K3-2nd Grade Curriculum
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.
3rd - 6th Grade Curriculum
Once the student enters the higher elementary grades, there is an education shift where the knowledge gained at the lower level gets further in-depth and builds upon itself. Grammar, language mechanics, reading and other specifics of the English language are explored to ensure the student is on his or her way to being an excellent communicator. Recognizing compliments, identifying adverb and adjective phrases, preparing topical and sentence outlines, diagramming, and perfecting capitalization and punctuation rules are just a few concepts that are covered when perfecting writing skills. In addition, daily language exercises, creative writing and other tools enhance the student's understanding of the English language and prepares him or her for the next educational step, middle school.
Math and Science
K3 - 2nd Grade Curriculum
There has recently been a big push for a greater Science, Math, Engineering and Technology or S.T.E.M. focus in education throughout the United States. HCA has followed suit by upgrading and adding course programs, purchasing new technology and re-examining current curriculum to ensure that the student's are getting the education needed in these particular areas. In the lower elementary, the mathematics program is designed to provide extensive practice in building arithmetic skills so arithmetic becomes a positive experience for our students. It stresses the absolutes of creation, it trains students’ mental abilities, and gives students concrete facts for building mathematical understanding. In the world of science for these students, the courses encourage student achievement, and the emphasis on nature study appeals to both students and teachers. The recurring thrust of the courses is the importance of establishing lifelong habits which affect total wellness as it applies to the introduction of life and general science. Thought-provoking questions and inquiry along with life processes motivate students to learn more and gain a further knowledge of the scientific world.
3rd - 6th Grade Curriculum
Like mentioned before, HCA has been making a big push for a greater focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math courses. One of the benefits to recent changes was hiring a science specific teacher that is responsible for handling the science courses full-time from third through sixth grade and facilitating fun activities and visits from the younger grades from time to time. The classroom known as the Science Cave is a great place for the students to explore animal life, physical science, life science and much more. In addition to regular instruction, the students conduct several experiments and help care and observe the numerous class pets housed in the Science Cave. In the world of mathematics, students continue to develop their skills with daily lessons and workbooks that reinforce the concepts taught in the lessons; understanding is emphasized through the use of manipulatives and pictures that will help students through the transition between elementary and secondary math, reviewing previously taught concepts and introducing new ones. In addition to learning the math concepts, the students also begin to learn math terms and definitions, which is given daily review.
K3 - 2nd Grade Curriculum
Like all courses, HCA takes a biblical approach when it comes to their education. In the case of History, the written record of mankind, it is “His story” describing the rise and fall of nations and individuals as they respond to God’s truth--the story of what man has done with the time God has given him, from creation through the present. The students learn God has given the earth to man and woman for a home, and the study of the surface and attributes of the earth is Geography. Learning geography helps the students because it describes and gives context to the place where a historical event has taken place. When teaching the concepts of social studies at this age, HCA emphasizes people behind the events of history. Some are pilgrims, some are preachers, some patriots, and some presidents. All make the chronological narrative story of history sequential and connected. These people give students examples of positive role models that made an impact on history.
3rd - 6th Grade Curriculum
These courses survey many different fields of study crucial to a thorough understanding of history. Students will study geography and the principles of map making. The course describes the different regions of the United States and focuses on 20th century United States history. Basic principles of economics and currency are also introduced in addition to studies of different types of government systems. In addition, the study will eventual segue into a richly illustrated narrative of the history and culture of ancient civilizations. Although the textbooks used are written for the elementary school level, they still provide a detailed account and specifics of these historical groups and events. By the end of their elementary career, the students will have a solid foundation on how to study history and be ready for Texas History in the 7th grade and U.S. History in the 8th grade.