H&L Video Series

Sharing our Heritage & Legacy

Birchwood School of Hawken founders Charles and Helene Debelak discuss the goal of real education.

With a focus on Educating Children: Principles for Becoming, they draw from their knowledge of educational history, the science behind learning, and their own experience working directly with children and young adults.

Real education creates momentum toward lifelong learning and lifelong fulfillment. It generates internal motivation and capacity for growth through the accumulation of attitudes, habits, skills, and knowledge, which enables children “to become what they can become.”
“If it is true that each generation has an obligation to introduce their successors to a higher plane of life, then we would like to add our portion to this aspiration. It has been our great joy to have a part in educating children to become all that they can become.” 
Charles and Helene Debelak
Founders of Birchwood School of Hawken

Episode 1: Introduction

Charles Debelak explains how education creates momentum toward lifelong learning and fulfillment. It generates internal motivation for growth through the accumulation of habits, skills, and knowledge.

Episode 2: Reading

Helene Debelak explains the special role reading plays in creating momentum for growth. Reading is the quintessential educational experience for life. It opens windows for children to see, know, and experience stories that uplift them onto a higher plane of life.

Episode 3: Self-Determination

Education should create momentum for growth. Charles Debelak discusses how central self-determination is in helping children grow and make positive contributions to their communities at every stage in their lives.

Episode 4: Self-Determination II

Competency is a key component of self-determination. Teachers, parents, and coaches can help children grow competency by guiding them through setting realistic goals, supporting them as they work hard achieving those goals, and then celebrating their accomplishment.

Episode 5: Competency & Success Cycle

Competency and the success cycle, as aspects of self-determination, are crucial for helping children habituate attitudes and habits that will equip them to continue to grow and develop throughout their lives.

Episode 6: Creative Problem Solving

Helene Debelak discusses creative problem solving (CPS) and the unique role this process plays in helping students grow lifelong. She provides a rich history of CPS, defines the steps involved, and explains how parents, educators, and grandparents model and coach children.

Episode 7: Cumulative Advantage

An early start toward habituating work habits, attitudes, skills, and knowledge needed for self-determination results in a cumulative advantage as students reach their teen years, equipping them to lead a life of growing and thriving.

Episode 8: Self-Determination Autonomy

Charles Debelak further explains the term self-determination and begins a discussion about autonomy, the second component of self-determination.

Episode 9: Autonomy II

Charles Debelak offers some practical suggestions about cultivating autonomy in young people. He calls on all educators parents, teachers, and coaches to be partners in choice.

Episode 10: Relatedness

Charles Debelak explains how relatedness in community supports lifelong growth and becoming. He also offers suggestions on how to cultivate habits and attitudes which help children grow in community.

Episode 11: Character

Good character is the greatest gift you can give your children.

Episode 12: Character II

Learn the “how” in the quest toward developing good character in children.

Episode 13: Courage

Teachers and parents can cultivate the virtue of courage. Charles Debelak offers practical steps on how to nurture and develop courage as defined as: (1) setting goals for growth; (2) defining the pathway to realize goals; and (3) understanding the sacrifice that must be made to reach a goal.

Episode 14: Self-Control

Charles Debelak explains how to help children cultivate the virtue of self-control.

Episode 15: Compassion

Continuing his discussion on how to help children develop good character, Charles Debelak offers some helpful advice on how children can grow in compassion.

Episode 16: Character by Design

Charles Debelak explains character development by using the term character by design. 

Episode 17: Adolescence

This is the first of two videos on developing character in adolescents where Charles Debelak offers perspective and practical details.

Episode 18: Adolescence II

Charles Debelak explains the role of dialogue through which young people learn how to reflect and reason about the decisions and direction of their lives.

Episode 19: Justice

Charles Debelak discusses cultivating justice in children.