JCA Curriculum Highlights

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JCA Curriculum Highlights

Spelling

Journey Christian Academy teaches spelling using the Spell to Write and Read phonics program. This program focuses on the phonograms (letters or combinations of letters that make up the sounds of English words) and the spelling rules that apply to the vast majority of English words. Students are taught to sound out words as they spell them and

apply spelling rules rather than memorize the string of letters . If you child is en rolled in a spelling class, you can help at home by reviewing the set of phonogram cards that he or she will bring home from school. Please do NOT practice spelling words by having him or her recite the letters of words. In most cases, it will not be necessary to practice spelling words at home at all.

Reading

Studies tell us that students increase their reading most by spending more time reading. While this seems a rather obvious conclusion, the fact is that when traditional reading groups or “round robin ” reading is done in class, each child spends very little time actually reading. Studies also tell us that in order to benefit from reading practice, a student must be reading material at an appropriate level for them. Again, this does not necessarily happen when an entire class is reading the same book. Our teachers have trained this summer in using a system of reading class management that will promote more reading time in class and assure that each child is reading at an appropriate level . Teachers will be frequently assessing each student’s reading and helping them to set goals and target reading skills that will improve their reading.

Cursive Handwriting

Cursive handwriting is known to build networks in the brain that promote learning and understanding . It is even used as a therapy for dyslexia. It is also important that students learn to read cursive handwriting. We will be using a ten-week introduction to cursive handwriting school-wide this fall. All the

lower-case letters will be introduced during the first four weeks of school. The remaining six weeks or so will be dedicated to learning the upper-case letters and practicing what we have learned. Visit this link to read more about the benefits of cursive handwriting: http://www.cursivelogic.com/why-cursive/ .

English Grammar

The Shurley Grammar program will be used to teach grammar this year. This program teaches all the parts of speech through chants, rhymes, and a question and answer flow that aides in the analysis of a sentence and its parts.

Writing

Our writing program in grades three and up will be based on the Writing and Rhetoric series published by Classical Academic Press. This series teaches writing using a classical approach to writing that uses imitation of excellent writing as a springboard for self-expression. Students having difficulty knowing where to begin their writing will find their voice using this program.

Mathematics

If your child is on or near grade level in math, he or she will be using Saxon Math materials for their math classes this year. If your child is below grade level, we will be using a remedial program linked to the KeyMath 3 math assessment. We will begin by giving your son or daughter this thorough math assessment. The results of that testing will help us to target skills that are needed and we will use the supporting KeyMath Essentials materials to teach those skills. After a few months, we will assess again and set more goals. Students who are below grade level in math often have gaps in their understanding. So, while they may test on, for example, a third-grade level overall, a placement in a third-grade curriculum would not be appropriate, because he or she has mastered many skills taught at that level. The KeyMath Essentials curriculum will allow us t o target the skills needed at the lowest level, and then move on to the next grade level and fill in any gaps there. This provides the potential for a faster progression than would be possible by placing the student in a standard grade-leveled text.

History

In History this year, we will be studying the history of the Old Testament, Greece, and Rome, using the Veritas History program as our guide. Our history lessons will be hands-on and interactive. We will be integrating our history with reading, writing , and other subjects. While we will be studying the same time period in both of our history classes, they will be covered at a level that is appropriate to the age levels in each class.

Bible

Our Bible curriculum this year will be the God’s Great Covenant series by Classical Academic Press. The elementary class will be study the Old Testament from Genesis to Ruth. The middle school will be studying the New Testament Gospels.

Science

Our teachers will be pulling together materials from many sources as the y use a unit approach to general science. We will begin the year with a unit on Insects. We will also study several other topics, such as simple machines, natural habitats, and the weather. While we will all be studying the same topics in our science classes, they will be covered at a level appropriate to age levels in each class.