Northern Academy, Our Family's Beloved Home


PureInsight | October 21, 2021

[] Greetings everyone! My name is Serene, I am the mother of Ming and Yuan, Grade 8 students from the Northern Academy of the Arts. Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to share my experience.

I grew up in a traditional family. I’ve loved children since childhood, and even more so since I became a mother. My husband loves kids too. After giving birth to my three children, I feel I am the luckiest and happiest person in the world. So, I often think, what can I do for my children? What is the best I could offer to my kids?

My husband and I carefully chose day care programs and primary schools for our children and arranged various after-school classes for them to learn the piano, dance, painting, Chinese, calligraphy... Like every other parent, we wanted to offer our children the best opportunities we could. But I find that despite how hard I tried, the more they interact with society, the worse the habits they pick up. For example, one time, while walking with us to the mall, one of my twins sneakily pocketed a toy that she wanted, and the other twin was not ashamed of that in the slightest.

I carefully reflected and thought to myself: I have sent the children to the best schools, the best after school activities, but in this moral aspect, how can I subtly guide them, so that they do not continue to fall down this slippery slope? 

The worst thing is playing video games. They don't even need anyone to teach them. They can log in to the game software on their mobile phone, iPad, or computer at any time, and play games and chat with their friends and classmates on it. I've tried many times to stop them and encourage them to play outside instead, but they always said, “All our friends are playing games and if we don't, there won't be anyone to play with!” This made me very anxious.

What also really bothered me was seeing the textbooks in my children's schools. One day, my oldest daughter in middle school came home with a textbook on physiology. I was amazed at how young children were being taught to use condoms. And condoms were even readily available in schools. Is it not sinful? I asked the child, and the child said that this phenomenon is very common in school. Her classmates have drug addicts, and even in primary school students began to have romantic relationships.

Even more, the school textbooks are full of far-left and cultural Marxism ideology, we worked really hard to send the kids to the so-called best NYC elementary school, but how can they learn decency and virtue, and being a good person from such textbooks?

I would like to escape like Mengmu in the Chinese old story of “Mengmu's Three Moves”, but where else can we go?

The Minghui Chinese School in New Jersey was popping up on our agenda, for almost 3 years we drove two hours every weekend to send our kids there to learn Chinese and traditional culture.

Although they were being taught by Minghui every weekend, the so-called systematic education they receive in day school still prevented them from the righteous Tao, and I was struggling to fight for my kids to have a proper education.

Then one day, during the 2018 Minghui summer camp enrollment, Minghui Principal Zhang suggested I try Northern Academy, where they have systematic daily teaching from junior high school to university.

Immediately I reviewed the Northern Academy website, called the admission teacher about my concerns and thoughts, and I was intrigued. I told myself, let’s try out the Northern Summer Camp before we make any decisions.

The Northern Summer Camp experience was amazing, I would like to take this opportunity to show my appreciation to everyone.

Having grown up in New York City, my three girls are used to going to Manhattan, Broadway, museums often, and enjoy the city lifestyle, so my girls were worried that summer camp would be too boring and quiet; unexpectedly, after three weeks, my girls liked it very much and wanted to stay here for another three weeks, they've started to enjoy the outdoors, swimming, climbing, playing ball, and the activities that the camp arranged every weekend.

After the 2018 summer camp, we were very happy to see them improving significantly in dance, much more than taking dance classes for one full year back at home, and they were able to settle down and play their musical instruments. It was incredible!

In September 2018, my twins finally entered the North Academy and started their new life journey.

Since then, the children have had a pleasant and unforgettable boarding school life for three years. We pick up our kids every weekend and every time we do, we see their progress. I am deeply moved by the positive changes in them through the school’s education.

One time, one of the girls wanted to do rope-hopping but could not find a ropey, so she took down an unused power line from the school and play with it. Obviously, she understood this was wrong so she continued to deny it. Unfortunately for her, eventually she was caught by the video from school CCTV.

Of course, the child had to admit it, and it was a very embarrassing thing. And I, as a parent, was wondering, what would the school do now? How can I help her without hurting her self-esteem?

It turned out that the school did not scold or punish her. Instead, she was told to put herself in other's shoes, and understand it was not good from the perspective of others. Why not? How could she have done better?

She was given the task to write down how she can improve in the future.

Since then, I found that the child was not so naughty, but rather just misunderstood, and this change was because she realized from the bottom of her heart that what she did was wrong. Therefore, since then, she naturally demanded herself in accordance with the new norms. Now, not only at school but at home and when she goes out with her family, she does not do things she says she won't do and she isn’t tempted.

What about the other girl? She used to fight with her twin and other school kids for toys to play, there is one time in Northern Academy she occupied a chair which caused another kid to fall, so the school also asked her to write an essay from the other’s perspective and asked her to reflect using the old Chinese scripture such as “San Zi Jing” etc..

After such a heartfelt reflection, she not only wrote from her personal understanding, but also apologized to the child from the bottom of her heart. They later became very good friends.

My husband and I were quietly watching from the sidelines, and a few times we could hardly hold our breath. After several incidents, we were completely impressed and convinced by the way which the school adopted, and the only concern for us became very simple: work hard to make money for the kids to stay at Northern Academy.

It was a big challenge during the pandemic last year, because my kids had to stay home, and we were worried they may return to their old lifestyles such as gaming and internet surfing or mingling aimlessly with old friends.

I would like to congratulate Northern Academy again on their way of education, and after 8 months of being home, I am happy to see that neither child returned to their old lifestyle.  

We have had such precious family time during the 8 months period: every morning all of us either worked from home or attended the online class, after class, they would play music. Even for Youtube, they asked for permission and let us know the Youtube content, which was mostly related to classical music, like funny classical music Youtubers; In the evening, we study Fa together.

If it weren’t studying at Northern Academy, I could only imagine how my children would’ve been when my husband and I were so busy during the epidemic. They would’ve most definitely continued to fall down a slippery slope of decreasing moral values. I am grateful to Northern Academy for educating my children like this and helping them grow up healthily, physically, and mentally.

A couple of weeks ago, we came to watch the graduation performance of the school that Yuan participated in. The children were playing their own musical instruments. Conductor Zhou and other teachers accompanied the children to make the performance complete and beautiful. When I saw Conductor Zhou playing, she was very serious and attentive. She, together with other teachers, paid so much attention and so much love to every child. This scene touched me so much!

Teresa, the teacher in the school dormitory, is also a teacher that I am very grateful for. She has been staying with the children for many years like a mother, acting as a safe harbor for the children. She bears the responsibilities of both teachers and parents. I believe that in the memories of these children, when they recall the life in Northern Academy, under the blue sky, sunshine, vivid clouds, green trees, the teachers’ heartwarming, smiling faces will forever be imprinted in their memories. 

I sincerely understand now that the children in Northern Academy can obtain a complete set of traditional education from all the teachers and staff members. At Northern Academy, the faculty helps change each student from scratch, over and over again, day after day, year after year... this is a great contribution to the families of these children, to the society in today's deteriorating world, and to the future development of all mankind.

My twins are about to graduate from junior high school here. I hope that in the next four years of high school study, they can continue to grow on their chosen path, make great progress, and achieve their goals. And I, myself, as a parent, also hope to give back to the school.

I am very happy that since the beginning of this year, I have had the opportunity to work in the Northern Medical Center, and now Northern Academy has become our family's favorite home! I hope to work with the teachers and other staff here and continue to grow together with the school.

Thank you, Northern Academy! Thank you, everyone!

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