Our beliefs about the nature of children. . .
- Children are created in the image of God, and as image-bearers, they are spiritual, moral beings.
- Children have an inherent curiosity about the world around them. The process of acquiring knowledge is as natural to them as breathing.
- Children are rational beings. They are able to deal with complex ideas, generate original ideas, and connect with newly encountered ideas.
- Children have unique perspectives and learn in different ways. Their strengths and weaknesses, interests and experiences, culture and background serve as places from which to begin their education.
- Children learn and live best when part of a community where they are valued, respected, encouraged, and held accountable.
- Children need guidance, discipline, and the consistency of routine. Authority and obedience are fundamental principles having their source in the authority of our Creator. This authority must never be abused to manipulate children by guilt, influence, fear, or undue play upon any natural desire (such as to be well-liked by one’s teacher).
- Children have great potential as builders and shapers of their world. They are responsible beings, able to effect change in themselves, their families, and the larger community.
Our beliefs about the nature of education and learning, drawn from Charlotte Mason. . .
Education is an atmosphere:
… expressed through a class structure that provides succinct, focused lessons, promoted by a non-competitive learning environment (without extrinsic rewards) and a positive and peaceful feel focused on the delight of learning.
… expressed through classroom design and décor that takes into account the educational value of a home-like environment.
Education is a discipline:
… that cultivates habits of caring – for one another, for materials and resources, and for Creation.
… that requires perseverance – with the encouragement and expectation for students to finish well and do their best work.
… that focuses on the attitude of the heart – in conflict resolution, in relationship restoration, and in response to correction.
Education is a life:
… where no separation exists between the sacred and the secular. All truth is God’s truth.
… best pursued through contact with real things – the best books by the best minds, real life experiences, actual objects, and opportunities for exploration and discovery.
A child’s mind feasts on ideas from all of life!
Education is the science of relationships:
… that the child has with the realm of ideas, the created world, people, and their Creator.
Learning becomes vibrant and relevant when connections are made across subjects, within relationship and with real life.