Teaching the Whole Child
“What one loves in childhood, stays in the heart forever.” – Mary Jo Putney
Looking at a week in the life of our group show some of the ways childhood is valued at Miquon. Our daily rhythms are designed to make room for a broad variety of experiences. The children have opportunities to flex different kinds of muscles, literally and figuratively. Within any given day, a Miquon kid might be scaling a tree, playing the recorder, plotting data on a line graph, and building a house to play in outside.
Our 4th graders are focusing all year on seeing themselves as moving along a continuum of growth and change, from the early to middle elementary years. Each child is challenged to see him or herself grow as a writer, mathematician, reader, and musician, a researcher, artist, scientist, and athlete. We look at progress and growth as individual to each child, and encourage cooperative work rather than competition with one another.
Each day offers activities which foster a sense of joy in learning and play. Just yesterday, we began our day by participating in the worldwide “Hour of Code,” experimenting with being computer programmers. We then watched our kids move seamlessly into P.E. to play the classic game, Knock-Em-and-Block-Em. This was followed by Choice time, in which many were building a wigwam or cooking corn cakes in their imaginary Lenape village outside. The children came inside for silent reading and a period of writing individual journal entries. Afterwards they sharing their writing with one another: descriptive, lyrical, and inventive pieces which highlighted each writer’s unique voice. In the afternoon, we dug deep into a math activity which had the children each developing survey questions for data collection around the school.
One of Miquon’s tenets is that “learning occurs in ways unique to each child.” These late fall days have been such a rich mixture of exploration, discussion, and growth. This year in which the children move from 9 to 10 years old is such a pivotal moment of development; the sense of self is growing by leaps and bounds. We hope through these many and varied experiences at Miquon to encounter those deep loves of childhood, the passions and skills that our children will carry with them well beyond their elementary years.