“From self-knowledge comes knowledge of others”
Our focus on learning at Little School extends beyond pre-academic skills. In these early years, children develop an integrated foundation for what is to come. Every experience, conversation, and activity has an impact. We are intentional teachers throughout a child’s day: arriving in the morning; playing with a friend; eating a snack; or listening to a story. We are always looking for chances to help children make meaning out of their experience, gain useful skills and perspectives, or find joy in their school setting. Our classroom spaces (indoor as well as outdoor) are designed to enable these developmental activities. At The Little School we learn:
We believe that self knowledge is the first and most important front for learning. A child who knows herself - what makes her comfortable and confident— is not only socially and emotionally ready to learn, but ready to reflect on larger ideas. We help children use the classroom to learn -
- Their social style – how they best engage with others
- Their learning style – how they best explore materials and ideas
- Their sensory style – how they feel most capable and supported in their bodies and senses
- Their family and individual identity
about each other
From self-knowledge comes knowledge of others. We help children use their insight into themselves not only to care for others and gain pleasure from social interaction, but as a process of cognitive development. Children gain lifelong understanding of the connections between inner and outer life, self and others, and the general connection of ideas and people to each other. We help children to learn -
- Social skills – how to advocate for themselves, empathize with others, and create play together
- Community skills – how to take on a meaningful and supportive role in a group, and be part of the give and take of a democratic environment
- Conflict resolution skills – how to take a curious, confident, creative approach to problem solving and how to celebrate different ideas and initiatives
As children explore the diverse social community, they also start to learn about the rich variation of family and social life. We help children sort out the early questions and ideas they have about social dynamics and culture. As we celebrate each child’s individual and family identity in a meaningful way, children become eager to learn more about those around them. This eagerness is the first step to becoming equipped to participate in their many communities.
about the world
As children mature, we help them apply their personal insight and inquiry skills to big questions about the world itself. We encourage children to make their own connections between concrete experience and abstract ideas. Through collaborative, teacher-directed curriculum, children
As children make connections and apply big questions to the world, these explorations take us outside the classroom as well.
- For the younger children, the neighborhood around the school is a fertile ground for learning.
- The older children’s curiosity has led them to grocery stores, farmer’s markets, offices and outdoor sculptures.
- The four year olds also spend one day a week in the Presidio exploring the natural world.
- The explorations of the Transitional Kindergarten children lead them to art museums, dance performance, print shops and more.