Please refer to these pages on the left to prepare your child for a great academic experience at CAL. Included are the things you can do over the summer as well as during the school year so that your child is ready to focus and learn.
Summer reading poses a dilemma for many children: To read or not to read; that is the question. The short answer is that children should by all means read over the summer. There is, however, a difference between quality literature and that which will merely entertain, or even worse, corrupt the mind. It is simply not good enough to say that the more one reads, the better reader one becomes. Spongebob Squarepants and Super Diaper Baby are probably not going to improve the minds of your children much. It is important for children to read and appreciate quality literature.
Dr. Terrence Moore of Hillsdale College reminds us that high quality literature can be found in places where one may not think to look. According to a summer reading essay by Dr. Moore, Calvin and Hobbes is one comic strip which does indeed offer high level text. During a G.R.O.S.S. (Get Rid Of Slimy GirlS) Club meeting, Calvin states the following: “As we’re all aware, the enemy has infiltrated our territory and is spreading disinformation to the effect that homework ought to be done right after school! As my mom may have covert girl sympathies, we must eradicate the hostile forces!” Infiltrated; territory; disinformation; covert; sympathies; and eradicate are words that may require thinking throughout many age levels, especially children of the elementary school age. Good literature is not hard to come by; but one must look and be selective in the process.
Below is a list of books and stories that will improve your child’s mind during and after reading it. One should not feel obligated to read the entire list according to each grade level. The Classical Academy de Lafayette hires teachers who have read and studied the great works taught in their particular grade level. Reading, discussion, questioning-and-answering using classical literature in a classroom setting is much different than simply reading it alone at home. Nevertheless, summertime is an opportunity for your child to continue her learning, practice the skill of reading, and enjoy the great books and stories available to them. And just because you are an adult does not mean this list isn’t for you, too!
The Language Arts program at Mason Classical Academy is a phonics-based curriculum called “Rigg’s Writing and Spelling Road to Reading and Thinking.” This explicit phonics program is comprehensive. Our students work hard in the classroom learning to read and spell. Some parents have expressed interest in helping their child at home or over the summer. Below are some resources to assist you.
We recommend purchasing the boxed set of 71 phonogram cards at the Riggs Institute website. These are the same cards students are using for explicit instruction in the classroom. Working with your child each night to bring these phonograms to automaticity will greatly assist their spelling and reading ability.
Below are 3 video links that show the sounds each phonogram card makes. Please watch the videos to ensure that you pronounce these correctly, the same way the students are learning in class. These videos are extremely helpful for the parent, and students should not practice unless you have taken the time to watch these videos. It would only confuse them to hear them differently at home than they are hearing at school.
Working to memorize these flashcards is a great way to help your child at home, but it is certainly optional.
Thank you for your support as we work to improve your child’s reading and spelling skills.
CAL offers a variety of after-school clubs for students. We have talented teachers, parents, and CAL supporters that bring an array of after-school possibilities from fencing to sewing to archery to chess and more! The clubs will occur after school (times TBD) and 1X per week. We will have a fall semester and spring semester offering of clubs. Stay tuned for more details of our 2017 fall club list.