The car door opens, and a smiling 6th-grade student greets you by name. She wishes your mom a wonderful day, and she asks you how your Christmas program rehearsals are going while she helps you carry your things to the door. You hang up your coat, place your folder and lunch in your cubby, and take a seat. You feel safe.

The school day begins, and your class reviews the day, the month, the season, and today’s weather. You feel proud of yourself for knowing exactly which materials you need and what to do, and you complete your work in a cozy and peaceful classroom environment. Your teacher tells the most interesting stories and reads books about bats, the State Fair of Texas, worms, space, time, money, the human body, and more. You meet a fireman, make hard tack crackers like the pilgrims ate on the Mayflower, visit a farm, shuck corn, make butter, use a magnifying glass to explore a nest, make an apple pie, carve a pumpkin, have a Thanksgiving feast, visit an aquarium, learn to square dance on western day, conduct worm experiments, look at real x-rays, try State Fair foods, hunt for Easter eggs, go on a bear hunt, devise a way to make an egg bounce, study fairy tales, recite nursery rhymes, and create beautiful works of art.

You won’t realize until years later that the tearing and cutting you do on a daily basis is strengthening your fine-motor skills for handwriting, or that the fun, weather graph you’re creating of sunny vs. rainy days will be a math skill you will use in the future. You don’t know that the book and poem discussions you’re having with your teacher are laying the foundation for reading comprehension and sentence analysis. You can’t wait for your family to see your speaking part and solo in the musical program. You don’t yet realize that public speaking will be easy for you because of these programs.

You get in the car after school, and you’re eager to show your parents all of the good work you’ve completed. You tell of how you ran and played tag with friends on the playground, how you learned about Germany and created a gingerbread house in art class. You proudly sing your songs from music and share that Madame Gilliam taught you how to say colors in French. Your favorite is rouge. You’re reading now, and the world is opening up to you. The flame of curiosity has been ignited, and the fun of learning has just begun.

  • Pledge and prayer
  • Manners and behavior
  • Nursery rhyme memorization/recitation
  • Introduction to reading
  • Developing vocabulary
  • Patterns, shapes, graphs, pictographs, addition and subtraction with manipulatives
  • Handwriting Without Tears
  • Art appreciation
  • Abstract thinking
  • Self-expression through art
  • French
  • Science experiments and observations
  • Music performance
  • Rhythm band instruments
  • Computer instruction that develops auditory and tactile modalities
  • Bible concepts
  • Outdoor exploration