This area of learning is designed to develop and refine the child's senses. The works in this area include development of the sense of touch, weight, sound, scent, sight, size, shape, & depth perception, as well as a predisposition to math concepts. The more senses a child uses to learn a concept, the more pathways a child has to recall that information at a later date. Since every work in our program is "hands-on" for our students, development of the senses is a key element to learning in all other areas of the classroom.
The term "Practical Life" refers to the skills children must learn in order to be independent in their every day lives. These works include self help & care, scooping, pouring, spooning, tweezing, buttoning, lacing, threading, washing, etc. The works in this area also aide in developing the fine motor skills neccessary for writing & the use of various utensils.
Our science area is designed to give our students experience in several fields of study including Biology, Zoology, Botany, Geography, Geology, & Astronomy. These concepts are not only studied during work time, but every opportunity is taken to bring these to a real life working knowledge for our students. The children have animals to feed ,care for, and observe, botany studies are brought to life in our garden, astronomy is studied through our Earth's orbit changing our seasons and more.
Here at The Academy, language & reading begins with recognizing that there are symbols we call letters & they each make their own sounds. Since it is the sound that each letter makes that is most important for reading, we focus on teaching phonetics first. This area of learing includes a variety of works in understanding beginning, middle and ending letter sounds, writing skill development, phonetic reading, & sight words.
We begin teaching math with an understanding that certain symbols we call numbers represent different quantities. The children begin by using a variety of manipulatives such as bead bars to teach 1-9. After a student has mastered 1-9, they move on to the 10's digits & place value. For example, children learn that 14 is really 1 ten & 4 units. Learning the "pattern" of numerals & understanding their quantities makes concepts of addition, subtraction, & other math concepts come easily & naturally.