Neuro- scientists like Carolyn Leaf have been proving that the brain is malleable and that it’s processing abilities can be made more effective with good teaching practices. When good practices are void in the young child’s life, deficits will most likely occur.
TLE Christian Academy educates children based on the way they learn. Our work directly corresponds to neurological research, which creates unconventional methods and an unorthodox culture when compared to common practices in the school systems. The most recent neurological research has led to commentaries for the reform of education; which most interestingly mirrors the work of Dr. Maria Montessori, who through observing children and their reactions found the most effective materials and method to education. This is why we are beginning to integrate Montessori’s work at TLE Christian Academy that will refine what we are already doing.
Once the child knows that they are loved and safe in their school environment, they can open up to the learning. Our teaching, our materials, and our assessments are tailored to build and fill in any broken foundations in our students’ lives. Once those “potholes” are filled, we observe the child for the God-given interest that captivates the student’s concentration. This interest is then used to tailor their courses of study and activities. This allows the child to build knowledge and become masters in their area of interest, thus allowing them to become the person that they are and possibly were previously hindered to be because of a lack in their school environment. Our purpose is to prepare students for life long success by guiding them to know who they are, understand how they learn, and lead with Godly wisdom.
As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
As children grow in age, it becomes more difficult for them to change; however, we have seen time and time again how Jesus can transform students’ lives and guide them on a path to righteousness. Since we value Christ in the child’s life far above all else, God’s Word, worship, reflecting time, discussions and inviting Christ into all of our classroom relationships and tasks is paramount. We also hold forgiveness as a major part of our environment, since it is only through forgiveness that we can be in relationship with God and others. At TLE no one is lost, everyone grows. Even students with extreme hurts have grown into being functioning, Godly, responsible citizens.
The exciting part of this is the long-term results that Montessori creates. Peter Sims of the Wall Street Journal states that there seems to be a “Montessori Mafia” among the creative elite. He notes that former Montessori children include Google’s founder Larry Page and Sergei Brin, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, videogame pioneer Will Wright.
We have also seen that this educational culture has been most effective with our students over the past 11 years. Our own TLE Graduates have gone on to win the Designer of the Year award, go to the top of their class studying Chemistry at UGA, obtain a 4.25 studying Astrophysics at UGA, receive an ACCEL Full ride scholarship to college at the age of 16, and accepted into Emory’s Law School at the age of 17.