In the elementary years children develop at very different rates. For example, there is no magical age by which time all children are reading comfortably. Some educators advocate holding off on formal math until 6th grade while some children faithfully complete their grade-appropriate math pages every day from preschool on. Theories, ideas, and maturity levels vary widely. For these reasons, our elementary classes are aimed at enrichment. We assume that parents are covering the basic subjects at home while we focus on subjects not as easily studied at home – because they work better in a group, or because they require a specific area of expertise. It is very difficult to have a group discussion about a piece of literature at home. It is next to impossible to be exposed to Mandarin Chinese. Art often gets left by the wayside. It can be a challenge to facilitate sports when you are stuck in a city apartment. Ever tried to form a choir on your living room couch? It could work – but we think a group of children and a skilled instructor enhances the effort!
Our unwavering goal and purpose is to support you and your child. To that end, we do not wish to add undue burdens to your week. However, the classes that are provided at ODE will be greatly enhanced by the completion of additional work at home. Teachers will assign homework and it will be clearly posted on the website each week. If your child cannot complete the homework there will be no negative consequences, but he or she will benefit from the class so much more if the homework is attended to. Please encourage your child to work independently to complete the work – so he can enjoy a sense of accomplishment and make great strides in the subject. You can do this by providing a consistent time to check the website and complete the homework. A little bit each day is always more effective.
We have found that children who come to class unprepared are often bored and can easily fall into distracting the class. While it is ok to come unprepared, the expectation is that the student must maintain a high level of orderly classroom behavior.
While we wholeheartedly endorse hands-on activities and lively classroom discussion, we will not tolerate any unkind of disruptive behavior. Children who speak or act unkindly to others or interrupt the flow of the class will be removed for a time to stay with an adult worker. If the behavior persists, the parent will be called to come and discuss the problem and make a mutually beneficial plan for moving forward.