Language is man and woman's most important tool--the tool of thought and how to communicate/comprehend those thoughts. At Heritage Christian Academy, from K3-2nd grade there is a heavy emphasis on how language works and using it in the best way. From learning the letters to reading short stories and small novels, there are several contributing factors that make up language that once developed create a strong foundation for every other educational subject.
The goals for HCA K3-2nd grade language arts are:
- Decode the written language easily.
- Read with interest and comprehension.
- Appreciate and enjoy good literature.
- Spell correctly.
- Develop good character traits.
- Acquire a large speaking and listening vocabulary.
- Recall facts easily.
- Write grammatically correct stories and poems.
- Read for knowledge and pleasure.
Phonics & Vocabulary
From the very beginning, phonics skills are applied in meaningful, character-building stories that correlate with the phonics concepts. HCA's program builds enthusiasm in parents and students and further helps to motivate students in learning with genuine, early achievement in reading. Phonics skills are reinforced with daily workbooks, penmanship worksheets, and other support materials that review the concepts taught in phonics instruction. The language, history, and science texts also support the phonics foundation. Even the words used in spelling lessons follow the phonics rules that students have learned. In this way, all materials in the lower elementary curriculum are correlated to build upon the phonics foundation.
And for the school's vocabulary program, the purpose is to enlarge the student’s speaking and listening vocabulary, to aid in his or her reading comprehension, and to help him or her develop an interest in and an appreciation for words.
Reading & Comprehension
The HCA Reading Program uses fascinating stories that spark interest while building students' character, skills and understanding. The result is highly motivated, confident students who delight in the amount and variety of literature available to them. Delightful classics and poetry, as well as stories and children's novels, give students insight into their culture and their world while presenting ideal morals and values. Colorful illustrations instruct, inspire, and spark the imagination. Students also read the Bible as a regular part of their reading instruction, and because of the outstanding reading instruction, they are able to read the Bible accurately and with understanding from a very early age.
In turn, comprehension skills increase in direct proportion to how much reading the students do. "Children improve their reading ability by reading a lot. Reading achievement is directly related to the amount of reading children do in school and outside. Unlike using workbooks and performing computer drills, reading books give children practice in the 'whole act' of reading, that is, both in discovering the meaning of individual words and in grasping the meaning of an entire story, " the U.S. Department of Education said.
Last, but not least, as the students begin to understand language, penmanship allows for them to communicate what they have learned and reply back to the knowledge they have gained. The main goal is to present a step-by-step approach to good penmanship that is consistent from grade to grade. Students are taught neatness and correct letter formation while learning that a person’s work is a portrait of himself or herself. Each day as younger students practice their writing, they can improve their phonics skills with applications built right into the writing exercises. As students get older they enjoy writing on various topics as well as penmanship exercises.