Bethlehem Children’s School offers year-round progressive education programs for children ages 2.5 through 5th grade. Our school year runs from September through June, and our Summer Camps run for 10 weeks. We have flexible scheduling options, with part-time, full-time and extended-day schedules available. During the school year, we provide interesting after school enrichment programming that is open to our own students and students enrolled in other local schools, as well as a homeschool partnership program for older students.
Our students spend ample time outdoors: hiking on our trails, playing on our playground, and learning in our gardens. We incorporate kindness and mindfulness curriculum into all of our classrooms. Throughout the year we work on service projects with our students. Our vision is to inspire a life-long love of learning while building a deep connection to self, others, and the world.
All of our programs are driven by our mission to provide experiential, child-led, multi-age education for the whole child, emphasizing nature, wisdom, and wellness.
Discover why Bethlehem Children’s School is a special place to learn and grow!
The Tiny Sprouts program focuses on the youngest of learners. We accept students who are ready for their first social experience within a small-group setting. Students work on forming peer relationships and becoming part of a community outside of the home. In our safe and supportive environment we help to build self confidence as we guide them towards autonomy.
Students are exposed to an academic curriculum in a hands-on, relaxed classroom within a whole-school environment. They learn about sustainability while exploring nature on the school’s trails and in the gardens and greenhouse. Students participate in all- school activities including art, drama, language arts, music, yoga, meditation and much more…
The Primary classroom’s educational program is designed to provide an environment in which children are encouraged to develop individual interests through exploration and personal choice within the safe boundaries of a small school.
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, yoga, and music 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.
In the elementary class, children work together to accomplish group and individual academic and social goals.
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 the primary and sprouts 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.
The art program at 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 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 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.
The Primary Science students focus on the same themes as the elementary class, but the exploration happens at their pace. Like the older students, they learn to identify the plant life at our school. They have a healthy garden for their classroom and study 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 studied local birds with the help of the local Audubon Society. Our teachers merge our school theme and curriculum with what the children are interested in learning about. Learning in the Primary Program is a hands-on, child-led experience.
Bethlehem Children’s School offers a number of special classes for our students to engage both mind and body.
- American Sign Language 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 take a walk each day on our wooded trails. 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 (a rarity for us!), recess is held indoors; there is never a day when children are denied the opportunity to play together in a less-structured manner.
Bethlehem Children’s School offers an aftercare program for its students from 3:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. As part of this program, our teachers and staff provide curriculum enhancement through activities such as cooking, Lego building, gardening, and plenty of time for free play.
The charge for aftercare is $75.00 per week, with a daily drop-in rate of $25.00 per day. At a minimum, parents must notify the office at the time of drop-off, if their child will be attending aftercare that day. 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.
After School Enrichment Programs
Session II: January 2nd – February 15th
Session III: February 26th – April 20th
Session IV: April 23rd – June 8th
Bethlehem Children’s School is now offering a variety of new after school enrichment classes from outstanding local teachers for preschool and elementary school-aged children.
Choose from offerings in the following subjects designed to help your child build new skills, confidence, and creativity:
Cost: $110 for a seven-week session; $95 for a six-week session
Click here for class descriptions:
Click here for a printable registration form:
Homeschoolers at The Bethlehem Children’s School—Easy as PIE (Partnerships In Education)!
For a number of years, homeschooling parents have looked to 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.
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 encouraged to be 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.
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.
Our Homeschool Partnership Program can be viewed here.
Please call us at 518 – 478 – 0224 to set up a time to come and visit and see what we have to offer.