The message of Christian schooling is one of hope and encouragement! The issues of our day are some of the most difficult social issues known to mankind. Much of the world is trapped in despair, poverty, and conflict. Yet in the midst of these circumstances, Christian schools around the world are providing viable answers for some of life’s most challenging circumstances and questions. LIFE believes that knowledge of the Scriptures is foundational for confronting the issues of our day.
LIFE is a member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), the largest Christian education association worldwide – with over 24,000 member schools in 113 countries. LIFE is also a member of the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA) and will soon be starting the process of accreditation.
Every educational philosophy is built upon core foundational assumptions and beliefs. Such assumptions and beliefs either include God, or exclude Him. At LIFE International School we subscribe to a biblical view of the world which includes but is not limited to, our view of God, creation, mankind, and the Holy Scriptures. Our Statement of Faith outlines foundational components of our beliefs, and all programs, policies, and instruction is to be in harmony with it.
We believe that the primary responsibility for the education of children rests with the home. Parents are the student’s first teacher and, for a time, entrust their children to LIFE International School for an education within this biblical framework. The school works in partnership with the home and invites the parents’ active cooperation.
The teacher, as a co-learner, is to model learning. As a coach, the teacher comes alongside the student to help facilitate learning. The teacher helps awaken a student’s awareness of his or her potential, and stimulates the student’s desire to learn, grow and develop. It is the teacher’s responsibility to foster an affirming, supportive learning environment, including care of the physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual welfare of the students.
We believe that the educational process should be learner-centered. LIFE is committed to sustaining a discovery-centered, stimulating educational environment that promotes a holistic approach to child development. In addition to academic achievement, we work to support the students in developing personal interests such as art, music, drama and sports. Each student has a unique learning style and ability, and our responsibility is to guide instruction in a way that will help each student achieve his/her highest potential.
In order to foster a healthy self image and grow in character and maturity, students at LIFE receive much positive reinforcement to help cultivate good habits and to learn the value of hard work. We also recognize that character is forged through establishment of appropriate boundaries, discipline, and order. Therefore, suitable consequences for inappropriate behavior are another means for helping students learn and grow.
Finally, LIFE’s educational philosophy is further evidenced day by day in our classrooms, through the following areas of emphasis.
- Exploratory Learning
LIFE encourages curiosity and discovery through a variety of hands-on activities. All five senses will be used to help students grow and learn about their world. LIFE recognizes that classroom learning is vital, but students also benefit from learning experiences outside the classroom, including camps, extra-curricular activities, field trips, service opportunities, and inter-cultural exchanges.
- English Immersion
English has become the international language of business, computing, and tourism. Tomorrow’s leaders need to be multilingual. LIFE is an English immersion school. Since children learn language intuitively in the context of their environment, classes will be taught in English, without relying on translation. Teachers will be required to model and teach excellence in pronunciation and language structures. Students of various levels of English proficiency will learn in the same classroom and will be provided with the needed language support to achieve success in content areas. The goal is that students will obtain conversational and academic fluency in English.
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
One of the goals of the learning process is to move toward higher levels of critical thinking, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Today, unlimited information is available at our fingertips, and students must be able to evaluate information and analyze whether it is truthful and relevant, or not. LIFE encourages “out-of-the-box” thinking, forged on foundational principles, to help students solve problems and navigate wisely in the information age.
- Character Development
Research shows that character development is ultimately more foundational than academic achievement in order for children to be successful (Tough, P. How Children Succeed). LIFE promotes character development through direct instruction and through qualified teachers who are committed to daily modeling personal characteristics such as patience, kindness, love, joy, respect, perseverance, tolerance, gratitude, self-control, and forgiveness.
Perhaps more than ever before, the globalization of modern society requires skills of working fluidly across boundaries. Teamwork and collaborative learning are educational emphases at LIFE International School. Emerging leaders must be equipped with excellent skills in communication, and resourced to interact positively and effectively with colleagues and those in authority.
- Individualized Support
Of enormous value in our program is the vested care of the teachers, who together with the parents identify ways in which the students can be challenged to reach their full potential. LIFE recognizes that each student is unique and special, and the school is prepared to offer additional challenges and opportunities for gifted students, and also provide accommodations and modifications for students with special learning needs. Class size will be small to accommodate needs for hands on learning, language support, and individualized support.
We believe that assessment is not a measure of the person, but of their learning. Formal tests and exams are often not an accurate assessment of student achievement as many levels of learning cannot be measured by exams. At LIFE, assessment will be ongoing, multifaceted, and measure achievement as well as improvement. This overarching assessment helps teachers plan future instruction and helps students understand how well they have achieved the objectives. Assessment should be honoring to students and encourage continued learning while simultaneously informing parents of their child’s learning and development.
- Health and Fitness
In addition to educating the mind, students will learn about caring for their bodies through nutrition and exercise. The dining room is one place where students learn about nutrition by being served balanced meals, and exercise will be promoted as a way of life. Students will learn that health and nutrition will lead to a healthy lifestyle that will ultimately improve their quality of life.
Many things about our culture cause us to be self-focused. As students are challenged to care about the needs of others, they learn the value and importance of becoming a concerned citizen and contributing to the common good of society. Students will have opportunities to serve within their classrooms and within the school. As students grow and mature, they will be expected to find ways to use their gifts and skills to serve others within their community as well.
- Biblical Integration
The study of the academic disciplines (math, science, language, physical education, music, etc.) requires rigor and excellence, for these disciplines are tools which help us discover more about God and our role as stewards of his creation. All LIFE students will learn core academic subject material taught from a Biblical perspective. Secular education does not include God as a viable part of understanding the world; therefore various speculations and theories are created that ultimately result in a search for truth that does not include all the options (God). LIFE students will learn both perspectives.