Our Approach

The Lab's approach to learning is inspired by the personalized, mastery-based learning approach developed in Mountainview by Salman Khan and his colleagues at the Khan Lab School.  We believe children learn best when they are empowered to have personal agency as the owners of their own learning. 

 

At the Lab, we also believe that children learn best when they are given the time they need to master a particular skill or concept, rather than being forced to adhere to external timelines that may not fit their particular learning style or needs. 

The Lab is designed to be a gathering place for joyful learning that delights the learner.  Most of our classes and tutoring sessions are multi-age to facilitate differentiation of instruction and to encourage the development of self-agency, community, and peer-to-peer support.  

 

At The Lab, as in life, learning is not just about knowledge. We pay equal attention to both psychosocial development and academic exploration and growth.

Students are assigned to collaborative independence advisories based on their independence level rather than restrictive grade and age categories.   Teachers and advisors then provide the appropriate level of structure for each child to develop their sense of personal agency in learning as well as the skills they need to be effective managers of their own learning.  To learn more about our approach to independence levels and the rationale and science behind them click here.

 

When a student begins classes at the Lab, we start with a "Family Huddle" where the child, his or her parents/caregivers, their homeschool teacher, and Lab advisor/instructors work collaboratively to design a personalized learning path that supports their work with their homeschool teacher and on their homeschool charter's curriculum as well as the child and family's own personal learning and growth goals. 

 

Personalized learning paths include not only academic goals but also goals in developing independence skills, emotional well-being, social engagement, the pursuit of personal interests and passions, and even self-management of health. Each child completes a series of informal assessments at the start of each term to identify their interests, learning goals, academic strengths and challenges and independence level that also inform the development of the personalized plan.