Kindergarten - Young 1st Grade
Our early primary program offers a safe, relaxed, developmentally appropriate environment that softly bridges the progression from preschool to elementary school by embracing their natural curiosity and providing a balanced mix of guided instruction, hands-on learning activities, and much needed social and free exploration time.
Our early primary cohort consists of students in kindergarten, young first graders, or students desiring a 'bonus' year (usually summer birthdays) before kindergarten. We provide two days of in-person instruction in our hybrid programs. Families also receive two days of relaxed *home study curriculum to complete at home.
While this cohort is part of our "primary"
program, and works alongside students in 1st - 3rd grade, we understand that kindergarteners are still in the throws of "early childhood," and their learning program should reflect their natural curiosity and innate need for experiential and hands-on learning.
Our daily schedule includes a balance of direct instruction, guided learning, independent activities, free choice, and ample social breaks. Our theme-based curriculum includes the core subjects of English Language Arts and Math, and includes concepts from science and social studies through literature, art, discussion, play experiences, and more. Literature, games, songs, multi-sensory experiences, art, and more are integrated into our daily lessons. Work pages are used constructively to help to build skills and demonstrate growth.
*Kindergarten is optional in the state of Georgia. Home study curriculum reflects our philosophy of "quality over quantity" and can generally be completed in 1 - 1.5 hours per day, depending on the child's working speed, their engagement in any given subject, and parental participation. Parents are encouraged to use their remaining learning hours exploring their world through reading, music, art, movement/sports opportunities, playing with friends, going outside, enjoying field trips or nature walks, etc!
DAY IN THE LIFE
Upon arrival, our students enjoy a few minutes to settle in through relaxed morning activities such as playing with friends, building with lego, reading a story, etc. Students then gather for group time. During this short period, students engage in discussions about the current theme, receive an introduction to new concepts of the week, enjoy a story, or participate in songs or games. We then break into our small group learning cohorts for core subject rotations. As part of a multi-aged program, kindergarteners will enjoy a mix of kindergarten-specific learning opportunities, and depending on readiness, may be placed in higher level groups for reading and math. Please note that we take numerous factors into account when advancing kindergarten students into higher groups, such as fine motor development, attention span, academic readiness, and emotional maturity.
Our morning schedule begins with math. Following a snack and outdoor break, we move into ELA rotations, which include phonics & spelling, and then learning through literature.
After an enjoyable lunch and outdoor play break, students explore science and social studies concepts through literature, projects, crafts, and more! Our day concludes with a social period where students build friendships through free play, games, art, and more!
As a hybrid program, we carefully select all of our resources to match our unique set-up of two days of in-person instruction and two days of home study. Many curriculum programs on the market are either geared to a 5-day, teacher instructed program (i.e. private or public school) or are written for traditional homeschooling that serves a single-student, parent-led model. As such, we meticulously create and curate resources, materials, and worktexts that align to a school-to-home partnership that supports collaborative learning in school, meets state and national standards, and provides genuine learning experiences at home without overwhelming the student or family.
Many students in our program enjoy rich and engaging extra-curricular activities or value time with family. Therefore, our align our home study curriculum to meet the work-life balance our families desire.
Mastery in math is a key element in our program, and we strive for deep learning in this subject. In kindergarten, we use a hands-on curriculum that includes fluency activities, whole group games, songs, small group work, manipulatives, cut-and-paste activities, and worksheets to solidify number concepts. Parents are given an easy-to-follow lesson to implement on home study days, along with "purposeful practice" pages to reinforce and demonstrate mastery.
We implement a multi-sensory, Orton Gillingham aligned curriculum for teaching targeted reading skills such as phonemic awareness, phonics (sounds), sight words, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, penmanship, and spelling. Our teachers are all trained in the Orton Gillingham approach.
Using and interactive, multi-sensory approach, this program introduces phonemic awareness, phonemes (sounds), letter formation, sight words, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension in a systematic method to ensure students receive the critical foundations of reading and writing. This program begins with letters and sounds, then progresses through CVC words (cat, met), CVCE (bake), long vowels, vowel teams, complex sounds, etc. Students will be assessed at the beginning of the year to ensure they are placed in the level that best suits their needs.
LEARNING THROUGH LITERATURE
Literature provides an amazing springboard for learning about our world. From fictional stories that teach lessons about social-emotional challenges and friendship to informational texts that explain the wonders of the world, quality literature is essential in creating a balanced literacy program and sparking a love for learning! In kindergarten, students will delve into engaging topics and themes using fictional and informational texts. In addition to providing a platform for learning about language, story structure, characters, setting, sentence structure, basic grammar, and more, this learning block is where stories come alive through fun projects such as crafts, art, Reader's Theater, and more!
In kindergarten, science concepts are generally interwoven into themes during our Learning Through Literature block. In this block, we present a selection of informative texts that center around science concepts such as animals, planting, seasons, weather, and more. Science is also integrated into play experiences, outdoor exploration, art, science projects, building activities, experiments, and more!
For students wanting a deeper STEAM experience, we highly recommend adding our "Full STEAM Ahead" project-based learning enrichment day!
Like science, social studies concepts are generally interwoven into themes that are presented in our Learning Through Literature block. Social studies concepts such as community and culture are also integrated into holiday studies and play experiences.
For students wanting a deeper experience in theme-based learning, we highly recommend adding our "Engage and Explore" project-based enrichment day!