The study of language arts at New Hope Academy focuses on five basic areas:
Because reading is foundational to the learning process, children need to develop a positive relationship with words and good books as early as the toddler years. Reading aloud and giving students opportunities to narrate or to verbalize responses and reactions to a book is an integral part of our English program.
- Pre-K and Kindergarten: Focuses on reading readiness, building the necessary skills to begin the reading process.
- Grades 1 & 2: Provides for thorough basic reading skills using phonics and vocabulary enrichment. Emphasis on the children reading and being read to.
- Grades 3-6: Exposes students to great literature through reading chapter books as well as biographies integrated into the Humanities curriculum.
Those who profit most from grammar studies are those who already write well. The transfer of grammar knowledge into students’ writing is a difficult and ongoing process.
- Grade 1: Concentrates on the writing process. Through the development of writing skills, students informally learn grammar.
- Grades 2-6: A more formal approach to grammar, learning the rules and definitions of the English language as integrated into the study of reading and writing.
Memorization is an important skill to be advanced and used. Children naturally enjoy repetition and chanting during the early years of learning. It is, therefore, important to memorize poetry and Scripture on a regular basis to enhance memorization skills during this time of development.
Spelling is a part of the whole of language and communication skills. We attempt to approach spelling in such a way that it is transferable to a student’s writing. Spelling lists, developed by the teacher and student, include words from three different areas:
- High-frequency words are selected to reinforce a particular spelling rule, in order to help the child understand the relations of sounds and letters.
- Using words from the students’ reading simultaneously enhances their vocabulary as well as their knowledge of correct spelling.
- The study of misspelled words from a student’s writing gives the child and teacher an understanding of individual spelling needs.
Composition is crucial in the education process, allowing children to communicate and express themselves in written form. We believe that students just beginning to put thoughts down on paper should not be hindered by an overemphasis on correct spelling or grammar. This does not mean that those skills are not the goal. The mechanics of writing are taught and carefully reinforced. Teaching children to revise and reshape their writing to help make it clearer and more effective is an important aspect of teaching composition.