Coram Deo is a classical Christian school serving North
Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, and surrounding areas.
Just as kindergarten is the first step in the 13-year journey of a child’s education, grades 1 and 2 are a continuation of that journey. Thinking of them as a department reflects the fact that six and seven year olds are very similar in many ways, even though they each have distinct characteristics. If you have any questions about what we study, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the school at (317)844-4224.
First graders will learn the grammar of the Bible – the Old and New Testaments, the 66 books (in order), chapters and verses. Their main study will focus on Jesus Christ, with units on his birth and childhood, the Sermon on the Mount, the miracles and parables, and the crucifixion and resurrection. Second graders will enjoy the first of five years in the God’s Great Covenant curriculum, beginning with creation and the early days of man as they work through the book of Genesis to discover God’s ways with His people.
First grade is a time when we lay foundations. We begin our study of history with the people of Israel, from Abraham and the Patriarchs through Moses and the judges, and finishing with the kings and prophets. Second graders (who are studying the Old Testament in Bible) will turn their attention to Egypt, the land of the pharaohs and pyramids, hieroglyphics and the Nile.
Our CDA program for math in first and second grade uses the Saxon Math Level 1 and Level 2. At the first grade level students begin learning the basic elements of math such as calendar skills, coin recognition, measurement, skip counting and word problems. They also begin practicing addition, and subtraction facts. Second grade continues mastering the first grade skills as well as introducing basic fractions, graphing, 3-D shape recognition and much more. Students also continue learning and memorizing addition and subtraction math facts and introduce carrying and regrouping. We also begin multiplication with tens and fives.
The first and second grade begins the transition from understanding phonics rules and sounds to reading with expression and understanding. The first grade uses Saxon Phonics and Spelling for daily instruction. We learn to recognize digraphs, trigraphs, diphthongs, final stable syllables along with prefixes and suffixes. We also practice writing short sentences. Books used in first grade may include Henry and Mudge, Caps for Sale, Billy and Blaze, Dr. Desoto and Harry the Dirty Dog. The second grade continues with the Saxon series, and discovers that words become more complex yet build on the things they’ve learned since starting school. For spelling in second grade we use The Grammar of Spelling curriculum. Their writing becomes more complex, too, with simple book reports using short paragraphs. Second grade books may include The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Balto and the Great Race, Boxcar Children and Little House in the Big Woods.
The first and second grade begin to understand how sentences are formed and the basic parts of speech using the jingles from Shirley Grammar Level 1 and 2. We focus on recognizing nouns and verbs as wellas introducing adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and pronouns. As well as building English skills, this serves as a great foundation for beginning and understanding Latin vocabulary in hird grade.
The first tool of science is careful observation. Grammar school science is devoted to “The Agassiz Principle”, that is, looking at specifics to understand generalities and functions. In first grade students examine mammals until they understand the common characteristics of pigs and guinea pigs, tigers and tabbies. Field trips to farms and the zoo allow for close-up observation. Second graders will spend time with reptiles and amphibians, with four legs like mammals but very different in other ways. In the second semester they will look up to learn the basics of astronomy, including the differences between planets, stars, and the moon.
3rd and 4th grade students have mastered many of the basics of school. Understanding daily routines and eager for facts and information, they are ready to build and fill storehouses of knowledge. Students this age still think mostly in concrete terms but are beginning to think abstractly. Helping them grasp new concepts as they make this transition is both fun and challenging!
Students in third and fourth grade use God’s Great Covenant Books 1 and 2. From the giving of the law to the end of the Old Testament they learn about the lives of God’s people and His faithfulness and love for them. This curriculum features a variety of activities to suit different learning styles.
For English grammar, 3rd grade uses Shurley English 3 in which they learn songs to remember the definitions of each of the eight parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, etc.). They will practice labeling sentences and learning the different jobs a noun can have in a sentence. Rules for capitalization and punctuation will be memorized. In 4th grade, students use Rod and Staff: Building with Diligence for grammar, learning a new form of diagramming sentences and further applying and identifying parts of speech. Spelling patterns are taken from weekly word lists from Logos’ Grammar of Spelling 3 and 4. They continue learning cursive in 3rd grade, and by 4th grade students are writing all work completely in cursive. Students will practice learning and applying English grammar and spelling skills in writing informational paragraphs, as well as working through fairy tales and medieval legends using Matt Whitling’s Imitation Writing.
3rd and 4th graders will be studying the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome and continuing through the medieval ages and Renaissance. Susan Wise Bauer’s Story of the World volumes 1 and 2 offer weekly lessons based on people and cultures, and are augmented by other resources. The focus of history, as always at Coram Deo Academy, is to help students understand God’s working in the world by watching how humans interact with one another.
Latin is a basic element of a classical education, as well as the chief building block of the English language. By some estimates 50% of English words are rooted in Latin. In 3rd grade students will start learning those Latin roots and English words built from them, and in 4th grade expand their knowledge to include Latin’s parts of speech and simple sentences. Prima Latina and Latin for Children are our texts.
In 3rd and 4th grade literature students will read from a variety of genres with an emphasis on comprehension, expression, and fluency. We will also learn to define and identify forms of figurative language. Students identify and begin to discuss elements of narratives including: character, setting, and plot. A child’s introduction to the great books may include such titles as: Homer Price, Charlotte’s Web, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Misty of Chincoteague, The Twenty-One Balloons, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
The Saxon Math 3 curriculum and Saxon Math 5/4 textbooks arethe primary resource of math instruction for this age group. Students practice and build on math skills of addition and subtraction, as well as learning multiplication facts in 3rd grade. Fourth grade students will learn to multiply larger numbers and solve long division problems.
Science is first about observation, then organization and application. 3rd and 4th graders will continue to build the skill of observation, add to their vocabulary, and increase their understanding of God designed His creatures. The four semesters in this department will address flying things (insects/birds); the basics of atoms and elements; botany; and meteorology.
Fifth and Sixth graders are no longer little children, but have not yet reached the Logic/Dialectic stage. They can think clearly, are somewhat conceptual, and will, at different times, start the transition to adolescence. They are finding their way in school just as they are in life. Our fifth and sixth grade teachers work to address each child according to his own characteristics and personality while staying true to our Coram Deo’s classical methodology.
Moving from the Old Testament to the New, students in these grades will be using God’s Great Covenant books 3 and 4 as their guides. The teacher uses his expertise with the Bible to augment these books, which are designed with a variety of age-appropriate activities. Our ambition is that students will finish the course with a thorough, grammar school understanding of God’s word.
At Coram Deo Academy, history is taught in a balance of conversation, lecture, reading, and research, and uses many historical documents so students can begin to understand the thoughts that have influenced our world and our nation. In late grammar school we also introduce basic note-taking in preparation for coming years. In fifth grade history, the students will learn about the history of America, from its discovery to the modern day. Our emphasis will be on recognizing the important ideas and people that have shaped the nation. Sixth graders will focus on Indiana, beginning with its earliest inhabitants and ending with the state’s place in modern America. Along the way they will learn about Tippecanoe (and Tyler, too), their state’s contributions to the Civil War, and our ongoing transition from an agricultural to an industrial economy.
Latin is the chief contributor to English, and a wonderful way to learn to think logically about language. Fifth grade students will use Classical Academic Press’s Latin for Children, a continuation of the 4thgrade program, as they delve into grammatical forms and continue to improve their vocabulary in preparation for translation in later years. Sixth graders will begin Classical Academic’s Latin Alive!, a program designed by master teacher Karen Moore to capture the students’ minds and hearts, as well as their tongues. In both grades the emphasis is on coming to understand the underlying grammatical principles of Latin and its relationship to English, along with establishing a working pool of Latin vocabulary.
These subjects are integrated with history in 5th and 6th Grade, as they are in the Coram Deo Academy’s schools of Logic and Rhetoric. Books such as Walk the World’s Rim, Ben and Me, Rifles for Watie, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Booker T. Washington’s autobiography Up from Slavery coordinate with the period of History being studied. Students will write book reports on these, and develop the art of the essay. Rod and Staff curriculum is used for all Grammar and as scaffolding for Writing.
Saxon 6/5 and Saxon 7/6 are used for Math. In fifth grade students will cover divisibility concepts; multiplication; integers; prime and composite numbers; powers; roots; probability; statistics; patterns and sequences; geometry and measurements; and ratios. They will also apply mathematical tools and techniques to real-life situations using word problems. In sixth students will be mastering compound interest; functions and coordinate graphing; integers; exponential expressions; prime factorization; ratios and proportions; radius, circumference and pi; statistics and probability; and complementary and supplementary angles as they begin the advance toward algebra and geometry.
Science in these grades concentrates on how things work in the physical world. Fifth grade is spent learning general principles of earth science using God’s Design for the Heaven and Earth from Answers in Genesis. Units covered are creation and history of the earth, rocks and minerals, mountains and movement, and water and erosion. Sixth graders use Answers in Genesis’s God’s Design for the Physical World for an exciting study of the forms of energy, electricity, magnetism, waves, and light. The second semester of each grade will include supplements on basic chemistry and atomic structure.