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expenditionary learning

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
founder is kurt hahn of outward bound.
here is their website

http://www.elschools.org/

I thought it was really interesting. I am plannin on homeschooling but i am glad that the school i would send my children to has started this way of learning and teaching.
they take a interest and study it over a few months and integrate all subjects within their interest.
they are also interested in the whole child development.
what do you think of this?
post #2 of 7
My DS goes to an expeditionary learning school. I work at a school that used to be expeditionary learning but dropped the contract -- so I can see both sides of this.

On the pro side, I love the way children are encouraged to ask questions and seek answers. I love the way they study one topic in depth rather than memorizing a handful of facts about a bunch of topics. I love the committment to learning about meaningful social issues (last year they studied access to clean water around the world, this year they're studying rainforest conservation). I love how hands on it is.

On the con side, I think that reading and writing only (or primarily) about a topic that someone else chooses isn't the best way to build a passion for reading and writing -- last year my son brought home lots of books about water, but he wasn't particularly interested in water or the books. In contrast the kids at my school read and write about their own passions, which I think leads to more of an appreciation of reading and writing. I also think that sometimes ELOB doesn't lead to a high level of academic rigor. I find that sometimes teachers plan activities because they're "hands on" or "field work based" instead of because they're the best way to teach a particular concept of skill. For example, I know that last year the 3rd/4th graders started off their unit on geometry by going on a "shape walk" around the neighborhood. Although I love that they're connected to their funky urban neighborhood, I don't think that looking for squares, triangles and octagons in 4th grade is going to teach them much.

Overall, I see more that's good than bad in ELOB, or my son wouldn't be there, but I don't think it's perfect. The reading/writing issue is my biggest concern with the program.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
thanks for your imput....
Sarah
post #4 of 7
My kids were hsed but now we go to a elob school........
we love it!!!
we have never been stuck in an expedition with out option to make it interesting for my kids...ie water could become snow and we love snowboarding. for example

it really is a great option for us and i give thanks for this school everyday--
www.evergreenccs.org
evergreen community charter school
I think that is the link
post #5 of 7
My sons go to an expeditionary learning school (preK and 1st grade) and we love it. I think our school might be a little relaxed on how they go about integrating expeditionary learning into core subjects though. They have pretty traditional math (Saxon) and language lessons, spelling lists are done traditionally too, but with expedition related words added in. They read tons of fiction, but have access to primary sources related to their expedition.

I think what I love about their school has more to do with the small class sizes, what a close-knit community feel we get due to size, and the fact that they meet my son's needs (he is advanced and gets materials that are differentiated for him). The teachers seem very commited to what they do too. The learning expeditions are an added bonus for us.

The weakness of our school, imo, would have more to do with a lack of resources. It is a charter school. The facility is rented and so there are little to no after school activities. No pto type of organization, etc. I think there is so much potential, but it seems like there is a lack of organization and parent involvement. We also do not have a formal art or music program. Instead the kids make plenty of art and do learn and sing songs, but no real program.

Having said all of that, my kids are definitely getting a better education than they would at the neighborhood school down the street (which is rated well based on test scores). We would probably be homeschooling if it weren't for their school.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by love2all View Post
My kids were hsed but now we go to a elob school........
we love it!!!
we have never been stuck in an expedition with out option to make it interesting for my kids...ie water could become snow and we love snowboarding. for example

it really is a great option for us and i give thanks for this school everyday--
www.evergreenccs.org
evergreen community charter school
I think that is the link
To clarify, it wasn't that my son wasn't interested in any of the water quality expedition, they did lots of cool things that he loved. However, he wasn't interested in the the books they assigned related to the water expedition. To be fair to his teachers, it's not easy to find water related books on a Guided Reading H level (or whatever). My son has always preferred narrative books, he love history, science fiction, a humor, so the emphasis on non-fiction has been hard for him.
post #7 of 7
just subbing because we are more than likely going to send my dd to an ELOB school either next year (K) or the year after (1st grade). She is in Montessori now and absolutely thriving, but they don't go past K, and we can't afford to do the other one that does. interesting about the reading and writing though...in the school we toured we saw TONS of writing examples all over the walls, and they do "readers" as well as the EL stuff.

what attracted me to the school too is that it is about as green as a school gets...no waste lunch, low sugar stuff sold (or none, I'm not sure), and they plan to build a totally green facility (they're renting now). also a lot of parent involvement, plus classrooms that looked montessori-esque to me.

I am posting a question separately about transitions....if anybody wants to respond from this thread that would be great.
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