How beautiful, competent, and capable children
are educated at Plumfield
At Plumfield Academy, children experience the inspiring and confidence building methods of noted British educator Charlotte Mason (1845-1924).
An educator who:
- Respected the intelligence of the child
- . . . Placing before children our very best books, rich in content and ideas
- Respected the child’s need for movement
- . . . Providing time for free play and exploration in nature
- Respected the need for family time
- . . . Leaving the evening hours free for resting, reading, and personal interests
Her approach is supported by modern brain studies on learning and motivation.
With Charlotte Mason, we believe the following six elements
build confidence in children:
1) We believe a special Atmosphere is created when children
are not learning out of competition or fear.
- Children are interested in the good books we read.
- They enjoy speaking and writing about what they are learning.
- They are pleased with the skills they are mastering.
“When I walked through the door, everyone was happy.
It was a joyful moment.” — Myles
2) We believe children hunger to get at Real Life.
At Plumfield, Real Life is placed before our students
to experience, explore, and understand.
It’s real life:
- found in the stories, characters and ideas of Great Books.
- discovered in nature study, and hands- on science and math.
- relished in beautiful paintings and musical compositions.
- teaching children wisdom to grow as persons and make sense of life.
“You are actually experimenting yourself
to test whether or not your theory is correct” — Abbie
3) We believe students thrive when engaged in Active Learning.
At Plumfield, students “tell back” new knowledge by speaking,
writing, illustrating, and demonstrating.
Through “telling back”:
- Students develop trust in the worthiness of their own ideas.
- Students discover confidence in speaking and writing.
- Younger children hone skills of verbal self-expression
without getting bogged down in the mechanics of printing and spelling.
“Everyone has points to make, facts to tell, and questions to ask.” — Gunnar
4) We believe Good Habits make life easier.
Plumfield is a place to develop habits– academic and relational–
that will serve children for the rest of their lives.
- Students develop habits of attention, reflection, thoroughness, clear thinking, and self-expression by reading worthy books, engaging in discussion, and narrating their ideas.
- Students learn to organize their materials, manage their time, and meet deadlines.
- Students practice relational and communication skills to deal with conflict.
“I learned new skills to help me solve and prevent problems.
My home life is so much easier since I started going to Plumfield.” — Matt
5) We believe Child-driven Free-play builds serious life skills
and ignites a student’s powers of creativity, reasoning, planning and
execution. See what the American Academy of Pediatrics says on the
importance of play for healthy child development.
Play allows children to:
- Mimic and practice “grown-up life.”
- Practice the art of negotiation and compromise.
- Gain confidence by learning new skills and trying new things.
- Imagine and “play at” the complex ideas in the literature they are reading.
“You can climb a tree, or build a fort,
and in the winter, we go sledding.” — Ryan
6) We believe the evening hours should be a time of rest and peace
–not an occasion of tears or tension. Our humane homework policy
respects the need for Family Time. For the latest research on
assigned homework, see “Rethinking Homework” by Alfie Kohn.
In the evening hours:
- The family unwinds from the events of the day.
- Parent and child may enjoy reading a book together.
- A child may explore an area of personal interest, such as, theater performance, karate, air force cadets, community baseball and hockey, ham radio, music lessons and practice, community volunteer, or study a topic of interest through books, documentaries and internet sources.
“I’m writing a story for my on-line writer’s club.” — Elizabeth
“At home, I am able to relax and be creative.
I come back to school rested and ready to learn.”— Francesca
Charlotte Mason, describing the benefits of this way of education:
“. . . the theory I am urging fits all ages and abilities. . .It secures attention, interest, concentration, without effort on the part of teacher or taught.
Children, I think, all children, so taught express themselves in forcible and fluent English and use a copious vocabulary. Parents become interested in the schoolroom work, and find their children delightful companions.
Children show delight in books and manifest a genuine love of knowledge. Children taught according to this method do exceptionally well at any school.”
Students from Plumfield have gone on to study at these schools:
Andover High School, Beverly High, Bishop Fenwick, Covenant Christian, Essex Technical, Malden Catholic, Manchester Essex Regional, Nazareth Academy, New Hope Tutorials, St. John’s Prep, St. Joseph Prep, and Salem High.
It is our hope that parents will enjoy their children through all the growing years.
• Established 1993
• Grades 1 to 8
• 24 students; 3 full time faculty; 5 part time faculty
• 8 to 1, Student to Teacher ratio
• Class sizes range from 2 to 8 (depending on student need)
• 14 communities represented
• Great Books Curriculum
• Wilson Reading Program
• Singapore and Saxon Math
• Academic Support and enrichment
• Homework policy respects family time
• Leadership, Service, Life Skills
• Child-led play time
• Healthy relational habits
• Frequent field trips
• Acting classes and live performances
• Easy access from routes 1, 95, 62, 114, 35
Local author, Paul Korins, with a Plumfield Student during Writer’s Workshop. This graduate is now studying at Boston College.