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The Scully Family

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From the Scully family!  Kensington is in 3rd grade and Brennan is in 5th.  Here's a snapshot of their Sterling experience...

"It was winter 2014 when my husband, Matt, and I embarked on that weighty and emotional journey of discerning where we wanted to send our children to school.  Our firstborn, Brennan, was set to enter Kindergarten the following fall, and his sister, Kensington, was just two years away from the same milestone. We researched; visited various school campuses; prayed; talked with friends whose children's education ran the gamut of experience and models.  

When we heard about Sterling for the first time, we were immediately struck by its model, its values, its mission, and we were eager to get a sense of what the campus was like.  I distinctly remember being in awe of what was displayed in the hallways when we took a tour: the colorful artwork, the hands-on projects, the creative writing. The opportunity of additional time that the University-Model would provide our family; the blend of the Classical and Charlotte Mason philosophies; as well as the Christ-centered atmosphere of warmth, joy-in-learning, and respect drew us in.  A couple of months later, we left our family interview having found out that Brennan could start Kindergarten that fall, and we were quite excited!  

Fast-forward (isn't that the truth?!) to winter 2020, and Brennan is now in 5th grade and Kensington is in 3rd.  Over the years we've had our fair share of back-to-school bumps (which last usually about 6-8 weeks for us) and homeschool days in which I wondered if I could last another day.  However, in the midst of some of those kinds of days, these are the gracious gifts our family has received through our years at Sterling: 

- supportive and skilled co-teachers who are for our children, who want to see them thrive and flourish; 

- curriculum, projects, and special events that have fostered a love of learning and discovering; 

- the opportunity for me to also keep learning alongside Brennan and Kensington (hello again, fractions), and to be engaged in their learning processes; 

- spaciousness in our family rhythms to have more time with each other; and 

- valuable 'training ground' (at home and at school) to be in relationship with others; learn from mistakes; problem solve; develop important life skills and character.

Just the other day, with binoculars around their necks and field guides in hand, Brennan and Kensington enthusiastically roamed outside to bird watch and record what they saw.  That's in part because the 5th grade science classes are beginning their spring semester studies about birds, and little sister (always) wants to experience it as well. It's also partly because we have the flexibility during some of our homeschool days to make room for some imagination and exploration.  And finally, it’s in part because their curiosity and love of learning has been cultivated in an environment that nurtures and encourages it. While our homeschool days certainly don't always look like that, and the bird watching jaunt ended in conflict resolution, it was a moment that in total, gathered together some of the best outworkings of the school that is Sterling.  And our family is thankful."

From the Dean

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The 2019-2020 school year is just flying by at Sterling.  Every week we have exciting events for students in all grades.   One of the most meaningful things I see is the focus on “hands on” learning for our students.  This stems from our integration of the Charlotte Mason philosophy that follows:

An Atmosphere, A Discipline, A Life

By “Atmosphere,” Charlotte meant the surroundings in which the child grows up. A child absorbs a lot from his home environment. Charlotte believed that the ideas that rule your life as the parent make up one-third of your child’s education.

By “Discipline,” Charlotte meant the discipline of good habits—and specifically habits of character. Cultivating good habits in your child’s life make up another third of his education.

The other third of education, “Life,” applies to academics. Charlotte believed that we should give children living thoughts and ideas, not just dry facts. So all of her methods for teaching the various school subjects are built around that concept.

By including parents so extensively at Sterling, I feel this supports the “atmosphere” she is referring to.  There is also a very positive and student-centered “atmosphere” at Sterling.

The Christian focus and values that are taught at Sterling  “cultivate good habits”.  These definitely are habits of character.

The “Life” focus can be seen every day.  Our students are outside learning at all levels.  Students are working with nature, studying the rocks, the clouds, the plants, the bugs...it goes on and on.  These are the things students can make connections with through all subjects and concepts focused on in the classroom.

At Sterling, we are helping to guide and develop the “Whole” child.  We are off to a fantastic start this year!

 

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