- Middle School
- Tiny Sprouts
- Art & Drama
- Additional Classes
- After School Enrichment
- Summer Programs
- Homeschool Program
The classroom is organized into areas, or centers – including reading and writing, science, mathematics, art, dramatic play, and music. Most areas within the classroom are designed to encourage individual and small group interaction. The teacher in the primary classroom is constantly interacting with and observing the students to construct the next phase of the classroom curriculum. Children are encouraged to learn through active, open-ended exploration, and by direct manipulation of materials used throughout the school year. Students initiate learning by making their own choices throughout the day, while still having the opportunity to participate in whole group and school-wide activities.
Introductory French is taught weekly, with frequent reinforcement throughout the school week. The children also participate in weekly art, drama, and low stress physical education lessons.
The pre-k and kindergarten curriculum in the primary classroom ensures that children will develop a strong sense of self, appropriate academic skills, and positive social skills.
Primary children are immersed each day in a personal education rich in common language, mathematics, science, and the arts – all of which ensures successful intellectual and emotional development and provides for a positive transition to the elementary years.
Our curriculum is based on the Common Core Curriculum as well as inquiry- based learning. Students come to class eager to learn and ask questions and we work together to answer those questions through research, group work and individualized instruction.
We have a strong community within our school and we are lucky to participate in activities with both the primary and middle school classes on a weekly basis.
By working together and learning from one another we easily build self-confidence and motivation for learning and character building.
Our elementary class is made up of joyful and engaged learners, eager to share their learning and to dig deeper into a topic. They do not ask, “Do we have to do this?” Instead they ask, “Do we have to stop?”
The classroom is designed to foster both group and individual interaction, as well as both student-led and teacher-led instruction. Each morning begins with a short journal entry and morning meeting. This is a time to share personal thoughts and concerns and to work through any interpersonal issues that may arise as a group. Then we get our creative juices flowing with “Tinker Time” in the classroom’s Maker Space. Here, students will be given a challenge or creative prompt and will be provided with a variety of materials to creatively find a solution. These materials will include everything from a sewing machine to popsicle sticks and rubber bands. Snap Circuits and littleBits will also be in regular rotation for Tinker Time (if you aren’t familiar with these tool kits for inventors young and old, check out their websites: www.littleBits.cc and www.snapcircuits.net). The daily routine also includes a whole-school walk or nature hike through the school’s beautiful woods. After lunch students settle in for quiet reading time, followed by traditional academic subjects. Our traditional academic subjects are tackled through less traditional means. We delve deeply into one topic, thus fostering deeper understanding and building connections between subject areas.
Each week middle school students have Art, French, Health and Human Development, and Nutritious Cooking classes. Community outreach is a major component of the program. On a weekly or bi-weekly basis, the middle school class spends time reading to homeless children, visiting the Albany County Nursing Home, or otherwise getting engaged with the community and offering their skills to help make our community and the world a better place.
Middle school students at BCS are taught how to think, rather than what to think, and build the social, emotional, and academic skills to help them make a smooth transition into high school and the teenage years.
The art program at The Bethlehem Children’s School takes a process- vs. product-centered approach to art education, with an emphasis on expanding children’s creativity and their knowledge of the world of art, color, form and design. We believe in a multi-arts approach to creativity, introducing students to a variety of media including painting, collage, mosaics, sketching and more. Often incorporating literature and science, we work to foster our students’ art knowledge, artistic techniques, fine motor skills, language, cognitive skills and confidence. Our program takes as its foundation the belief that there are no mistakes in art, only imagination and an artist’s eye.Elementary
Elementary Science discussions are often driven by what the students already know or are interested in, and relating it back to our fundamental science themes. When some students were interested in WWI, we discussed the immeasurable impact and role of resources on war from its causes to efforts to prevent the next one. Elementary (and middle school) students have been responsible for conducting research on our school ground plant species as well as current events assignments. The elementary students have been very successful at physical projects on the school grounds. Sophisticated discussions take place around complicated concepts such as entropy, evolution, and scientific formulas such as E=mc2. The students are very adept at grasping seemingly obscure concepts. Activities have included studying the school’s heating system, and then taking apart a circulator pump with an electric motor.Primary
The primary students have proven to be amazingly quick learners. Obviously much of the material discussed with the older students is not exactly within their abilities, but the themes remain the same and their abilities are still quite amazing. Like the older students, they are learning to identify the plant life at our school. They have a healthy garden in the classroom of both plants and insects. We focus on studying things we can observe directly and seasonally. The students have tracked animals through the snow while learning about habitats. We have begun a study of local birds with the help of the local Audubon Society. Every opportunity is made for the primary science program to involve hands or participatory experiences. The students are also practicing the fundamentals of recycling.
- French is taught weekly.
- Music class and activities are taught weekly and interspersed into the day in all of our classrooms
- Students engage in physical activities each day. One of the hallmarks of our school is the morning walk; weather permitting, all children and teachers begin each day with a walk along Fisher Boulevard. Yoga and movement classes are held several times a week. Every child has at least one half-hour recess period per day; during the fall and spring, there are frequently additional scheduled (and unscheduled!) times to play outdoors. When it is too cold or too rainy outside, recess is held indoors; there is never a day when children are denied the opportunity to play together in a less-structured manner.
For those with “standing reservations” or for those who provide at least twenty-four hours notice, the charge is $25.00 per day, or $125.00 per week. We ask that all children be picked up no later than 5:30 p.m.; there will be an additional charge for parents who pick up their child(ren) after this time.
Please note: We have an increasing number of prospective families asking about before-care services. Currently, children are welcome at school as early as 8:00 a.m.; while there is no formal before-care program, they are cared for by faculty and staff of the school.
If you are interested in the possibility of before-care services, please point this out when you make your initial phone call to the school as a prospective parent. If enough parents want before-care services, we will add it.
For a number of years, homeschooling parents have looked to The Bethlehem Children’s School for help in overcoming some of the challenges in providing for a child’s education at home, including:
- easing the transition into a traditional school setting;
- providing small group exposure for projects and friendship;
- giving the schooling parent time to manage other tasks; and
- meeting other parents who are providing a combination of home and traditional school environments.
The Bethlehem Children’s School provides a unique opportunity in the Capital District for providing a perfect setting for your child or children with the goal of responding to some or all of those challenges.
We have small classes emphasizing cooperative learning, and a rigorous curriculum emphasizing environmental education. Our students are creative and grow intellectually each day. Our faculty has many years of experience working with children, and work tirelessly and with tremendous energy, care, and commitment.
The Bethlehem Children’s School is small enough – and flexible enough – to accommodate the particular educational and social needs of homeschooling parents. Part-time admission to the school is available click here to see our tuition and fee schedule.
Please call us at 518 – 478 – 0224 to set up a time to come and visit and see what we have to offer