At The Little School, we take childhood seriously. Our progressive education model engages children in their learning, friendships and community. As they grow up at the school, they internalize the skills, strategies and empathy to be successful learners, collaborators, friends and citizens.
"With three kids who have been through The Little School, we see the ways the educators take the time to get to know each child, understand and respect their strengths and weaknesses and adapt the activities in real-time to challenge each kid in ways that are grounded in care and understanding. As a result, today our kids are thriving in their upper school experiences due to their self-awareness as learners, and their expectation of education being a participatory experience in partnership with the adults around them."
— Dan and Shannon, Current TLS Parents
A TLS Student’s Journey
Expand Sense of Self and Belonging
We see every student as a growing learner, citizen and friend. Each day, as Meadows’ students play and explore outside, they build friendships and awaken their natural curiosity.
With TLS feeling like home, our Woods’ students are ready for expanded outdoor spaces, friendships and intellectual experiences.
The integrated projects that our Cedars’ students have done in the past set the stage for in-depth, longer-term study now. Armed with newfound maturity and intellectual independence, Cedars’ students tackle complex topics about identity, social justice and environment stewardship.
Teachers notice their questions and ideas and create intentional activities and investigations that expand their understanding and engage their intellect. Can we melt snow in the sensory table to see how much water is in it? Yes! Can we put plastic animals in that water and have them put on play? Yes!
Now when students ask questions, teachers respond with questions. Could we melt the snow and measure water? Yes! How do YOU think we can measure it? How shall we record your discoveries? What else do you wonder about water and the water cycle? When students imagine how to write a play, teachers sit beside them, helping students write their own dialogue while attending to characters and setting.
They are ready to back up their opinions and ideas with facts, science and history. Now, if they ask about water, they are also wondering about water rights, conservation or salinity. Similarly, application becomes the focus of their literacy, scientific and mathematical work. How can they use what they know about area to design work tables? How can they use poetry to express their point of view? How does a book they’ve just finished connect to other books they’ve read recently?
Cultivate Authentic Learning and Expand Possibility
As children ask their important questions, teachers offer tools to measure volume or a willing scribe to write the imaginative script for the play. In those moments, our faculty model the thinking and resourcefulness that students will build in the years ahead.
As students acquire skills as readers, writers, mathematicians and scientists, they also notice the ways they are academic and social problem solvers. Teachers model solutions that include empathy, respect, curiosity, collaboration and creativity. As students wrap up their time in the Woods building, their independence and leadership shine. They are ready for the more applied and abstract investigations ahead.
This increase in expansive thinking allows them to explore the role of leadership. Whether partnering with adults on service-learning projects or sharing reading time with an early elementary child, our oldest students synthesize the learning, passion and kindness that they’ve experienced at The Little School and share it with the world around them.