Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life at Parkview Christian School. We endeavor to achieve a balance between the “art” and “science” of educating children. Following examples of Charlotte Mason, one of our primary educational mentors, our curriculum choices flow out of a unique philosophy which is counter-cultural in many ways. Thus, it is very important that all prospective families fully understand these alternative methods, which may be characterized as a hybrid of home schooling and formal schooling. We set before the child an “abundant feast” of ideas, allowing the child to engage in educational experiences which capture the joy of becoming a lifelong learner. We avoid dumbed-down materials, instead encouraging our students to form their own thoughts about what they are learning and to express them verbally and in writing. Our high academic standards challenge our students to go deeper no matter what they are studying. We also urge them to think critically, a process that culminates in the eighth grade as each student defines and defends a personal worldview before entering high school as salt and light.
Our students are covenant children whose families are growing in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. As such, they participate in worship and Bible training at home and in the context of Sunday School. We provide a context in which students delve deeper into the foundations of their faith. We do so through the study of Scripture. We do not use a pre-packaged Bible curriculum, nor do we take doctrinal stances on the minor teachings of Scripture. We strive to emphasize both the historical reality of the Bible and its application of truth in today’s world.
We return to original sources, biographies, diaries, letters, artwork and architecture to seek a clear picture of the pageant of history. Our purpose is to acquaint each student with the knowledge of the past, which should become an inexhaustible storehouse of ideas, as well as form in him/her principles by which to judge the behavior of nations and rule personal conduct. Teachers lead children in ways of thinking which promote connections, bringing into focus the ways in which artists, musicians, politicians, and other history makers were related to one another and placing them on the timeline of history, both literally and figuratively. Literature, geography, and science are integrated into our study.
The study of geography is a way of life, not merely a time slot at PCS. Though there are times of concentrated study in this critical area, the knowledge of place in the world encompasses all areas of study.
The paradigms of order and structure in God s world are explored through the framework of math. We endeavor to follow developmental patterns of learning in the child as we begin with concrete representations before moving on to the pictorial and then the abstract. We seek to lay a firm foundation of mathematical knowledge and reasoning that allows the student to understand the order of God’s world.
At PCS, the Language Arts are comprised of literature study, phonics, spelling, reading, choral reading, teacher read-aloud, grammar, composition, poetry, speaking, listening, vocabulary, narration, recitation, and Shakespeare. Our students are trained in the personal disciplines of effective study and communication. Latin and Greek form the foundation of much of the English language; thus, the study of these is part of a well-rounded education. As Middle School students are preparing to leave PCS, we give them the foundation for secondary studies provided by our Classical Root study.
One of the mainstays of our literature study is an exploration of the playwright, William Shakespeare. Beginning in Kindergarten, each student studies facets of his life and works, as well as life in Elizabethan England. The culmination is a school-wide Mayfair each spring, complete with games, sonnets and couplets, singing, dancing, and music-making, as well as a performance of one of Shakespeare’s plays.
The purpose of our science instruction is to awaken in the student a spirit of awe and wonder concerning the created world. We work to foster knowledge covering the general truths and laws of operation in a specific study through laboratory as well as field work.
Nature studies consists of simple, truthful observations that may, like beads on a string, be threaded upon the understanding and thus held together as a large and harmonious whole. Each student spends time weekly in the study of the world around us. This may take the form of nature walks, using field guides, handwork in a personal nature sketchbook, and gardening. Trees, flowers, leaves, insects, constellations, animals, rocks, minerals and shells are all topics of close observation.
We are pleased to offer our Fourth through Eighth Grades a second language to expand our students’ cultural horizons. Our goal is exposure to the structure of a foreign language in order to prepare students for high school study. We stress that God is able to understand those from every tribe and nation. We focus on the missional potential we gain by the ability to speak a second language.
We encourage the development of the creative abilities given by God to each and every student. Through classroom activities in every grade, as well as in formal art classes in Grades Three through Eight, children express themselves in a variety of media and methods.
“The purpose of this study is to cultivate the student’s artistic powers through the study of reproductions of the works of well-known artists. This power of appreciating what one sees begins with a reverent knowledge of what has already been produced; that is, the student learns the picture, line by line, group by group, by reading not the books about the picture, but by studying the pictures themselves.” (Charlotte Mason, author of A Philosophy of Education)
Beginning in Kindergarten, each student participates in artist studies of the great Masters through the avenues of technical instruction, picture study, reproductions, biographical research, and art museum visits.
All students participate in music classes weekly. Music history, theory, composition, and performance are the backbone of our generous curriculum. From movement and rhythm to understanding proper vocal techniques and matching pitch, from reading music to learning to play instruments (recorder, choir chimes, guitar) each class in the school has the privilege of experiencing the beauty of God’s gift of music.
The purpose of our composer study is to cultivate the student’s taste for a musically rich heritage as well as to provide an environment where music is heard, listened to, and appreciated as a normal part of daily life. Beginning in Kindergarten, each class studies in depth two great classic composers and musical styles from Gregorian chant to jazz.
Grades Three through Eight participate in regular physical education classes which build habits of fitness, coordination, skills, and teamwork. Cooperation is emphasized over competition and fitness over individual talents.