Reading and Language Arts
First Baptist Christian School teaches reading with a strong phonetic approach to develop successful readers. A high-level reading series from A Beka Publishing Company challenges our students to improve reading skills. The A Beka reading program has been a success story nationwide for many years because it teaches students basic reading skills using a strong phonics program. With an intensive phonics approach, all ability students can learn to read successfully. The sound phonics approach is taught systematically throughout the kindergarten and lower elementary curriculum to ensure continued growth in skills. By the end of kindergarten, most FBCS students can read with comprehension. Older grade levels use A Beka novels and supplementary literature from multiple sources, including the Bible and exciting classical novels which keep the studentsí interest. Classical reading materials provide a literature-based approach to teaching reading comprehension and writing that is motivating to the students.
Spelling tests are given to the students weekly from our challenging A Beka spelling texts which have designed a fast-paced comprehensive skill-teaching system that makes spelling second nature to young writers. The A Beka language program emphasizes grammar usage and the writing process. Language and writing are taught as the tools of thought. The A Beka language program emphasizes learning how our language works and how to use it in the very best way. Grammar is taught with the purpose of making clear to the students the orderly structure of their language. By the end of first grade, the students will be able to write in complete sentences, capitalize the first word of the sentence and of the days and months, place a period at the end of a sentence, know and use suffixes and prefixes and alphabetize words. Traditional grammar continues through the grades and fifth grade the students have learned to recognize all eight parts of speech; identify simple and compound verbs; diagram subjects, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and prepositional phrases; and learned rules for correct word usage and subject/verb agreement.
Handwriting skills stress correct letter formation, spacing, letter size, slant, proportion and overall neatness. The A Beka research writing process is taught from rough drafts to the finished product. Not only are students told how to write as they learn the writing process, but they are also shown how to write as they see student reports in all of their stages. Creative writing lessons are also encouraged. Writing is taught in all subject areas, not only language arts and reading. It includes modes of writing, the writing process and writing across the curriculum. Competent writing begins with sentence structure, expands to paragraphs, and results in well-written essays, reports, letters, and general writing enjoyment. Students are taught to write for different purposes: to explain, to describe, to narrate, and to write letters and social notes. After they know the purpose of their writing, students are taught to organize their writing according to its purpose, to keep focused on the topic, to revise and edit their rough drafts, and to write a final paper. Students also study literature selections to expose students to excellent writers and their works.