Daily Bible study, devotionals, and weekly Chapels are designed to help students develop a Christian world view, a love for God and a greater understanding of His attributes as God develops faith in them. The elementary school is in the process of adopting the Deep Roots Bible Curriculum, a digital apologetics and worldview curriculum, that equips students to integrate the Bible into their daily lives so they make choices that are honoring to God. “Character traits, case studies and discussions will work toward this aim, training students to see that behavior is not an external issue of trying harder, but a heart issue motivated out of gratitude toward God.”
Children learn to read more effectively when they first learn the relationship between letters and sounds through phonics. At CCS, we employ an intense, systematic Saxon Phonics program for kindergarten, first, and second grade that consists of explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, decoding, spelling and fluency. We combine this method with the use of grade-level Houghton Mifflin readers and the integration of classic children’s literature so students can develop a love and appreciation of reading as well as reading skills through both small group and whole class instruction. In upper grades, the focus is on vocabulary development, comprehension, fluency, higher-level thinking, book discussions, and written responses to literature and non-fiction sources. In language arts, our curriculum integrates listening, speaking, reading, and writing together. We use the Accelerated Reader program to create individualized goals to allow children to be both challenged and successful. Literature and writing units use literature as a springboard into writing. Grammar skills are taught and applied directly to children’s spoken and written language. Students at all grade levels are given frequent cross-curricular opportunities to practice writing skills, with access to classroom iPads and Chromebooks. Fifth grade utilizes a class set of Chromebooks to access the digital Shurley Grammar program and to complete compositions and reports using Google Classroom.
Grades K-4 use Math in Focus, a Singapore Math program that focuses on problem-solving and a deep understanding of mathematical concepts using a research based concrete, pictorial, abstract learning progression. The fifth grade’s daily mathematics instruction uses Saxon Math, consisting of computational skills, a lesson for the day, and a practice set of problems, as well as spiral review of previously taught concepts. Grades 1-5 are also using the adaptive technology of the digital Prodigy Math game to provide individualized practice, both in the class and at home.
Science uses our God-given ability to understand the world around us. We help children understand that science is a God given logical method of thought, which applies not only to explorations of the physical universe but also to all other realms of intellectual inquiry. We use the California edition of the Macmillen/McGraw-Hill science curriculum in grades K-5. Each grade level consists of 5-10 units covering life, earth, and physical sciences. These units use hands-on activities and experiments to develop science exploration skills, in conjunction with non-fiction text. Cross-curricular activities integrate science with other subjects. Biographies of famous scientists, descriptions of scientific careers, research projects and experiments teach logic, curiosity, and develop interest in further scientific pursuits.
Social studies introduces children to their world from the past to the present. Key components are civic, historical, and geographic literacy. Civics starts with the child as a citizen of the school, and then develops an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of all citizens to the community, their country, and the world at large. It also teaches children the purpose and function of rules and imparts a sense of our identity as a nation of immigrants living in a unique multicultural society. Historical literacy involves knowledge of important events and people. Geographic literacy teaches an understanding of place, location, direction, distance, relative size, shape, and identifying features in the environment.
The upper elementary curriculum involves the more formal study of history, geography, and civics. Students learn the basic chronology of United States history and major periods of worlds history. They begin to understand the significance of the important events and people in U.S. and world history. Geography in the older grades includes basic themes of location, place, and relationship between places, movement, and regions. Civics focuses on the essential facts, the central institutions, and the fundamental principles of the United States and western civilization. The Houghton Mifflin History & Social-Science curriculum is enhanced by the use of primary sources, as well as the discussion of biblical accounts, and the biographies of outstanding men and women.