At the Community for Learning, we do not use textbooks, but instead work with a variety of non-fiction books and materials at different reading levels so that all students are challenged. Students are taught to do research from first grade on. They are guided in their research so that they learn how to discern between credible sources, to understand what they read and to be able to write the information in their own words.
We believe that Social Studies should be taught through hands-on activities, as learning is more effective when students are motivated by lessons which are interesting and interactive. Therefore students work in groups on projects, presentations and simulations. Throughout the unit, students produce their own textbook which becomes their resource for studying and future reference.
Students are taught effective study habits so that they gain a deep understanding of the material covered while still being able to pass traditional tests. We firmly believe that in the information age we live in, students need to be able to understand and use information, rather than memorizing it. However, we do ask that students learn memorization techniques so that they are able to do so when necessary.
In Social Studies we cover The World Around us in 1st grade. In 2nd through 8th grades, students study a different continent each year: its geography, an in-depth study of a country or several countries and an ancient civilization. In 9th through 12th grade students study World History, Geography, Civics, and Economics.