In our daily lessons, we use Oak Meadow curriculum as our framework. We also ascribe to Waldorf, Reggio, and Montessori methods. Our curriculum is tailored to the individual student while also creating a community of learners in our K-6 environment. (The school will expand to K-8 by the 2023-2024 school year.). We incorporate the following content areas into daily practice:
Students progress through learning how to print upper and lowercase letters to a study of word families and consonant blends. The imagination is sparked through fairy tales, nature stories, and traditional verses as your child develops the necessary skills and confidence to read independently. We will be reading in all areas of the school and in all parts of the day.
We use a comprehensive health curriculum that provides the framework for teaching children about health and well-being. The subject covers such units as: physical body, personal safety, healthy habits, self-esteem, self and community, and whole health.
We teach Spanish daily, and those lessons include learning vocabulary, learning about significant events and people from various Spanish-speaking countries and cultures, as well as addressing relevant issues such as social justice, racial equity, and embracing and celebrating differences, and so forth.
Cooking and Baking
We will do a lot of cooking! We have a kitchen on site designed specifically with the idea in mind of teaching children how to cook and bake. We will follow the interests of the children, but baking bread will also be a weekly occurrence. We will bake bread, soft pretzels, bagels, English muffins, and more. Later in the school year, we will design and plant our own garden that will be used for cooking the following year. We will spend a portion of these lessons learning about nutrition and healthy eating.
History and Geography
Students begin to develop a sense of time and place as they encounter classic tales, make their own calendars, and draw maps of their neighborhoods. Multicultural awareness is explored through community connections and a developing sense of good citizenship. In kindergarten and the early grades, geography comes in the form of exploration and discovery of the world of nature, earth, water, air, seasons and natural processes. These processes are not named or brought to the child in an abstract or intellectual way but rather through nature stories and tales.
Art and Music
In our daily lessons, children will be expressing themselves through arts and crafts. This could be painting, drawing, or abstract art. Public speaking and drama also will be a big part of this domain. Many adults identify public speaking as their biggest fear, and therefore, we will begin to normalize it and give children the tools to have confidence when talking or presenting to a large group. Throughout this part of our curriculum, we will be bringing experts from the field into our classroom. We will have an old time banjo player come in with great frequency as well, to teach not only the basics of instruments, but also the luthier aspects as well.
Character Building and Practical Life
Students explore the themes of good citizenship by learning about the lives of inspiring individuals. The curriculum also develops each child’s sense of truth, beauty, and goodness. The aim is to inspire in all students a lifelong love of learning and to enable them to fully develop their capacities. Children are naturally interested in activities they have witnessed. Therefore, Dr. Montessori began using what she called “Practical Life Exercises” to allow the child to do activities of daily life and thus adapt and orientate himself in his society. The purpose and aim of Practical Life Exercises is to help the child gain control in the coordination of his movement and help the child to gain independence and adapt to his society. It is therefore important to teach and not to correct.
The science subjects do not start with, nor are they built from, theories and formulas. Rather, they start with the phenomena and develop in an experiential way, by first presenting the phenomenon, having the students make detailed observations, then guiding the students to derive the concepts that arise from the phenomena, and finally deriving the scientific formulas and laws behind the phenomena. This methodology reflects the way basic science actually has been developed by scientists. It also trains the students in the basics of scientific thinking. In kindergarten and the lower grades, the experience of nature through the seasons is brought to the children through nature walks, nature tables, and observation of nature around the school in all areas.
At the Barn School, we use Montessori Mathematics. The Montessori Math curriculum is one of a kind in that it is both accessible and full of practical application. The number system, which has been created over thousands of years, is an abstract invention. It began with the realization of one and then more than one. It is marvelous to see the readiness of the child’s understanding of this same concept. We provide children with a concrete understanding of each mathematical concept using concrete materials. Arithmetic is the science of computing using positive real numbers. It is specifically the process of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The materials of the Primary Montessori classroom also present sensorial experiences in geometry and algebra.
The Barn School
The Barn School
The Barn School