GHCFE is happy to share that we will be utilizing the BEarth Institute’s Earthschooling curriculum to provide enriched learning opportunities for our students. Initially designed as a Waldorf homeschooling curriculum, Earthschooling is being used by many public, Montessori and Waldorf school teachers world-wide.
By utilizing EarthSchooling curriculum as our integrative programming, across all grade levels, this will encourage “whole brain” thinking and foster lifelong learning while encouraging individual strengths through experiential learning. Therefore, GHCFE students will be empowered, through their gifts, and ethical development, to thrive in an eco-conscious way. GHCFE will adhere to strict district academic standards and has been recognized and registered through the Illinois State Board of Education.
MIXED– AGE GROUP PHILOSOPHY
GHCFE fosters a mixed-age group philosophy. It is assumed that the wider the range of competencies manifested in a mixed-age group, the greater the opportunities for group members to develop relationships and friendships with others who match, complement, or supplement the participants’ own needs and styles. The greater diversity of maturity and competence present in a mixed-age group, as compared to a same-age group, provides a sufficient number of models to allow most participants to identify models suitable for their learning.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (PRE-K)
Our early childhood programs nourish the senses of the growing child through a healthy, warm, inviting environment. Our teachers nurture each child and family with care and intention. A balanced structure and curriculum sets a strong foundation for a child’s future academic success in the grade school.
- Activities of daily life: folding laundry and washing dishes
- Storytelling, puppet shows and finger plays
- Simple, natural materials and toys and handcrafted dolls
Read More about Explorations
A significant transition happens between kindergarten and first grade. First grade provides a strong framework for classroom dynamics, desk-based work and group interactions. The curriculum introduces daily routines, methods and exercises from which academic, communicative and social skills develop.
- Four functions of math (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division)
- Reading, writing and spelling (taught using fairy tales)
- Spanish, music, watercolor painting (and other additional learning opportunities)
Students are discovering the complexities of human motivations and emotions in the fourth grade. They study Norse Mythology and folktales that reflect human characteristics in the stories of the Norse Gods. These traditional tales center on strength of character, courage, self-sacrifice, and perseverance while revealing hidden motives, a character’s fallibility and the challenges of working at cross purposes with others.
- Fractions, geometric forms
- Norse mythology, composition & book reports
- Spanish, local history & geography, zoology
- Mapmaking, orchestra, clay modeling, embroidery
At this stage of development the student’s world is delineated in absolutes (more inclusive thinking will develop in the future). The sixth-grade curriculum focuses on strong guidelines and clear differentiation concepts as well as a morality of right and wrong.
- Business math, geometric drawing, & equations
- Physics, geology, botany, ancient Rome, medieval Europe, the Crusades, & Islam
- Expository, descriptive, & narrative writing
- North & South American geography
- Spanish, orchestra, recorder
With the advent of puberty, eighth-graders’ capacity for logical thinking and independent judgment fully awakens. The class teacher brings enthusiasm to the individual student’s search for truth. The robust eighth-grade curriculum allows the students to experience a sense of completion as they stand at the doorway to adulthood and prepare to leave our school.
- Geometry, chemistry, physics, physiology, Shakespeare
- Geography of Asia & Antarctic, World History 1700 – present,
- Spanish, orchestra, sewing, black & white charcoal drawing