Bible is the most important subject taught at Bethel Christian Academy. We want to reach the “heart” and help our students grow spiritually. Yes, the philosophy, content, and methodology of Bible are consistent throughout the elementary classes. Content is taught with the use of Bob Jones Press. Our Bible class methods include prayer, the singing of choruses and songs, Scripture memorization, and Biblical application lessons.
The English Language Arts curriculum is introduced phonetically through phonics in K5 and first grade. It is rule-governed in our spelling classes and the introduction of grammar in our language classes. From the perspective of a Christian school we want our use of the English language to be consistent with the Scripture which tells us to do everything “decently and in order”. Reading comprehension is stressed in daily reading classes. Group reading includes oral comprehension, while class reading tests silent comprehension skills. Pre-cursive handwriting is taught in K5 and first grade, while cursive is introduced and mastered in second and third grades. The philosophy, content, and methodology of our English Language Arts curriculum are consistent throughout our elementary classes.
The teaching of Mathematics is emphasized at Bethel Christian Academy. Basic concepts, skills, and facts are introduced, taught, drilled, reviewed, and built upon from K5 through the fifth grades. Charts, drill cards, visuals, manipulatives, games, speed drills, worktexts, and tests are used in all the elementary grades. The philosophy, content, and methodology of our mathematics curriculum are consistent throughout the elementary classes. From a Christian perspective, mathematics teaches concrete facts, order (example: Creation), the consequences of following rules and laws, becoming a good citizen by using time, money, etc. correctly and honestly, being problem solvers, and thinking logically.
History is taught in all our elementary classes to give students an overview of the beginnings of our country to modern day America. Students are exposed to social studies, economics, and citizenship. History gives examples of godly living and the consequences of sin. It records God’s plan for mankind, and the way people, cultures, and countries carried out God’s plan or tried to destroy it. The philosophy, content, and methodology of our history curriculum are consistent throughout the elementary classes.
Science is taught from a Christian perspective which presents the Biblical view of Creation and God who designed and sustains the universe. The philosophy, content, and methodology of science through the lessons of the universe, plant and animal kingdoms, geology, weather, the human body, and the laws of nature are taught consistently throughout the elementary classes. God’s Word is always our standard when science is taught.
Bethel Christian Academy also offers several extra-curricular classes. Computer, Art, and Music skills are taught consistently throughout the elementary classes. Each successive year builds on the previous year’s lessons. Our Library time gives the students opportunities to read for pleasure and to do research for book reports and topical papers. Physical Education gives first through fifth grade students planned activities to follow specific instructions and strengthen physical skills. Bethel’s students are taught to use their extra-curricular skills in the service of their Lord and community.
Textbooks and Materials
The elementary school uses the A Beka and Bob Jones Press curriculum. All textbooks and materials are available for classroom instruction and encourage critical thinking for the areas being taught. We are given charts, visuals, drill cards, flashcards, hands-on manipulatives, sentence strips, music, books, audio-visuals, and testing materials for each classroom.
We utilize the same methods of teaching that students use to learn. Every elementary teacher uses a variety of instructional methods such as lectures, drill, interactive boardwork, games, questions and answers, oral and written work, review, testing, and projects in the classroom.
For visual learning, we use textbooks, charts, flashcards, virtual manipulatives, examples, graphic organizers, worksheets, and videos that are pertinent to the lesson being taught.
For auditory learning, we teach new concepts and skills verbally, and we reinforce some of our lessons with videos on the topic.
For hands-on learning, we use many different types of manipulatives to reinforce what is being taught in our lessons. For example, counters, base ten sets, play money, geometric shape models, and linear and capacity measuring instruments are used in the classrooms. We also use graphic organizers to reinforce lessons taught.
Students are taught to think critically and analytically through the knowledge given in classroom instruction. They are taught to comprehend and apply the principles they have learned. They analyze and evaluate through hands-on projects, especially in mathematics and science. They are instructed in basic research techniques in our English Language Arts program. They are encouraged to develop their creative skills in our Fine Arts department through art, music, and drama. Piano lessons are also offered to third through fifth grade students. Students are taught proper study skills and organizational skills through seatwork in the lower elementary and independent study in the upper elementary.
Student progress is evaluated through quoting memorized Bible verses, daily oral and written work, question and answer comprehension, math drills, and weekly quizzes and tests in most subjects. Weekly folders are sent home every Tuesday with the previous week’s graded papers. All grades are available through RenWeb. Progress reports are e-mailed mid-quarter; report cards are e-mailed every nine weeks. Iowa Standardized Achievement tests are administered annually.
At Bethel Christian Academy, teachers desire to help their students learn. We have help classes for students who are having a hard time with new concepts. Each teacher gives individual attention as needed to help any student achieve mastery of given skills. If a student shows a consistent issue with gaining or maintaining skills after these interventions, we seek a professional diagnosis. If a medical doctor or an educational psychologist gives an assessment of a diagnosed learning issue, the student is then enrolled in our ESP, Exceptional Student Program. After an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is developed for the student, we make necessary testing modifications and curriculum adaptations based on this plan. Each student in this program is tested annually to measure achievement of the goals set in the IEP. A new set of goals are added each school year.