Lower School (Kindergarten – 5th Grade)
We believe students learn best by being actively involved with new knowledge and having the opportunity to explore and construct understanding. A knowledge base is imperative, but students also need to use and experience that knowledge in a multitude of ways involving the senses. We desire to allow students to explore and be challenged in their learning in a safe and nurturing environment always fostering a love of learning. All that we teach comes from a biblical worldview, seeing how truth is from God and how that knowledge impacts each of us. It is our goal to disciple the hearts of this next generation for God’s glory through the avenue of Christian Education.
We believe students need the following components to be successful readers:
Phonemic Awareness (the sounds you hear)
Starting in kindergarten we review the letters and teach the sounds through the A Beka curriculum. This approach helps students gain an understanding of how the English language works; it is not just about memorization of the letters and sounds. By the end of second grade students will have a strong foundation in phonics and word knowledge to build upon.
Vocabulary development intensifies beginning in kindergarten, and continues through the rest of the Lower School. Weekly spelling activities, quizzes and reading take vocabulary beyond rote memorization and allow students to apply his or her newly learned words to the context of reading and writing.
Fluency is an important component because it is the bridge to comprehension. Teachers are well-equipped with a variety of techniques to improve a student’s fluency level. Fluency levels are assessed a multiple times in a year.
Comprehension Strategies (Visualizing, Inferencing, etc.) are taught kindergarten through fifth grade utilizing picture books. By the middle of kindergarten, teachers assess their students to determine their reading level. Reading levels are attained at least three times a year. The more a child reads materials that are appropriate for their level, the better their reading ability becomes. It is a muscle that needs to be worked for many hours.
This approach to reading, allows students to be working at their individual level.
We utilize the six traits of writing, which include ideas, sentence fluency, organization, word choice, voice, and conventions. In kindergarten we start with students being able to write a properly punctuated sentence, in cursive; and by the end of fifth grade students should be able to write a well-written five-paragraph essay.
Knowing the importance of understanding the why as well as the how behind math, we utilize a complete program of work texts and daily lesson plans teaching students to master basic arithmetic. The program’s spiral method within each grade and from one grade to the next ensures repetition and continuous maintenance of basic skills. With emphasis on problem solving, students learn to apply mathematical concepts to real-life situations.
History is written record of mankind-the story of what man has done with the time God has given him, from creation to the present. A Beka emphasizes the people behind events of history. The story of the events of history would not have happened without the people. What can we learn from the stories of others to be sure our story continues to line up with God’s story? Students learn map skills and are introduced to economics during this time.
We study God’s orderly world through experimentation. In fifth grade they are able to join the Middle School Science Fair. Students are taught the scientific method culminating in a fifth grade science fair.
The uniqueness of what we have to offer comes through the dedicated, quality staff that provides students with an authentic Christian example of how to walk in obedience to Christ. All of our teachers and staff desire to come alongside parents and partner with them. The teachers are continually growing in their craft and desire to impact the hearts of students.
A Beka Book is a comprehensive, quality curriculum written from a Christian perspective. Now more than ever, each child needs a strong foundation in both academics and character; the A Beka curriculum helps us give students the knowledge and skills they need.