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Grammar School: Grades 1 through 4

First grade begins the Grammar phase at TCS, which is the first  phase of the Grammar-Logic-Rhetoric progression of the Trivium in the Classical Model. Grades 1 through 4 also feature aspects of Logical and Rhetorical learning, but the focus is on skills which lay a solid foundation for future years.

At this age, students enjoy learning about new things, memorizing, singing, and reading well-crafted stories. The TCS curriculum and teachers embrace this natural tendency and students are encouraged to explore and gain the knowledge which will benefit them in the next phase of the Trivium, Logic School.

Grammar School Curriculum

Bible. Our first subject of each Grammar School campus day is Bible. Students read the Bible daily both on campus and home school days. In the fall semester, they work through an Old Testament book and in the spring semester, they read a book or series of books from the New Testament.

Classical Languages. A core component of our language arts program beginning in Grammar School is the study of classical languages. Our first graders study Greek as an introduction to classical languages and as a complement to their study of ancient history. The formal study of Latin begins in second grade and follows a traditional scope and sequence which is consistent with the grammar stage of the trivium. Learning is enhanced by a robust conversational component. After an introduction to Latin in 2nd and 3rd grade, our 4th-6th grade Latin focuses on the memorization of the Latin grammar by the traditional method of oral recitation and form drills. Students also learn Latin vocabulary, derivatives, sayings, prayers, and hymns.

Literature. Students read high quality books from our school reading list at their own pace. Reading fluency is improved through oral reading practice. Comprehension is practiced and assessed primarily, but not exclusively, through narration. Narration is the art of telling back what one has heard, read, or observed. Each 1st-4th grade class also enjoys several classic novels each year, read aloud by the campus teacher. Often the book culminates in a party organized by parents where students are encouraged to dress as their favorite character, enjoy foods from the book and other fun activities.

Poetry Memorization. TCS students love memorizing poetry and lots of it! Memorizing poetry improves students' vocabulary, public speaking skills, and is just plain fun! Students work to memorize and skillfully present to their classmates and teachers both assigned poems for their grade level and individual poetry selections. 

Handwriting and Copybook. 
Students learn cursive handwriting on campus and at home beginning in 1st grade. Cursive handwriting instruction and practice continues at home in 2nd and 3rd grades. Copybook exercises consisting of copying sayings, maxims, Scripture, and poetry in the student’s best handwriting are offered throughout the Grammar School years.

Phonics and Spelling. 
First and second graders continue using both group and individual phonetic reading to solidify their phonetic foundation. At the same time, students begin a phonetic multi-sensory spelling program in the 1st grade which continues through 5th grade.

Grammar and Composition. Our grammar and composition curricula for 1st-4th grades are integrated so that as students are taught the conventions of writing, parts of speech, and the rules of grammar, they learn to apply those in their composition lessons. Using passages and sentences from classic children's literature, our composition program gives students the opportunity to practice their composition skills while absorbing and imitating the style and grace of great authors.

History. 
Students study history in a four-year rotation beginning in first grade. Grammar school students will develop an understanding of world, European, and U.S. history with an emphasis on mastering names, dates, places, and events that will lay the foundation for more in-depth analysis and rhetorical expression in the logic school years. Year One includes Old Testament and Ancient Egypt, the New Testament, Greece and Rome. Year Two studies the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Reformation. Year Three studies early modern history (1600-1850), and year Four studies modern history (1850-present day). The study of history comes alive with various hands-on projects such as dressing up and presenting a famous figure from ancient history and designing and presenting a family coat of arms.

Math. 
TCS uses the Saxon pedagogy of incremental or "spiral" lesson development: teaching in small pieces, continual review of those increments, and ongoing cumulative review. 
  • First Grade: Saxon 2
  • Second Grade: Saxon 3
  • Third Grade: Saxon 5/4
  • Fourth Grade: Saxon 6/5

Science. Students explore God's creation through the study of the natural sciences. TCS students begin a four-year rotation of science study in 1st grade which then repeats starting in 5th grade. During the Grammar School years, students master fundamental concepts which then leads to more in-depth analysis and experimentation in the Logic School years. 
  • First Grade: Life Science
  • Second Grade: Earth Science
  • Third Grade: Chemistry
  • Fourth Grade: Physics 

For more information
If you would like more information about the TCS Grammar School program, please attend an information meeting to receive an application. Students are admitted on an ongoing basis as applications are received and a waiting pool will be formed when the class size limit is reached. Questions may also be directed to admissions@tcshouston.org.