The Lower SchoolPre-K Through 5th Grade
Laying A Foundation for Life
The elementary years are a crucial time of preparation for secondary studies by laying a solid spiritual, intellectual, and emotional foundation. Students need to develop language and math skills, and they need to gain a body of core knowledge in the basic subjects. They need their hearts and imaginations shaped by stories that embody truth, goodness, and beauty.
Each grade plays an important role in the student’s development. First and second grades are the time to develop basic reading and writing skills. Third grade represents the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Students also begin studying Latin in third grade. Fourth grade is a time when the students finally have the skills to begin to satisfy their hungry minds and imaginations more fully than they have been able to before. Finally, fifth grade is the year of transition to Upper School as students learn the habits of mind and character needed to engage in more challenging work during their adolescent years.
During these years, it is important to take advantage of the young mind’s ability to learn and retain information, so Lower School students spend much time on memorization. We also take advantage of their innate love of stories to help them begin to think about values and character. Finally, we ask them questions designed to lead them to a deeper understanding of the facts they are learning. This will help train their minds in habits of investigation, discovery, discernment, and analysis that will prepare them for more advanced studies.
- Memorization of Scripture, poetry, and catechism questions
- Reading of Children’s literature classics
- Instruction in phonics
- Instruction in cursive handwriting
- Rhetorical exercises including training in written composition and public speaking
- Introduction to Aristotle’s “Four Questions” and the “Common Topics” to form good habits of thought and inquiry
- Math – Math in Focus a.k.a. “Singapore Math” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
- Science – Purposeful Design (Purposeful Design Publications)
- History – The Story of the World (Peace Hill Press)
- Bible – God’s Great Covenant (Classical Academic Press)