Our philosophy at WIDE School is dynamic and multifaceted. All domains are interconnected and centered on the experiences and understanding of the children. True comprehension of our school and vision will involve being actively engaged in the learning process and being open minded. Please take the time and effort to read through the extensive information provided in the entire website.
We provide the richest learning environment possible through a balance of child-directed Project Based Learning and the acquisition of academic skills. Through child-directed project work, children wonder about various topics (often getting inspiration from their environment), direct their learning by formulating questions and plans to find out answers, and ultimately discovering answers or formulating new questions collaboratively.
Throughout project work, children are applying and learning academic concepts. When children are given the freedom and time to explore and think for themselves, they will inevitably probe deeper into their topic and gain a true understanding of the subject matter.
This type of learning is critical for children to develop a strong sense of self. When children are in the driver’s seat of their learning they are fully motivated and engaged. They are able to constantly practice the entire process of Wondering Investigating Discovering and Educating themselves! It is a true gift for children to own a part of their educational life.
Academic skills not explored through project work is taught using the 100 languages approach by our teachers. This means that skills and knowledge are taught in many different and unique ways. Art is used as a vehicle to learn symmetry. Music is used as a vehicle to learn social studies. Gardening is used as a vehicle to learn and apply mathematical concepts. All information taught by teachers is done in a multi-sensory way and children are given ample opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge through a variety of engaging and rich experiences.
Ultimately, all areas of academic work are deeply intertwined and approached with a sense of connection. Math is present in art, gardening, and cooking. Reading is present in history, poetry, and science. Science is present in art, food, and music.
The study of math is approached with passion and a sense of awe. We understand that learning math is far more than just rote memorization or the mastery of algorithms. Children need to truly understand numbers and their relationship to each other. Our students are given ample time to truly master concepts. We provide our children with a variety of rich experiences that allow them to make these connections and construct their own knowledge. The more hands-on experiences we provide, the more skilled our children become at determining when and how to apply the most effective and efficient mathematical tool for any situation. The benefits of building and construction are countless. It is also critical for children to work together and teach each other. Time is precious gift given to our students.
Our math program is heavily influence by Piaget and the constructivist model of learning.
The subject of science is essentially the study of life; what a captivating subject for young people! This broad subject begs to be learned through being immersed in it. Our students do the work of real scientist: they observe, record, reflect, experiment, analyze, compare and communicate. Our children are not taught isolated scientific facts, but rather they discover them on their journey through project work. We strive to create a scientific mind in our children. We want them to question, experiment, reason, and use critical thinking in all they do. We support them as explorers of their world and take field trips whenever possible, as well as consulting experts and bringing them to us!
Every year the school hosts an annual Fall Festival. The elementary students use the festival as an opportunity to educate their community by creating a theater presentation of their major project work. The children design and make costumes, work with Think Tank sound engineer, Hiram Trevino, to create an audio representation of their knowledge, make props, develop a play, and much more! The process of creating the Fall Festival is steeped with creativity, team work, and the application of various skills and knowledge. The Fall Festival is also an excellent opportunity to allow parents and the community to see the children’s knowledge and ideas.