In the early years of education, young children love to explore, discover, and learn new things. Our academic program for grades K–5 taps into this natural inquisitiveness with courses that truly engage young minds and reinforce key concepts in meaningful ways. And since this age group typically needs more direct, focused guidance, we bring teachers and parents together in close collaboration to ensure each student’s success.
For each grade in Lower School, the K12 online curriculum includes courses in the four core subjects—language arts, math, science, and social studies. Children also have access to music and art courses at each grade level, plus world language options beginning in kindergarten.
Every course is flexibly paced, allowing students to move at the speed that best suits their needs. Those who are ready to move on to the next lesson or unit can do so, while those who need just a little more time may take it.
Nearly all courses are complemented by a wealth of hands-on teaching tools you'd find in a traditional classroom. Plus, our regular math course feature advanced "adaptive" technology that intelligently adjusts to your student’s skill and knowledge level, offering practice in topics where it’s needed most.
Examples of Hands-on Materials
- Language arts: Illustrated children’s stories and poems, flash cards, phonics guides, dry-erase boards
- Math+: Block sets, place-value mats, activity books, protractors, color tiles, home items
- Science: Thermometers, magnifying glasses, magnets, test tubes, seeds, scales, rock and mineral kits
- Social studies: inflatable globes, U.S. and world maps, textbooks
- Music: CDs, songbooks, recorders, tambourines, slide whistles
- Art: Paintbrushes, tempera sets, water colors, oil pastels, acrylics, modeling clay
Download a list of courses that are included in the Lower School curriculum:
Download a full Private Academy catalog (PDF) that includes descriptions for all courses for grades K–12.
Additionally, any student in grades K–8, with a teacher recommendation, is welcome to participate in the K12 Advanced Learner Program.
How Teachers, Parents, and Students Work Together
In Lower School, from day one, we assign your student a single "homeroom" teacher—a highly qualified professional with specific expertise in the younger grades. This online teacher oversees all facets of the instructional experience for every subject, while you, as the parent, work side-by-side with your child to facilitate his or her progress through the daily lessons.
Every online course provides you with suggested lesson plans for the week, which update automatically as your student completes them. You can vary these plans to accommodate your child’s pace or abilities; our online scheduling and management tools make it easy to move things around.
For instance, some students do better when they can concentrate on a particular subject for longer hours per day, but fewer days per week. Other parents use their children's favorite subject as a reward, to give them a periodic break from tougher subjects. Or you may take a day off or modify the schedule to accommodate your child’s outside pursuits.
On average in Lower School, you can expect to spend 4 to 6 hours per day supporting your child's education, which most parents believe is "just right." But you’re never alone. Throughout the week, your teacher stays in close contact with you and your student, communicating regularly by e-mail, over the phone, and in one-to-one, real-time meetings that take place online. He or she remains constantly involved in your child’s learning—monitoring progress, ensuring mastery, and developing specific intervention plans if needed.
Lower School Sample Lessons
Try It Out: The best way to understand the K12 program is to try it out! Take a look at some lessons that our Lower School students experience.