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How we learn

          Our Curriculum is a mesh of all sorts of learning material.  In language and speech we use the Dubard Method to teach reading and phoneme learning.  It uses the Northamptom Symbols for language.  They eliminate the guessing game that comes with learning same sounding phonemes with symbols which aide in the memorization of the sounds in words.  Then natural reading takes place.  We add outdated programs such as Hooked on Phonics to Dubard to work on reading skills.  A major part of learning to read is through a program called Lexia Learning.  This teaches reading, spelling and language in a format that is recorded on an online program for you to view progress and systematically teach the child the materials needed in a presentation required for optimal learning.  It has worksheets built into the system which allow you a physical representation for the child to work on that requires the use of skills like scissor cutting in unison with learning language.  We use basic learning workbooks age appropriate and grade appropriate including Common Core workbooks with Assessment books to teach the core skills taught at school levels.   We add speech and articulation programs like Rosetta Stone to help with reading and articulation in saying words and sentences.  We also use special speech programs such as the Kaufman method (through use of cards and workbooks), and materials such as Smart Talk and similar activities that are speech specific to structuring sentences and motor planning the mouth to articulate properly.  We work on handwriting through a program called Handwriting without Tears and use their aides alongside weighted pencils to help with more control in writing as needed. 

In all areas of learning we use Montessori materials and methods.  We have many math materials that are Montessori including items such as bead bars which give a wonderful sense of addition, subtraction and multiplication.  The children also learn the decimal system and are allowed to see and touch it as opposed to it just being a place value and a number on a piece of paper.  This helps immensely with the enjoyment of learning and the understanding of the problem you are computing in your head or on paper.  Many of the Montessori materials are sensory based teaching everything from texture to temperature, weight and volume and smell, taste…As are the materials that introduce math and measurement such as the knobbed cylinders (which represent depth and width at various stages) and the ability to visually calculate where each peg fits in each hole.  Every solid material represents math in a visual form that is easy to understand and apply to the more difficult pieces that are introduced systematically.  In Science we explore everything from life cycles to season cycles and earth science.  We learn why things grow and how things live through interest on topic and it can change on any given day according to the child’s ideas on what they want to learn about when it comes to nature.  We supplement our activities with workbooks to follow basic ideas that we work on to spark new interests.  Our geography materials are Montessori based also from globes to landform studies.  Much of our work done is labeling and looking up each area of interest, learning the cultures there and history behind what we are looking at along with the geopgraphy and the science behind that.  We cover geography and social studies in grade appropriate workbooks as well.  I follow mainly Dubard or Association Method for Language and Montessori Albums for all subjects.  I use common core to back myself up so that learning is at the same level as school systems.  Lexia learning reinforces and tracks the progress made so I can be sure that learning in taking place and is grade level appropriate.  Other activities such as ABC Mouse and Reading Rainbow are supplemental to their learning while taking breaks in between lessons. 

We have an Occupational Therapy Room equipped with everything from a padded floor, ballpit and swings to random items that provide sensory input while seated to learn. 

In all, we use traditional teaching methods following school standards and workbooks to reinforce learning in subjects as well as handwriting skills and motor planning.  We use a special program which helps with handwriting development.  We add speech programs to promote language and enhance speech production.  We use Montessori methods, following their program in a way to facilitate learning in all subjects across the board.  And we additionally use Occupational Therapy Techniques to instill learning and keep it interesting and exciting for the kids as movement increases focus it adds more time to learning. 

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