KINDERGARTEN - 5th GRADE
Children in this stage are naturally inquisitive, creative, and active. In terms of brain development, their ability to absorb information and acquire new skills is at its height. We honor this stage by building fundamental skills in language and mathematics, core knowledge in history and science, and a love of art and music. Our relaxed atmosphere is inherently nurturing, and we honor the need for play and physical activity with recess and extended lunch periods, outdoors and in our gymnasium. Children educated in this way are well positioned to continue at Louisville Classical Academy in middle school.
In harmony with the broad aims of Louisville Classical Academy, the lower-school English curriculum offers an enriched language environment rooted in wonderful stories and classic children's literature. Teachers encourage students to ask questions, think deeply, and develop their own ideas about what they read. Early learners begin the process of sharing their ideas and interpretations through listening, speaking, and taking turns. This distinctive "Shared Inquiry" method is a collaborative, discussion-based approach to stories and literature has been developed, refined, and advocated by the Great Books Foundation for more than sixty years. Through the Foundation's Junior Great Books program, children of all ages are empowered to explore the ideas and meaning in everything they read.
The lower-school English curriculum moves children from an intuitive grasp of language toward conscious control and understanding. Our youngest students develop strong word-reading and spelling skills through a phonics-based curriculum. As they progress toward fifth grade, students improve their skills in reading comprehension, and writing, and presenting. Students are encouraged to use language creatively and produce texts confidently and proudly. Fluency and correctness are emphasized. The result is students whose native intellectual capacities are developed to the fullest, with a profound and mature affinity for language and the ability to think analytically, logically, and creatively.
The study of Latin is a powerful tool for developing minds that are agile, observant, analytical, logical, and perceptive. Louisville Classical Academy is one of a small number of schools in the U.S. that teaches Latin grammar and translation, which begins in third grade. The results are astounding.
The math curriculum develops both computational and conceptual mastery, and students have abundant opportunities to explore math functions and concepts in the context of meaningful experiences. Children develop specific skills and strategies for problem solving while developing number and operation sense, spatial reasoning, and measurement processes. A variety of manipulative materials are used for concept formation and understanding, especially in the younger grades. LCA's math curriculum emphasizes conceptual understanding, encourages flexibility and speed through mental math, and teaches children to "think mathematically."
The study of science at LCA is active, employing a hands-on, activity-based approach. The science program intends to promote the attitude of an enthusiastic scientist, the skill of a measured researcher, and knowledge drawn from life, space, and physical sciences. Through guided inquiry, students are encouraged to investigate and observe the world around them, build hypotheses, and ask questions. By fifth grade, students are ready to participate in a Science Symposium, where they design and conduct controlled experiments and present their work to the class.
GLOBAL STUDIES & HISTORY
Global studies (kindergarten through third grade) and history (grades four and above) enlists the child’s native love of story, and in this way students learn about their place in our human story. Childhood is a wonderful time to learn about the larger global family. Young students explore the geography, food, art, traditions, and holidays of world cultures through art, singing, and language. LCA is fortunate that more than one-third of our students have first- and second-generation immigrants in their families, whom we will invite to share their stories and culture.
MUSIC & ART
At all grade levels, music is an essential part of the LCA curriculum. Lower-school students participate in choir, where they will sing songs from the canon of children's and classical music, including songs in other languages. Childhood is the best time to develop not only literacy and numeracy skills, it is also the time when young children can best develop their aural skills. Students to listen to and create music in a way that will allow them to become fluent in this most beautiful of languages. Music lessons are available in piano, guitar, and violin. At all grade levels, art class meets multiple times per week, but it does not stop there; art is integrated throughout the lower-school curriculum, from the fantastical bestiary creatures imagined and drawn by fourth graders in English class to the creative and colorful nomenclature cards in third-grade Latin to the "hand-print turkeys" made by kindergartners at Thanksgiving!