My Son Is A Sea Otter
I love our school. Today I walked in to my son’s classroom before school had started. He is in the Sea Otter Class (grade 2-4). Half of the 14 students had arrived. They had all taken an educational tool off the shelf and were working on a project, chatting amicably while the sun streamed in the windows. The door to the outside deck was open and a light breeze came in off the ocean. It was lovely.
I realized that I had known most of these children since they were in kindergarten and I thought how much I cared for them all. “What a great group of kids you all are!” I told them. They continued on enjoying each other’s company, happy to be at school. Kids are kids, so it is not always as idyllic as this; but the great thing is that often it is.
Beachcombers Community School Offers Respect
When there are conflicts between kids at Beachcombers Community School, we work it out. Students are taught conflict resolution skills and how to communicate. The School’s Respect & Care and Virtues programs are about teaching these basic skills. The school has behaviour expectations of students, but also gives students the skills, and gentle encouragement, to meet those expectations.
Supportive, Inspired Education
When my son first started kindergarten, I wanted so much for him. Our school was started because a few parents and I wanted an inspired education for our kids. A place that felt like a second home, that had high quality academics, and that embraced children in a supportive environment. We were inspired by Montessori that encourages children to engage in learning. We were inspired by the play-based approach of Waldorf. We were inspired by our amazing natural environment.
Beachcombers does not subscribe strictly to one philosophy or another. We embrace the best of what we find, we back it with research on education, and we do what is right for kids. We avoid the adult pitfalls of sacrificing one idea for another.
Literacy, Academics, Creativity and Play
There is excellent research on the benefits of early literacy for children. Surprisingly, literacy remains a real issue in our society. This is a basic tool of education. When children miss out on reading and writing skills, they miss out on succeeding throughout their school careers.
There is really no good reason to sacrifice quality academics, or play-based and experiential learning, or creativity, or self-directed learning. At Beachcombers School we embrace all of the benefits of these approaches and provide a wonderful engaging program for students.
“I’m thrilled to provide an inspired education for my son… I am so deeply happy for the experiences that my child has…”
– Zoe Lambert
When I look back at the kindergarten program this year, I am amazed. Children have been bird watching, and have met with one of the leading young birding experts in the province. They have been hiking and kayaking. They have played and played outside every day, rain or shine overlooking the ocean. They have learned to read. They are learning math, science, French and Spanish. They have a dedicated art and music program. They are wonderfully creative. They have helped plant the garden. They released young salmon that they raised, into the creek. And those that want to will be sailing in June. It is truly an amazing program.
I am so deeply happy for the experiences that my child has at Beachcombers Community School. From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful. This is truly a school like no other!
About the author: Zoe Lambert is co-founder of Beachcombers Community School and Executive Coordinator of Beachcombers Education Society. For more information about Beachcombers School you can email them directly.