Breakwater’s elementary program is an excellent option. Our teachers understand child development – how each stage of childhood unfolds as children grow – and we use this knowledge to design and create our classrooms and our curriculum. This commitment to developmentally responsive practice underlies all our work with children, and we consider it an integral part of a Breakwater education.

In each of our close-knit, multi-age classrooms, students spend two consecutive years developing strong, trusting relationships with their teachers and peers. Older children are empowered to act as positive role models who help younger students adjust to the expectations and routines of their new grade. In a multi-age setting, students discover how different types of people and learners come together to create diverse yet cohesive communities.

Because children learn best when the content matter is tangible and connected to real-life experiences, we construct integrated units of study that provide comprehensive, authentic learning experiences that are both memorable and meaningful to students. Our Essentialists in science, tinkering, art, music and performing arts, and world languages collaborate with classroom teachers to integrate disciplines and give context and relevance to each child’s overall learning experience. In addition, we tailor each year’s in-depth studies to the interests of our current classes and engage students in active, hands-on learning activities.

As students journey through the elementary program, and early and middle childhood, they are increasingly asked to reflect upon their experiences and to draw conclusions about their learning style, pace, and progress. We believe children, parents, and teachers are active partners in the learning process, and our approach reflects a strong focus on developing collaborative relationships with our students and their families. We work with each child to support the growth of good work habits, such as the ability to concentrate, follow directions, and see a task through to completion. Ultimately, our goal at Breakwater is to support students in a safe and engaging environment that encourages them to discover their passions and build upon their capabilities as they become skilled, passionate learners and self-aware, conscientious world citizens.

As you consider which elementary program is right for your child, we hope you will visit Breakwater, meet our students and parents and our teachers and staff, and experience our learning community in action. We look forward to meeting you and your family.


Grades 3 - 4

The third and fourth grade years at Breakwater are an exciting time of transition and growth. During these years, children work at solidifying knowledge and applying new skills to more complex tasks. It is a time of greater independence and increased ownership of the learning process. Third and fourth graders are eager to take on more “grown-up” tasks, such as cursive writing, multiplication and division, and more challenging books. Because children learn best when the subject matter is tangible and connected to real-life experiences, we construct integrated, thematic units of study that are tailored each year to the interests and learning styles of our current classes.

Grades 1 - 2

The first and second grade years at Breakwater are an exciting time during which children go through a major transition in their intellectual growth. At this age, children are starting to make sense of the world, recognize differences, understand cause and effect, and empathize with others’ points of view. Six and Seven year olds are eager, enthusiastic, and imaginative, and their newfound intellectualism drives a strong desire to discover things for themselves. They love to figure out how things work in order to satisfy their deep, natural curiosity. Because children learn best when the subject matter is tangible and connected to real-life experiences, we construct integrated, thematic units of study that are tailored each year to the interests and learning styles of our current classes.