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Welcome to Scoop On Schools

If you are wondering how to find the best Portland area school for your child, we’ve got you covered! Follow a step-by-step process created by two Portland moms who have gone through it themselves and want to give you the scoop on how it all works.

We may not be blogging anymore,  but we're still around! If you want to let us know about changes in the school scene please leave comments, find us on FACEBOOK, post to the FORUM, or CONTACT US

Entries in The Living School (2)

Tuesday
Nov132012

Option 3: Non-Traditional Schools

Most of us take for granted that school is the way it is, the way it’s always been - but does that mean the standard school is ideal for your kid? Once you start peeling away the onion layers and looking at the roots of traditional education, your mind may start to shift. To get a sense of how traditional schools were designed and thus how you might want to stray from that model when it comes to your child, I highly recommend this short visual lecture by Ken Robinson (worth the 12 minutes, I promise). If his talk inspires you to consider some type of non-traditional school, you will have plenty of possibilities in Portland.

Whether you’re looking at public or private schools, options in both of those camps include schools that don’t follow the mainstream approach. They may use a century-old method like Waldorf/Steiner or Montessori; or they may be some amalgam of “tried & true” and their own unique approach. The latter also tend to utilize collaborative, project-based, and experiential learning, with examples around town such as Renaissance, Emerson, The Living School, and others somewhere on the spectrum. But no matter which of these less-traditional paths you might choose to follow, the challenges and rewards tend to be similar. Based on dozens of conversations over the past few years, along with my own research and experience as a Montessori mom, I’ll lay out the pros and cons of these non-traditional approaches in a broad-strokes way. But it bears repeating that every school is different (even within the same method – e.g. Waldorf) and your assessment of a particular school requires diligent investigation!

The Scoop Half-full:

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Monday
Jun062011

The Living School - profile

The Living School, a private non-profit K-5 school born out of Escuela Viva (a preschool previously in N Portland) recently moved into a new spot in close-in SE Portland.  It follows a unique blend of constructivism, project approach, Education for Life, and Reggio Emilia style, all while being a dual language Spanish/English school. I toured during an open house in early May, and spoke with a couple of the parents whose kids attend:

The Scoop Half-Full:

If you are drawn to the more out-of-the-box approaches to learning, then the Living School may have big appeal.  For those aware of the neuroscience perspective on education and executive function, the style of active and engaged learning at the Living School will be impressive.  There is lots of choice, lots of opportunity for freedom of movement, creativity, and plenty of projects that range from a child’s personal interest all the way to community “do good” outreach. The Living School also has the bonus of dual language.  Though the Spanish is not full immersion, it’s heavily emphasized during the day with an ultimate goal closer to basic proficiency rather than full fluency.

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