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Grades K – 5 Overview: The Grammar Stage

Grades K-5 emphasizes mastery of the basics through chants, poems, songs and other memory tools. While rich in history, language and the arts, which are at the heart of a classical education, the Academy has placed a strong emphasis on math and science curricula as well – ensuring a rigorous, well-rounded education. Beyond Bible as a course of study, we aim to integrate God’s Word throughout the program within all subjects. Specialized teachers instruct in the areas of Latin, music (choral and instrumental), art, physical education and library science. More specifically…

Kindergarteners will discover that a half day of school is as packed as it can get. A child’s love for learning is channeled into a number of more formal, yet fun activities throughout the week. Themed units, special days and nights, projects at home and school establish students’ confidence and skills in the basics – reading, writing and math. Our kindergarteners begin their study of history with a unit on ancient Egypt. Afternoons offer an optional enrichment program called Brain Blast (three days per week) at an additional cost.

First graders will stay with us the entire school day, receiving most of their instruction from their classroom teacher as they build a strong foundation in reading, writing and mathematics. Scarecrow Day, the Inventors Fair and beginning Shurley Grammar are program highlights, along with the study of ancient Rome and Greece. The significant rise in tuition at this grade reflects the one-time adjustment from half day to a full day of instruction.The significant rise in tuition at this grade reflects the one-time adjustment from half day to a full day of instruction.

Second graders continue to build upon the solid foundation that was developed in our K-1 program. During this very important Grammar Stage of learning students have a tremendous ability for observation and memory work. The enrichment at second grade includes an Accelerated Math program and students begin their first year of Latin instruction. Special studies include an introduction to writing in cursive and multiplication. A study of medieval Europe and special days like Teddy Bear Day and Bug Day make for an exciting year.

In third grade, the children continue their Latin instruction, developing critical thinking skills and stretching their vocabulary base as well as the ability to translate. Students begin learning how to play the recorder in music class. Charlotte’s Web Day and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Day are two memory-makers in grade 3.

The fourth graders begin to develop their note-taking and organizational skills through report writing. Along with an emphasis on California’s history through field trips and projects, fourth graders will continue to receive Latin instruction and begin band instruction in music class. Students begin basic keyboarding in fourth grade. Parents should budget some expense for instrument rental fees this year and next.

At fifth grade the music program continues with a second year of band, and computer keyboarding instruction continues as well. In addition, students sharpen writing skills through state reports and book reviews. Fifth graders are eligible to run for student council, and a “Civil War” trip is a highlight of the year.

Grades 6 – 8 Overview: The Dialectic Stage

Junior High emphasizes a transition in focus from what to why, drawing on previously taught and retained information in order to think critically and engage in higher-level reasoning. Classes cap at 22 students, allowing staff to truly know students as individuals. Junior High students benefit from a staff that teaches from areas of passion and strength, having a variety of instructors who are trained to teach in specific subjects. Students study God’s Word; they discuss history, read classics of literature and hone writing skills while being challenged in the fundamentals of science and math, including the teaching of formal logic. They enter the world of lockers and Spirit Week, science labs and debate teams, after school sports and socials. The junior highers have their own chapels and electives, but still maintain their role as the big kids on the campus by taking on “Big Buddy” status to the younger students.

Electives

The school begins offering elective classes in the upper grades during the “zero” period of the junior high day (8:30am). Past electives have included Greek mythology, electronics, art, drama, first aid, C.S. Lewis, Shakespeare, woodshop, stagecraft, computers, photography and marine biology. Advanced band/Jazz Band, Spanish, Praise Team and Debate are offered as year-long electives.

After School Sports

The school is a member of a local Christian school league that competes in several afterschool sports, currently including basketball, soccer, softball, flag football and volleyball. Students also have the option to participate in a cross country meet in the fall. Tryouts are scheduled for each sport, and participation is at an additional expense.

Other Program Offerings

Junior highers have Bible as a separate course of study, and attend their own chapels that are led by student Praise Team members. Students are invited to run for Student Council, taking positions of student leadership and providing service to the school and community. All junior highers participate in the spring Science Fair (many attending the local county fair). The 7th and 8th grade students attend Science Camp during the school year, alternating each year with an opportunity to go to Washington D.C. on an optional trip scheduled each June. There is an opportunity to participate in Drama at an additional cost. And just for fun, the school hosts several afterschool socials throughout the year (bowling, ice skating, “Sky High”), as well as some in-school activities like an awesome Christmas party and of course, Spirit Week.

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