The K-2 Advantage
This is an exciting time for education! Intriguing research, new perspectives on learning, and innovative teaching methods abound. Your child has already begun his or her journey to adulthood. What does that look like at CPA?
God has placed your child in the world now for such a time as this...so how do you provide them with the best education to prepare them for jobs that do not yet exist, solving problems that have not yet emerged? What skills are needed for an unknown future?
- Spiritual Enlightenment
- Intellectual Evolution
- Non-Cognitive Skills
- Social-Emotional Health
- Physical Wellness
A Barna study revealed that person's moral foundations are generally in place by the age of nine. These foundations, being fundamental perspectives on truth, integrity, meaning, justice, morality and ethics, are formed quite early in life. The same Barna study shows data indicating that most Americans make a lasting determination about the personal significance of Christ’s death and resurrection by age 13.
In response to this compelling research, CPA incorporates Chapel, daily Bible instruction, service learning, and ensures each subject is taught from a Christian worldview starting in preschool.
According to the PBS Documentary, Big Data, every two days the human race is now generating as much data as was generated from the dawn of humanity through 2003. Therefore, it is more important than ever that we teach our children not only how to read and write, but also how to critically evaluate, discern and apply available information. This begins in Kindergarten.
Early literacy education and early intervention are of great importance in CPA's Kindergarten, first, and second grades. With small class sizes, CPA teachers have a greater opportunity to target and offer individualized and differentiated instruction in reading and language arts. Daily "WIN" time (What I Need) is offered in each classroom. WIN time intervention provides students with targeted goals based on progress-monitoring tools.
Longitudinal research cited in Paul Tough's book How Children Succeed, tells us that creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration along with several "non-cognitive skills" are the abilities most needed to ensure professional and personal success in life.
Our teachers keep this skill development in mind when creating their own lesson plans within the classroom. In every classroom, our goal is to look for opportunities to teach and allow our students to practice these skills. Because it is in learning these skills that they are transformed from dependent receivers of information to wise contributors to their communities.
At CPA, we have a dedicated STEAM Lab (and STEAM instructor), to give our young students practice at creatively solving problems. The lab incorporates science, technology, engineering, art, and math to stretch and challenge our lower school students.
Social and emotional learning has a far-reaching impact on students’ intellectual development. These benefits also carry over into students’ adult lives. Students who learn to identify, manage, and express feelings constructively and who form healthy, caring relationships are more likely to avoid violence, anxiety issues, depression, and other mental-health disorders.
Clearly, it is no longer enough to teach only the traditional core subjects. In order to prepare our students to be successful in their future professional lives, schools and teachers must incorporate social and emotional learning into their schedules. 67 percent of the skills corporations look for in new employees are related to social and emotional intelligence. (Daniel Goleman, Working with Emotional Intelligence) Children, who by the age of 10 years, can delay gratification, control impulses, and modulate emotional expression become healthier, wealthier, and more responsible adults (Terrie Moffit of Duke University). In Focus is CPA lower school’s social emotional curriculum.
The first sentence in the Bible states “In the beginning God created.” This is the first thing we know about God. Later in that same first chapter we read “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image’”. Obviously, God wants us to see Him as creator and us as creative people.
Therefore, we are committed to developing creativity in our students. Two full hours out of every six days is dedicated to music and art enrichment in our lower school.
Visual Arts education teaches students to ask the following questions: Is that working? Is this what I intended to do? Can I make this better? What’s next? These techniques are similar to those found to be essential for high-level student learning in other subject areas as well.
In addition, research over the past decade concludes that music education can make children smarter. The American Psychological Society studied the IQ's of children and found that after music lessons, children had a greater increase in their full-scale IQ than those who did not take lessons.
The research from the past 50 years and more specifically from Dr. John Ratey, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School who wrote the book Spark, points to the fact that physical exercise actually remodels our brains.
Exercise actually makes us smarter. Exercise is our children's best defense against depression, anxiety, behavior disorder, and in later life, addiction. Therefore, P.E. and recess are both a part of each lower school day. Our lower school cross country team has become a popular after-school activity for many students. They participate in 3-5 races a year, and even a color run on CPA's front lawn!