In the past few decades, a great deal of research and many theories have been developed to explain how students learn.  This is a growing area of research to help answer the questions about why students can achieve more in response to some teaching styles than others.

Since its founding, The Leelanau School has offered rigorous college preparatory curriculum delivered in a magnificent setting and has educated students with an appreciation for each student’s unique learning styles.

Looking back through historic documents and our archives, in The Leelanau School’s first several decades, teaching for unique learning styles was based on the Beal’s and Huey’s approach which included work programs, and investigatory methods.  Later decades involved teaching styles that were more typical of a traditional college-prep lecture-style, but the natural setting as a learning laboratory was a well-used enhancement.

In recent years, The Leelanau School’s educational philosophy integrated theories of multiple intelligences and the understanding of students having various learning styles, while incorporating hands-on teaching strategies.  This combined approach allows us to teach our students well  beyond the short-term knowledge needed to pass a test, by helping them process not only the “what,” “when” and “who” but the “why” and “how.”  For the motivated student, The Leelanau School’s approach ignites a passion for learning which helps our students thrive in school and beyond.

Leelanau students gain awareness of their individual learning styles, build skills and strategies to maximize their full learning potential, and as a result, are able to grow into independent thinkers and learners. Through discovery of each child’s unique gifts, The Leelanau School creates a culture of acceptance, while offering a rigorous academic program which results in placement of all our graduates in outstanding colleges and universities.

Academics are only part of the equation – we also weave into our daily lessons important opportunities to learn life-skills and the following values: stewardship, leadership, awareness, integrity, resilience, courage and interconnection.

While equipment and textbooks may have altered slightly over the decades, The Leelanau School’s philosophy that students learn best by experiencing the lesson in multiple ways has remained a constant.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

― Benjamin Franklin

The Leelanau School is as unique as each one of our students and our alumni.  Simply put, The Leelanau School believes there are many ways to be smart!


Our History

Celebrating our 85th Year!