Foundations 4 adVANCEment’s curriculum is designed to reflect student mastery, as students explore the complexity and diversity of the world, while also being exposed to entrepreneuralship, college, and career readiness. Students explore curricular content through integrated, hands on and the fundamental skills of reading, writing, numbers and thinking are emphasized throughout the curriculum. Through this approach we seek to develop enthusiastic, joyful, and disciplined life-long learners.
The story of God and His people is the foundation of the Bible curriculum at Foundations 4 adVANCEment. Through storytelling, children in the lower grades shape their own identity with God’s people as they respond imaginatively to the stories. Students in the intermediate grades study the Biblical narrative to discover God’s character and understand his relationship with his people.
Entrepreneurship, College and Career Readiness
College graduation is not an OPTION, but an EXPECTATION for the students at Foundations 4 adVANCEment. Students are exposed to college and career readiness on a regular basis starting at the age of 3. Students have the opportunity to attend at least one college/university visit monthly either in state or out of state as an educational learning trip with the academy. Parents are also encouraged to take college trips with their children throughout the year as a family. Students are also given several opportunities to research college majors, career choices, as well as business opportunities throughout the year.
Entrepreneurship is encouraged often and promoted on a regular basis. Students take part in a yearly kidprenuer market place where they have the opportunity to promote their businesses to the community, family members, and friends in order to give them real life experiences as a business owner.
The study of a foreign language and the culture of its people enhance students’ understanding of others. Learning languages increase students’ listening ability, memory, creativity and critical thinking – all of which are thinking processes that increase learning in general. It also enhances students’ general academic achievement, promotes positive attitudes toward diversity , and increases overall sensitivity to language. Foundations 4 adVANCEment teaches Spanish starting in preschool.
Junior ROTC is designed to teach students the value of citizenship, leadership service to the community, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment, while instilling in each cadet healthy self-esteem, teamwork and self-discipline. Junior ROTC prepares students for responsible leadership roles while making them aware of their rights, responsibilities and privileges as American citizens. Our leadership development program is a stimulus for promoting graduation from high school and strong encouragement for a post-high school education experience such as trade school, community college or university. Additionally, JROTC provides instruction and rewarding opportunities that will benefit the student, community and nation for decades. Our cadets collectively give back to our surrounding area through a host of community service activities which include giving gifts to kids in South Suburban Hospital, gathering food and supplies for families in need and much much more. Simply stated, the program prepares our cadets for success in the real world.
Through the language arts program, students develop their ability to read, write, speak, and listen. Quality literature is the backbone of the reading program with a focus on reading for meaning. At the primary level, a sight word approach is used to develop fluency and comprehension skills.
Throughout the year, teachers assess and diagnose student reading skills and respond with focused, deliberate instruction to develop students’ reading skills. Students learn to identify cause and effect, to distinguish fantasy from reality, and to recognize patterns and irregularities. From the beginning students are taught reading behaviors such as predicting, skimming, clarifying and summarizing. Each year students study a number of literature genres and authors from different cultures.
The language arts curriculum stresses the enjoyment of language and communication. Students develop a love for story and realize the importance of writing as they use it throughout the program. The development of writing skills are taught as a process requiring prewriting and planning, drafting, revision, editing, and presenting or publishing. Students are constantly challenged to discover and clarify their thoughts and to express themselves coherently and effectively. Grammar, mechanics, spelling, research and study skills are taught as tools that serve the communication processes.
Vocabulary development is also an important part of the program. Students work with words they encounter in literature as well as key words in areas such as, science, math, and social studies. In the upper grades, students work toward an understanding of word relationships and etymologies to arm themselves to interpret widening circles of meaning.
Students have regular opportunities to learn and practice speaking skills. This occurs throughout the program through such activities such as book reviews, story retelling, group discussions, presentation of unit and home projects, scripture reading, and creative drama. Public speaking and mock interviews skills are the focus of a special event held each spring.
Foundations 4 adVANCEment students learn basic math concepts, acquire computational skills, and are encouraged to apply problem-solving strategies to everyday problems. The math program is designed to challenge students at their own level of mathematical thinking by making use of manipulative materials, skill specific games, practice, word problems, and “thinking stories.”
The Singapore Math program, used in grades preschool-4th, is a teaching method based on the national math curriculum used for kindergarten through sixth grade in Singapore. It involves teaching students to learn and master fewer mathematical concepts at greater detail as well as having them learn these concepts using a three-step learning process (concrete, pictorial, and abstract). There is a greater focus on essential math skills. Careful guidance of students is done in a child-friendly pictorial language, not only to technical mastery, but to complete understanding of all the “whys.” The need for repetitive drill is minimized by sequencing of topics.
The Saxon Math program, is also used, it is a “hands-on success-oriented series that emphasizes manipulatives and mental math.” The program is divided into three main components: instruction, practice, and assessment. The continual practice built into the program helps students commit concepts to long-term memory and makes it easier for them to recall and use the concepts in the future.
Physical Education / Health/ Fitness
Students participate in physical activities for enjoyment, skill development, self-expression, and social interaction. They practice and develop basic skills for team sports, individual sports, exercise, fitness, rhythm, dance, and movement.
Topics of health units include nutrition, systems of the human body, health habits, dental hygiene, fitness, and drug education.
In the science program, students explore the created order through unit studies in physical, earth, and life sciences. Each year students explore at least one topic from each of these three areas. The program is designed to introduce scientific content through firsthand experiences. Classroom and onsite investigations engage students in observations, measurement, interpretation, prediction, and other processes essential for the development of scientific literacy.
Special effort is made to observe and study the natural world at close range. Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Botanic Garden, and the Shedd Aquarium provide a variety of opportunities for students to interact with ecosystems, plants, and animals.
Through their science explorations students gain an understanding of the laws God has established to govern creation, the importance of using the resources of the earth responsibly, and how creation is intricately interdependent.
Through the Social Studies program students develop the skills and tools needed to study cultures, areas, and eras. They gain an appreciation of the dynamics of cultures both similar to and vastly different from their own.
The rich resources of the city of Chicago provide learning spaces for these studies. For instance, Foundations 4 adVANCEment students learned about China by spending a day in Chinatown and eating in a Chinese restaurant. They learned about Chinese Culture through visits to the Art Institute, the Field Museum, and the Chinatown library. When studying transportation, students toured the Chicago Airport system, Union Station, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Art Institute, in addition to riding on Metra and EL trains, CTA buses, and walking.