Our Language Arts program encompasses and integrates phonics, literature, vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and composition. In Kindergarten through Grade 2, students receive intensive phonics instruction to equip them with the phonetic skills needed to become fluent readers with strong comprehension. Students are introduced to high quality children's literature beginning in Kindergarten. Teachers read aloud to the students and ensure that they are developing listening comprehension skills, which provide the foundation for reading comprehension. Students narrate, or orally summarize, the stories that they have heard, further developing both their listening comprehension and oral language skills.
In all grades, a variety of excellent literature is used to teach reading skills and to encourage a love for reading. Students are carefully monitored to ensure that they are learning to read fluently, both orally and silently, and that they are learning to fully comprehend what they are reading. In the Grammar Stage, comprehension is focused on answering, orally and in written form, concrete questions about the literature being read, summarizing key sections, and describing character traits. In the Logic Stage, as the capability for abstract thought matures, students learn to analyze literature, reading carefully and critically with an understanding of the Christian worldview and identifying world views of various authors. Throughout all of the stages, students are encouraged and equipped to develop a life-long love of reading excellent literature.
As students are encouraged to develop a passion for reading, they are also given the skills to become excellent writers and speakers. In the early grades, students learn to spell correctly, learn basic rules of grammar, and memorize and recite poems and passages from the Bible and other great literature. They learn by imitating the works of great authors, reproducing dictated passages and copying passages from classical works of literature. Students are taught how to construct correct sentences, write coherent paragraphs, and compose effective essays. They are introduced to many styles of writing through the study of excellent literature, and are required to speak and write often and correctly in all subject areas. They learn what a gift language is by dissecting and arranging it in winsome, coherent, and convincing ways.