Presbyterian Day School is committed to a dynamic rather than a static view of the curriculum. For this reason the curriculum must always be open for the inclusion of new materials and re-examination of the curriculum as a whole in the light of the Scripture.
Students in kindergarten through six grade use Positive Action Bible Curriculum. All children memorize scripture and have Biblical character training. Weekly chapels are led by the Presbyterian pastor and Presbyterian Day School music teacher.
Students in kindergarten through sixth grade use the A Beka reading and arithmetic series. A Beka approaches math from a traditional perspective, concentrating on mathematical concepts and applications. It promotes the development of computational and problem solving skills, incorporating practice problems and a comprehensive system of review and testing. Elementary arithmetic begins with the most basic concrete mathematical processes, emphasizes arithmetic facts and skills, and includes concepts such as fractions, decimals, percents, basic geometry, ratio, and proportion. This math curriculum is a good example of a spiral curriculum in which the students are consistently being exposed to previous concepts and reviewed for mastery.
Grades 1-3 also use A Beka for reading. Because children become what they read, they need character building reading materials from the very beginning. A Beka employs phonics as the most logical, orderly way to introduce reading to children. It is a comprehensive reading program that focuses on literacy skills, phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension and writing. In addition, grades 4-6 incorporate classic literature to improve reading comprehension. The result of our curriculum is that it is practical and comprehensive for those who use it year and year.
Students in kindergarten learn basic grammar instruction through the reading program. Grades 1-6 use the A Beka series. It is a sequential program encompassing traditional grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, composition skills, and quality literature. It provides a framework in which to teach critical thinking, listening and speaking, reading, writing, and vocabulary. Alternative strategies for each unit provide whole-class or small-group modeling for every step in the writing process.
First through sixth grade students use the A Beka spelling curriculum. They learn correct spelling of words; context clues; homonyms, synonyms, and antonyms; compound words; contractions; prefixes, suffixes, and root words; plurals; and syllabication. Grades four through six participate in local, district, and state spelling bees.
Junior kindergarten students through third grade receive formal instruction in penmanship. The D’Nealian Handwriting curriculum by publisher Scott-Foresman is used in these grades. This curriculum teaches a pre-cursive style of manuscript for the younger students with an introduction to cursive during the second semester of second grade. Kindergarten students receive instruction in science through their weekly thematic units.
Grades one through six use the A Beka science series, which is a Christian-based study of the universe. Instruction in grades one through two encourages the children’s interest in science by studying about the world around them. This program presents the universe as a direct creation of God and refutes the man-made idea of evolution. The studies of plants, animals, insects, energy, health, seasons, and the five senses provide an introduction to science with emphasis on building student interest and augmenting reading skills. Hands-on activities and activities to increase comprehension of basic science concepts are included. The science text is designed for one semester through fourth grade. Fifth and sixth utilize a one year curriculum. Information and activities include the scientific method of investigation process with application to individual science projects and the yearly local and district science fairs.
Kindergarten students learn basic social studies concepts through their weekly units. Students in grades one through six use the A Beka social studies series, which offers a Christian approach to United States history, government, and patriotism. Fifth grade learn Old World geography and history with an emphasis on ancient countries and map skills. Sixth grade’s study centers on the New World and the Americas and have an overview of US history. Fifth and sixth graders take field trips on alternating years to Mississippi’s capital and Washington, D.C. A Beka accepts the theory of history and the manner of a truthful portrayal of people's lands, religions, heroes, triumphs, and setbacks. The result is positive, uplifting, history texts that gives students a historical perspective and instill within them an intelligent pride for their own country and a desire to help it back to its traditional values.
Enrichment classes for all elementary students include 30-40 minutes of instruction weekly in the following: art, computer, library, music, and physical education. Monthly programs are presented by students in kindergarten through the fifth grade. There is also one school-wide musical uplifting our Lord and Savior presented by the first through sixth grade. Our first through sixth grades also have a yearly theme based enrichment program which includes other schools in our area. These are professional or college groups whose music reflects our musical theme for the year.