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What We Teach – How We Teach

Integral Curriculum

All of Creation reflects the integral nature of God and the reality He spoke into being. We believe our curriculum should likewise reflect this truth. Lorien Wood faculty collaboratively develop thematic units of study that minimize artificial division into traditional subjects, demonstrating instead the integral interweaving of the disciplines into each day’s study.

When our Form Three students consider Europe, they explore its literature, music, art, geography; they read about it, write about it, calculate and communicate about it. They simulate the European Union, figure out finances using the euro, retell folktales, examine religious beliefs. When our Form One students study trees, they observe Van Gogh’s cypress, read and write tree poems, count rings and measure girths of trunks, examine acorns, plant them, track their growth, spell “pine,” “oak,” and act out roots and branches.

Teaching Methodology

At Lorien Wood, our teaching methodology is founded on the same philosophy and holistic view reflected in our use of integral curriculum. While every educational approach addresses some facet of how and what children ought to learn, or do learn, or can learn, Lorien Wood’s teaching practices are aimed at providing “the whole story for the whole child.” We recognize the importance of using timeless texts and primary documents, exposing children’s minds to the great minds of the past by means of books, art, music, speeches and other venues by which those great minds expressed their most important ideas. We value the memorization of scripture, poetry and prose universally recognized as “classics,” and equip children to develop skills of logic and argument via Socratic seminar and debate. Lorien Wood embraces these aspects of classical study.

However, we also affirm the view held by Charlotte Mason, a 19th century British educational reformer, who asserted that the child is born a whole person, deserving of respect and dignity, deserving of “living books,” as she would call them, rather than the predigested content of traditional textbooks. Children are image-bearers, deserving of authentic dialogue with the great minds, with their teachers, with one another, with God. Nature study, picture study, and the practice of narration, as well as a high view of the child are all components for which we at Lorien Wood are indebted to Charlotte Mason’s insights.

The concept of “Multiple Intelligences,” made popular by Howard Gardner, also informs our pedagogy, as our teachers collaboratively develop learning activities with the kinesthetic, the auditory, the visual and the social learner in mind. Student initiative is highly regarded at Lorien Wood. We invite and respond to their ideas and proposals, and enlist their enthusiasm as fellow-adventurers in the educational journey. Joyful discovery is our modus operandi as our goal is a lifelong love of learning for all members of our school community.

Lorien Wood’s academic program is shaped by several of the school’s Distinctives. Visit the Distinctives page and attend one of our Open Houses to learn more.