Ages 0-11 Develop a Love of Learning
We are on a journey together, learning as we go. We invite parents to use their own genius and model their own passion for learning as they present inspiring classes. We tailor our Junior Program to fit the needs of our families and follow the principles of Leadership Education.
At Leadership Commonwealth School parents are expected to be present and actively engaged with the children each week. If you have children ages 0-11, you will be asked to teach a portion of their day each week, or every other week, depending on enrollment.
All of our Junior classes are designed so as not to place a heavy burden on any one mom in its preparation. Part of Leadership Education is learning how to create quality experiences without excessive and unnecessary planning. Each class ends with a period of “debriefing” for the moms involved. During this debrief, moms discuss what worked and what didn’t, what to drop and what to continue, and make simple plans for the following week.
Precious time at home should be spent educating and inspiring ourselves and children, not over planning elaborate projects for the Commonwealth School!
Classes below may need to be combined or adjusted depending on the current year’s enrollment.
Core Phase (ages 0-7)
This is our provision for the care of little ones. This group has a simple consistent time together each week, with some brief structured time for reading stories, singing, and snack, and plenty of free play where adults engage with and rejoice with them over the discoveries of life. There is a Lead for this class for at least one entire semester so that the children will have consistency. If our numbers are few, these children may join with the other Core Phase Kids.
Core Phase Class
This class consists of structured time for certain activities, which may include “stations” to experience new things or play with constructive toys, story time and brief discussion, a group activity, art time, singing/music time, and plenty of free play time and anything else the parents are inspired to share with this group according to their individual needs. This group occasionally does some themed activities based on a story book, similar to the Five in a Row type approach.
Overall themes will include teaching:
- Joy (as suggested by Richard & Linda Eyre in their book, Teaching Your Children Joy)
- The 4 Basic Skills of Self-Government, which are:
- Following Instructions,
- Accepting No Answers,
- Accepting Consequences and
- Disagreeing Appropriately (based on teachingselfgovernment.com).
We rely on intuitive mentoring skills to guide the class each week. Excessive at home preparation for this class is discouraged. Parents of Core Phase Children work together (partly over the summer and partly each week after class) to come up with plans that will best meet the needs of their children while preserving the spirit of freedom, curiosity, and joy in the classroom.
Overarching goals include teaching Self-Government, Healthy Relationships, right and wrong, true and false, and the joy of stories and learning something new.
The Leadership Keys of “Structure Time, not Content, Simplicity, not Complexity, and Inspire, not Require” are vital here.
Love of Learning (ages 8-11)
Juniors Love of Learning Class
I Wonders Class
This is a class where there is an opening that includes an invitation for children to call out all of the things that they “wonder” about. A list is made and emailed out for each family. Students are given incentive, but not required, to find the answer to an “I Wonder” Question and give a presentation the following week on it. After our new list for the week is made, students may give any presentations they have prepared. After that, the teacher presents a variety of topics from week to week. As topics are chosen for teaching, previous “I wonders” can be taken into account, as well as the mom’s own “I wonder.” She uses her own genius to find answers and share them or to share something she is already passionate about. Teaching methods will rely on partner or small group work, stations, board process, hands-on projects, or skits. Topics can range across the board to just about anything, but will always include concrete experiences, and very little lecture. This class may also include occasional guest speakers. The idea here is to respond to or spark student interest.
Themed Classes or Projects
These vary from year to year and may include Charlotte Mason Style Nature Study, Picture Study, and Music Appreciation. Arts, handicrafts, gardening, clue-finders, unit studies, and just about anything that is hands-on, engaging, and inspiring for our young learners! Parents plan and tailor the semester’s program to inspire their families and meet individual needs as much as possible.
Transition to Scholar Class
As children approach Scholar Phase, they benefit from a class tailored to Inspiring them to begin striving toward Scholar Skills and Abilities, such as presenting, learning from classic books more deeply and discussing them, initiating projects to explore deeper study, and much more. This class uses the classes to facilitate this transition.