What sets us apart from traditional schools is that our curriculum focuses primarily on three areas. One, we offer individually-paced learning of core skills. Two, we engage in project-based learning (PBL), both individually and as a classroom. Three, we emphasize social and emotional skills, including mindfulness.
Individually-Paced Learning (Core Skills)
Our students learn core skills on Chromebooks, using personalized, self-paced learning programs, including Duolingo, Khan Academy, MobyMax, and Grammaropolis. Additionally, they participate in daily silent reading
Because we consider touch-typing a core skill, our kids spend part of each day learning to touch-type. (We use Typing.com, which features an assortment of games that teach and improve typing.)
Our use of PBL allows students to delve deeply into subjects and topics that interest them.
It also allows them to learn how to do things, individually and as a class.
While the types of projects available for PBL are nearly infinite, some examples of individual projects available at our micro-school are:
- Computer coding (via Tynker)
- Public speaking
- Community service
The projects include exploratory and directed projects, as well as each student’s long-term individual project (the Compass Project).
The Buck Institute for Education is a good resource for information on PBL.
Social and Emotional Skills
The third area of our curriculum is the development of social and emotional skills.
This area includes learning to manage yourself and your relationships with others.
Each student learns to be aware of how his or her actions impact others, both positively and negatively, while also learning how to address issues with the behavior of others.
A key part of our emphasis on social and emotional skills is mindfulness.
The benefits of students practicing mindfulness include:
(1) the development of compassion, patience, and kindness;
(2) improved “listening skills toward others”;
(3) “increase[d] executive function”;
(4) “better impulse control”; and
(5) “longer attention spans.”
Developing a growth (rather than a fixed) mindset is a critical part of becoming someone who is happy and successful in pursuing knowledge.
Below is a short video explaining the differences between fixed and growth mindsets and the benefits of a growth mindset.
If this sounds like the right place for your child, please contact us.