Caldwell Academy’s Kindergarten through fifth grade comprise the Grammar School, named for the first stage of the classical Trivium. In the Grammar stage of a child’s development, learning is usually a simple task, and we believe that God purposefully and carefully created children to be naturally curious at this age. Like sponges soak up water, young children seek to satisfy a God-given thirst for knowledge. They actually enjoy learning, and so find it fun, exciting, and satisfying to memorize Bible verses, learn math facts, sing songs and chants about grammar, and listen to stories of ancient Greece and Egypt. As students move through the Grammar School, they are constantly exposed to foundational content, skills, and ideas in each subject. Lessons are designed to engage and challenge the student because we believe that children learn best when they see, hear, and do.
Kindergarten and First Grade students build a strong foundation for reading as their teachers focus on phonics instruction. Second and Third Grade students strengthen these skills as they work on reading fluency and comprehension, so that by Fourth Grade, our students are no longer learning to read but reading to learn. While our Kindergarten through Second Grade students are exposed to basic Grammar concepts, formal instruction in this area begins in Third Grade. Also beginning at this time is formal Latin instruction, as students memorize basic Latin vocabulary and concepts through songs, chants, and acting out the meanings of Latin words. Throughout their time in the Grammar School, our students cycle once through history, beginning with ancient Greece and Egypt and ending with American History in Fifth Grade. Living History days bring ancient Rome, medieval knights, Revolutionary War heroes, and pioneers to life in the Grammar School. From Kindergarten through Fifth Grade, students build strong foundational math skills in number sense and problem-solving. Students read and then learn to imitate many different writing styles throughout Grammar School. Spelling instruction is woven throughout our curriculum as teachers integrate phonics and spelling rules into what is already naturally occurring in other subjects. Finally, our students’ curiosity about God’s world is satisfied through exposure to many different areas of science.
The basic Tools of Learning (Writing, Thinking, Speaking, and Reading) are supported and enhanced in the Grammar School by a variety of special classes. Grammar students sharpen their gross motor skills and receive basic instruction in a variety of sports and dance through our physical education program. Computer instruction begins in Kindergarten and culminates in Fifth Grade as students produce a North Carolina research Powerpoint project. Our superior music, art, and band programs provide ample opportunities for students to express their creativity and explore different areas of interest. Grammar students benefit from our well-stocked library and from thoughtfully chosen field trips that are planned to complement our curriculum.
Throughout their years in the Grammar School, our students learn that God’s Word is “wholly true in everything it teaches.” Bible classes focus heavily on scripture memorization and we strive to treat each student with respect as individuals whom God created in His own image. The Grammar School lays a firm foundation so that students can move on to the Dialectic and Rhetoric stages of the Trivium with confidence and anticipation.