During a Center Day:
Parva Students (PreK - K):
Circle Time - These Preschool/PreK students start their day by getting together in a circle to discuss themes of the day, weather, saint, welcome song, etc.
Memory sentences* - they have a lighter version than their Prima counterparts. They study the Catechism and History sentences only. In addition, they have other things they memorize that are more age-appropriate: songs, poems, and Latin words.
Table Time – They alternate from floor time, outdoor time, and "Table Time" - scribbling, drawing, creating crafts, exploring tactile materials, playing with manipulatives, generally working at the tables.
Oral Presentations – Based on the letter of the week or a theme, they present in front of their classmates.
Literature – Story time with discussion because we believe that very young children are capable of discussing ideas like justice ("that's not fair"), love, greed, pride, and many more.
P.E. - time for developing the large motor skills through outdoor or indoor play and mobility.
All Prima Students (1st-6th Graders):
Memory sentences* (related to the concepts or themes of the cycle) in: Catechism, History, Science, Geography, Timeline, Civics (SPII), Math (SPI), Greek/Latin roots.
Group class focusing on Fine Arts or Science – lesson plan with activity. We begin by beholding, beholding the art work, the music, or the Science experiment. We follow it up with activities and discussion.
Oral Presentations – students take turns presenting something orally. We provide topics and ideas for presentations. It is usually relevant in their lives, to the themes we’re studying this cycle, or to the liturgical calendar.
Literature – We have stories we read aloud and discuss. Sometimes these are short stories, other times we have poetry discussion, and other times, we discuss the “Family Read-Aloud” – a longer novel that may have taken weeks to read at home and is then discussed as a group in class.
Prima I Level - (K-3rd graders):
Language Arts: Intro to Story Telling/ Story Sequencing, a precursor to composition. (IEW PAL Program condensed)
Centers – children choose areas of play/concentration/study. We have a tactile center, a reading corner, a game table, an art table/craft table (sometimes this craft or art project is an extension of something they’re already learning about – we had hieroglyphic stamps that they played with when we studied ancient Egyptians), Science/Discovery table. Mentors are there as guides and sometimes as playmates as well.
Philosophy discussion – using the Philosophy 4 Children materials, we hold simple philosophical discussions.
Prima II Level - (4th-6th graders):
Intensive English Grammar course
Composition – using the IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing) program
Philosophy discussion – using the Philosophy 4 Children materials, we hold simple philosophical discussions
What happens for the rest of the week?
Create a weekly routine for your family. We give suggested ways to plan a routine for the week in our Curriculum Guide:
1. Daily morning routine – this may include: prayers, readings, morning chores, daily Mass, breakfast…
2. Individual Core Subjects: Subjects that each student works on independently: Math, Phonics, Reading, Composition (IEW or other writing projects), Research (prepare for Oral presentations)
3. Aquinas Memory review – review all the memory sentences as a family
4. Study the “Focus Subject” – as a family, study the subjects that you are focusing on that day of the week. This is your chance to go deeper learning about particular topics first introduced during the “Center Day.”
Are there lesson plans to follow each day?
Aquinas Learning is a flexible HOMESCHOOL program. For anyone who has tried to follow a 5-day curriculum in a box, they know how often you end up changing the original plan for the week, to accommodate changes in your schedule or the pace in which your child is learning the material.
There are certain subjects that should be done frequently (4-5 days per week) like Math and Language Arts. There are other subjects that can be done once a week, like Science, Art, History…etc.
We provide families with a suggested plan for the week, which can also be adjusted to fit your family’s needs.
It boils down to
Discussing ideas – joining the Great Conversation over the centuries on what makes a society thrive, on what makes a business ethical, on what makes a good community, on what makes a fruitful and loving family, on what makes a human a saint.
Learning Facts – not just any facts or as many facts you can fit in a semester, but what is worthy of passing down. Facts that embody the ideas discussed.
Practicing Skills – reading, writing, thinking, speaking, listening, debating, discussing, remembering, and BEHOLDING. If we don’t teach our kids to pay attention it will lead to further attention deficits. “Behold the Lamb of God!” We want to teach them to stop and gaze, behold things that are worthy of beholding.
At select centers, they may also offer a SCHOLA ALTA (7-12th grade) program. If interested, please send a request for information to firstname.lastname@example.org