A "Cosmic" Learning Approach
Deep understanding is achieved through an overarching, or cosmic, approach that connects subjects together in a meaningful way. Interrelationships between science, math, history, language, geography, music, botany, geometry, biology and art tie the curriculum into a unified whole.
The springboards for this interweaving of subjects are The Five Great Lessons. These marvelous stories spark imagination and
wonder, creating inspiration and deep understanding. The lessons include:
- The story of the universe
- The coming of life on earth
- The coming of humans
- The story of numbers
- The story of communication in signs (writing)
Through stories, impressionistic time-lines and charts, these lessons are presented in the elementary classrooms every year. Children will discover new aspects that pique their interest and prompt further research after the story is told.
Elementary Curriculum Key Components
The academic work of the elementary is achieved through the following methods:
The structure, freedom, responsibilities and limits of the community are designed to support children's social nature in a nurturing and caring environment. Collaboration, self-confidence, public speaking, independence, leadership, empathy, appreciation of differences and a deep sense of belonging are developed.
- "Whys" are answered through connections with the universe.
- Imagination and exploration are encouraged through lessons which inspire.
- Personal education is offered at each student's pace, with individual or group lessons geared to interest and academic levels.
- Hands-on materials utilize the senses to clarify abstract ideas.
- Independent work is offered with careful guidance.
- Teamwork and mentorship are encouraged through cooperation between the children.
- Respect for diversity is fostered through experiencing respect, understanding each student's uniqueness and the exploration of diverse world cultures.
Some lessons are individual but most are given in small groups. Collaborative interaction engages the psychological needs and interests of the
child. Additional aspects of social development include:
- A fair and constructive approach to interpersonal problems is applied, addressing them through classroom or individual meetings.
- Facilitation of conflicts provides the tools and encouragement for children to solve their own issues with confidence, kindness and understanding.
- Respect for the thoughts and the feelings of others is developed through experience and practice.
- Conflict resolution skills are developed.
- A sense of community is emphasized.
- A community of learners aid in each others' endeavors.
- Cooperation with others is learned through maintaining the order and cleanliness of the classroom and the extended environment.
- Freedom of movement enhances social development and facilitates free exchange of ideas, facts and discoveries.
The daily life of the classroom includes complementary activities which contribute to the enrichment of
academics. These include the arts such as music, visual art, drama,
as well as physical education and foreign language.
Nature and outdoor time is a very important aspect of classroom. Nature walks, vegetable and flower gardening, and
excursions to local parks are all part of the children's school experience. The outdoors is an extension of the classroom and nature, both
indoors and out, inspires scientific inquiry, promotes stewardship of the environment and creates an aesthetic work environment. Activities involving
technology, cooking and nutrition lessons and community service projects help to develop leadership, compassion and respect for life and the physical body.
Designed with your Child in Mind
Classrooms are designed to meet the needs of the child, provide structure, and facilitate concentration for individual and small group work. The layout, social procedures and materials demonstrate to the child how to self-correct and enable them to delve deeply into "big work".
Children choose work spaces on the floor, at group tables, in quiet nooks, outside or in the library. The outdoor environment provides opportunities to study the natural world face to face.
Key classroom components:
- Orderly classrooms aid the student in making independent work choices by reducing distractions.
- Beautiful and enticing materials and opportunities allow each child to take an enthusiastic role in the building of an intellectual self.
- Natural light, outdoors and attractive spaces encourage further exploration; e.g. gardens, trails, art studio, gymnasium, music and dance room and library.
- Mixed ages and genders offer a rich learning environment for all.
- Non-judgmental observations are provided by the adult to remove obstacles to the child's development and personal progress.
- Materials for art, music and foreign language lessons are available daily.
Hours in Attendance
Early elementary in-session times are 8:30 a.m. to 3:20 p.m.
What Happens Next
Looking ahead to the adolescent years, students in the sixth year of the Upper Elementary spend time visiting the Huntsburg Campus. Here they receive lessons alongside the older students and participate in the routines of daily life on the farm. The Adolescent Community fills the need of the adolescent to fully contribute to their community, both socially and intellectually.
Interested? Get More Information or Schedule a Visit!
Parents can schedule a visit to our classrooms and experience the learning environment first hand. For more information, contact Kathy Beech,
Director of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (440) 357-0918.