Core Content Studies
History serves as the spine of our curriculum, and literature is chosen as it pertains to the time period each grade studies. Students learn history through the Story of the World curriculum and historical fiction. Language Arts is a multidisciplinary study which includes literature, grammar, vocabulary, writing, and spelling. Throughout their years at City School, students engage in narration, a practice of intensely focusing on language and content (while the teacher reads) and then recalling precisely what was read. In the early grades, we emphasize literacy¹, and from then students advance to Wordly Wise, A Beka, and Spell to Write and Read.
Math is taught at an accelerated pace using the Saxon curriculum. While challenging, the curriculum teaches concepts in small, digestible pieces and holds students accountable to previous lessons through constant review2. The students study and experience science through narration and project based learning: when you walk through our classrooms, you’re sure to see replica birds hanging from the ceiling or a solar system twirling around a classroom!
Charlotte Mason Inspirational Studies
Ms. Mason believed that to become a master students should incorporate techniques of the masters into their own practice. Each week students study artists, composers, and poets and learn to emulate their works of art.
In addition to academic and inspiration students, students participate in a handful of extra-curriculars. As part of our educational philosophy, we focus heavily on the arts: our students take music and art twice each week, mastering technical skills and developing an appreciation for beauty.
Students participate in PE three times per week for physical & character development, and have recess each day, a chance to creatively interact with their physical environment and learn to play well with their peers.
1Not surprisingly, early childhood literacy is a strong predictor of later academic success. Reading is, after all, still the most common means to acquire knowledge. There is some debate around best practices, but troves of research are clear: across all ethnicities and socioeconomic statuses, students with alphabet knowledge, phonetic awareness, and letter recognition are the most likely to develop strong literacy skills in elementary and middle school. For more, read the report by the Early Childhood Literacy Panel.
2Saxon’s approach is three fold: learn in small bits, increase in complexity across all concepts at the same time (rather than unit by unit), and constantly review what you learned so you retain material from the first day and make connections between concepts. Their curriculum consistently performs well in independent research studies and is a large part of why our students excel to such a high degree in math.