The educational framework for the Cocoplum curriculum includes:
Bilingual (Spanish-English) immersion
Each day will begin with a morning ritual during which we gather as a school family to greet one another, our natural world, and the day. Then, children will engage with nature and one another outdoors about 60% of the school day in small mixed age groups. Through a combination of child-directed projects and in-the-moment experiential learning and adult-designed conditions for learning, children develop skills and knowledge in literacy and language, numeracy, scientific inquiry, context and history, and technology applications. Throughout the day, Cocoplum guides--experts in pedagogy, environmental education, and elementary education--will carefully document observable evidence of the knowledge and skills each child demonstrates in these areas. Punctuating the day will be periods of individual reflection, quiet thinking/working time, and rest either in the shade of a tree or in shelter. Each day will conclude similar to the way it began with a school-wide ritual in which we express gratitude to ourselves, one another, and our natural world.
At Cocoplum Nature School, we do not view nature and technology as mutually exclusive. Rather, we see technology, when applied appropriately, as a powerful tool for learning, conservation, and innovation. Children will learn how to harness technology as a useful tool for planning and conducting research. Children may choose to use school-provided tablets for various literacy and language activities such as reading books and articles, composing reader's journal entries, and writing letters to elected officials. We believe in equipping children at an early age with skills to be responsible and critical consumers and users of technology.
Homework can be a source of stress for some children and families, and for others it provides structure in the afternoon and evening hours and a valuable connection between the education provider and home. For these reasons, homework will be individualized and age-appropriate, and it will always be a source of enrichment, such as reading and writing for enjoyment or conducting research to build upon the day's learning. As a support program for home education families, Cocoplum will work with families to determine the nature and extent of homework.