"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
Our Character First Bible curriculum emphasizes a different character virtue each month. We feel it is important to focus on training our children’s hearts to follow God in all that they do from a very young age.
In fourth and fifth grades, students study the Old Testament, and in middle school, students study the New Testament.
In middle school and at the high school level, the goal is for students to broaden their understanding of scripture and deepen their relationship with Jesus. The high school curriculum guides students toward the maturity of a worldview and focuses on apologetic Bible studies.
Bible is also integrated into other subjects in the classroom by the teachers and especially integrated through the science and history curriculum.
Primary Phonics workbooks and readers are used in Pre-K through first grade to practice sounds, teach phonograms, and apply them to reading. The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to TeachingReading is used in Kindergarten and first grade. This curriculum is a systematic, phonetic approach to reading instruction that is very comprehensive.
At the primary level, we recognize the importance of a strong phonics-based approach to teaching reading skills that is used alongside a consistent exposure to high quality children's literature. Literature is incorporated in Pre-K, Kindergarten and first grade with various books chosen by the teacher.
Second grade and above enjoy classical literature books that are taught as literature studies using Progeny Press and other literature guides. Some of these will be related to the history time period your child is studying that year. We structure reading groups through second grade while students are “learning to read.” In third grade, the transition is made to literature studies as they are moving towards a “reading to learn” phase.
Not all of the literature we use is explicitly "Christian," and in fact, we acknowledge that some of it may contain elements that may be thought of as "un-Christian.” Why would we include these books?
Simply put, what is considered rich literature and intellectually challenging to one person is encountered as offensive to another. We have tried to select great literature that represents a broad historical perspective, or a wide range of human experience that exposes moral and spiritual dilemmas, or powerfully describes the struggle of a fallen world toward the redemptive act of grace, and so on.
We want to engage our students, at age-appropriate stages, in intellectual discussions that provoke high-level thinking and expose them to deep questions of the faith. We also believe that God's Word is as relevant today as it has been throughout history and we will always drive the student toward answers that are reflective of God's truth found in Scripture.
Our curriculum teaches the mechanics of grammar from very early on. Writing skills are also learned through a systematic approach. In fourth through eighth grade, the teacher
supplements with The Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) to teach excellent writing skills in a systematic way, using keyword outlines and skills for future research projects. Spelling emphasize phonetic sounds as well as the vocabulary of each word.
Vocabulary is taught in many subjects including literature, science, and history. In sixth grade and above, Wordly Wise 3000 increases the students vocabulary study and usage.
Science is taught as an exploration of God's creative design throughout the universe that will give students an understanding of the God-ordained order and physical laws found in the natural world. Life sciences, earth sciences, space science, physical science, chemistry, and technology are explored systematically and variously throughout all academic levels.
Hands-on experimental learning is a vital part of the science curriculum. Science is taught from an immersion approach so that students can have an in-depth understanding of the world that God made. Science allows students to see evidence of the Word of God and the details of God.
Each year, we rotate through one of the books from the Apologia curriculum. Over the past five years students have dived into Swimming Creatures, Land Animals, Anatomy, Astronomy, and Physics & Chemistry.
Seventh grade and above will bring their elementary years of studies together as they learn through Apologia’s General Science course.
A chronological understanding of God's plan of salvation for the world and His sovereignty throughout history provides the backdrop for a deep understanding of a Biblical world view.
In Kindergarten, we introduce our world, beginning with our homes and neighborhoods to understanding a larger concept of the universe.
First grade through middle school are taught history from a chronological approach and family-friendly learning environment that allows for deep, concentrated learning.
Our rotation to focus upon each year has included the usage of the following curriculum; Mystery of History Volumes 1 and 2, and America the Beautiful Parts 1 and 2. After that, a year's focus on geography, habitats, and continents prior to the history cycle rotating again. Like science, the lessons are designed to teach across multiple grades with age appropriate assignments.
Zaner-Bloser handwriting curriculum is used in Kindergarten through third grade. The majority of the actual workbook practice is done at home. Single stroke manuscript letters are used, and cursive is introduced part-way through second grade. Fourth and fifth graders continue to practice with the use of A Reason for Handwriting workbooks.