Baton Rouge Parents Magazine

Beyond the Textbook: Great Hearts Harveston with a Unique Approach to Tuition-Free Classical Education

Great Hearts Harveston Academy is committed to providing tuition-free classical education. Staff members, including Assistant Head of School, Laurel Fischer, encourage students to explore through the Socratic method, which promotes each students’ pursuit of truth through exploration and intentional dialogue. Socrates, an unconventional philosopher of his time, sought to explore and ask questions, rather than defending a held belief at all costs. Laurel believes all students “deserve to be in conversation with the great thinkers and writers of all time”.

To employ Socratic methods, Great Hearts Harveston has a couple approaches that give students a unique opportunity to explore learning.

Firstly, Great Hearts employs hands-on approaches for challenging concepts, engaging students with tangible scenarios rather than abstract exercises on paper. For example, in math class, students are introduced to something tangible such as four blocks on the table in front of them, two are taken away, and then they assess how many blocks are left on the table. When encountering math in this way, versus 4 minus 2 on a piece of paper, students are able to experience math in the real world instead of trying to grasp it as an abstract concept. Since math is most often encountered like this in life beyond K-12 education, it is a very helpful way to introduce mathematical concepts to students learning them for the first time.

In addition to this exploration approach, Great Hearts Harveston incorporates two daily intervention blocks for personalized reading and math sessions. In an intervention block, each child receives one-on-one time with educators focusing on a subject they are less proficient in.

In other programs, students often have to wait for tests and paperwork to be filed to receive this detailed attention. An approach like this, which evaluates both strengths and weaknesses promptly and addresses areas of challenge efficiently, provides children with an opportunity to stay on track when facing challenges, rather than lagging further behind due to bureaucratic delays. This method proactively ensures that every student, regardless of current proficiency, receives tailored support. The goal is to allow educational gaps to be closed swiftly and offer children the care and support they need.

Socrates said so well, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” Committed to offering the best education to every student, Great Hearts supports the belief that excellence and exploration are achievable for all. To learn more, visit