The Kindergarten-1st grade program at Odyssey Community School offers a unique and exciting opportunity for young children in the Asheville area.
Its integral classroom honors each child’s inherent wholeness, and teaches through all six strands (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, aesthetic, and moral). Each day starts with centering. This is followed by time spent on theme-based projects, listening to mythological stories which evolve into mythological based writing, reading, and math studios, reading, reflection and spending time playing in a playground that is a blend of Never Never Land and Chartes Cathedral. The integral education model emphasizes learning about and understanding both the universe and one’s self, and the K/1 classroom nurtures both areas of learning.
Integral education is research based and cutting edge.It encompasses holistic education but is more. Integral education incorporates, refines, and synthesizes many points of view, integrating mind-body-heart. Children learn that either/or thinking can be limiting when they can choose “and” instead. They learn to think creatively both inside and outside of the box, and are respected for the key role they play, together with their teachers, in shaping the learning process. They learn to understand themselves and others, to communicate peacefully to solve conflicts, and use personal power appropriately in the service of a greater good. All of these skills are desperately needed in today’s world.
Within K/1’s integral classroom, mythology plays a very important role.Myths tell stories about complex heroes who are faced with all types of problems. Each problem brings out certain traits, and children learn that real heroes are layered, with ever-deepening qualities. The heroes of mythology allow children to experience many archetypes and to connect with different types of struggles and accomplishments.
The hero’s journey is one focus of the mythological stories, and is used as a primary teaching tool in the K/1 classroom.Children learn that a hero operates from noble intent, takes risks, and perseveres. Our children can acknowledge and celebrate their own hero’s journeys as they learn to develop self-discipline, use their personal power appropriately, and set and meet goals.
Odyssey’s curriculum is rooted in the conviction that each child needs to develop at her/his optimal rate of challenge. Learning is viewed as a multi-dimensional process, as opposed to linear and chronological. Odyssey’s curriculum references the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and the Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory language arts curriculum. Our math curriculum follows the Addison-Wesley scope and sequence.
K/1 at Odyssey supports children in bridging the magical playfulness of the preschool years with the increasingly cognitive experience of the elementary school years in a joyful, respectful, and comprehensive way.
Check out the K-1 teacher project presentations: Hypothetical Mythos and Common Core Interface K and Presentation on how mythos supports the emerging reader& writer.