"Education is teaching our children to desire the right things."
Little Master’s Academy is a Christian school, a fact that permeates everything that we do. All of our children learn the customs, traditions, and moral values expressed in the Bible and taught by Jesus Christ and his apostles. These lessons are woven naturally through all of our disciplines so that they become a meaningful and treasured part of each child’s personal milieu. This is our most valuable offering. You child not only learns a proper biblical worldview, but does so from teachers who personally model the philosophy in their everyday lives. In a culture that is increasingly blurring the lines between what is or is not morally acceptable, our children's mores are shaped within a biblical philosophical construct established within solid lines thousands of years in the making. We teach your children all of the precious Biblical stories that shaped us to grow up to be who we became, encouraging them to memorize scripture as soon as they are able to. We have learned that once the Word of God becomes a part of a child’s everyday life, it will becomes that child’s standard of faith and conduct for his/her lifetime. It will give the child a solid base on which he/she can stand.
A cornerstone of our school is our arts program. Though arts and crafts are a part of our normal program as with all other schools, advanced classes are also available through the Hope Center Arts Academy (HCAA), a sister organization that runs one of the best after school arts programs in the Tri-State area.
Children are naturally creative and derive much pleasure from involvement in the arts. They learn a host of skills and acquire self-esteem when given varied opportunities to create through the arts. Our children use a wide array of art media including acrylic, finger and water paints, pastels, crayons, and markers to express themselves as “li’l masters.” Classes are available at a discount to our students in all artistic disciplines taught by HCAA, which include music, dance, fine art, drama and much more.
At LMA we celebrate our children’s creativity by displaying their work throughout our school and at our art gallery, the Pierced Gallery at the Hope Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, when we have other shows. As with the most valuable fine art pieces displayed at Hope Center Arts, each child’s work displayed is accompanied by a transcription of the child’s thoughts about the piece.
Early Child Development and the Arts
Children are emotionally satisfied when they make art. Be it modeling clay, drawing, painting, or making a collage from recycled scraps there is an inherent satisfaction that flows from the sense of control and autonomy that a child has over the materials he employs in creating his art (Seefeldt, 1993). These decisions usually constitute the very first time in a child’s development where they can legitimately make truly independent choices and decisions.
A child’s self esteem is built up when they are allowed to express what they think and feel (Klein, 1991; Sautter, 1994). Socialization skills are built when children are encouraged to participate in joint creative art activities in preschool. The interaction between children involving both criticism and praise helps to build a child’s self-esteem as they learn to with both (Sautter, 1994). Learning to work in a creative team is critical to success in the highly technical, complex and competitive environment our children will grow up to face at the university level and in the business world.
Art and Cognitive Development
All forms of art, whether expressed through dance, acting, painting, or music, requires application of a child's sensory perception and necessitates a child’s physical, intellectual, and emotional involvement which invariably results a child’s development in these areas (Kamii and DeVries, 1993). Dr. Nina Kraus from Northwestern University conducted a study which showed that “Even in a group of highly motivated students, small variations in music engagement — attendance and class participation — predicted the strength of neural processing after music training." The project from which she pulled her data was called the Harmony Project. Here is a quote from an article on the study:
“In [the] most recent impact evaluation survey, a high proportion of students’ parents indicated that – since joining the Harmony Project – their child has shown improvement in his/her Grades (82%), Behavior (82%), Mood (80%), and Health (70%). These responses were recently validated in a research study conducted by Michael Uy, a UC Berkeley graduate who was awarded the Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize to spend a year comparing The Harmony Project with Venezuela’s world-renowned El Sistema youth orchestra program (i.e., the program that produced Gustavo Dudamel, incoming Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director). The study – based on in-depth interviews with students and parents of both programs – found that 90% of Harmony Project students showed improved focus and discipline, 73% improved academic achievement, 71% improved family communication, 44% improved self-esteem. Having conducted her study in an “underserved” neighborhood with an average high school dropout rate of 50 percent, around 90 percent of children who participated in the music project went on to college.” http://www.harmony-project.org/about-us/research/
Alper, C. (1987). Early childhood music education. In C. Seefeldt (Ed.) The early childhood curriculum (211-236). New York Teachers College Press.
Klein, B. (1991). The hidden dimensions of art. In J.D. Quisenberry, E.A. Eddowes, & S.L. Robinson (Eds.). Readings from childhood education (pp. 84-89). Wheaton, MD: Association of Childhood Education International.
Sautter, R.C. (1994). An arts education reform strategy. Phi Delta Kappan, 75(6), 433-440.
Kamii, C., & DeVries, R. (1993). Physical knowledge in preschool education. New York: Teachers College Press.