Academics

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At Empathy, one of our goals is that our students are learning academics at a deep and holistic level. Empathy School was developed at Harvard by Eric GP and Echo Xui with the assistance of many professional educators and professors. Every aspect of the school from lesson plans to landscape architecture is based on the science of how students learn. We do select aspects of Montessori, Emilio Regio, Waldorf Steine to support our academic programs. We utilize Non-Violent Communication to support our Social Emotional Learning programs because we believe the most important requirement for a student to learn is that they feel physically and emotionally safe within a school setting. In addition, we create much of our own curriculum based on current science. 

If you want to know what students learn in every class please see:

A class-by-class look at what your child will learn each year


Student Groups

 The writing below describes different student groups based not just on their age but their learning ability.
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Social Emotional Learning

We utilize Non-Violent Communication to support our Social Emotional Learning programs..
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Leveled Classes

In leveled classes, students are placed by ability, not by age. Children learn more advanced skills in math, reading, and science.
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Non-leveled Classes

In non-leveled classes, children  learn more about their world through experiments and first-hand exploration
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Project-based Learning

In our Project Based Learning classes, students focus on designing for change. The goal is for students to use all of their understanding..
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The document below describes what kids learn in each of our classes. For a more robust understanding of how academics are done overall please see Empathy School – Academics

Early Years/Preschool (Ages 2-5)

Entering Early Years/Pre School from age 2 to 5 is an exciting milestone in a child's life. At this age students are guided to experience a wide variety of classes that expose them to the world. 
  • We use Montessori learning to support routine development.
  • Students develop an understanding of school rules and agreements on a foundation of Non-Violent Communication
  • Students learn through project based and experience based classes as inspired by both Reggio Emilia and Waldorf Steiner systems.

Kindergarten (Ages 5-6)

For many kids, Kindergarten is a year to feel "big." 
  • Lessons have a greater focus on academics, maths are sourced from Montessori, reading and writing from our partner schools in the USA. Both use as many elements from nature as possible.
  • Our Empathy clases inspired by Non-violent communication supports children in developing the impulse control, seeking consent and understanding boundaries.
  • At this age kids are independent and move from class to class under their own willpower. If kids have any issues getting to classes our “Guardians” are there to support them.
  • Our Creative art’s programs are highly influenced by the Waldorf system.
  • Our nature projects use all core skills and are supported by our partners at High Tech High and PBLWorks.

Primary (Ages 6-11)

In Primary, your child will learn rapidly with peers of similar ability and enjoy every moment of it. Children can progress very rapidly though our levels.
  • Math, reading and writing becomes more abstract and use lessons have a greater focus on academics, maths are sourced from Montessori, reading and writing from our partner schools in the USA.

Secondary (Ages 11-14)

  • Using all of their masters skills students work on large term and semester long projects to deepen their knowledge and passion around fields such as nature, Social Emotional learning
  • Da Vinci Life-Skills has designed a 'living' curriculum and assessment model to liberate learners unique intelligences and curiosities. We are disrupting the institution as we know it, to empower the entrepreneurs and world builders of the future. For more information, please visit here.
  • We have so many opportunities to grow in our children using project-based learning
The studies are clear, the higher the Social Emotional Learning qualities are in a school, the higher the academic and holistic results are. Research shows that strong SEL foundations are highly correlated with higher academic achievement for students (increased self-efficacy, persistence, and test scores) better behavior in school, better ability to make friends, and an increase willingness to take on new tasks (with increased recognition of fear-responses and the ability to overcome and transform them into curious responses. A comprehensive literature review revealed large-scale experimental studies showing that strong SEL skills lead to better career progression, better social, behavioral, and mental health outcomes, positive work and family relationships, reduced criminal behavior, and citizen engagement. “Social, emotional, and cognitive capabilities are fundamentally intertwined.”
“…genuinely effective schools—those that prepare students not only to pass tests at school but also to pass the tests of life—are finding that social-emotional competence and academic achievement are interwoven and that integrated, coordinated instruction in both areas maximizes students’ potential to succeed in school and throughout their lives.” 
--Zins, Joseph E. and Maurice J. Elias.

Kindness Class

The  kindness materials that we have developed are built on the foundation laid out in  Marshall Rosenburg’s Nonviolent Communication. In this class we cover asking for consent, how to share, how to set your own and see others boundaries, learning how to make friends, and we play games to help students know every child and teacher by name. It is these skills that allow students to thrive and create a safe and comfortable environment for themselves and others.

Empathy Class

In Empathy class, we dealt deeper into understanding our own feelings and the feelings of our friends whenever there are conflicts and difficulties. Students learn how to understand giving empathy to themselves as well as understand the action of others in a positive light. We also teach practical and brain science of positive psychology. We teach them to be confident, to speak their truth while  others listen accordingly and reflect on each others’ honest release. This class has directly integrated children’s long term academic goals, increased children’s self reporting of feeling comfortable in all environments within the school, and helps guide them to develop and convey boundaries in their process of making friends

Peace-making Class

In peace making class, we take all that students have learned from our Social Emotional Learning program, and we teach them how to use these skills to reduce conflicts within themselves, with other kids at school, and how to intervene in conflicts to allow students to reflect each others’ feelings, needs, and beliefs, thus supporting our students in ending the conflicts of other students. 


Leveled Classes

In Empathy's leveled classes, students are placed by their ability, not by age. Children learn more advanced skills in math, reading, and science as their ability increases.

Math level 1

Children learn to recognize numerals up to 20 and above. They start counting by fives and 10s and learn the basics of addition and subtraction. They compare numbers or groups of objects using "more than," "less than," or "equal to." By the end of kindergarten, students can identify simple shapes like squares, triangles, and circles. We also explore and learn about the mathematics that exist in nature, storytelling, puzzles, and games.

Math Level 2

At this level, our students will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of numbers and make connections to the way numbers are used in everyday life. Students Learn to recognize numerals up to 20 and above. They start countingcount by fives and 10s and learn the basics of addition and subtraction. Students will learn to compare numbers or groups of objects using "more than," "less than," or "equal to." By the end of level 1, students can identify simple shapes and properties of squares, triangles, and circles 

Math level 3

In Level 3 students become adept at one and two-digit addition and subtraction  and learn a variety of methods for solving mathematical problems.

Math level 4

Children learn more advanced skills in mental math, but they will also learn how to explain the steps they used to solve a problem. In level 4 children start to master the multiplication tables and commit them to memory. They are also introduced to the basics of geometry and will solve math problems involving objects’ area and perimeter

Math level 5

Children learn more advanced skills in mental math, but they will also learn how to explain the steps they used to solve a problem. In level 4 children start to master the multiplication tables and commit them to memory. They are also introduced to the basics of geometry and will solve math problems involving objects’ area and perimeter

Math level 6

Math Level 6 combines all the foundational skills they’ve learned thus far in areas of numeration, addition and subtraction up to 6 digits, multiplication to 3 digits, division up to 3 digit divisors, decimals to the 10 thousandths place, measurement, fractions, geometry, percents, probability, statistics and integers.

Reading & Writing 1

Children in Level 1 learn the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they make. They identify "the," "and," and "is" and other simple words by sight, while gradually building upon a basic vocabulary. There will be a strong focus on phonics in school, with your child learning all the phonemes used in the English language and applying them to graphemes in their reading. Children will learn spelling rules and tricky words. They read lots of stories and will start to write their own, learning how to hold a pencil and telling simple narratives.

Reading & Writing 2

Children entering Reading and Writing  level 2 should be able to recognize their printed name, along with other core sight words. They build upon that starter vocabulary throughout the level, adding more complicated sounds and learning to decode or "sound out" unfamiliar words. They read ability-appropriate books with fluency and can identify a story's beginning, middle, and end.

Reading & Writing 3

By Level 3, students become fluent readers and writers. They may gravitate toward certain genres of books and begin writing their own stories, complete with correct capitalization and punctuation. Correct spelling is emphasized and reinforced through spelling tests. Independent reading is encouraged both in school and for homework.

Reading & Writing 4

Level 4 reading builds upon students' vocabulary. They learn how to find information in dictionaries and other reference books. Fiction and non-fiction books are longer and more complex. Students write detailed essays and stories that flow logically and have a distinct beginning, middle, and end. Now, they are adding paragraphs or chapters to transition between ideas.

Reading & Writing 5

Level 5 reading and writing build upon existing skills. Children explore various types and genres of poetry and stories. They learn synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms, and expand their vocabulary. Level 5 students show their understanding of a book's themes by writing a book report.

Reading & Writing 6

Readers and writers in level 6 dig deeper into stories, analyzing the plot along with key characters and their motives, while further building their own vocabularies. They take a more organized approach to writing, starting with an outline, and moving on to drafting, revising, and completing edits to create a finished piece. Students in level 6 tackle research papers and reports, and may even give oral presentations on various topics.
For more information about class-by-class look and in more subjects, please follow this link to our document.

Non-leveled Classes

In non-leveled classes, children  learn more about their world through experiments and first-hand exploration

Nature

In nature classes, we take students out doors to understand more about the world around them. We teach them how to name the plants and know which plants are edible and inedible. We train them how to plant, grow, and cultivate all of the plants in our permaculture garden and those that grow wild in the jungle. We drill them about the jungle safety, the microbiome, and the misen that keeps the entire environment thriving. We also educate them on how to generate electricity from the sun and the moving water. 

Arts

In Empathy School, we have a wide variety of art programs. Everything from paintings, which includes finger paintings, water colors, and the acrylics to ceramics and wood carving. Each one of these arts has individual programs. Together, when these skills are mastered, students go on to demonstrate their mastery through our project based learning courses.
In our Project Based Learning classes, students focus on designing for change. The goal is for students to use all of their understanding from all of their classes (arts, academic, social emotional learning) to be able to create projects that benefit not only for themselves but the larger community beyond their home and family. They have conducted projects to clean up the local ecosystem, to teach English to non english speaking children, to build adobe, cement, and wooden structures around campus to benefit the local fara and flora. 

 Evidence shows that our Project based learning curriculum leads to much more rapid mastery of academic skills.