Reading, writing, phonics, and arithmetic are the foundations upon which the tower of learning is built, and they are given the highest priority in the early Grammar school years. The basic skills, work habits, and attitudes formed during these primary years are of crucial importance.
Phonics is the system of letter-sound association taught to children for the purposes of learning to read and spell. Phonics is most effective when taught systematically, thoroughly, intensely, and in a logical and time-tested sequence.
Our primary resource for phonics instruction in Kindergarten is First Start Reading, a program which teaches correct pencil grip, manuscript form, consonant and short vowel sounds, three-letter word formation, consonant blends, and long vowels/silent e. Common words that do not fit into any word family are introduced after students learn to blend three letter words. First Start Reading teaches students to read in Kindergarten using stories with a high percentage of phonetic words.
Phonics and spelling continue in 1st and 2nd grades using the SRA phonics series. In 1st grade, students continue to develop reading comprehension with whole books, which captivate and motivate children and are preferred over basal readers. Teachers monitor student reading skills through daily oral reading. First graders read children’s classics such as Little Bear, Caps for Sale, The Story About Ping, Billy and Blaze, etc. Second graders read The Courage of Sarah Noble, Little House in the Big Woods, and Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Spelling, penmanship, composition, and vocabulary lessons for each book are provided by study guides.
A rich language expression, provided both at home and in school, is an important factor in reading success. Students memorize poems and Scripture and enjoy children’s classics read by teachers and parents during read-aloud time.
Students develop the visual memory for accurate spelling by a systematic study of phonics, word families, spelling rules, and by a lifetime of seeing, reading, and writing words correctly. It is extremely important to reduce opportunities for children to write or see misspelled words. Young students who are allowed to spell creatively or phonetically have a confused visual memory that takes years to overcome.
Copybook is an exercise consisting of copying sayings, maxims, Scripture, and poetry in the student’s best handwriting. Copybook is an important step in developing good penmanship, punctuation, and spelling.
Number formation, counting, time, calendar, measurement, and money are the skills of Kindergarten through 2nd grade, along with mastery of addition and subtraction facts through 18. In 2nd grade the students also begin multiplication with the 1X, 2X, 5X, and 10X facts. Students learn number sense by skip counting, games, and drills, all of which make math time enjoyable and help students achieve immediate recall of math facts—the primary goal in K-2nd.
Our Read Aloud Program consists of a set of thirty (30) books, one set for each grade Pre-K-4 through 2nd, one book for each week. The Read Alouds provide a rich language experience for students as each book is read aloud throughout the week and is accompanied by oral questions and discussion. Students learn new and interesting words and delight in rhyme and word play. They learn about holidays, history, geography, science, and more. The books are beautiful in both art and prose.
Students in K-2nd also work with globes and maps to learn continents, oceans, countries, and basic geography terms. Second graders learn U.S. states, rivers, and the Great Lakes. In science, students learn about seasons, weather, local flora and fauna. They take nature walks around our campus to collect leaves, flowers, acorns, bugs, and more!
In Christian Studies, students read or listen to Bible stories and memorize Bible verses and prayers. Our music instructor, Miss Anna Booman, provides instruction in the basic elements of music, including ear training, note reading, and choral performance.
Students have art class once weekly with our Fine Arts Instructor, Miss Anna Booman, learning the fundamentals of drawing and art history and appreciation. Students produce beautiful artwork which will be displayed throughout the school.
Holy Trinity Classical Christian School also seeks to foster art knowledge and appreciate through our school wide art masterpiece program. Each week a different masterpiece is displayed and taught in the classroom, so that students can learn to recognize and appreciate the most well-known works of art.
Students have Physical Education once a week. P.E. provides 20-30 minutes of exercise as well as opportunities to play childhood games. Our our PE teacher, Ms. Kate Glorioso, works to develop basic motor and motion skills, such as running, skipping, running backwards, and flexibility, as well as sportsmanship and team play.
Kindergarten- 2nd grade students also have recess twice a day.
In 2nd grade students begin their formal Latin instruction with Prima Latina: Introduction to Christian Latin. This gentle introduction to Latin is a course that prepares children for more advanced study of Latin in years to come. Prima Latina was developed for children who are still becoming familiar with English grammar. Its goal is to teach and reinforce an understanding of the basic parts of speech while introducing Latin.