Innova Academy’s grammar school curriculum builds a solid academic foundation, emphasizing mastery of facts and fundamental skills. Grammar stage students have the natural ability to retain large amounts of information, so Innova intentionally builds knowledge across the curriculum immersing students in a holistic, unified, and rich learning experience. Students are actively engaged in learning while applying skills they have previously acquired to new, expansive content. Classrooms are filled with singing, chanting, movement, and engaging hands-on activities. Teachers provide a safe and nurturing classroom environment where students can deepen their awareness of God’s love and relationship with him, as well as meet their potential for academic success. Strong habits of heart, mind, and soul are reinforced, as students become more aware of their impact on others and build skills in self-governance and responsibility.
Innova Academy teaches the Bible as the infallible Word of God which speaks to every area of life. All scripture testifies to God’s redemptive plan fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and students learn to articulate the gospel, God’s plan of salvation. Junior kindergarten through second grade introduces students to major stories and lessons from scripture, focusing on how God demonstrates his love for us, and how we can show our love for God. Beginning in third grade, students embark on an in-depth chronological study of the Bible. Scripture is presented as part of the historical narrative. Furthermore, the application of scriptural lessons to daily life is central to classroom discussion. Students are challenged to memorize a broad range of scripture from both the Old and New Testaments.
Phonics, Spelling, Vocabulary Development, and Penmanship
Reading, spelling, and penmanship begin in first grade as companion subjects, using a multi-sensory program. During grades one through four, students learn and review the seventy phonograms and spelling rules that make up the English language, combining them to build words with guided teacher direction. By analyzing words, students learn the principles of language in a manner that is phonetically accurate with 99% of the most commonly used English words. Proper penmanship skills are taught, and ample practice provided. Kindergarten and first grade basal readers complement the study of phonics to develop decoding and comprehension skills while engaging students’ interest. Word study is taught using vocabulary from across the curriculum, practicing the use of target vocabulary in a variety of contexts.
A guided reading approach builds comprehension strategies and gradually transitions students to independent reading assignments. Leveled reading selections progressively expose students to new challenges including greater length, more complex content, and new vocabulary. The emphasis is on classic literature from many cultures, poetry, and nonfiction articles. Students also make their own reading choices to help foster a lifelong love of reading.
Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics
Innova’s grammar program incrementally and systematically teaches the rules that govern the English language. By practicing analytical skills, students learn to identify the elements of good sentence structure and apply them to original writing.
Writing and Oral Expression
The early years of writing composition focus on writing clear and expressive sentences. Those sentences are turned into strong and informative paragraphs. In grade three, students begin the Writing and Rhetoric program, which is based on the ancient Greco-Roman model of progymnasmata (meaning “preliminary exercises”). These excellent time-tested practices of teaching writing in conjunction with critical thinking and speaking are adapted to meet the needs of today’s students. Students learn from forms and models of excellent writing that they imitate, as they progress down the path to masterful writing and speaking. Some skills taught in grades three and four are summarizing and amplifying a story, rewriting a narrative, adding dialogue, outlining, elocution and narration.
Using the renowned Math in Focus: Singapore Math program, students learn mathematical concepts using a concrete–pictorial–abstract learning progression. This approach helps students develop logical thinking and problem-solving skills to provide a strong foundation for higher level math reasoning. Areas of focus include developing strong number sense, understanding the language of math, and solving problems using a variety of strategies. Students also develop proficiency, speed, and accuracy in math facts recall in all operations.
History and Geography
History begins in junior kindergarten with an exciting tour of world cultures and geography. From first through fourth grade, students are introduced to the events, people, and cultures of world history, as they move chronologically from ancient civilization in first grade, through the medieval era in fourth grade. Using Susan Wise-Bauer’s Story of the World as the primary text, children experience history relayed in an engaging narrative style. As history is integrated with geography, literature, writing, art, and music, students are immersed in the time period, generating enthusiasm and deeper understanding of God’s unfolding story of redemption. In geography, junior kindergarten children begin singing their way around the world, as they learn continents, oceans, and countries. By the end of grammar school, students are able to identify the major countries, capitals, and landforms of the world, and understand how to read and use maps and globes.
Students at Innova Academy will understand that scientific knowledge reveals the orderly and wondrous ways God has designed the universe, and the laws that govern it. Students learn to implement the scientific method, which includes developing hypotheses, conducting investigations and experiments, and recording observations. Teacher-guided inquiry leads students to moments of discovery, offering opportunities to explore and pursue curiosities. Topics of study encompass life sciences, ecology, physics, and introductory chemistry. The study of science enriches students’ knowledge of creation, affirms their faith in the creator, and empowers them to be good stewards of God’s world.
The study of Latin is a fundamental component of a classical education. Through Latin, students expand their vocabulary, develop a deep understanding of grammar, and learn to think systematically and critically. First and second grade provides a gentle introduction to Latin with lessons peppered with songs, illustrations, stories, games, and engaging activities. Throughout grammar school, students learn Latin vocabulary, grammar, and sayings.
Physical well-being is an essential part of classical and Christian education. Students at Innova Academy understand that God made their bodies to be a temple of the Holy Spirit, and therefore develop their physical abilities to the glory of God. Coordination, endurance, positive attitude, and sportsmanship are emphasized from the earliest grades. Students are taught to demonstrate knowledge of rules and skills in individual and team sports, the importance of following the rules of games, and being gracious in victory as well as in defeat.
Our fine arts program is twofold: the study of the arts throughout history, and the development of artistic skills. In cultures around the world, music and art have been powerful God-given means of expression. Students study the chronological progress of the fine arts, as they move through their history program.
Our music program is based on Kodaly and Orff methodology. Students develop skills in ear training, reading and writing musical notation, facility with beat, rhythm, and metre, unison and two-part choral singing, and learn to play Orff instruments and recorder.
Our art program introduces students to the works of the masters and encourages them to appreciate and imitate the beauty of creation in their own works of art. Students explore the fundamentals of art: line, shape, texture, value, colour, and perspective. Through drawing, students explore proportion, depth, and shadow. Students knowledgeably use a variety of art media including pencil, crayon, tempera and watercolour paints, and sculpting materials.
Developing the ability to communicate clearly and eloquently is an integrated component of every subject. Proper posture, eye contact, body language, volume, expression, pacing, use of effective pauses and avoidance of slang and filler words are practiced. Grammar school students have many opportunities to practice presentation skills through recitation of scripture, poetry, grammar jingles, story and history narration, the presentation of oral reports, and performance of dramatic presentations.