Lower Elementary (K-2)
Language Arts (Reading, phonics instruction, and literature)
Our students are taught utilizing the Orton-Gillingham method for teaching phonics, along with the All About Reading series and the Sing, Spell, Read, Write series. Hands-on activities partner with repetition and practice to give our young students a strong foundation that will make them successful learners as they move to each new grade. Our literature focus includes the works of Robert McClosky in kindergarten, Beatrix Potter in 1st grade, and E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web” in 2nd grade. The works of William Shakespeare are taught in all grades.
Our curriculum for kindergarten is Hands On Math. For 1st and 2nd grades, we use the Saxon Math series.
We want our students to love Jesus and the Bible! Our students are covenant children whose families are growing in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. In addition to a developmentally appropriate study of scripture, our students participate in corporate worship and prayer. We do not use a pre-packaged Bible curriculum, nor do we take doctrinal stances on the minor teachings of Scripture. We strive to emphasize both the historical reality of the Bible and its application of truth in today’s world.
For our young students, we pair the study of history with their literature and with Biblical history. Parents also contribute to the teaching of History during Enrichment Days (explained below under “Structure”).
In these early grades, we incorporate science into the daily observation of the world around us. Those observations (trees, flowers, leaves, insects, constellations, animals, rocks, minerals, and shells) are recorded in a nature notebook, and in-depth research is guided by the teacher. First grade does an in-depth study of butterflies, including observation of the life cycle and host plants. Second grade focuses on spiders and birds, with an emphasis on the life cycle of the chicken (they watch a real one hatch!). Science is also a big part of Enrichment Days.
Each student participates in artist studies of the great masters through the avenues of technical instruction, picture study, reproductions, biographical research, and art museum visits. Charlotte Mason wrote, “This power of appreciating what one sees begins with a reverent knowledge of what has already been produced; that is, the student learns the picture, line by line, group by group, by reading not the books about the picture, but by studying the pictures themselves.”
The purpose of our composer study is to cultivate the student’s taste for a musically rich heritage as well as to provide an environment where music is listened to and appreciated as a normal part of daily life.
At PCS, we believe that children need plenty of time to move, play, explore and interact with each other. In short, they need the freedom to be children! Our schedule allows this, avoiding developmentally-inappropriate pressure to perform. To that end, PCS offers two scheduling options to families with children in grades K-2.
- In our traditional schedule, kindergarteners, 1st graders, and 2nd graders begin PCS with five half days (8:10am-12:00pm) each week. This allows plenty of time at home for those families who desire it, and experience has shown it to be more than adequate in preparing students academically for later grades.
- In our full-day option, students stay for an additional curriculum from 12:00-3:00pm. We call this time “Afternoon Adventures.” It offers lunchtime and additional learning opportunities, including reading, nature studies, creative play, music, and other activities. Many students on our traditional schedule choose to participate in Afternoon Adventures once or twice a week!
Twelve Fridays a year, parents are the teachers in grades 1 and 2. We call these “Enrichment Days.” We provide the materials and lesson plans for parents, and the subject matter is usually related to Science and/or History. Our students love having their parents in the classroom, and it helps develop strong covenant relationships in our community.