The Learning Edge
A Parent’s Perspective on Clonlara’s Early Elementary (K–2) Program
By Clonlara School
We interviewed Sally, the parent of a 6-year-old Clonlara School student, to get some insight into her family’s decision to choose our Campus Program. Her answers offer a glimpse into learning in the early years at Clonlara as well as advice for families considering our school for their young children.
Tell us a little about your student?
Our daughter Simone has been at Clonlara for two years. She’s a free spirit with lots of ideas. She’s happiest creating things, playing outside, or scheming a new idea with friends, such as teaching “Fairy School.”
How would Simone answer the following questions?
What do you like most about coming to school each day?
“That my friends are there!”
What is something you’re curious about learning this year?
“Hmmm…probably how to do more art.”
Describe your classroom and Full Circle Learning.
“It’s fun, and we can play in it! There’s this whole process. You start on planning a project. Then you look up how to do it. Then you find a mentor, which is a guide. Then you start working on it. Then you review it. That’s it!”
What would you tell other kids about Clonlara?
“The school is fun!”
What is your philosophy on education? How does it align with Clonlara’s approach?
I feel that learning is very natural to all of us; that it happens all the time, wherever we are; and that children learn best when they are making decisions about what’s interesting to them in an environment that supports and honors the spirit of each child. I love that all of Simone’s ideas fit beautifully into the Full Circle Learning framework and that she’s learning how to work through them with an incredible life skill. All of her unique interests and talents are so well supported and honored at Clonlara. It’s a very supportive place to learn.
How would you describe Clonlara’s Campus Program to a friend who is researching early elementary options for their child?
I’d first say COME VISIT! Clonlara is a place that you really need to see in person. At Clonlara, the students engage in learning based on their independent interests and also come together to learn as a group. They regularly get out into the community to learn, too. No day is the same! It’s a unique and lovely place where kids are supported in who they are and what they want to learn, and the teachers work well together to make it all flow.
If you are looking for a place where your kid can freely move about their day, guided by loving teachers, and where individual interests are not only allowed but celebrated, it might be the right fit for your child and family. We are all here to help you find out if Clonlara could be the best place for you.
What aspects of Clonlara School do you value most?
I value that my daughter is seen as an individual with unique learning interests at Clonlara. It’s so reassuring that she loves coming to school every day and that she leaves happy at the end of the day, too. As a parent, there’s really nothing better than to see your kid happy and supported in their learning environment. The community of students, parents, and staff at Clonlara is also wonderful. It’s such a supportive and lovely group of people that I’m honored to be part of.