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EDUCATIONAL INFLUENCES

We have borrowed practices and techniques from these alternative methods of education and incorporated them into our own unique teaching model:

MONTESSORI​

  • mixed age groupings, allowing children to practice leadership and peer-to-peer teaching

  • developing intrinsic motivation, as opposed to being motivated by external rewards and consequences

  • emphasis on peace within ourselves and peaceful conflict resolution with others

  • building independence through opportunities created in the classroom environment

  • allowing freedom within limits

  • concepts taught in progressive order, from concrete to abstract

  • beautiful and intentional materials designed by Maria Montessori

REGGIO EMILIA

  • wonder-based exploration

  • following the interests of the children

  • learning through investigation

  • making room for creative spaces

  • conscious use of color, space, and natural light

WALDORF

  • love for nature and natural things

  • celebration of the seasons

  • moving through the year to the rhythms of nature

  • following natural development of children

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Additionally, our team has studied and appreciates other nations' public school systems. These include:

FINLAND

Finland is renowned for its high scores on international assessments. Pasi Salhberg, a Finnish educator and leader in education policy, attributes this to several factors. These factors include the depth (as opposed to breadth) of curricula, as well as a high regard for the teaching profession. Our schedule allows students ample time to explore, as we encourage them to ask questions and seek answers, building a more thorough understanding of the world. Furthermore, our units of study span several weeks, allowing students to delve into each topic of study fully, as opposed to merely skimming the surface. As teachers develop individual relationships with every student, we trust that they utilize this knowledge to plan optimal learning experiences. We highly regard not only our teachers, but the teacher that is present within each of us, including our students. Our students have the freedom to explore their interests. Perspectives of students and families are valued and at the forefront when making decisions. 

SCANDINAVIA

In Scandinavia, children are provided with ample time to learn through play, including outdoor play. Similarly, our program is play-based, with plenty of varied, outdoor experiences. Play motivates students to learn by making the experience enjoyable. Additionally, play enhances language, social, and emotional skills, as well as improves memory and creativity.

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Outdoor open-ended play leads to many benefits including, but not limited to:

  • Providing ample opportunity for problem solving.

  • Integrating cognitive functions such as planning, organizing, sequencing & decision making.

  • Allowing time to work through conflicts that arise, which develops the ability to compromise and cooperate with others.

  • Developing  emotional intelligence - empathy, flexibility, self-awareness and self-regulation.

Allowing children to be outdoors and face some elements of risk in a natural setting accomplishes these goals:

  • Helps children learn how to manage risk and understand safety.

  • Feeds children’s innate need for risk by allowing reasonable risks in order to prevent them from putting themselves in dangerous situations.

  • Increases health and developmental benefits, as well as strengthens gross motor skills.

  • Builds character and personality traits such as resilience and self-reliance.

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