Family life and intentionality go hand in hand. But how do you guard your family’s time? Why is it important?

Intentional margin is choosing to leave time and space in your days, your weeks, and your seasons to ensure that you can rest, regroup, and remain tethered to what you value the most in life.

This kind of margin means making choices — choosing to say no to some things so that you can say yes to another. We do this all the time as parents and individuals, and it’s important for our children to see us making these choices for our own health and for their good.

Learn a bit more about why intentional margin means so much to us in this video by our founder and principal, Dr. Melissa Shipman.

There are three major benefits of a school that puts intentional margin first.

3 Benefits of Intentional Margin for Family Life

First, we believe families need time together. That’s why Learnwell builds in more breaks than many other schools.

Whether you travel, stay home and watch a movie, or get outdoors, families who spend time together are stronger for it. We believe in family!

Second, students need time to be bored. Yes, you heard us correctly. We know that when our children have unscheduled free time, they may get bored and be unsure of what to do. That’s ideal.

Instead of giving them an activity or a class to take, parents can let their kids be bored without offering a solution. This allows students to get to a point where they learn problem-solving skills. They plan something, try it out, figure out what works and doesn’t work, design something, try again, and continue. All of these skills are necessary for strong executive functioning.

As a hybrid school, we filter everything we plan — all of our events, field trips, and how much our families are asked to serve or help out — around this one core value: Do they have margin and time?

A hybrid school blends at-home learning with classroom learning at school. At Learnwell North Georgia, for example, students come to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Then on the other days, they work at home under the instruction of a parent or tutor.

We recognize that, as a school, it’s not our job to mandate how families use their time. But we want to work with families so that they have margin.

Another reason we believe so strongly in intentional margin is that it’s good for our mental health.

Especially as students get older, this model of margin helps them assess what they have room for and what they need to say no to. It protects their mental health and gives them a solid foundation for how they’re wired and what they need as individuals in order to thrive. We want students to be prepared for life beyond high school, whether they attend college or go straight into the workforce.

Our core values — like intentional margin — guide every school decision that we make. Find out more at an upcoming Discover Learnwell information night, where you’ll learn about the breadth of our values, our model of hybrid education, and a day in the life of our students.

Why Margin Is Important at School

We’re not in the parenting business (but all of our staff and teachers are parents themselves). However, we are in education. Because we are parents and highly trained educators, we understand the impact that low levels of margin have on the family and on students as they grow. So the WHY behind our desire for a balanced life probably echoes your own.

  • You want more time for family togetherness.
  • You aim to provide your child with opportunities to pursue his or her passions.
  • Your own wellness is factored into the decisions you make as a family.
  • You need space with your children but also away from them, where they can learn independence and problem-solving skills.
  • You don’t want to feel like you are continually running on a hamster wheel of too many places to go and things to do.
  • You do want your child’s education to integrate well into the overall rhythms of your family life.

These are all excellent reasons to consider the kind of education your child is getting. Learnwell isn’t right for everyone, but if intentional margin resonates with you, we’d love to chat. You can contact our admissions director, Katherine Christman, to ask questions and find out more.