Lower School students gain skills necessary to read and write well. As they respond to a variety of texts across a broad curriculum, they sing, ponder, explore, calculate, narrate, write, draw, paint, recite and discuss. Their hearts and minds are nourished on ideas.
Reading: Having learned to recognize and blend phonograms in Explorers and the first semester of Class One, in their second semester, Class One students begin reading and narrating complete works of literature. In-class texts are filled with ideas that inspire, rich vocabulary and beautiful language. In all classes teachers assist students in reading fluently, that is with speed, accuracy, prosody and understanding.
Language Arts: By Class Three students have learned the foundational skills of spelling, writing mechanics, and handwriting. They begin to write narrations, strengthening the mind-to-hand connection. Students also begin the study of Latin in Class Three, following the story of a Roman family through Hans Orberg’s Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata. Formal composition starts in Class Four when students learn to write a paragraph using knowledge gained from across the disciplines.
Mathematics: Lower School students learn the “why” of math not just the algorithms. Number sense and mathematical concepts are taught using concrete manipulates and then pictorial examples before being discussed in abstract terms. Daily mental math grows students’ ability to manipulate numbers quickly, allowing them to focus on the mathematical concepts, not the math facts themselves.
Nature Study: Encourages students to form a relationship with their surroundings, ever honing their attention to detail. They recognize evidence of God’s character in his creation and begin to understand that the created order embodies his design and purpose. Formal science begins in Class Three with the study of dinosaurs and mammalogy.
World History: Students study a four-year cycle of world history, beginning with the study of ancient Mesopotamia in Class One and ending with modern events in Class Four. The cycle begins again in Class Five. Students read history from narrative texts which include primary sources, fables, myths and works of literature. The facts of history are embedded in ideas that nurture the heart and mind.
Bible: Finishing a narrative reading of the Bible began in Class One, students in Class Two begin a seven-year journey reading the entire ESV Bible. Each year children read books of the Old and New Testament as well as Psalms or Proverbs. Children read and narrate Scripture itself, discussing what God has revealed about himself and humanity.
Studies: Each year Lower School students continue to study the works of two poets, artists, and composers. Not only do students build a relationship with each master, but they learn the historical influences of the time period and gain vocabulary to better appreciate the meaning of their works. Students become apprentices and imitators of the masters as they take formal music and art classes and participate in choir.
Physical Education: Students learn to care for their bodies in physical education, knowing that that their bodies, as well as their hearts and mind, are designed for a purpose.