The Lower School continues the great work established in the early learners years by strengthening students’ foundation of good habits and increasing their knowledge of academic subjects.
These are exciting years for students; they will discover the delight of reading, learn to write in both print and cursive, and “experience” history through a “living history day.” Additionally, through the memorization of Scripture, conversation, and reading of the Bible, we are equipping our lower school students with God’s truth and sound reason to guide their thinking and orient their hearts towards what is good, true, and beautiful.
The Lower School establishes a strong foundation by concentrating on the basics such as learning phonograms, memorizing math facts, practicing excellent penmanship, and mastering grammar. Because we focus on the essentials, we are afforded the opportunity to move at a quicker pace, capitalizing on the eagerness to learn often found in young children.
The Lower School schedule begins with a Bible time, where students build an understanding of absolute truth. Throughout the day students examine information, learn vocabulary, memorize grammar and spelling rules, and narrate material as applicable to specific subjects. Because we know students are the most attentive in the morning, we adapt our schedule to teach the most academic work in the morning and reserve the afternoons for specials like art, music, nature studies, Latin, and P.E. To deepen students’ knowledge of a particular subject, we revisit lessons throughout the school year with an aim towards mastery.
Take an in-depth look at our curriculum.
The Lower School years continue upon the character training of the Prekindergarten and Kindergarten years. We take the long view approach of educating children, not focusing merely on the mind, but molding a child’s character through the daily practice of righteous habits. Providence is able to more quickly and deeply cover material because we are not constantly having to pause classroom instruction to address disciplinary issues. Students know the classroom expectations and appreciate the peace that is found in the establishment of loving and grace-filled boundaries. Teachers work closely with the student and parents to get to the heart of disciplinary issues and lovingly guide the child back to obedience.
We greatly value the partnership which takes place between the School and the parents, and we invite both the mother and father into the process of educating the heart, soul, and mind of the child. Teachers communicate often with parents, corresponding daily through phone calls, emails, and texts; providing robust and insightful commentary on both the academic and character development of the student each trimester; twice-a-year planned parent/teacher conferences; and additional conferences on an as-needed basis. We also welcome parents (and grandparents!) on campus for lunch, Friday Chapel, on field trips, for living history days, and to fill various volunteer needs. As we work together to shepherd our students, we desire to provide ample opportunity for parents to strengthen their relationship with both the School and other parents in their child’s grade.
To best steward children and family’s time, we abide by a “less as more” philosophy and believe in quality over quantity. It is not until Class Three that our students attend a full day of school, five days a week. Our shorter schedule in Classes One and Two allows children extra time at home to learn under the leadership of parents, to strengthen sibling bonds, and to simply enjoy the beauty and wonder of childhood. It also gives parents time to pursue their own family’s passions, hobbies, and ministry opportunities or to say “no” to multiple extracurricular activities in order to preserve time at home with family and learn the value of unstructured play time.
Schedule & Class Size
Our lower school faculty have a deep love of educating children. They are passionate about teaching children to love what they learn: to take joy in the beauty of a poem, to notice the intricate detail of a leaf, or to emulate the characteristics of a virtuous character in a book. Lower school students exhibit a great eagerness to learn; so our faculty enthusiastically feed their intellect through rich literature, a sequential logical mathematics curriculum, science and nature studies, and history that ties in the study of the great masters in art and musical pieces. With a recognition of the profound impact that a teacher can have on a child, we intentionally employ wise, virtuous, godly, nurturing, and exceptional teachers.
Mary Beth Abbott