Hillander’s goal for each student is to give the child confidence in learning. The teachers continually work to develop the students’ self esteem and teach good study habits. The school strives to instill a love for reading, and to make the learning experience exciting. Hillander School encourages and promotes the desire for excellence in academics both in the minds and habits of their students.
The Carden Method, developed by Mae Carden, has long been recognized as an outstanding academic curriculum for students. This system is unique in that all subject matter is progressive and sequential from grade level to grade level. The Carden method is specifically designed to help children develop their innate powers of analytical and organized thinking. Hillander School presents reading techniques in such a way that the child understands what he or she is learning and why.
The goals for pre-school and first grade children allow them to review and phonetically master the sounds of letters and letter combinations learned in Preschool and early Kindergarten. This phonetic method becomes second nature. Kindergarten students have no difficulty mastering and excelling in reading and spelling. Children will spend time learning socialization skills within a safe environment of small classes. Basic skill activities include cutting, pasting, clay modeling and painting. The children participate in a unique music class where they experience musical rhythm activities, games, and singing. Hillander provides safe, modern and stimulating outdoor play equipment.
Second through sixth grade continues to expose the child to difficult and complex phonetic rules while incorporating the parts of speech such as nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Students are introduced to classical literature as well as Carden “controlled” books. Grammar is emphasized and applied in the areas of reading, language, composition, essays, and oral expressions. In sixth grade, when Hillander students take the Standardized Achievement Test, a high percentage of each class will achieve high school level performance for language mechanics, language expression, reading comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. Classes at this age are limited to 20 students allowing teachers to give individual attention.
The math curriculum at Hillander School constantly introduces new concepts while incorporating a review of those previously taught. The program is designed to build each student’s confidence and to promote a positive attitude towards math. Pre-algebra is introduced in sixth grade to provide the necessary background required for honors level pre-algebra in seventh grade.