The Northland Kindergarten curriculum is very academic in nature while remaining developmentally appropriate. Students have a rest time in the afternoon. Parents may choose to have their child participate in extra-curricular activities during this time for an additional fee. Student-teacher ratio is low, allowing for one-on-one interaction and individualized attention. Small learning groups encourage students to participate in lessons and centers.
A Biblical Foundation for Early Childhood Education is published by YWAM’s University of the Nations. It was designed to speak to the heart of young children by nurturing their relationships with God. The purpose of the curriculum is to instill Biblical values deep into a child’s heart, to build a Biblical foundation precept by precept and to create an environment where children are loved and valued. Four major units are taught: Knowing God Our Father, Knowing Jesus and God With Us, Knowing Jesus Because of the Holy Spirit, and Training in Righteousness. This curriculum leads nicely into the curriculum used in grades 1-5. Weekly Kindergarten/LEAP chapels also help instill a desire for worship.
The Neuhaus Reading Readiness curriculum place students into small groups for direct instruction in the English alphabet. Word play, patterns, songs and hands-on activities are utilized to ensure all students master the skills of the alphabet, which is the foundation for reading. Memorization of Dolch sight word lists is highly recommended.
Students who are ready for more advanced reading challenges are able to participate in guided reading groups using the Wright Group’s Gear Up! guided reading series. This series teaches a good balance of fiction and non-fiction selections using leveled readers. It is our policy at Northland to provide opportunities for students to excel in the areas in which they are ready to be academically challenged.
The Wright Group’s Fluency First program is taught in kindergarten. This program is based on The Fluency Development Lesson, which was highly researched by Drs. Timothy Rasinski and Nancy Padak of Kent State University. The lessons use simple and brief reading selections. Students practice these lessons multiple times before performing for their peers. Teachers work on reading rate, accuracy, expression, volume, clarity, eye contact and gestures. Vocabulary, fluency, comprehension and word recognition skills are the focus of this entertaining and motivating curriculum.
Students are introduced to the basic skills of writing. Children work in small groups with the teacher for guided writing instruction.
The Houghton Mifflin Math Expressions curriculum guides students to an understanding of patterns, shapes and relationships to build a foundation for higher level math. Manipulatives provide a developmentally appropriate method for reinforcing the concepts being taught.
Kindergarten uses the Scott Foresman Science Diamond Edition 2008. Units of study for the year include the four major areas of science: life science, physical science, earth science and space and technology. Science is taught from a Christian perspective. Labs and hands-on activities enrich the experience.
Kindergarten uses the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Social Studies curriculum. Units of study throughout the year include being a good citizen, our country, workers, where we live, time goes by and stories of the past. Basic globe and map skills are covered, along with patriotic symbols and holidays. Students are introduced to the concepts of families, communities, community helpers and basic safety practices. Social studies is taught from a Christian perspective.
Northland recently adopted the Houghton Mifflin English program. Students are taught skills that form the basic foundation for writing and communicating. Parts of speech, rhyming words, listening, and basic sentences are introduced.
In Kindergarten/LEAP Music class, students are encouraged to find their different voices such as singing, speaking, whispering, and shouting. The Musicplay curriculum uses nursery rhymes and traditional songs to help students find the best and express themselves through song. Kindergarten/LEAP students perform in a Christmas musical, Western Day square dancing, and a spring musical.
Art is taught by an experienced art instructor two times per week. Students learn basic lines, shapes and colors. Art is also integrated into the regular classroom curriculum. Seasonal art projects allow students to be creative. Students enjoy making Christmas crafts during the holiday season. Special projects include Rodeo Art drawings for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
The elementary Physical Education program was developed by SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids) and is taught by two highly qualified coaches who have many years of teaching and coaching experience. P.E. classes are designed to develop skills that enhance learning in the classroom. All students participate in 30 minutes of P.E. daily. Classes are taught in the school’s gymnasium and are highly structured in nature. Our belief is that daily physical activity is essential for good health and well-being. Kindergarten students focus on balancing skills and tumbling. Large-motor and fine-motor skills are further developed through various games and activities.
Kindergarten students are introduced to technology and computers as they experience lessons integrated into their regular classroom studies. Students have facilitated time to use individual iPads in the classroom. Classroom iPads allow students to use educational software and websites to develop math and alphabet skills.