At American Heritage School, students across the K-8 spectrum are instructed in art, science, physical education, and a host of other elective courses by specialty instructors working in specialized spaces. The core classroom takes an alternate approach where students pursue multiple subjects–history, geography, writing, and literature–with a consistent single instructor in a consistent classroom. Maintaining this approach across the K-8 spectrum is a hallmark of the American Heritage method and provides at least two important and sizable benefits:
- Synergy — Curriculum can be integrated across subject lines in a manner that makes each curricular component more meaningful and memorable. For example, students add enrichment to their study of the events during 18th and 19th century France by reading Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. Students understanding the historical context then apply the restored-gospel lens to consider elements of the atonement, mercy, justice, and forgiveness illustrated and contrasted among Hugo’s cast of characters.
- Mentoring — Surveyed adults have consistently shown that the most ingrained experiences from early schooling are typically centered around a mentoring relationship. We provide fertile ground for mentorship to flourish when we schedule students to spend multiple periods with a single master teacher.