1 – Instill scholars with a love for Christ by leading them into a loving and personal relationship with God.
- Teaching of Bible stories and daily devotions help children know who God is. Spending time in the word teaches children about God’s character and communicates His deep love for them.
- Morning and closing prayer teaches them to talk to the Creator of the world who is listening in heaven. They will understand that they have access to the God of the universe and he wants to talk with them about his will for their lives.
- Weekly Chapel supports children as they discover for themselves the art of faith language to help them express what is already happening in their lives.
2 – Equip scholars with the tools to access the written word as soon as possible in the following three ways.
- Teaching of emergent and early literacy skills like phonemic awareness, letter names, and sounds using explicit and systematic instruction.
- Exposing scholars to the rich vocabulary and complex ideas of classic tales, especially fairy tales from around the world. Vocabulary acquisition is directly linked to reading comprehension.
- Feeding their imagination with the rich language and ideas of timeless poetry through reading aloud and memorization. This exposure to new and creative ideas increases future reading comprehension.
3 – Equip scholars with basic mathematical concepts and skills so they have a strong foundation going forward into higher math, thus equipping them to think in logical and complex patterns.
- Math is taught through structured learning activities that are age appropriate.
4 – Instill a love of learning.
- Scholars want and need to learn actual content. Currently, there’s a popular belief that since computers have made information accessible, people can just look things up. Therefore, why learn facts? Research reveals this is a fallacy. If one must look up a fact, complex thinking is much more difficult because the mind is now occupied with finding a fact, rather than higher level processing. In addition, scholars actually want to learn content. Without it, learning becomes dull. Therefore, all curricula – this one included – overflow with engaging content knowledge.
- Not all content is equal. We select age-appropriate content that has been tried and found to be true, good, and beautiful. We read timeless stories with lovely illustrations; we listen to classic symphonies; we look at excellent art; we commit to memory the lyrical words of enduring poetry. Why waste time on anything else? These children are worth it.
5 – Train the memory.
- Studies have proven that memory is a muscle that grows stronger with use. Allowing children to begin exercising this muscle at an early age gives them an edge in life. Memorization items to strengthen this muscle include: poetry, songs, rhymes, Bible verses, scientific and historical facts, geography, and knowledge of the arts.
How We Will Achieve These Goals
Our school day is full of incredible learning! Subjects we will teach include: prayer/Bible, phonemic awareness, reading and writing, math and numbers, literature, center-time/free-play, outdoor play, songs, rhymes, and poems, history, science, and art.
The developmental foundation of a classical education is the cultivation of wonder and an appreciation for language. The lessons created for our program encourage wonder through an early love of language, numbers, and books. It is consistent with a focus on:
- age-appropriate, quality content
- real books– classics that are beautiful and rich
- well-prioritized objectives
All of the books, prayers, and songs included help us nurture your child’s imagination, provide shared moments, initiate satisfying conversations, and strengthen your child’s faith. In addition to a systematic approach to teaching letters and sounds, a key component to reading development is hearing advanced sentence structure and elevated vocabulary. Our approach to reading includes daily exposure to good literature during literature time. Good books captivate the imagination of children and motivate them to want to be readers. Good books teach vocabulary and a fascination with words. Good books teach geography, history, science, and, most importantly, the condition of a human life. Good books open the mind of the child to the whole world.
We have designed the Junior Kindergarten Program as a collection of published curricula that have been proven in scope and sequence and effectiveness. This leaves our teachers to do what they do best– teach. It allows them to focus their plan time on the actual teaching of the content-rich, and skills development curriculum, while helping with the moral development of your child. It truly nurtures the true, good, and beautiful, in each scholar.
Published curriculum and expertise used to develop the Junior Kindergarten Program sequence include:
- Reading Mastery Signature Edition (RMSE) Grade K
- Core Knowledge Preschool Sequence, including What Your Preschooler Needs to Know (by E.D. Hirsch, Jr.)
- Heggerty Phonological Awareness Pre-Kindergarten, 2022 Edition
- Connecting Math Concepts (CMC) Level A
- Memoria Press’s Classical Core Curriculum (Five Day Junior Kindergarten, Simply Classical B and C) (and supporting resources)
Below is an example of one of our maps, our Literature, Rhymes, Songs, and Poems. Every subject we teach will have a content-rich map we follow to ensure we are making the most of every moment, every day.