My 3rd grader gets some math worksheets, and journal writing every week. He also has one longer term project this semester. This seems like enough to reinforce what he's learning, but it doesn't overwhelm his evenings or weekends.
AALC has provided a loving, supportive environment for my kids. It's a school where they learn by doing, not by sitting in seats and listening. The four agreements echo our values as a family, and I am confident my kids are learning critical thinking and social skills, not just how to take a test.
If you're a parent that is dedicated to partnering with your child and their teachers to create an the best learning experience, this is your school. We came here for community, environmental education, social responsibility and the 4 agreements (see the AALC website About Us page). We found that and more! When we started here our son had been bullied and he was very behind in his math skills. Over the years all of his talented, caring teachers worked in partnership with us to get him caught up educationally as well as emotionally. His teachers worked hard to provide the best education during the school year and beyond. When we asked how we could help, they gave us the guidance on how to provide extra opportunities for him to review and advance after school and over the summers. After attending AALC for 6 years our son is doing great! During his education at AALC he learned to love learning again, he began to participate and became active in his own education. His middle school experience gave him strong critical thinking skills, the chance to have interesting intellectual discussions and a chance to grow socially while still being able to be a kid. Over the years he has made many lasting friendships here. He is now attending high school and because he has a good educational foundation and has strengthened his social skills he is doing fantastic!!! Learning takes an active partnership between parents, children and their teachers, we thank AALC for working with us to help our son reach his full potential as an active and thoughtful student.
For the most part if you expect your child to be an attentive active learner and they know your expectations then the children and teachers will have the best learning environment. The teachers are all very talented and they are willing and able to help as needed. Just ask and they are happy to help. Quite often they go beyond what is expected to try to help the children.
The children aren't so overwhelmed that they lose their love of learning. I think it's important for parents to go above and beyond to help their kids when they aren't understanding a concept, but that is true at every school. If your child is having trouble, say in math, then take the time to get them extra help. The teachers are happy to discuss your child's weak points and give you some tips or extra work to help them to excel but parents need to hold up their end of the bargain too..
Kids are expected to complete their work to the best of their ability and the teachers encourage them to do their best work. The students are given opportunities to go beyond just the immediate school experience by participating in spelling bees, math competitions, Michigan History Day and Girls on the Run.
Mutual respect is the first of the 4 agreements and the teachers are expected to mirror this value in their own behavior. Not only do the kids learn to respect each other they learn to respect other cultures, and the environment.