If you step into a 6th-grade class, you will see students reading the great works of literature from the Renaissance period, including King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, or Samurai’s Tale, or The Hobbit, or Treasure Island. Seamlessly, their history instruction will tie into their literature. The great advancements in art/music will be explored in their dedicated art classes. Science will cover the up-to-date Next Generation Science Standards which focus on the great scientists and advancements of their historic time period.
Creativity and Immersion Into History
The interconnection of subjects helps scholars connect all the dots and understand how the past relates to today.
Our history offerings found in our curriculum mapping are built-out using National Social Studies Standards plus the S.P.R.I.T.E. Model. Under this buffet of curriculum resources, the teacher can choose one or more aspects of a particular month-long unit. The flexibility for the teacher to focus on the SOCIETY (what it was like for children, nobility or others in a time period), POLITICS (how the civilization was governed and ruled), RELIGION (what doctrine a community followed, when the great religions started and how they impacted society), INTELLECTUAL (what were the great ideas, the impacts of art, architecture and music), TECHNOLOGY (what advancements came into existence and how these changes impacted history), ECONOMY (how did the society trade, build, grow or make the goods and services they needed). The S.P.R.I.T.E. Model of history lesson planning allows the teacher to match their interest with their students curiosity to deliver impactful lessons.
I have seen some of our 6th grade teachers dress in Knights and Queens costumes to welcome the students in for a week of Medieval Games. With our Charlotte Mason influences, we encourage creativity because long after a scholar leaves the 6th grade, they may forget the Pythagorean Theorem but they will remember their teacher hosting the feast of the round table.
Charlotte Mason Philosophy
The Charlotte Mason influence focuses on the students as adults becoming and two key ideas that our schools embed into the Classical model are "Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life" and "Education is the science of relations." Her motto for students was "I am, I can, I ought, I will.”
Mason coined the phrase "living books that spark the imagination of the child through the subject matter.” I know that this concept can be nuanced to you as a parent but the best way I can surmise the blend of our model between Classical and Charlotte Mason is that the Classical element is the black and white photo of an Ansel Adams and the Charlotte Mason is the vibrant pallet of a Monet. Both are masterpieces. The combination of the two complement each with the other and has overlapping mastery, but very different styles.
Great Books Foundation - Poetry - Plays - Original Documents
Join the class at the right time and you will hear a student reciting the poem Success by Longfellow or Sonnet 18 from Shakespeare in front of their class. Grading measures the audience respect as well as the presenter's
projection and eye contact. Travel to art and you will see projects that teach theory and hands-on application of the great works of the Renaissance. In music, students will be preparing for a choir presentation while studying the great composers of the late high Renaissance. And yes parents, we introduce the subject of Logic beginning in the 6th grade and look forward to dinner time debates that sharpen your student's argument skills. Every lesson, every connection is done with intention.
Learning happens in the classroom but also in the lunchroom, playgrounds, and gym. Recess is an important part of our students' day. Our schools offer intramural athletics and weekly physical education classes.
Focus on Values and Virtues
Hallways are orderly and quiet because other classes are in session. When I walk onto campus and have a door held open for me, or if I'm the one holding the door, I hear a series of "thank yous" as the scholars pass by, and then I know we are on the right track. We teach children to respect adults, respect each other and to say a simple "thank you" when appropriate.
The artwork on the hallways is a blend of the great men and women of history and student created artwork from ancient Chinese calligraphy to kindergarten interpretations of van Gogh. Research has shown that these graphic displays help reinforce the culture we are trying to build.
After School Enrichment is an important part of students learning experience. From the playing fields to the choir to clubs, each campus uniquely matches their families' request with activities.
Ethos Logos - House System
As a classical school featuring a curriculum based on the traditions of Western culture, our schools are supported in creating a House System that is inspired by the ideals of republican participation, shared leadership, and civil service.
Specifically, the House System exists for three purposes:
- To allow scholars a system in which they can belong, collaborate, and serve.
- To allow families an organizing structure to build community, celebrate learning, and give back to their local school.
- To sponsor school events and other school needs with the creativity, energy, and leadership of our family-volunteers in each grade level.
Similar to how the Classical curriculum is organized by historical time period following a 4-year cycle, scholars in each grade level will belong to a House (called by the Latin “Domus”) in partnership with the other grade level that is studying the same period in history each year.
Once Houses are formed, those scholars will remain in the same House as they progress from one grade to the other until their time at our school is completed. Older scholars will be in the position to model, encourage, and mentor younger scholars in the same House. As younger scholars progress through our program, they will become mentors.
Each House elects a House Co-Captain (1 captain per grade for a total of 2 co-captains), and determine which house will adopt which quarterly campus-wide event. Typical options include:
- Fall Festival (September)
- Grandparents Day (November)
- Sweetheart Dance (February)
- Math and Science Day (April)
To help establish the school culture, parents in each house will elect leadership to help support their scholar's efforts. Over the summer, prior to opening, there are some suggested offerings for House leaders to adopt and organize for their Houses and/or the entire school community. The goal of the House is to build community across grades and to model what we expect as part of our learning community.
Our schools will offer a full selection of after school sports. Most campuses will include a full-size gymnasium with hardwood floors. The gym-based sports of Boys and Girls Basketball and Volleyball will be launched year one. Additional sports including softball, flag football, and soccer will be launched based on the league options for competition and the interest of the students. Our schools will have a dedicated PE Teacher who will act as Athletic Director to organize the leagues and ensure high-quality sportsmanship occurs on and off the fields. For our high schools, we work to provide top-notch facilities and coaching staff that make us competitive.
Odyssey of the Mind Club
Most of our campuses have created Odyssey of the Mind teams to compete regionally and beyond. The critical thinking skills and projects that are rooted in history lend themselves perfectly to the Classical Curriculum. Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving program involving students from kindergarten through college. Team members work together at length to solve a predefined long-term problem and present their solution to the problem at a competition. They must also participate in the spontaneous portion of the competition by generating solutions to a problem they have not seen before. While the long-term problem solution often takes many months to complete and involves various elements of theatrical performance, construction, and design, the spontaneous portion occurs the day of the competition.
Orchestra – Theater
If the community decides there is demand for Orchestra or Theater, we typically help to set aside matching funds to ensure scholars can experience the joys of these art forms. Both programs lend themselves to the Classical Educational model.
Parent Pay After School Clubs
Depending on the offering from local third party vendors, each campus seeks out and contracts with elementary based after school programs. Some of the clubs we will focus on include:
Dance In All Forms
Honor – Traveling Choir
Chess Club and more
Teachers will be offered a stipend beginning in year two to lead a club of their choice.