Curriculum

Parents in the Kalamazoo area have the rich blessing and opportunity to give their children a high-quality education from a Reformed perspective for an affordable price. While RHCS is a not the largest Christian school in the area, the class sizes allow for great interaction and personal attention. No student is overlooked, and specific needs are always met. Reformed Heritage uses hand-picked textbooks and supplementary materials from a variety of publishers, such as Bob Jones, Christian School International, A Beka, Harcourt Brace, and others.

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. –Proverbs 22:6

Kindergarten

Written by Miss Joy Mejeur, former teacher

Kindergarten is an exciting place to begin a love of learning! In Bible classes we study major stories through the Bible and learn a verse for every letter of the alphabet. For phonics we learn our vowels first and then add the consonants to make blends and words. Then we are ready for basic readers. We also learn our long vowels and many special sounds so we can mark words. We work on writing our letters, blends, words, and sentences as we study them in phonics. During math classes, besides learning numbers from 1–100, we can count money, tell time, add and subtract, and count by 2s, 5s, and 10s. We study community helpers, America, Our Great Country, and Children of the World in social studies. In science we cover units on our five senses, weather, seasons, plants, and animals. There is also time for music, library, physical education, creative writing, and some kindergarten café. If learning is fun, the students learn faster and retain the information longer. We have a good time in kindergarten.

First and Second Grades

Written by Mrs. Julie VanderMeer, teacher

The first and second grade classes focus on the phonetic sounds that make up words to help quickly identify letter grouping sounds to increase the student's accuracy in reading. We concentrate a great deal on becoming good readers. We learn how to find main ideas, look for important details, and work on comprehension. We also do this by working on vocabulary and letter combinations to realize how many new words there are for us to learn.

We center on language skills by learning how to write good sentences, using capitalization, punctuation, and sentence structure rules. We work a lot on our math facts, money, time, and early algebra concepts. Spelling consists of weekly lessons and tests. We practice our manuscript writing and cursive letters. The class really enjoys the monthly writing project where they use their imagination and creative minds. The class likes the hands on experience they have when it comes to learning centers. These are often tied to what we are working on in class.

First, Second, and Third Grades

Written by Mrs. Gayle Esman, teacher

At Reformed Heritage Christian School, I teach Bible, science, social studies, physical education, and art. In art we study the basics (line, shape, color, and texture) and we incorporate them into fun crafts and holiday decorations. We learn a lot about God's world in science as we study our bodies, the earth, animals, plants, and the solar system. We also learn how to keep our bodies healthy and safe. We practice good manners, too. In social studies we spend the school year learning about our culture, the government, economics, and the early history of our country. We continue to examine the history of our country and then spend time learning about famous Americans. In physical education we do muscular exercises and cardiovascular exercises. We practice skills and always end with a fun game. Bible is one of our favorite subjects as we learn about God and how He has been working in history since He created the earth. We emphasize, besides learning, relationship with God our Creator.

Third Grade

Written by Mrs. Ann Barthelmess, teacher

In third grade there is an emphasis on moving the students toward independence through the setting of goals and follow-through to accomplishment. The strategy is to establish a plan to deal with obstacles to concentration and develop good time management skills.

Problem-solving abilities and the development of logical thought progression are stressed. Developing short and long-term memory as well as reading and listening for main ideas is an on-going process.

Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Grades

Written by Mrs. Cassie Haspas, former teacher

Reading for each grade consists of books with short stories and a novel. Each story has a moral, and students learn how to be better citizens for God's world. For each text, students answer questions after the assigned reading and are later quizzed on them. Students also receive vocabulary worksheets and quizzes. Upon finishing the book, students take a comprehensive test. There are two novels in rotation: Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (Native American study) and Amos Fortune: Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (African American study).

Writing takes place through penmanship; practicing and enhancing cursive writing, journal topics; where students write to a given topic, and writing assignments; creating five paragraph essays based on their reading. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling are sharpened through writing, and students learn about literary elements through poetry. Students enter a poetry contest through the Kalamazoo Public Library.

Math consists of addition, subtraction, multiplication, place value, graphing, measurements, fractions, ratios and percents, geometry, and pre-algebra. Tests are done per chapter to check for understanding. Worksheets are done periodically to assess and strengthen mental math skills.

Social studies is on a three year rotation: old world history, new world history, and history of our United States. A study of Michigan's history is also included. Map skills and map learning of different countries is included each year, in addition to learning America's states and capitals for two years. Students learn that through the many different time periods and events, God has been leading His people, and still is today.

Science is on a three year rotation: Systems, Changes, and Choices. Students study an overview of life science, physical science, Earth and space science, and the human body. Experiments and demonstrations for each unit are done to enhance learning. Each student has his or her own workbook where additional activities are presented. Learning about simple machines, magnetism, and electricity is also included. Students learn that our God is of order, pattern, and design, and that He has created us with a plan and for a purpose.

Bible is on a three year rotation. Bible consists of Bible Guide (where students read from the New King James version of the Bible and answer questions) and Bible Doctrine, (where students learn specifically about the Reformed church and faith). Weekly memory verses are given that coincide with the lessons.

Art, computer, physical education, and field trips are offered for these grade levels as well.

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Junior High School

Written by Mr. Dave VanderMeer, teacher

The church history class starts with the Holy Spirit coming to the disciples at Pentecost and ends with the Protestant Reformation. Students learn about the lives of the ancient church fathers but also the difficulties that the early Christians had to endure. The students get an understanding of the development of biblical teachings as events, people, and ideas developed in history. The students will also learn the reasons why the Protestant Reformation took place and how the different doctrines developed. Including how some of the important documents came to be and their continued significance today. There is plenty of discussion of how all these points have been directed by God and the impact this continues to have on our lives as Christians.

Junior High School

Written by Miss Shelli Cammenga, former teacher

The 7th and 8th English classes at Reformed Heritage School are great opportunities to become familiar with the basics of language, effectively employ it in formal essay writing, and go deeper by discovering its importance and use in literature. The students are sure to grow in their understanding throughout the year, whether by diagramming the sentences in children's books, formatting proper MLA papers, participating in novel studies, building vocabulary through "flyswatter" or reading well known works. It is a time which aims not only to give them basic skills, but instill a love of language which will be a gift to them as they seek to communicate with those around them all throughout life!

Junior High School

Written by Miss Laura Fobar, former teacher

The 7th & 8th grade math curriculum at RHCS begins preparing students for algebra and geometry which will be studied in high school. The curriculum covers a number of concepts such as the coordinate plane, operations with integers, and geometric patterns. The science curriculum includes Life Science (BJU Press) and Earth and Space Science (A Beka). Students also participate in various labs such as dissections, charting experiment results, using microscopes, and making scale models.

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Junior High & High School

Written by Mr. Dave VanderMeer, teacher

The textbooks used for the American history and world history classes are from a Christian perspective with the underlying philosophy that the Lord is directing history (His story) for the advancement of His Kingdom and glory. World history starts with the beginning of man in the garden and tracks the development of cultures, events, people; including the major advancements in thought and technology. American history begins with the exploration of the New World and the setting up of colonies. It has a focus on what has influenced the United States and its development over the last two hundred plus years. Major events are studied in depth and there is discussion on the role of these events on our country. These courses are survey in nature from a traditional understanding of history.

High School

Written by Miss Laura Fobar, former teacher

In high school, RHCS students study biology and physical science in 9th and 10th grade. In the upper levels of high school, students will take chemistry and/or physics. This curriculum covers a wide range of topics such as periodic elements, atomic theory, nutrition, the Scientific Method, plant biology, animal habitats, and much more! Each science class includes several lab activities such as exploring chemical reactions, dissecting animals or animal parts, and integrating mathematics with science lessons.

The high school mathematics curriculum at RHCS includes algebra 1 and 2, geometry, business math, and accounting 1 and 2. Students will complete a number of hands-on projects throughout the curriculum such as building model bridges in geometry, exploring international currency conversion rates with algebraic functions, and creating a fictional business to learn accounting concepts.

High School

Written by Miss Shelli Cammenga, former teacher

There is never a dull moment in my high school classroom! I teach many classes, and each one is exciting in a different way! Perhaps the most foundational to the school's mission is New Testament, during which we not only discuss Jesus' ministry and who He is in-depth, but also study how the apostles lived in light of this, and by extension, how we as members of the continuing story should respond! British literature provides a survey of important works throughout the ages from the British Isles and the year sees students bringing Shakespeare to life, writing their own Canterbury Tales, wrestling with sonnets, and making statements through satire with the greats. Adventures in literature offers a more varied look at fiction, essays, poems, and plays across time and the class will give students the chance to determine whether or not the theme of a story accurately portrays a truth about humanity, tell stories with a script of their own, and decide if a poem should be "probed like a maze" or "beaten with a hose" to determine the meaning. Spanish not only provides a foundation for communicating with those who speak a different language, but also gives an opportunity to understand that Gods world is more diverse than our culture and country alone (and make some authentic salsas and pupusas while doing it!). Logic gives students the chance to strip arguments down to their most basic statements and determine not only the truth, but the validity and soundness of each syllogism they encounter. Physical education allows them to use the bodies and abilities God gave them in new ways, learning to more literally "run the race set before them" through regular exercise and routine practice of a variety of sports. Novel study is another chance to "walk a mile" in the shoes of a number of famous literary characters and learn to empathize with those around us, even as we critically examine their worldviews and where they do (and don't!) align with the one built on the foundation of God's word. Indeed, in each of my classes, the reason and focus of every subject is on it's creator and on how he grows our minds and ourselves through its study.

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Music

Written by Mrs. Luann LaRoy, teacher

Music classes offer a variety of opportunities. Each student at RHCS is taught how to read notes and note values in order to apply this knowledge during their school experience and after graduation realizing that, even if a musical career is not pursued, music and song are used in the church. All the students learn fundamentals of voice, from instruction on how to follow the director for younger children with more technical training added each year culminating with four years of choir in high school. Every student, as well, learns how to play the recorder, glockenspiel and chimes. Middle elementary students learn about symphony instruments and various composers of classics. Every year the school presents at least four programs that include music (a fall or Christmas program, Christmas chapel, Grandparent's Day, and a spring choir concert). We believe that music is a doxology of praise to "Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9b).

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High school classes available to home-schooled children

We understand that sometimes parents of home-school children want assistance in certain academic areas of study. RHCS wants to provide opportunities for families to have their children experience a school setting while getting an education rooted in scripture. Parents will appreciate the low student to teacher ratio and the individual attention that each student receives. Whatever the reason may be for coming to RHCS, home-school families are welcome. Below is a list of classes that are available to high school students. Interested parents should contact the school Administrator, Dave Vander Meer, at 383-0505 or dnjvm5@att.net.

High school class list available for home-school students:

  • American Literature & Composition (9th–10th grade): Monday–Friday, 1:55–2:50; $995
  • Physical Science (9th–10th grade): Monday–Friday, 1:05–1:55; $995
  • American History (9th–12th): Monday–Friday, 11:00–11:50; $995
  • Geometry: Monday–Friday, 8:15–9:05, $995
  • Bible (Old Testament): Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 11:50–12:40, Wed. 12:15–12:45; $850
  • Accounting I (11th–12th) : Monday–Friday 10:10–11:00; $900
  • Creative Writing (11th–12th grade): Monday–Friday (semester 1), 1:05–1:55; $495
  • Speech (11th–12th grade): Monday–Friday (semester 2), 1:05–1:55; $495
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