Here at Saint Miriam School our curriculum has been very thoughtfully developed. Our school curriculum is blended incorporating early childhood teaching methods similar to those found with the Montessori and Waldorf approaches to child learning and development. Additionally, your family will find a fully equipped, state of the art S.T.E.A.M.M. Classroom using KiwiCo STEM learning methods and the Discovery Station Learners Curriculum program for structured Preschool and Kindergarten learning.
First, we build our entire program around a dedicated Franciscan ideal and tradition of caring for the world and one another, too. In the Franciscan ideal and tradition does not require that all students, faculty, administrators, or staff are Franciscan, or even Catholic. On the contrary, we strive to be an open and inclusive community where all are welcome. Rather, being Catholic . . . in our Franciscan tradition invites all members of the community to understand and espouse certain values and to strive to create a distinctive culture of welcome and hope for everyone. Our core values dictate a strong philosophy of educating all persons, even the youngest among us to ensure that we create a world tomorrow. Our school is not a forum for evangelizing or indoctrination into a single faith tradition, we do not proselytize, although who we are and what we believe does impact our desire and guides our team. Together, with our own beloved faith tradition, we rather create a venue where we can impart just values that will guide our young people.
Secondly, while not a Montessori School, we do follow some of the major principles inherent in the design of the classroom, founded by pediatrician and psychiatrist, Maria Montessori in 1907. Saint Miriam School, like most Montessori-based school programs, emphasize the importance and connection of all living things, and the need for each person to find meaningful work and his or her own place in the world. This is our guide for our major core values, as well. Children learn about other cultures, animals, growing, farm-to-table, respect for all life, and plants in addition to reading, language, and mathematical skills.
Our Teachers serve as “learned guides,” they lead each child, whom they believe will learn at their own pace. Our programs encourage a child’s sense of independence: Children are always asked if they want to try a task, if they need help doing it, or if they feel they aren’t ready. We also like to closely involve parents in their children’s education and make great strides through innovative outreach and assessment tools like Class Dojo and twice-annual parent-teacher meetings! Our teacher-student-parent bond is carefully cultivated in every aspect of our learning curricula. We also ‘group’ students as they learn and grow as individuals. So, a 2-year-old toddler learning at a 3-year-old pace would be grouped with others to allow that learning and stimulation to excel, too!
The Waldorf approach, founded by Rudolf Steiner, in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1919, believes that a person is made up of three aspects: spirit, soul, and body. The Waldorf programs around the world aim to stimulate and develop these three elements in young children by immersing them in nurturing surroundings like we do at Saint Miriam. Children are encouraged to engage in creative free play rather than watching television and videos and playing computer games, because those activities get in the way of using all five senses to absorb and actively engage in life.
Our early childhood teachers create a comfortable, homelike environment that offers children plenty of opportunities to freely imitate what they see and to indulge in creative play. Daily activities range from painting, coloring, singing, and reciting poems to modeling with beeswax, baking bread, building houses out of boxes and sheets, and dressing up pretending to be parents, kings, and magicians!
Our S.T.E.A.M.M. Classroom is innovative and the only one in the area that brings together the best of S.T.E.M. teaching with the added bonus of Music and Art! Every child in our program goes to visit the S.T.E.A.M.M. Classroom daily for a full hour! We have found in recent studies that children, especially younger girls, who are not exposed to STEM learning fail to respond to it later in life. Therefore, it is critical that we engage their early learning and excitement for technology and innovative research! Everything we use in the classroom is designed by experts and tested by kids and KiwiCo spent over 1000 hours designing and testing every single learning crate that we make available. With their wonderful help, we make S.T.E.A.M.M. accessible, engaging, and fun. Our goal is to inspire kids to see themselves as scientists, artists, and makers.
Our Farm-to-Table Learning Program, called Awaken Your Senses, allows children to actually see and feel the earth and what yields from a collaborative effort between our hands and Mother Earth! Our founding parish has a strong identification with our need to care for the environment and use natural resources wisely. They maintain a strong and vibrant “Green Policy” to reduce our carbon footprint, to recycle where appropriate, use recycled materials and reduce printing, as well as become better stewards of the world around us and we have joined them in teaching this valuable effort! Through this emphasis, along with Farm-to-Table, Gardening, and Awaken Your Senses Programs, students are able to experience programs and outings designed to harness a love of creation and nature around them, as well as to learn how to care for and protect the world through a healthy respect for all that is in the world! Nature is a powerful teacher and we believe learning in and with nature provides endless possibilities for your children.
Our use of Discovery Station Learners Curriculum, an Award-Winning Early Learning Site, helps children learn to read through phonics, and teaches lessons in math, social studies, art, music, and much more. The preschool curriculum focuses on important basics in the four main curriculum subjects of Reading, Math, World Around Us (beginning science and social studies), as well as Art & Colors, establishing a foundation of knowledge for young children that they can build upon with confidence and success. Discovery Station Learners Curriculum comprehensive curriculum has been designed in close collaboration with nationally recognized early childhood education experts, ensuring that the content aligns with best practices of early education. With no advertising and no links to other websites, Discovery Station Learners Curriculum provides a completely child-safe resource.
The Preschool Curriculum Includes These Topics:
- Reading: Uppercase Alphabet A to Z
- Math: Numbers 1–5, Circles, Squares, Triangles, Rectangles, Diamonds, and Stars
- World Around Us: Getting Dressed, My Body, and The Market
- Art & Colors: Red, Yellow, Blue, Orange, Green and Purple
For our Kindergarteners, we found that early learning experts agree that a successful kindergarten experience can make all the difference for the remaining years of a child’s education. Discovery Station Learners Curriculum’s kindergarten curriculum has been created to help you ensure that your child has that distinct advantage.
The Kindergarten Curriculum Includes These Topics:
- Reading: Alphabet, Basic Phonics, Words, Word Families, and Sight Words
- Math: Numbers 0–100, Shapes, Introduction to Addition and Subtraction, Patterns, and Telling Time
- World Around Us: The Four Seasons; the Earth, Moon, Sun, and Planets
- Art & Colors: Colors and Shades of Colors