Island Discovery empowers families and teachers to collaboratively set up and operate their own learning communities based on our attachment philosophy and the interests of your own community, family, and children.
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Understand your role in supporting your child’s home-based learning journey.
Parent Participation is a key element of the blended program, both for practical and philosophical reasons. Parent help in the classroom allows for small group focused activity and allows the teacher more energy to focus on the children.
Parent involvement in the classroom also helps to create mentoring relationships for the children with adults other than their parents and a stronger sense of community.
This also allows parents to have a direct experience of their children’s learning in the classroom and a deeper understanding of the classroom program, which enables them to more deeply support their own child’s learning and more fully participate in the conversations about program development.
Learning at Home
In this program, the time spent outside the class is a valued part of the child’s learning experience, and parents engage in supporting their children’s learning at home and in the community.
Families have the freedom to approach this part of the program in a way that suits the learning styles and interests of the child.
Teachers will provide guidance and direction in creating learning plans and for record keeping requirements.
How we support your child’s learning through support at a distance.
How It Works
Students typically attend classes either one or two days a week and are required to pursue other learning activities on their home days.
When children attend class only part-time, it allows for small group focused classroom learning where children are likely to bring their full attention and enthusiasm.
It also allows families to meet the unique needs and interests of their child outside of the program time – making for a more meaningful, individualized learning experience for each child.
When children are given this flexible time, it is amazing to see their creativity and determination flourish, and how they become true life-long learners.
Learning with Your Teacher
In our classroom settings, children will be invited and encouraged to participate through the enthusiasm, engagement and skilled leadership of the teachers and mentors.
Children will not be forced to participate or to ‘learn’, and we avoid any punishments or rewards. Instead, teachers build on and engage the children’s natural curiosity and joy of learning, and build and support critical thinking skills.
In our model, these classes are only part of the comprehensive learning which happens at home and in the community.
Each family is responsible for following the B.C. Curriculum, and will need to follow a certified learning plan, created by your teacher, with input from you. Much of the learning plan will involve activities planned by the teacher during her time together with the children, but will be complemented by things you do at home.
In September a meeting will be set up where the learning plan will be discussed and finalized. The teacher will give you an overview of things they will be doing in class, and a clear guideline as to how you can complement the class time with work at home in order to create a comprehensive curriculum for your child.
There will be ample opportunity to customize the plan to suit the interests of your child!
We understand that when children follow their passions, it is incredible how much and how quickly they can learn.
Because your child will be seeing a teacher at least once every week, most on-going assessment can easily be done by the teacher during class time, mostly through observation, portfolio assessment, and discussion, especially since classes are small and the teacher will have developed a close relationship with your child.
The teacher will also be available to meet before or after class to help you with the learning at home, and to share feedback about how things are going. Of course you are always welcome to attend class sessions at any time, too. Doing so can give you a clear indication of your child’s progress in all areas.
At the end of each term, the teacher will meet with you to discuss progress to date, and to hear about all the learning adventures you have been having at home and in the community. After this meeting the teacher will finalize a report card or conference report. Reports are done in early December, March, and June.
Learn how home-based learning works from planning to learning plans and assessment.
What Our Classrooms are Like
In class, learning is something we do with the children rather than to them. It is our experience that when children are invited to participate and truly experience partnership in learning – they flourish – intellectually, emotionally and socially.
Children experience class as a place of exploration, a place to share feelings and ideas, a safe and exciting place where each child is recognized and valued. This teaching approach provides an education that prepares children to continue to enjoy and have success in learning throughout their lives.
They also learn to relate well to others and themselves, be creative, flexible and venturesome and have empathy for others.
Children are invited to attend the centre at scheduled times but are never required to.
They may (in consultation with parents) choose to attend less, or miss class-time when they are pursuing other interests.
Commitment for specific lengths of time may be required to take part in some classroom activities in order for groups to work together effectively.
In order to create a socially and developmentally healthy learning environment and to allow each child to experience themselves both as a mentor and as a learner (both proven to be key elements of deeper learning), the classroom groupings cover an age range of 2-4 years.
This also allows the teacher to group children based on readiness rather than age. Smaller group activity ensures that all ages are appropriately challenged.
Small Group Learning
Our classroom group size is kept small ( usually12 or less) in order to allow for a calm, focused atmosphere, lots of teacher attention and the chance for a high level of discussion and hands on work.
It also allows the teacher to connect with each child and build strong relationships and a deeper understanding of and support for unique learning styles.