Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Primary Group

Our Primary Group consists of Kindergarten and 1st Grade.
Note: This group will consist of Kindergarten, 1st,  and 2nd graders for the 2021-2022 school year. 

While we would love to have each grade have its own specific class, we simply do not have the space or teachers to do so. The curriculum does rotate between two sets of curriculum every other year thus guaranteeing that your child will not sit through two duplicate years in their kindergarten and 1st grade.

The Primary Group is often a child's first introduction to schooling of any sort and so we take this year to gently introduce the children to key aspects of schooling (listening, sharing, helping others, following instructions, lining up).

Children start recitation in the Primary Group. Each week, they work through a set of questions and answers. These range from "what are the two types of letters" (vowels and consonants) to "what are the days of the week" to "name the eight planets".

These early years are a key time to harness the kids' natural ability to memorize facts and jingles. We do send home the weekly recitation questions so that parents can practice with their children the remainder of the week, we do not require parents do so.

It is also in the Primary Group where children begin to learn how to be active listeners and natural learners. Our curriculum is designed to expose the children to the good, the true, and the beautiful.

Enrichment is the bulk of the Primary Group's classwork. Enrichment encompasses literature, science, history, social studies, art, and more. It is this part of the class which gently teaches children to be active listeners, advanced thinkers, and appreciative observers.

Each lesson is focused around a single picture book which has been expertly selected for their quality, age level, and subject matter.

Through these read-aloud books, children are introduced to the subjects of literature, poetry, history, culture, science, art, music. Each of these subjects all relating to the read-aloud book.

For example: When the children read "A Tree is Nice", they work do the following:

  • Reading comprehension questions about the book (literature)
  • Learn about the kinds of trees, what trees provide us, and where tress grow (science)
  • Study a famous painting "Birch Forest" which ties in nicely to the tree theme (art appreciation)
  • Listen to a piece of classical music which we try to match to the theme however that is sometimes a stretch (for this lesson it is Symphony No. 6 in F Major, op. 68 "Pastoral" (music appreciation)
  • Read a poem that relates to the theme (poetry)
  • Create an art project that matches the theme (art)

When the children are this young, you could use this weekly Seattle Scholé class as their history, science, literature, etc for the whole week. Not much is needed at this age.

That said, we do provide parents with a list of additional books that they could read in the remainder of that week, which reinforces what the child learned in class. These books are usually easily borrowed from the library.