LPA Elementary Program—at a glance
The primary focus in the elementary program is upon Language Arts and Math. These are where the emphasis, workload, and time allotments are lavished. Science, history, and electives are interesting and valuable, but these are treated as secondary through sixth grade. Here is why: With solid, thoroughly exercised knowledge and skill in Language Arts and Math, the student is poised to take off and to learn more deeply in all subjects in junior high and high school.
The primary language arts program is a comprehensive course including cursive penmanship, spelling, writing, grammar, and reading. It is based on Spell to Write and Read methods using phonics-based spelling as the building blocks for spelling as well as reading. Spell to Write and Read also integrates grammar and writing in the primary grades. The Shurley English curriculum formally introduces grammar starting in 2nd grade, teaching the eight parts of speech, punctuation marks, and writing sentences and paragraphs. In the primary grades the focus is on teaching students how to read, connecting phonics and rules to reading spelling words, original sentences, and living books.
In third grade, a formal writing curriculum, Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), is introduced and is expanded upon through sixth grade. IEW provides students with structure and style in their writing. Students will learn structural models including note taking, writing from pictures, research reports, creative writing, essays, and critiques, which will help them organize their writing. In addition, students will apply stylistic techniques, (strong verbs, quality adjectives and adverbs, sentence openers, and more), to take their writing to the next level and prepare them for the middle and upper grades at Lake Pointe and beyond.
The elementary math curriculum is based on the Singapore method of teaching Mathematics. Singapore features a problem-based approach that builds on an important three-step progression: from "concrete" to "pictorial" to "abstract/conceptual." This "hold it," "see it illustrated on paper," to "see it and understand it in your mind" progression allows topics to be taught at an in-depth level to build true mathematical familiarity and eventual understanding. Students are encouraged to see and to discover the "why" behind their exercises, rather than simply "how to do" the computations: "Student, you "know" that 2x4=8, but do you "see" why? Throughout the grade levels, students exercise in fundamental knowledge, such as math facts and operations to build and speed.
Across all grade levels there is a strong emphasis on place value, fact recall, and modeling strategies for real world problems. There is also an emphasis on mental math strategies, which involves using number sense to make numbers “friendlier” to work with mentally. Number bonds enhance the instruction for mental math, number sense, and computation and offer a smooth transition into more involved mathematics, like algebra.
First through Fourth Grade: The backbone of our curriculum is Story of the World. Along with some living history books, students will travel through time and around the world to lay a foundation of historical figures and events. Each grade the focus changes to a different time period from ancient, medieval, early modern and modern periods. In class, students encounter hands-on, experimental learning. Weaving historical fictional literature with Story of the World, the history lessons incorporate listening, narrating, basic map skills, and hands-on projects to enrich the student’s understanding of that time and culture. The objective in grammar level history is for the student to memorize key facts and to have an understanding of both chronological order (timeline) and basic geography. By simplifying assessment upon simple fact recall and related reading projects, teachers can cultivate enthusiasm for history.
Fifth through Eighth Grade: Like the earlier grades, students will study the four major time periods of history, but students begin to exercise association and reasoning in relating to the facts and background.. In Mystery of History Vol. 1 & 2, fifth and sixth graders study Western, African, and Asian civilizations from the beginning of time to 1450. The seventh and eight grades will pick up at 1450 and study through modern times using Mystery of History Vol. 3 & 4. Using historical topics, the students will continue to develop and refine the Excellence in Writing skills they are learning in the Language Arts program, like taking notes, using a key-word outline and writing summaries and papers.
The backbone of the curriculum in grades 1-4 is a study of science, studied in Creation order. The goal is to have the student to be steeped in the truth, wonder, order, and variety found in Almighty God's Creation story. Academy-created plans and activities are supplemented with Science in the Beginning, which is published by Berean Builders. Lessons are presented from a biblical worldview to help students develop an understanding of scientific topics. The students explore science through listening, brainstorming, experiments, and various hands on activities. Students will appreciate a foundation of science facts and skills that will prepare them for further exploration in later grades. The goal is to establish a love of learning science.
K5 Social Studies:
History and science are taught intermittently throughout the year through unit studies. Topics include creation, family, community helpers, apples, pumpkins, colonial living, seasons and holidays, plants, weather, dental health, transportation, measurement, and many others. We take full advantage of the student’s curiosity and enthusiasm by fully engaging all their senses as they explore a topic. The lessons often springboard from “living books”, using a variety of hands-on activities to enrich the child’s understanding and grow their curiosity.
LPA Secondary Program—at a glance
English is designed to engage students in enduring classic literature, examining the “great ideas and issues” faced by mankind throughout history using the lens of a Biblical worldview. The program is reading and composition intensive. Each year students will read several whole, unabridged books. Students study a variety of genres: novels, plays, short stories, poems, essays and speeches. While classic literature (time honored, critically acclaimed) does not always reflect Biblical principles, LPA studies these selections - examined and approached within strategic protective boundaries - to ensure students have a thorough understanding of history, cultures, and the nature of man. Grammar is a formal component of teaching in the secondary, especially through grade 10. Vocabulary is taken from the literature studies.
Math is a precise science - helping us to explain God’s creation - as well as a foundational tool in music and art. The study of mathematics also helps to develop association and orderly problem solving skills, which transcend the classroom. LPA teaches through a traditional progression of foundational math disciplines. An advanced path of study is available, offering Algebra I in the 8th grade. Each level is taught to mastery, for math, more than any other subject, builds upon itself. Students have the opportunity to choose between Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus and Statistics (when offered) for an advanced math class. Calculus naturally follows Trig/Pre-Cal. While the math courses in grades 7-12 rely upon traditional, mainline textbooks, all courses feature upon teacher-created materials and projects.
History is the study of the unfolding of the relationship between God and man. At LPA, it is taught as a progression through time (Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern and Modern.) Each progression, (grades 1-4, 5-8, 9-10), builds on and digs deeper than the previous progression. In secondary, 7th and 8th grades continue the progression from 5th and 6th grades covering the Early Modern and Modern time periods. The cycle starts over at the 9th grade level and is completed by the end of the 10th grade, with each era studied in a semester. The focus in 11th grade narrows to the history of the United States. The focus continues to narrow in the 12th grade with a study of US Government and Economics.
World History in the 9th and 10th grade utilizes The Bible, a college history text, and teacher created materials. US History, published by Bob Jones Press, is used in 11th grade. US Government instruction pulls together various resources, God & Government by American Vision, and The Story of the Constitution by Christian Liberty Press. Economics is taught on a college level with teacher created materials.
Secondary science is designed to be a comprehensive study of the physical and life sciences. The courses are laboratory intensive. General Science and Physical Science in the 7th and 8th grades provide a firm foundation upon which further study will build. Students have the opportunity to choose between Advanced Biology—Human Anatomy and Physics and Physics for a third lab science course. The Apologia Science textbooks are used and supplemented by instructor created materials. This series is written conversationally to the student and provides solid, rigorous, college prep instruction, while clearly illuminating God’s work in creation.
What the state classifies as "electives" are used at Lake Pointe for two needs. The first is to accommodate LPA's distinctive "ministry and life prep" courses to support discipling and relating to life and others. The second is to ensure the completion of college entry requirements. This pair of goals means that the student has a more heavily restricted menu of "electives" than some other schools.