METHODS AND APPLIED LEARNING
Top priority is given to creating and sustaining a love of learning. The teaching approach is guided by the child’s natural thirst for knowledge and aims to create life-long learners who are capable of applying their knowledge in practical life for the welfare of all. A balance between individual and group instruction is employed. By providing a rich environment and a variety of educational choices, we help children direct, develop, and expand their own interests and unique talents while also addressing their multiple capabilities or intelligences. We emphasize “learning by doing” that integrates “hands-on” activities into real-life experiences. Young children learn best through the medium of games and play. We help sustain their ability to imagine, play, and visualize in many of our activities. In all grades, the arts are central to the learning process as aesthetics provide a joyous momentum for learning and life. Critical thinking is encouraged and freedom from dogmatic or narrow ideas is fostered. Care is taken to create an ideal learning environment.
Children have an innate love for nature. Not only is nature calming, but it is its own classroom. A lot of the themes in our curriculum involve nature and it is amazing to learn in a natural environment. We have a large, natural playground and a vegetable garden. We also are fortunate to have a forested nature trail that opens up to a clearing/play area in the forest. The children see themselves as part of nature and this fosters love and respect for the natural world. They observe and witness the changes of the seasons, local flora, fauna, and wildlife.
An affectionate and respectful relationship between teachers and students is considered key in the free and easy exchange of ideas, optimizing learning. Our teachers model healthy relationships and are a wonderful example of love and security. This important connection between teacher and student early on helps children develop positive teacher relationships throughout their lives.