The elementary curriculum at Holland Christian Schools provides students with a well-rounded educational program in core academic subjects, the arts, language, music, technology, and physical wellness. Each subject area is enhanced by the integration of faith as students gain an understanding about God as Creator of all.
The Christian Schools International (CSI) Bible curriculum is used throughout the elementary grade levels. Students encounter Bible stories in their geographical, historical, and cultural context. The Bible’s stories are taught as the Story of God and His people, not moralistically. Teachers present the stories in chronological order and teach in such a way so that students understand more fully who God is, who they are, and what it means to be part of God’s family and on his mission to bring shalom to chaos wherever it may be found. Our Bible curriculum also informs our Discipleship Practices throughout every other curricular area.
The faculty at Holland Christian believe that reading is a gift from God and provides students with essential skills for lifelong learning. Through the reading program students develop a wider perspective on life, learning what others have expressed and experienced in their lives. Students then practice discernment in recognizing where things are not the way they are supposed to be as well as when they resonate with God’s intentions for how things are supposed to be.
Students choose text that is at their developmental level to practice reading strategies and skills (for example: accuracy, fluency, and comprehension). There is an emphasis on both fiction and nonfiction reading instruction. Students experience whole group, small group and individual reading instruction to target their specific needs. During the reading block, students also receive word study instruction through VOWAC or Words Their Way.
The intent of teaching the writing process is for students to create and discern quality written work since quality writing is one way to bring God’s glory through a communication mode that can touch many lives. Through writing, students express with truth and grace what is good, right, and pure, as well as what is not. In addition, writing is a creative activity which reflects the image of a creative God.
Writing instruction includes teaching points that focus on providing students with multiple experiences writing any genre for a variety of authentic audiences. Teaching points focus on various aspects of the writing process such as generating ideas, writing, revising, editing, and publishing. During the writing block, students also receive instruction on writing conventions such as spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar.
English Language Arts
Holland Christian uses Reading and Writing Workshop as a balanced literacy approach where reading, writing, word study, speaking and listening are all taught through the use of authentic experiences with text. We use MAISA reading and writing units which are aligned with state and national standards and encompass the following strands of study: reading, literary response, writing, language, listening, and speaking.
Holland Christian uses Math Expressions, which is aligned with state and national standards. Using real-world examples, conceptual language, and drawings, students are taught skills and strategies to build a conceptual framework for how to make sense of mathematical thinking and work through higher level problem solving skills.
The instruction focuses on the following mathematical strands: number sense, algebraic concepts, geometry, measurement, data, and probability. Learning math teaches students that our God is a God of order, pattern, and beauty. Since God is faithful, constant, and true, students learn mathematical concepts that are constant and true. In turn, students use math to understand and help bring order to their world as well.
Lower elementary students explore social environments by looking at the interaction between themselves and others, families, schools, and local communities. A strong emphasis is placed on how God calls us to serve others and our community.
Upper elementary students study the history of Michigan as an example of how people came to the United States and how those early settlers established communities and culture. Students also study the history of the United States and the geographic, economic and governmental concepts that influenced the formation of this nation. Students recognize that history is really “His Story” when they are taught about God, people, themselves, and their place in the world and in the unfolding of time. There is a strong emphasis on how historical events have influenced contemporary events.
Holland Christian uses the Battle Creek Science Program in Kindergarten-6th grade. The program is an inquiry-based program, providing exploration and hands on activities in each unit of study. Students at all grade levels have the opportunity to learn about the following strands: Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. Throughout each unit of study, students learn about the wonders of God’s world and are challenged to see the balance and order in the world He created. The intent is to bring students to a place of awe before God as creator and sustainer of all things. By studying the divine artwork of creation, students learn more about God and His faithful care and sustaining power. Students also learn about their own God-ordained responsibility to care for creation and cause it to flourish. Technology, literature, writing, and a Biblical perspective are interwoven throughout each unit of study.
The physical wellness program is aligned with state standards and focuses on teaching children about the following: motor skill development, movement, fitness, participation, content skills, and social and personal choices. Students learn how to responsibly care for their bodies, recognizing they are precious gifts from God, designed by Him for His use and service as well as our enjoyment in life. Through God’s creation of recreation and play, students learn skills and practices that will help them delight in movement and recreation for a lifetime.
Reproductive Health Education
This curriculum is taught by teachers in 5th grades as part of the Science or Health curricula and focuses on recognizing the unique and special way God has created us as human beings. Learning about human sexuality through the lens of Scripture in age-appropriate ways teaches us how God desires for us to experience life and His gift of sexuality.
Elementary students experience the joy of vocal music in Kindergarten-4th grade, as well as in 5th and 6th grades as a choir elective along with band and orchestra. The curriculum incorporates music signs and symbols, singing in harmony, music appreciation, music history, Christian songs and hymns, and performance. Through exposure to a wide range of style, context, arrangement, and sound students gain an understanding and appreciation for the broad and diverse spectrum of musical expression. Music is taught as a special gift of God for expression, pleasure, and understanding. Students also learn discernment in music classes, as music can be used to show the realities of the world and also express the goodness of the Kingdom of God.
Orchestra is introduced as a before school option a couple days a week in 4th grade, and as an elective for 5th and 6th grade students during the school day. A specialist teaches this program twice a week, with a third session every other week. Students learn music signs and symbols, rhythm, tone, various string instruments, performance, and presentation.
Band is an elective course for 5th and 6th grade students. A specialist teaches this program twice a week, with a third session every other week. Students learn about the various brass instruments, signs and symbols, woodwind instruments, tone, rhythm, and performance.
Spanish is taught by a specialist and is taught multiple times a week in Kindergarten-6th grade. Students are taught the language and communication skills within an integrated and interactive classroom setting. Students also learn about the culture and customs of Spanish speaking countries. Since we serve a global God and live in a diverse community, it is important for students to gain an appreciation for and understanding of cultures and languages so that they can build and enhance relationships with their neighbors, community, and around the world.
A specialist provides art instruction weekly to students in Kindergarten-6th grade. The curriculum incorporates a wide range of media, techniques, production, art appreciation, history and principles of design, and showcase opportunities. As image bearers of a creative God, students use their creative gifts to create, preserve, make meaning, and simply take joy in artistic expression using various media.
“I like HC’s teachers best, because I feel they are kind, respectful, patient, and know their stuff.”