In this course, students receive structured lessons on readiness skills through emphasis on phonics, language skills, literature, and handwriting to help develop comprehension, build vocabulary, and promote a lifelong interest in reading.
Journeys is a comprehensive K-6 English language arts program. It provides an instructional system for reading both literature and informational texts, for acquiring foundational skills, and for developing mastery of speaking, listening and writing.
- Phonics: Journeys Phonics program contains 30 units with daily phonics skills that coincides with the weekly spelling words, readers, and practice pages. Students learn new skills or practice what they’ve previously learned. Each unit begins with review and practice activities that reinforce skills learned in the unit, and is followed by a unit assessment. In some lessons, students will read decodable readers. These are short, interactive stories that consist entirely of words students are able to read. Students will acquire the critical skills and knowledge required for reading and literacy.
The Phonics Dance!™ is a supplemental phonics resource to teach phonics and increase the reading and writing skills of each student. This Six Step Program offers learning through rhyme, movement and chant. Building on phonemic awareness, students become confident, successful writers. In the process they develop strong decoding skills through the use of “hunking and chunking” to build poise and fluency in reading.
- Literature and Comprehension: Journeys program consists of 30 units with reading selections from the Classics anthology, nonfiction magazines, trade books, and other books students choose for themselves. Students will listen to and read a variety of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction to develop their reading comprehension skills.
- Handwriting: Students will further develop their cursive handwriting skills through Handwriting Without Tears. In Semester 1, students will work on the cursive basics. In Semester 2, students will practice handwriting on their own.
- Spelling: Spelling begins in the first semester of Grade 1. Focusing on three letter words with short vowel sounds and continuing on with words with blends, long vowels, digraphs, vowel teams, and compound words. Students are challenged with weekly spelling tests and challenge words within Journeys 30 unit program. Spelling also aligns with the Phonics skills taught weekly. Students will master the spelling skills needed to read and write proficiently.
- Vocabulary: Journeys expose students to a wide variety of words. Students will learn, review, and practice words in the classroom daily. There are 30 units in Journeys with a vocabulary focus daily. Vocabulary words will be submerged within a variety of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction to develop vocabulary and reading comprehension.
- Writing Skills: Journeys focuses on three modes of writing, Narrative, Informational, and Persuasive writing. Within those modes students will learn and practice different forms of writing. The program has 30 units of Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics lessons and Composition lessons. Students will learn grammar, usage, and mechanics skills that will help them communicate in standard English. Students will also learn techniques for planning, organizing, and creating different kinds of writing. Daily journal assignments will help get students writing and generating ideas to be used in their writing assignments. The program includes rubrics and sample papers to help evaluate students’ work.
Everyday Mathematics is divided into 12 units, with 12 lessons in each with a progress check at the end of the unit. This research-based course is designed to gain an understanding of mathematical concepts and a solid mathematical foundation. Children construct mathematical understandings and problem-solving strategies by building on their own knowledge and experiences. Everyday Mathematics is a spiral curriculum, learning is spread over time rather than concentrated in shorter periods. Content is revisited repeatedly over months and across grades. This course is made up of 12 units focusing on Number and Numeration, Operations and Computation, Data and Chance, Measurement and Reference Frames, Geometry, Patterns, Functions, and Algebra.
This course features math journals, math messages, family connection pages called Homelinks, new graphics, learning tools, and games. This course extends their work with decimals and place value, emphasizing fluency of addition and subtraction facts, focusing on whole number operations and number sentences, patterns and rules, geometry, representing, comparing and analyzing data in graphic features. Students will begin and form the steps necessary for multiplication and division.
Science Weekly inspires students to investigate and use scientific thinking. Science Weekly uses abundant hands-on activities and articles, both digital and offline, supported by printed periodicals, students get engaged in investigating, asking questions, drawing conclusions, and sharing their findings—all key ingredients for learning that lasts. Science Weekly also builds science literacy skills and engages students with advanced nonfiction literature.
STEAM is also a huge part of life at VFS. STEAM incorporated into the classroom and even at school events. The continual coverage of STEAM topics throughout lessons, People and Careers in Science profiles, and the embedded technology and coding curriculum—builds students’ excitement for further study and science-based careers.
Journeys and Core Knowledge are programs that promote cross-curricular connections to history within language arts and science. These programs integrate social studies skills into themes, poems, biographies, and other nonfiction texts that students use to engage in the social world around them. Teachers work hard to incorporate real world experiences, literature, and discussions to create teachable moments in the classroom.
Social Studies Weekly inspires students to engage with the world around them. Social Studies Weekly is a student-friendly core Social Studies curriculum organized thematically to the strands of civics and government, geography, economics, and history. Activities and articles, both digital and offline, supported by printed periodicals, students get engaged in investigating, asking questions, drawing conclusions, and discussing—all key ingredients for learning that lasts. Social Studies Weekly also builds literacy skills and engages students with advanced nonfiction literature.
Second Graders will explore American Government, Symbols and Figures, Geographical Terms and Features, Geography of Americas, Early Asian Civilizations, Modern Japanese Civilizations, The Ancient Greek Civilization and Early American History.
Positive Actions is a bible program that will incorporate 35 weekly lessons that target a Target Truths, Life Principles and Character Trait Activities, Read-Aloud Stories, Scripture Memory, Music Curriculum, and Student Manual Pages. Positive Actions about the many gifts given to us by God. This study teaches that when God gives a command, He also provides a promise. Blessing can follow obedience as God graciously fulfills His Word. In this curriculum, students will explore: An introduction to God’s promises, Creation, the Fall, and God’s promised Savior, The early life and call of Moses, The exodus of Israel from Egypt, God’s care for His people in the wilderness.