THE FOUR CORE PRACTICES
Learning by Doing
We believes that there is more to learning than reading from a textbook, absorbing content, and taking tests. Rather, we see the necessity of real-world, relevant learning experiences that fully engage learners. “Learning by doing,” a foundational practice at Springhouse, cannot be narrowed down to one particular experience. Often referred to as experiential or experienced-based learning, this approach to education can take various forms, such as collaboratively designing and building a garden gate for a local community organization, working through difficulty by walking 48 miles from Floyd to Roanoke, VA, or learning about massage therapy through an apprenticeship with a local masseuse.
A mentor is a wise and trusted guide who assists the student with their learning by sharing their experiences with them. Every learner is paired with a mentor to address academic progress and to foster holistic development. In this relationship, learners are engaged in an intentional process of growth and maturation. The mentor ensures that the learner is receiving the academic, emotional, and social support they need to live into their potential. Mentors also walk with learners as they celebrate and mark developmental thresholds on their journey.
We collaborate with our community to provide learners with real-world projects and to create opportunities for learner-driven service-learning. Healthy adolescent development requires that learners engage in experiences outside of the school walls by working with their community to explore their gifts, challenge themselves, and be of service. For our Community Internship Program, each learner spends at least one day a week interning with a local organization. Learners design internship projects that both contribute something of value to partner organizations and teaches them new skills.
Embodied living includes practices and activities that encourage learners to access the wisdom of their bodies. At Springhouse, we engage these practices to cultivate a relational sense of belonging within oneself, the community, and with the Earth. We integrate movement practices like dance and yoga into the curriculum, as well as field trips, outdoor activities, art projects, and other modes of observing, exploring, and engaging with the body and the natural world. Embodied living practices empower learners by fostering resiliency, confidence, self-awareness, and belonging.