Grammar School Overview
The Grammar School aspires to provide a well rounded education. Our DK-5th grade curriculum is designed to prepare children to be lifelong, independent learners, wise and creative problem solvers, and truth seekers who strive to pursue God in every area of life. We believe all children thrive on a diet of worthy ideas, and these ideas are found primarily in living books and the Western cultural heritage.
Developmental Kindergarten is a year-long program designed to help students transition from life at home to life in school. The program is designed for students who would benefit from one more year of schooling before kindergarten. Developmental Kindergarten is similar to preschool in its play-based approach, but follows a more guided curriculum to help students learn foundational skills (letter and number recognition and reading) along with proper behavioral skills. This kinder-readiness program helps children develop independence in a fun and safe hands-on environment and meets four mornings a week.
Developmental Kindergarten (DK)
KindergartenOur Kindergarten uses a phonics/reading program that provides extensive practice in the critical first steps of learning to read. To ensure reading success, we provide abundant reading practice that coincides with spelling lessons and use a variety of phonetic activities to progress the child quickly to beginner books. Our literature-based units of study will include classic chapter books for read-alouds along with short stories that will reward and motivate your beginning reader. In Mathematics, we build a foundation using hands-on learning tools to introduce many concepts that will challenge and prepare the student for success in the upper grades. Our afternoons are spent enjoying music, art and PE classes. Kinders are also introduced to many classical artists and composers.
Grades 1 & 2In 1st & 2nd grades, our students begin soaring as the teacher provides a plentiful amount of practice in areas of reading, writing, and mathematics, and lessons are enhanced by units of study and inquiry in the areas of science, history and geography. Key elements center on the development of habits of mind and spirit such as attentiveness, respect, and responsibility. Students participate in art, poetry and nature studies, P.E., and music, as well as enjoy creative play and interaction with one another. Teachers enliven the minds of the children with great literature by reading aloud to them from many chapter books, short stories, and picture books.
Grade 3Third grade is a study of the world at large. Students begin with local geography (Arizona) and then begin an exploration of the continents, oceans, landforms, climates, peoples, and cultures of the world. The year is to be an overview for the emphasis on history in later grades. By this time, the student has gained some proficiency and independence in the core subjects of reading, language arts and writing, and mathematics. At this point, students enjoy literature that integrates with geography studies (e.g., Heidi, Swiss Family Robinson). Students are introduced to basic research techniques and complete copybooks revealing their growing understanding and assimilation of the world about them. Map-reading and map-making, weather and climate, and more bring science into the 3rd grade curriculum. Art, music, poetry, nature studies, recitations, and Shakespeare studies continue. Latin studies also begin in 3rd grade.
Grade 4Students in 4th grade begin a chronological study of history starting with creation and culminating in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. They also cover United States history during the 1700s. Students continue to keep copybooks in which they chronicle their discoveries category by category and begin to understand the flow of history. Students hone the art of oral and written narration and become more familiar with the writing process of searching and gathering resources, drafting, editing, proofing, and writing the final copy. Integrating Bible, science, literature, art, and music appreciation and recitations with history units serve to make learning a rich banquet of ideas and enable students to make important connections.
Grade 5The chronological study of history continues in 5th grade with the Middle Ages and an overview of the 1800s in the United States. An increased emphasis on research provides students with tools for “finding out” in an organized manner. The use of additional research methods in preparation for a formal research report, in conjunction with living books, and hands-on learning makes history come alive. Art, nature, poetry, music studies, and recitations follow along with the period of history being covered. Students continue to learn Latin and keep nature sketchbooks. The 5th grade class takes center stage in the annual Shakespeare production. In addition to academics, students are given leadership opportunities and responsibilities in morning chapel, opening exercises, and in younger classrooms.