God tells us in the book of Proverbs that if we train our children in the way they should go, then they will not depart from it. We know that this is not a promise, but is rather a word of wisdom for God's people. God teaches us that if we teach our children the Gospel from an early age, that it is likely they will come to know the Lord. We trust in God's sovereignty over the salvation of our children, and we strive to be instruments that God uses for that purpose. With this understanding, we try to teach all of our children that the "Way" they need is Jesus. It's not a path of self-discipline, but a person whom they must know.
So at Grace Covenant Academy, our Lower School program is based on the gospel of Jesus Christ. We teach basic core subject classes through a biblical worldview and frame them in the gospel. At this age, we hope to instill a passion for learning, self-discipline, and obedience to parents and authority. But most importantly, we partner with you by sharing the gospel and showing how it relates to all areas of our lives and education.
Lower School classes (Kindergarten - 5th grade) are 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, with additional at-home school work throughout the rest of the week. As your partner, we will do the majority of curriculum selection, lesson planning, and teaching, while allowing you to be the primary leader and mentor in your child's lives. We find this model to be an effective way of teaching core subject lessons and delegating leadership and parental responsibilities to you.
To learn more about our Lower School program, explore our course offerings by clicking here.
In Lower School, we focus on creating students who are growing in the disciplines of learning and critical thinking. Students advance through the core subjects as they prepare for Upper School learning. At this age, we strive to connect how our education is tied to our worship of God, and how learning can truly be fun! Below is an overview of the general emphasis of each subject.
Bible - At this age, we focus on helping students learn the basics of the Gospel. We want them to learn who God is, how we can know Him through Jesus, and how we can talk with him through prayer and the Bible. We encourage families to spend time in God’s word each day with a devotional (suggested by GCA) or with any plan of their choosing and we also ask our families to have a Bible memory plan for their family or to follow our GCA Bible memory plan. Our goal is to create an environment for each family to flourish in the Lord as we come alongside and partner with you in your goals for your children.
Math –We want our students to explore the relationships between numbers and help them to understand how math works. Throughout the elementary years, students progress in their ability to add, subtract, divide, multiply, and understand how it all works. This year, we are using Math in Focus throughout the Lower School grades.
Language Arts - In Lower School, we want to help students lay an excellent reading foundation, while also growing in their ability to write and communicate. We focus on helping students grow in the disciplines of reading, vocabulary development, spelling, writing, grammar, and general communication. For language arts, we utilize personal reading, reading groups, and writing workshops.
Science - In science, we begin developing and cultivating a desire to learn through exploration and observation. If creation declares the glory of God, then we want to help our students observe and understand creation, so that they can see Gods good design. Through interactive projects, we teach students the basics of the scientific method and scientific principles in physical, life, earth, and space science.
Social Studies – Through social studies, we try to help students see how God is in control of human history, and how he is orchestrating a wonderful story of His redemption through Jesus. In the lower elementary, we focus on general social studies, people of the world and geography, and American history. In the upper elementary grades we utilize the book Mystery of History with engaging projects and lessons to help students learn history from a God-centered perspective. We also have a history celebration each year for all grades to participate in.
Character – While we realize that character training takes place primarily in the home, we are consistently trying to model and teach godly character and reinforce the principals and habits our families hold to be true. We utilize class management techniques to encourage students to lead and submit to authority. Additionally, we focus on the importance of respect, love, obedience, diligence, and forgiveness. Throughout the semester, we study a variety of character traits as families, with take home sheets, suggested family discussions, and chapel speakers.