In partnership with the family, Plumfield Academy exists to provide high quality academics in a low pressure environment for the peace and well-being of the child and the family.
A Common Vision
Our vision for education involves striking the following healthy balance:
- Parents who choose Plumfield desire a challenging, stimulating, and Content Rich Education for their children without the stress, anxiety, and pressure so often seen in present day academics.
- Parents who choose Plumfield want their children to experience an Unhurried Childhood while at the same time being carefully guided onto the path of Wisdom and Maturity.
One Parent's Experience
“We expect a lot of our kids academically. On the other hand, research and our parental observations support the extraordinary value of free play and time outdoors. We’d expected we would have to compromise on one or the other; but, at Plumfield, we don’t have to compromise. Our son is experiencing his education as a product of his own initiative and joy, while meeting the objectives we had for him. He comes home relaxed and ready to practice his reading with family members or to conduct his own scientific experiments.”
— Willo Levin
A Time - Tested Vision Which Respects The Needs Of Children
Plumfield Academy practices “The Gentle Art of Learning,” a groundbreaking merger of educational theory and practice pioneered by Charlotte Mason more than 100 years ago. Mason, a visionary British Christian educator, developed a method of education built upon a foundation of respect that can be expressed through the following four core tenets.
- Respecting each child’s intelligence by providing an education rich in content and ideas
- Respecting each child’s need for free play and exploration in nature
- Respecting each child’s need for family time and the pursuit of personal interests
- Respecting each child’s potential to grow into a magnanimous and discerning person
Respecting The Intelligence Of The Child
Intellectual formation is so important to a Charlotte Mason education that we created an entire page dedicated to this theme. A link at the end of this page will lead you to a full presentation on how Plumfield uses books, discussions, and personal narratives to provide an educational process which respects the intelligence of children.
“If I had a second childhood, I should like to be educated in Charlotte Mason’s way: to be provided for richly with ideas from outside, and yet to be left to develop myself, according to my own inner resources.” (For The Children’s Sake, 24, Macaulay, Susan Schaeffer)
The Value Of Free Play
As stated above, Charlotte Mason viewed child-driven free play as essential to the mental and physical well-being of young students rather than as a luxury or reward for virtue. Today, meeting this basic childhood need is virtually a lost art in many schools, but not at Plumfield, where play is incorporated into every school day.
Since 1993, we have seen the significant benefits of child-driven free play to include:
- Developing strong bodies
- Learning the art of negotiation and compromise
- Gaining confidence through exploring nature and trying new things
- Using the imagination to “play at” the ideas discovered that day in literature or history
- Reaching the end of the day feeling satisfied and full of life
“If my boy did not have time each day to work on his fort at Plumfield, the spark in him would just go out.” Debbie
The Value Of Free Time
Charlotte Mason (CM) also treasured family life and believed that children should have ample free time during their evenings at home. For that reason, CM schools never assigned homework; and yet, her students went on to excel in many other challenging academic settings. Plumfield continues CM’s tradition of safeguarding family time, personal interests, and proper rest.
Towards A Life Which Is Generous And Wise
Finally, as noted above, Charlotte Mason saw on-going growth in Magnanimity and Discernment as the ultimate educational goal for every student. Plumfield works towards the following vision of mature personhood every day:
A magnanimous person rises above pettiness and animosity. He or she is forgiving, open-minded, unpretentious, generous, and, therefore, a pleasure to be with.
Further, discerning persons are always growing in self awareness. They possess the wisdom to accept and to act upon good inspirations in a way that makes life healthy and meaningful for themselves and others.
A Word From Plumfield Parents
“Everything about this school has ignited our daughter’s love for learning and launched habits that have benefited her, not only academically, but relationally and emotionally as well, strengthening her to be empathetic towards others and to face difficulties with courage. We are profoundly grateful for the gift of Plumfield to our daughter and our whole family.”
“My husband and I are true partners with Plumfield, not burdened with busywork to fill our family time and not dismissed when we have ideas for our child’s education. We are supported, heard, respected, and cherished. Because of this unity and partnership, our son can remain unburdened in his educational pursuits and be free to be a child for whom there is not enough time in the day for all the exploration he has planned.
— Kristen Kansievicz