Patience; patient, enduring, long suffering; to tolerate. Lit., great breath

Pukui, Mary Kawena, Hawaiian dictionary : Hawaiian-English, English-Hawaiian 


When my daughter Zoe was a toddler, her mother and I stressed out about setting her up for “success.” Along with all the other parents of children her age, we felt we were in some unspoken competition. Consequently, we bought toys that were “guaranteed” to stimulate her creativity. We enrolled her in a bunch of pre pre-school classes – yes pre pre-school. We owned all the Baby Einstein VHS tapes that were supposed to make her “smarter.” Yet, for all of our efforts, we always felt behind.

Later, when Gen, our son, was born, I heard a podcast that refuted the supposed benefits of Baby Einstein videos and the other measures we took to get Zoe ahead. Instead, the podcast claimed there were only a few things that research showed parents did that influenced their children. One of them was smoking. If parents smoked, it was likely their children would smoke. Another was how parents treated their children and others. If parents were loving, kind, and respectful, their children would follow suit. And if parents were not those things, their children behaved similarly. In retrospect, this made sense. After watching hours of videos, toddler Zoe could still not speak French, read fluently, or create master works of art. What probably benefitted her the most was when we spent time playing with her at the beach, digging holes and building sandcastles.

A few years ago, I resonated with a book entitled The Gardener and the Carpenter by Alison Gopnik. It was if the author had been tracking all of our parenting errors, “the idea is that if you just do the right things, get the right skills, read the right books, you’re going to be able to shape your child into a particular kind of adult” similar to a carpenter building a cabinet from a set of directions. However, these parents, “are so concerned that the child come out that you’re not giving the child the freedom to take risks and explore and be autonomous.” Instead, these parents and their children are more likely to be, “anxious and difficult and tense and unhappy in all sorts of ways that are unnecessary.” Children will not learn how to be flexible, resilient, and independent.

Being a parent, however, is more akin to being a gardener, “you never know what’s going to happen in the garden. The things that you plan fail but then wonderful things happen that you haven’t actually planned.” Gopnik explains that it’s about “creating a rich, nurturant but also variable, diverse, dynamic ecosystem in which many, many different things can happen and a system that can respond to the environment in unpredictable kinds of ways.”

In other words, waiting for your child to grow and bloom like a flower requires ahonui. But not a patience where you passively wait around for things to happen. Ahonui is an active patience where you are being attentive and nurturing, waiting for the right moment to water, to till, to prune, to weed, to fertilize. 

All children are individuals with their own unique characteristics, strengths, and personalities. As such, each grows and matures on their own timetable. Just looking at the height of kids across 6th grade and then when they’re high school seniors is proof enough. Boys who were the shortest throughout elementary sometimes shoot up to be amongst the tallest in their class by the time they graduate. But this doesn’t just happen. Like gardeners, we feed them nutritious food, give them milk to drink, and encourage them to get lots of sleep. We create the conditions for this to happen, even if it doesn’t happen right away.

Twenty years later, Zoe is doing well despite our mistakes. She is independent, strong, and making sound, mature decisions. She might not be as interested in foreign affairs as her mother wanted nor becoming a teacher as I hoped. But she is carving her own path as a happy adult, which I think is what is most important.

The Nature of This Flower Is to Bloom
Rebellious. Living.
Against the Elemental Crush.
A Song of Color
For Deserving Eyes.
Blooming Gloriously
For its Self.
Alice Walker


Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

Please watch this: Leo the Late Bloomer written by Robert Kraus and illustrated by Jose Aruego. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: What is something that took you a long time to learn? How did you feel when you finally learned it?
  • SKILLS: Leo is described as a “late bloomer” by his mother, meaning he will eventually find his talents and abilities but after others. Why does Leo’s mother use this term when responding to Leo’s father? Provide examples from the text that show Leo’s mother is correct.
  • INTELLECT: The term “late bloomer” is an example of an idiom. An idiom is a widely used saying with a meaning that is unique to a culture. A local example is “Broke da mouth.” Research and find examples of idioms that are about having patience.
  • CRITICALITY: Why might it be important to show ahonui or patience with someone that takes longer to learn or do something compared to you?
  • JOY: Make a list of things you would like to learn but might be afraid of failing. Practice ahonui with yourself and begin learning one of those things.


This week, our school was treated to an amazing concert by the Royal Hawaiian Band, which included a special performance of In Your Hawaiian Way featuring a few of our teachers dancing hula ʻauana. Throughout the show, students sang along to different tunes, were introduced to the gamut of musical instruments, and learned a bit of Hawaiian history in the process. One of our second graders, Alex Kimura, even got to conduct the band for one of their numbers. Fun fact: one of the performers with the band, the legendary Karen Keawehawaiʻi is a Kāneʻohe Elementary alumnus and was amongst the first students to attend KES. Mahalo nui loa goes to Alex’s mother So Jin Kimura, a musician with the Royal Hawaiian Band, who helped arrange this wonderful opportunity for our students to discover new passions


During the upcoming Fall Break (October 9 – 13) the Hawaiʻi DOE is sponsoring a free virtual Fall Math camp for Hawaiʻi public elementary school students in grades 1, 2, and 3 (not including public charter schools). Space is limited and it fills up fast. Registration is open and available here.


During the school day, students are not allowed to use phones or smart watches. This expectation includes when students that are in before and after care programs including A+. 

  • Devices shall remain OFF and IN your child’s backpack during the school day.
  • Before school and after school devices used to contact parent/guardian is allowed after receiving permission from school personnel in the drop/off and pick/up areas only.
  • If a student attempts to use a device during instruction, the teacher will confiscate the device, turn it in to the Vice Principal, who will call you for pick up. Thank you for your support.


We encourage students who live close to school to walk or ride bikes to campus as part of a healthy, active lifestyle. Once on campus, all bike riders should walk their bikes up the walkway to and from the bike rack located near the library. We ask all to not ride bikes on campus. Recently, trespassers on e-bikes ran over newly planted native plants on our hillside. Please kokua and let others know to show akahai while on our campus.


We are continuing to Wear Pink for Maui on Wednesdays and invite all to continue joining us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 


The Daily Piko helps us become centered and ready to learn. It helps us get on the same page, hearing one message of focus for the day and the week. If you are able, we begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesday when we conduct the piko in-person.



Tue, Sept 5, 2023, 9:00 AMSenator Akaka Foundation Book Celebration
Tue, Sept 12, 2023, 8:30 AMFrank DeLima Performance
Fri, Sept 22, 2023Waiver Day – No Students
Tue, Sept 26, 2023Fall Picture Taking Day
Sat, Sept 30, 2023Campus Beautification Day

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *