BKG Academy - Full Time School
Learning in their own way : Individualized bhakti-based education
“Gurukula is our most important project. If the children are given a Krishna Conscious education from early childhood then there is great hope for the future of the world.” – Letter to Dayananda, Nandarani — Calcutta 27 January, 1973 – Srila Prabhupada.
BKG Academy is a homeschool cooperative operating within the International Society for Krishna Consciousness under the guidance of our Governing Body Commissioner, His Holiness Bir Krishna Goswami and our Founder-Acarya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada at the New Goloka Temple, Hillsborough, North Carolina.
“Temple means spiritual educational shelter. People should come, they should learn what is spiritual life, what is God, what is my relationship with. That is temple.” – Bhagavad-gītā Lecture, 8 March 1972, Calcutta
BKG Academy’s namesake, his Holiness Bir Krishna Goswami envisioned an educational program founded on the principles and practices of individual and spontaneous bhakti. Through his own example and teachings, he emphasizes empathy and understanding, acknowledging everyone’s unique, distinctive potential to serve Srila Prabhupada’s mission in their own way. Through observation and experience he has concluded that the homeschooling model of education best serves to nurture our children’s uniquely individual spiritual, psychological, social, and academic needs.
To facilitate this type of customized learning, he constructed an education center near the New Goloka Temple in Hillsborough, NC so that homeschooled children could gather in a sanctified, rural setting to study together under loving shelter of Sri Sri Radha Golokananda and Their servants.
As they grow and thrive in this divinely natural environment, he hopes that children will be inspired to participate in the bhakti-yoga process, accept formal initiation into the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya and ultimately, following in the footsteps of our Founder Acarya, Srila Prabhupada, contribute in their own unique way to the spread of love or bhakti throughout the world.
“…our leaders shall be careful not to kill the spirit of enthusiastic service, which is individual and spontaneous and voluntary. They should try always to generate some atmosphere of fresh challenge to the devotees, so that they will agree enthusiastically to rise and meet it. That is the art of management: to draw out spontaneous loving spirit of sacrificing some energy for Krishna.” – Letter to: Karandhara 22 December, 1972 -Srila Prabhupada
Learning in their own way
Individualized bhakti-based education
BKG Academy works closely with parents and other members of the New Goloka community to create a comprehensive, dynamic, customized, spiritually enlivening educational experience for homeschooling children. Together, we seek alternatives to established paradigms and open doors to a divine reality, a revolution in consciousness, a transcendent oasis, a way to be in this world, but not of this world. Together, we boldly envision a world where we navigate a sensory existence competently and sensibly with minds free to contemplate the mystical actuality of our eternal loving relationship with Lord Krishna, the All-Attractive Supreme Person.
“…we are molding the character of younger generation by giving them peaceful home, philosophy of life, artistic sense, musical entertainment, nutritious foods: and above all these, we are giving them spiritual enlightenment, which is never to be found elsewhere throughout the whole world.” – Letter to Brahmananda — Hamburg 9 September, 1969
BKG Academy is nestled in the woods of Hillsborough just steps away from Sri-Sri Radha Golokananda’s temple at New Goloka Dham. This pristine setting close to nature and the temple emphasizes students’ connection with the natural world and the Bhakti community.
Krishna bhakti is the basis and goal of all study at BKG Academy. The Bhakti Yoga practices of kirtan, japa meditation and scripture study are staples of our educational programs. We continuously consider how each subject can help us serve Krishna and in what ways our relationship with Krishna makes our perspective unique. Festivals are celebrated as a community and we give special care to focus on stories and activities that will increase each student’s appreciation for the special day in the time surrounding holidays and festivals.
BKG Academy is a Homeschool Co-op Center working closely with parents to create customized, comprehensive bhakti-based education for their children. Professional teachers, administrators, temple leaders, parents and others come together to share the timeless wisdom of the Vedas along with standard academics, devotional arts, and practical life skills.
“It is Krishna’s desire that we should meet together and cooperate for the cause of Krishna Consciousness movement which is so badly needed throughout the world. You and your husband are quite competent to take up this responsibility and your little child, Muradvaja, is a great hope for our future activities. He is fortunate boy to have such nice father and mother, and if you can raise him properly for this purpose, you shall all be benefited from the spiritual standpoint.” – Letter to Vrndavanesvari — Allston, Mass 26 April, 1969.
At the BKG Academy we seek to give each child a strong educational foundation that will inspire them to become lifelong learners. We aim to uncover their individual gifts in an environment that sparks spiritual joy and fosters a deep understanding of living in tune with Krishna and the natural world He has created.
Our vision is one of inclusion, cooperation, and respect, a coming together to create a vibrant, nourishing learning environment. BKG Academy avails itself as a gathering place for those seeking both practical and transcendent knowledge by facilitating student growth in all areas – academic, social, and spiritual.
In an environment which supports and sustains students’ innate love of learning, BKG Academy facilitates academic proficiency that matches or exceeds that offered by other educational institutions. Students experience learning as relevant, meaningful and rewarding, motivating them to become lifelong learners. Given freedom to explore and express their individuality and provided the tools for a multi-sensory educational experience, they discover and develop their own natural gifts and interests.
The mood of BKG Academy is one of respect for each living entity, human or otherwise as a soul transcending all bodily designations. In this environment, students live and practice kindness, selflessness, and compassion towards each other, respect towards parents and teachers and reverence for Mother Earth and nature.
Students discover their true nature as spirit soul connected to Krishna through practicing the nine processes of Bhakti Yoga (connecting to Krishna through devotion) following the example and guidance of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. This bhakti or devotional service-based model of education sparks spiritual joy, gives purpose to life, and fosters a deep understanding of what it means to live in tune with Krishna’s perfect design. Students see all of life’s pursuits, including their studies, as of means through which to lovingly connect in service to Sri Krishna.
Time and experience have proven that students thrive in a loving, Krishna-saturated environment. They prosper intellectually and socially, and develop all fine qualities. Most importantly, they form a heart connection to Sri Krishna which inspires them to accept spiritual initiation into the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya and serve the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada.
For the serious student, BKG Academy provides an ideal environment for attaining the complete purity that will enable him or her to serve eternally in Goloka Vrindavan.
“…we offer our children the highest opportunity to become trained up in Krishna consciousness very early so as to assure their success in this life to go back to Godhead for sure. That is real affection, to make sure my child gets back to Godhead. That is my real responsibility as a parent. And I have seen that Gurukula offers this opportunity more than any other place anywhere.” – Letter to Satyabhama — Hyderabad 23 March, 1973
How we teach
BKG Academy follows a daily rhythm that facilitates security and comfort in each student. We create a safe and Krishna conscious space for students to express themselves and ask questions. Students are encouraged to follow their individual propensities and find areas of core subjects that interest them. All students including young children are valued as important members of our community and their thoughts and opinions are always considered in our decision making process. As the students grow, they are given more responsibilities in our community. Older students are encouraged to independently manage their time to meet goals set by themselves, their parents and teachers. Our goal is to facilitate their love for Krishna and love for learning within a naturally stimulating, supportive environment.
Primary School (Ages 3-6 years: Preschool and Kindergarten)
Given a safe, nurturing space, young children are keen learners ready to explore and absorb the world around them. BKG Academy’s early childhood education program creates an environment and daily rhythm to facilitate the children’s inherent love of learning. Children build a foundation of knowledge to prepare them for elementary school, practice positive social interactions, and explore freely in a natural setting founded by and filled with stories and songs about Krishna.
Homeschooling Support for Elementary through High School (Ages 7 – 18 years)
Since the beginning of time, children have been tutored at home with excellent results. The continuing relevance of this type of schooling is palpably demonstrated in its more recent rise in popularity. BKG Academy is prepared to facilitate and support homeschoolers through all grade levels until high school graduation. Staff are educated in state mandated academic and legal requirements, are familiar with various curricula and teaching methods, and are available for consultations and tutoring. We believe that children flourish when parents are deeply and closely involved in their lives. To this end, staff and tutors work with parents to create a customized schooling experience that best fits their children’s particular needs, interests, and learning styles.
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