The elementary school corresponds to the grammar stage of classical education. In the grammar stage (1st-5th grades), we focus on the particulars or facts of each subject. “Grammar” refers to the fundamental information of a given subject. Every subject then has a grammar. Children in this stage of development are characterized by an ability to memorize and store large amounts of information. In the grammar stage of classical education, this natural tendency is further developed. This is a particularly important time for language study.
The earliest years of the grammar stage continue instruction in phonics. By the end of the students' first grade year, they are prepared to read their first chapter books. For the remainder of their grammar years the students are exposed to great classical literature through personal reading, class discussions, and narration. The readings are selected to coincide with the historical time period that the students are studying. For example, when the students study ancient Greek history, they will read the children’s editions of the Iliad and the Odyssey. When they study the Middle Ages, they will read Robin Hood together. And as they study the history of England in the 5th grade, they will be exposed to Shakespeare for the first time.
Learning to write well is one of the greatest benefits of a classical Christian education. The students of Midway Covenant Christian School use Shurley Grammar to teach them how to understand sentence structure and organize their thoughts well. They learn the basics of how to write a good paragraph by the 1st grade. By the 5th grade, students are learning how to express themselves through poetry and journals. They also learn to recognize and summarize great ideas through papers.
During the grammar stage of Math at MCCS, students learn fundamental concepts through manipulatives, speed drills, and computation. The study of mathematics exposes students to the ordered foundation of God’s creation. As they study together, the students find order and harmony in nature and discover the mechanics of God’s creation. This course of study instills the students with an appreciation of God’s standards for truth, goodness, and beauty.
During the grammar school years, the students are introduced to a chronological approach to history which covers the earliest stages of civilization in the Ancient Near East and Egypt to the Age of Exploration and the Revolutionary War in America. The students use the Veritas history curriculum to learn timelines, recognition of the most significant events, and exposure to some of the great writings of the time period. In order to help the students feel immersed in a specific time period, the history curriculum is aligned with readings in literature and instruction in the art program.
One of the most important aspects of education that Midway Covenant Christian School wants to impart in the life of its students is curiosity. The science class is crucial in developing this curiosity. Students learn to observe, question, analyze, hypothesize, and think critically. During the grammar stages the students are exposed to the basic concepts of earth science, biology, physical science, and astronomy.
The Bible is foundational to all subjects at Midway, and every class is expected to relate its subject matter to biblical instruction. In addition to this instruction, the Bible is taught as its own class to elementary students. Through daily classroom instruction and weekly chapels, the students engage in a Scripture memorization program, learn catechism questions, are introduced to the classics of personal devotion, and apply biblical lessons to daily life.
Our Latin program begins in the 3rd Grade. In Latin, students learn the basic components of studying a foreign language, but they are also immersed in the culture of classical education. Latin is an important part of the classical curriculum because it teaches students to think creatively and logically. It also allows students to participate in the dialogue of Western Civilization. The study of Latin opens doors that allow students to be better learners in history, grammar, logic, and even the sciences.
The goal of education is not only to train the mind, but the whole body as well. Good education requires habits that instill discipline, courage, teamwork, and wisdom. Physical Education plays a significant role in developing all of the skills. In Physical Education, the students learn the basic components of various sports, but they must also learn to practice good decision making, learn healthy habits, and utilize clear communication.
Classical education seeks to create an environment that encourages creativity, expression, and appreciation of cultural achievements. In order to develop the character traits, instruction in Fine Arts is crucial to the Midway curriculum. All students are taught the fundamentals of music and art. During the elementary years, all Midway students are taught to express themselves more creatively and to recognize the achievements of the great artists and composers in history.