Kindergarten and First Grade at Odyssey support 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.
Our Integral classroom honors each child’s inherent wholeness, and teaches through all six strands, as each day starts with centering and 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.
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, and 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.
Mythology also plays a very important role in our kindergarten and first grade classrooms. 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. Through engaging in the hero’s journey, 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.