Arts & Trades Enrichment Program
Every day Sundial students have opportunities to develop their body and soul, along with the mind, because we believe no child’s worth should be reduced to a math or reading test score. We believe every human is happier when given the opportunity to develop their full spectrum of skills and talents.
Monday-Thursday Enrichment for Ages 5 to 6
Students in this class spend their day immersed in an ongoing mixture of enrichment and academic learning opportunities, though they probably all feel like play to the children! For example, their curriculum will use music and art to teach poems, letter sounds and number concepts all day long. The students will spend plenty of time outside either in free play or on nature study walks. They will receive planned instruction in dance, singing, and theater as well as the study of one visual artist, musical composer, and poet each semester. They will practice common arts such as cleaning, baking, yarncraft, gardening, and an introduction to basic woodworking.
Monday-Thursday Enrichment for Ages 6 to 10
Students in our Elementary program spend their morning focused on academic content and their afternoon moving between an immersive history or science class and an enrichment class. Right after lunch students spend an hour two days a week in a deep exploration of one historical event. They read literature, study artifacts, and create projects to help them understand all the social, economic, and geographic factors that impacted an important moment in world history. Another two days a week the students will use the same process of deep exploration to study a scientific concept. They read fiction and nonfiction literature, study samples, and conduct experiments of one concept at a time until they achieve true understanding. These classes are designed to teach scholar skills–we want students to feel like explorers seeking answers and learning how to learn in the process, not passive students completing worksheets that will only end up in the trash.
After their immersive history or science class the students will rotate through an additional hour of arts or tradecraft enrichment classes. They may take a vocal music, instrumental music, art appreciation, dance, painting, sketching, yarncraft, sewing, woodworking, or nature study class. Some classes may be offered year round, whereas others may be offered in 4-6 week segments. According to the classical education pursuit of beauty, we will teach classes that culminate in a final project so that students can experience a sense of accomplishment and meaning to their work rather than the repetition of a practice without context or purpose.
Friday and Winter Intensive Enrichment Programs for Ages 5 to 10
Some arts and trades classes need more than an hour. This list of classes might include: theater, sculpting, baking, food preservation, quilting, weaving, carpentry, masonry, metalwork, gardening and animal husbandry classes. These types of classes will be reserved for Fridays and the Intensive Session programs (in January and August) when students and instructors are given two and a half hours per class to fully develop their skills without feeling rushed.
Here is the schedule for Fridays during the 2023-24 school year and every day during the Winter Intensive of 2024:
- 8:00-9:00 - arrival, communal breakfast, social time
- 9:00-11:30 - class
- 11:30-12:30 - lunch and recess
- 12:30-3:00 - class
- 3:00 - dismissal
Enrollment numbers and availability of instructors will determine how many classes are offered to students, as well as how the students are divided up by age. Classes will always be multi-age, though, and customized to the students’ developmental abilities. As with the immersive history and science classes, in our commitment to the pursuit of the beautiful, classes will culminate in a final project so that students can experience a sense of accomplishment.
Another activity that is still under development for the 2023-24 school year is a series of field trips to either fine arts performances/exhibits or trades/artisans’ workshops. We believe that even young children should be given first-hand experience with the arts and trades and we are actively building a regular schedule of trips for our students. Stay tuned as this aspect of our enrichment program develops!