Classroom Philosophy

M schoolThe MMA Classroom Approach is built on eight fundamental principles:

1. MMA is based firmly on the best principles of Jewish education, in a way that reaches the inner soul of each child and brings out their unique light. We work to instill awe and love of Hashem and Torah as a way of life. Math, science, history, social studies, literature, reading, writing, and the arts are all taught through Torah. The end result is happy, accomplished children who are refined on all fronts, grounded in Torah, highly educated, compassionate, solutions-oriented leaders who are passionate about making the world a better place.

2. MMA maintains very high standards of academic excellence through cultivating the individual creative brilliance of each child. Your children won’t spend long hours sitting in desks or blindly memorizing useless data. Much of the time, they will be having so much fun through hands-on exploration that they won’t even realize they are doing any formal learning, yet the end result will trump every other educational method that exists. We are on a mission to create a reality where Jewish education is the benchmark for the rest of the world.

3. MMA children receive extensive individual attention to assess and support growth, even as the environment encourages intrinsic motivation and extended periods of concentration. The materials are geared toward specific stages of child development and multi-age classrooms bring a sense of belonging and community. Across their education, each child will have the opportunity to develop the life skills necessary to succeed in life as happy, centered, passionate, and responsible humans.

4. MMA education is a way of life that nurtures and educates the whole child, including physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual wellness. This supports and encourages them to develop into their best possible selves. The awe-inspired spirit of each child preserves the best of Jewish values. Children raised in this environment will grow to develop a love of learning and will in-turn continue on a lifelong journey of personal growth. It is a child-centered, holistic environment where children are given freedom to choose work based on their developmental needs and interests. The teacher works to establish core values of respect and collaboration while encouraging independence. Through careful observation, the teacher links children to what they need in the environment and guides them along their learning journey. The child thrives through the integration of mental, spiritual, and physical energies.

5. MMA offers an innovative learning process that empowers children to be independent. It offers self-correcting activities that promote freedom and self-discipline that arise from within. Our aim is to empower children by teaching them to do things themselves rather than to do things for them. Children learn self-discipline and care for self, each other and the environment, equipping them to handle the challenges of today and tomorrow.

6. MMA is keenly aware that children learn through play. Running, having fun, exercising, and burning energy are all critically important to a child’s overall well-being and ability to absorb new information. At MMA, we foster a healthy balance of indoor and outdoor activities, group activities and individual learning, textbook and tactile education. We sift every decision through the filter of the ultimate wellness of the child.

7. MMA is aware that all children will need corrective guidance and “discipline” at some point. We offer healthy boundaries and help each child find their way back onto the path while loving them and gently helping them to see the right choices.  Every child is good and wants to do good, given the right environment, nurturing, and feedback. This isn’t always a fast process, and definitely requires patience, especially depending on the prior experience and environment of the individual child. But it does provide the best overall outcome of a thriving child, given the right support and guidance from school and parents.

8. MMA is built and developed with the needs of the individual child in mind and is the opposite of a one-size-fits-all approach to education. Therefore, no two classrooms or two school years will ever be exactly the same. We provide freedom and independence within a structured environment and respect the natural development of each child. This philosophy is a preparation for life.

MMA’s No Homework Policy*

Why we have a “no homework” policy

Extensive academic research supports that blindly assigning too much homework at too young an age can actually backfire and thwart the very growth goals that we’re aiming to achieve with our children. Our kiddos work hard throughout a very long day.  (Our primary school hours are from 8:45 AM – 4 PM).  After this extended period of intensive focus, children need time to “unplug” and allow their brains to have some “active rest” time.  We often tend to forget that children learn through play, and the strategic use of those late afternoon hours are critical to healthy brain development, strong family ties (healthy social/emotional growth), and positive feelings toward school and learning in general.

But please don’t mistake our “no homework” policy as an endorsement of “no learning” in the evening hours.

What we encourage instead:
  • Plenty of outdoor play & creative/imaginative play
  • Limited screen time
  • Read to your children or have them read to you (depending on age)
    • The content of what they’re reading isn’t so important…just get them into a habit of enjoying reading!
  • Visit with them about their day and their experiences
  • Incorporate the practice of important age-appropriate daily life skills into their after school routines
    • Examples: setting the table for dinner, setting out their clothes for tomorrow, washing dishes or helping clean the kitchen, putting away the groceries
  • Consistent bedtime routines that foster happy, calm, safe and loved feelings to end the day

*Our official “no homework” policy is as follows:

Students in our primary school are only sent home with “homework” if they choose not to complete work during class.  I.e., if a student exhibits off-task behaviors during the school day and fails to complete an assignment, the assignment will be sent home for completion.  From time to time, our students may be offered bonus points, rewards, or extra credit for doing optional special projects or learning at home.  These are not required and will have no negative impact on their grades if they choose not to do them.