Canggu. From 10.30am-3pm each day kids will learn about warm up series and skills on floor, beam, vault and mini tramp. This is a semi recreational gymnastics camp including levels 1-4 floor skills with the aim to enjoy the activities while making new friends and discovering new skills. Also included is: Understanding of gymnastics attire and hair and attitudes, gymnastics tutorials, moveis and clips, an end of camp performance and certificates. All snacks and lunches provided and a 10% discount for 1 week early bird registrations and those traveling long distances to join the camp.
The Anak Atelier Holiday Camp is ON this July Holidays! From 22nd June to 21st July, kids can enjoy a range of fun and exciting activities. The amazing Anak Atelier teachers have pulled together an excellent programme incorporating 4 main themes: Super Heroes, Tropical Paradise, World Holidays, and Treasure Hunters.
Parents can opt for half-day mornings from 9am until 12pm or full days from 9am until 3pm. Places are open for children aged 18 months to 10 years old.
The daily drop in rate is 150,000rp for half days and 250,000rp for full days or you can choose to pre-book the full 22 days and get 3 FREE sessions or pre-book 9 sessions and get 1 FREE. Lunch is included for the full day programme.
Kids Club is still running from 3pm until 5pm at the usual rate of 140,000rp per session, along with the package discount (book 9 sessions get 1 FREE).
Limited spaces available so book now to avoid disappointment!
Day camps for ages 7-12 and overnight camps for those aged 8-12 are being offered again this year at the incredible Green School campus. Kids will exploring Bali’s rice paddies, create organic gardens and make organic chocolate harvested from the cacao trees on campus. Overnight camps include campfires and night safaris!
July 10th – 29th, 2017 (Monday – Friday + extra Saturday sessions)
Alam Altelier in Canggu will be running a variety of activities and classes for kids from 6 months all the way up to 12 years.
Kindermusik and BazGym will be running programmes for the first 2 weeks but for a full schedule of the 4 weeks click on the link HERE!
Bali Holiday Camps
Are your kids dying to get out of school but will be moaning about being bored a week into the holidays? Get them signed up to one of these incredible Bali holiday camps and save everyone’s sanity! Let them socialize, learn and get some of that holiday energy out while you work or relax.
Great news! The Anak Atelier Preschool & Kindergarten is launching a FULL DAY Toddler Programme from 31st July 2017 and is offering a huge 30% discount from the first term’s tuition fee for all enrollments of this Full Day Programme.
The Toddler Programme is for children aged 18 months to 3 years and runs 5 days a week. Parents can opt for half days (8.30am until 11.30am) or full days (8.30am until 2.30pm).
This high quality Anak Atelier Toddler Programme is focused on sensory experiences, development of fine and gross motor skills and socialization. Set in a stunning airy whitewashed joglo building with plenty of lush green outdoor space, a safe and stimulating environment has been created for the children to explore and learn.
Activity nooks provide opportunities for imaginary play, yoga, investigation, cozy reading, sensory play, water play, climbing in the tree house, exploring sounds in the sound garden, outdoor painting and even gardening.
There are limited spaces and high demand so interested families are advised to register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
What’s the Appropriate Age for Children to Start Doing Yoga?
I’ve been asked this question a lot by parents. I must say I’ve had kids ranging from 4 to 9 years old coming to my kids yoga class. However, I have allowed even younger kids to join my class, with one of their parents present.
I am inspired to introduce yoga to children at their earliest possible age, in order to encourage them to express themselves mentally and physically in wholesome, fulfilling new ways, through the combination of breathing, singing, performing poses and team building activities. Far beyond merely performing poses, Yoga for children is all about learning to acknowledge their own expression of enjoyment of space.
Having children doing Yoga, is a stepping stone for them to learn, and recognize just how everyday life is based on Yoga. In order to achieve this, I’ve introduced a simple method for them to observe and to express themselves, in knowing that Yoga is part of our life, Yoga is everything and their everything is actually Yoga practice some way or another. This approach allows younger children to not be afraid to express themselves and have fun throughout the process.
For instance, commonly I’ll have children perform the poses to the rest of the class and modify the asanas in a fun way, as well as give them kid-friendly names, which further allows them to be in their comfort zone when at times they are hesitant or withdrawn. Nevertheless, I have come to realize that allowing them to observe is one of the best ways to discover just how expressive kids can be, especially when it comes to sound; they will usually be singing or chanting mantras at the end of the class, regardless of how withdrawn or shy they seemed at first.
Yoga is, therefore, inseparable from life: It is movement, it is about breathing, and it is about helping each other. Yoga is everything. Being able to incorporate the Pilates principle with Coordinative movement helps children strengthen their body in a loving way. Breathing and Meditation helps them listen to their inner voice and stay calm, and set the main steps to the exciting, lifelong journey of awakening to their true essence of simply being happy within.”
Kids Yoga at Ubud Yoga Centre
Kids yoga is held every Saturday from 10-11am at Ubud Yoga Centre. Kids are welcome from around 4 years old, and parents or a nanny can sit in if children are shy on their own. However, parents are also encouraged to practice while their kids do, and there is a Bikram Yoga Express class held at the same time.
Ubud in Central Bali has been attracting an expat crowd for many years, but more recently an influx of families means parents are looking for Ubud Schools for their children. There aren’t a huge amount of schools in Ubud, but below we have listed a few we recommend for their mix of local, mixed and ex-pat kids and nurturing teachers and staff.
1. Pelangi School
Pelangi was one of the first Ubud Schools to cater for more ex-pat and children from mixed-nationality marriages. The school is located just south of Central Ubud and has lots of outside space and play areas. The teachers are primarily Indonesian but lessons are taught mostly in English with Bahasa Indonesia as a second language.
Classes start from 1.5 years for Tiny Tots all the way up to 3 classes of primary school (grades 1&2, 3&4, 5&6) using the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). Pelangi offer short and long term enrollment, which is great if you want to try your kids out in the school before committing to a full year.
The world-renowned Green School is spread over 9 hectares of land about 15 minutes’ drive from Ubud. This school educates children from 3 years old all the way through to high school grade 12. The curriculum is one of environmental and social values, responsibilities and hands on learning. The students are mostly from ex-pat families but there is a scholarship program for a limited number of Balinese children as well.
The Green School is not the cheapest of the Ubud Schools, but many argue that the quality of the teachers, facilities and experiences are completely worth the large price tag.
Bali Hati is a non-profit school a few minutes south of Ubud in Lodtunduh. From play group up to grade 10. The curriculum is taught in Indonesian with the English, Balinese and Japanese (from grade 4) language as part of the curriculum. The students are a nice mix of local, children from mixed-marriages and ex-pat kids, although because classes are in Bahasa Indonesia there are fewer fully ex-pat kids.
Students study from the Indonesian national curriculum with additions of hands-on activities like planting their own gardens, dance and extra languages. The fees for Bali Hati are some of the cheapest of all the ‘national-plus’ schools in the area, which attracts many mixed families.
TACCE Wood School was opened in 2013 under the Charity Foundation of TACCE (Tjok Agung Conservation and Cultural Education), with the intention of building a school that would operate a progressive model of education based on the teachings of P.R. Sarkar, the founder of New Humanist Education.
This Ubud school has just 5 classes and is able to accept a small number of students, which means each student is treated as an individual with distinctive learning needs. The Wood School follows the Singapore curriculum for Science and Math and Cambridge for English. The teachers create the Social Sciences curriculum through themes based on cultures from around the world, studied throughout the term.
For younger children First Bridge Montessori School has classes of Playgroup and Kindergarten just to the west of Central Ubud. This is a chain school with 2 locations in Singapore and 2 in Bali, but has a very independent feel. At the core of their teaching is respect for each individual, for life, and for the environment.
The school also emphasizes self-management, self-initiatives and competency as in all Montessori programs. This is the only one of the Ubud Schools that is Montessori based.
Ubud doesn’t have a huge selection of schools, but most are quite progressive and have small class sizes so students are nurtured and treated as individuals. Curriculums vary, so spend some time at the schools to find out which best suits your children before enrolling them.
Book in for a retreat at Ubud Yoga Centre over the Christmas or New Year weekend to refresh and revive to start 2017. The retreats will both be with Alexis Hannagan, a long time teacher of Kundalini and Hatha yoga as well as personal and group fitness trainer, Kinesiologist and Mind Detox Therapist. You could end the year with a weekend that teaches you to relax and learn to connect with what makes you feel happy and healthy. Alexis has written all about the benefits of the retreats so read on!
How to relax and why it keeps us young?
I used to associate relaxation with being lazy, can you connect with this? And I still do catch myself at times, even being a yoga teacher and understanding it is fundamental in leading healthy, long, youthful lives. Relaxation is our natural state, but the world we live in is so fast paced, pressurised and overwhelming, a lot of us are actually living in a state of unease, stress and tension, only feeling relaxed occasionally. This way of being is a recipe for the body to break down, speeding up the ageing process and becoming ill because just like nature, our body has the inner intelligence to heal, repair and regenerate, but only if it is relaxed – in a harmonious state.
So how can we relax?
We need to look at the whole picture; into all facets of our self. The mind, Body and Spirit. Below i’ve listed key aspects you can easily incorporate into everyday life from the ongoing Mini Retreats I run in Bali at Ubud Yoga Centre, our next two taking place this December the 24th – 25th and 31st – 1st of January if you feel called to bring in the new year deeply revitalised and connected within.
1. Clear your mind.
Are you always concerned about things in life? When you look back at when you were very concerned about many things, were you able to get things done and be creative, happy and productive? What is it like if for one moment you take a vacation from the worry. I’m not saying to throw responsibility out the window, but to seriously reflect and see if you can meditate without all the concerns in your mind taking your energy, can you be without any worry and free your mind? How would this feel? What heaviness could you drop from your mind?
2. Start a meditation practice.
Because our minds are so active these days it is really beneficial to meditate with mantras because they powerfully assist in cutting through the negativity and clutter in the mind, creating more peace and relaxation. One of my favourite mantras to chant is the Mul Mantra (youtube it). To start you can simply sit cross legged, close your eyes, look down towards the tip of your nose to help slow your thoughts and listen to the mantra. Eventually you will be able to chant along.
3. Slow your breathing.
It really is this simple, but so many people don’t do it, because they are not conscious, they are not even aware they are breathing shallowly. When we breathe shallowly we can easily move into an anxious energetic state. Place your hand on your belly just below the navel and breathe slow, long and deep all the way to the top of the ribs. Focus on slow even breaths.
4. Connect to nature.
Mother nature’s energy is calm and re-balances our cells. When we ground into the earth whether swimming,walking bare foot, eating lunch in the park, the energy has a powerful healing effect and re balances the trillions of cells in our body.
5. Avoid all food that doesn’t make you feel good.
Cut down specifically on caffeine, soft drinks, power drinks, white flour and sugar etc, anything with stimulants or that’s refined will aggravate your nervous system and leave you feeling wired, awake yet very tired.
6. Incorporate harmonious sounds into everyday life.
Studies have proven the sounds of birds to be one of the most powerful sounds in healing. Sound is one of the fastest ways we can move into deep relaxation. Become aware of how the music and sounds you expose yourself to impacts the state of your mind, body and soul. Attend a sound healing class, if possible with The Hand Pan. Today I attended a yoga workshop and the teacher played this instrument at the start, I drifted off into a deep sleep in minutes and was extremely calm and relaxed for hours making me feel rejuvenated and more youthful.
Most of all, listen to yourself. Only YOU know what is best. What makes you come alive? Is it reading, cooking, playing basketball, swimming, yoga, walking your dog…? Do this, the simple act of engaging in healthy activities which bring you joy will pull you into the present moment, cultivate positive feelings of love, connection and gratitude, allowing your energy to flow and creating relaxation, radiance and fulfillment. After all, relaxation comes when we engage in activities close to our heart, that we enjoy.
Book Your Weekend Retreat Now
Learn more about Ubud Yoga Centre, which by the way is extremely family friendly, and their schedule of upcoming retreats at http://ubudyogacentre.com/
Also look for kids yoga-pilates and meditation classes, art classes and more kid-friendly activities!