Academics / Curriculum / Special Programs
An Abundant Feast
At Arborbrook Christian Academy, we set before the child an “abundant feast” of ideas allowing the child to engage in authentic educational experiences, which capture the joy of becoming a lifelong learner.
We gather as a family of learners Monday through Thursday from 8:45 AM until 2:20 PM (2:45 in JH and HS). Our schedule attempts to alternate disciplinary subjects with inspirational subjects as much as we are able. We reserve Fridays for field trips, outings, holiday celebrations, cultural events, outdoor ed. days, service opportunities and home study days.
Additional learning opportunities are provided in our after school Elective Program.
The subject areas for learning and growth include, but are not limited to:
We start each day and end each day with Jesus, as He is our Alpha and Omega. Assembly is our Alpha time. Each morning we gather as a school to commit the day to our Lord and to learn more of His goodness and grace. Each week a different class plans, prepares and leads Assembly. Academy teachers present an inspirational devotion. Students lead and participate in worship, skits that emphasize the character trait of the week, prayer, Scripture reading, etc. This year’s assembly theme is “Growing in Christ.”
The Language Arts are comprised of literature study, phonics, spelling, reading, teacher read-aloud, grammar, composition, poetry, speaking, listening, vocabulary, narration, recitation, creative writing, prose and poetry. Our students are trained in both written and verbal communication.
Drill (Physical Exercise)
Exercising the muscles of the body is just as important as exercising the mind and will. At Arborbook, each morning affords children in grades K-6 an opportunity to get outside and stretch, run, jump, hop and twist. Drill is strategically placed at a time in the morning when students need a break from using their minds. Junior high and high school teachers are also encouraged to incorporate physical activity and time outdoors in their lessons.
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, reasoning and logic. The spiral-based Saxon curriculum is utilized at all grade levels K-8 (high school uses other textbook resources as well). This program is supplemented with drills, games and real-life math learning experiences. The goal is for all 8th grade students to take Algebra I so they may begin with Geometry in 9th grade, but math is the area where we have the greatest variety of differences between our students- some take math “up a level” and others go down. In grades K-8, there is always a math class offered first period to allow for students to easily switch levels.
Since much of the current writing about history promotes a revisionist point of view, we return to original sources, biographies, diaries, letters, artwork and architecture to seek a clear picture of the pageant of history- “His story.” Our purpose is to acquaint the student with the knowledge of the past, which should be to him or her an inexhaustible storehouse of ideas as well as form in him principles whereby he or she will hereafter judge the behavior of nations and rule his or her own 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, placing them on the timeline of history – literally and figuratively. Literature, geography, art, music, drama and handcrafts are interwoven into our study. Students read “living books” (historical fiction) that helps them feel they lived at that time and make deeper connections with areas of study. Our K and Pre-1st classes complete a curriculum called “Galloping the Globe” wherein they “visit” a new country each week, reading picture books, doing crafts, dressing in costumes, singing songs, and doing artwork related to that country. Our primary classes go through American history in grades 1-3. Grade 4 studies North Carolina history as well as beginning the study of ancient world history. World history is the focus in grades 5-6, and students re-start American history on a deeper level in Junior High (grades 7-8) on a two-year cycle. Finally, in high school, students take one year of world history (9th grade), two years of American history (10th-11th) and one year of Civics and Economics (12th grade). Our high school history classes are aligned with North Carolina graduation requirements for college entrance.
The purpose of our Science instruction is to arouse in the student a spirit of awe and wonder concerning the created world, as well as to foster knowledge covering the general truths and laws of operation in a specific study through laboratory as well as field work. Each year affords the student opportunity to delve deeply into specific studies from a different realm of the scientific world, from Ocean Creatures in grade 1 to Botany in grade 6. Grades 7-8 includes physical science, human anatomy, and the history of science including an overview of physics. Students in high school complete lab sciences such as Biology and Chemistry, along with Environmental Science, and Physics or Anatomy.
God has made Himself known to all nations through His creation. To not study His beautiful handiwork is to refuse to open a wonderful gift. Each student in grades K-8 spends time weekly in the study of the natural world around us. This may take the form of nature walks using field guides and then sketching in a personal nature journal or of gardening. Students are taught the technique of dry brush watercolor. Trees, flowers, leaves, insects, constellations, animals, rocks, minerals and shells are all topics of close observation, attention, concentration, discrimination, and patient pursuit. Arborbrook has several edible and fully sustainable gardens that students are able to help take care of, from the beginning stages of contributing composts, and observing plants that they helped plant, later harvesting salads, smoothies, and also selling produce to Arborbrook families as well as a local farm-to-table restaurant.
“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 and producing to some degree an interpretation of what one sees begins with a reverent knowledge of what has already been produced; that is, the student learns pictures, line by line, group by group, by reading not the books, but the pictures themselves.” Charlotte Mason
Beginning in Kindergarten, each student participates in artist studies of the great masters through the avenue of picture study. Our students are able to try their hand at creating what they see through a variety of paints, clay, dyes, and other medium.
“Many great men have put their beautiful thoughts, not into books, or pictures, or architecture, but into musical score.” Charlotte Mason
At Arborbrook, we take every opportunity to expose children to the masters of music. In addition, we set aside a few minutes each week to dedicate to ear training, and learning about the lives and work of master musicians and composers.
Our students belong to families who are growing in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We require both parents to be believers. As such, they participate in worship and Bible training at home and at church. We provide a context in which students delve deeper into the foundations of their faith. We do so through study of the Scriptures themselves, sometimes using Bible study resources that are typically based on inductive study. On occasion we use resources that cater to a particular developmental stage or issue children face such as finding their identity in Christ or learning to become a peacemaker. We do not take doctrinal stances on the minor teachings of Scripture and while we encourage students to ask hard questions, we also encourage students to go home and ask their parents, particularly if the issue is one on which Christians reasonably disagree. Bible is scheduled at the end of each regular school day in K-6, once a week in JH and twice a week in HS. This is our Omega time.
Based on instructor and coach availability, the following opportunities may be offered as part of our After School Elective Program:
Sports (Soccer, Cross Country, Volleyball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Golf, etc.)
Fine Arts (Art, Musical Theater, Praise Dance, Photography, etc.)
Handcrafts (Sewing, Knitting, Nature Crafts, Pottery, Scrapbooking, etc.)
Electives will be held in the afternoon after our regular school day. Electives are optional. Elective courses require an additional fee. This sample list of electives is not exhaustive.
“Under the Arbor” is a monthly student-produced newsletter. Classes in grades 3 and up each take a turn writing the newsletter and it is sent to families digitally each month.
Motivational Reading Program
Each class in K-6 offers a motivational program that encourages and motivates students to read excellent literature from our “Great Books List.”