Bruderhof elementary schools are Christian schools that seek to provide each child with a happy and constructive childhood. This includes rigorous academic instruction in accordance with applicable law. We also provide instruction in craftsmanship and practical skills, singing and the arts, and we support unstructured play, sportsmanship, and the experience of nature.
We want our children to grow up interested in the world around them. When possible, children gather information through firsthand reports. Schools arrange many guest speakers to come and tell the children about their country and culture or the work that they do. We highlight current events, so children have a broad knowledge of politics, economics, and crises happening around the world. While we employ computers and technology when necessary in our adult lives and work, we have chosen to keep the distraction of computers out of the classroom.
In addition to academics, our curriculum emphasizes respect, self-discipline, and a strong work ethic. But what matters most is that children develop their capacity to love by caring for and serving others.
In the United States, most Bruderhof high school students attend The Mount Academy in Esopus, New York, a renovated seminary that now serves as a four-year, non-public Christian high school registered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York. In England, students attend the Beech Grove Academy located at our Beech Grove community in Kent. In Australia, high school students are educated at the Danthonia community.
In addition to academic studies, our students have the opportunity to join a variety of extracurricular activities including drama and science clubs, choir and dance, orchestra and band, business competitions, and community service. The students frequently participate alongside local public schools in regional events, such as cross-country meets and environmental competitions. And students of all ages take advantage of the educational, cultural, and natural resources available to them through a variety of field trips to places like New York City and London.
After high school, our young people pursue different paths. Some young men and women attend university; our community includes many professional disciplines, such as doctors, engineers, lawyers, and teachers. Some young people receive training in the trades. Others might choose to serve during a gap year at a different Bruderhof community or perhaps volunteer for a charity. In any case, we encourage our young people to leave their families and childhood homes, to experience the broader world, and embark on a period of growth and self-reflection. Membership in the Bruderhof is a voluntary, adult decision and should be made with the full knowledge of what non-Bruderhof life is like. Whether our young people stay or go, our prayer is that they find God’s will in a life of service to others.