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 Sarah Gunst, teacher

Kindergarten is an exciting place to begin a love of learning. In Bible class, we study the Bible's major stories and learn verses that relate to those stories. Learning to read is an important goal of Kindergarten. In order to learn to read, we study Phonics. We learn letter sounds and then learn to blend those sounds into words. Then we can start to read sentences and stories in our basic readers. We learn how to print all the letters during handwriting time. After we learn to write words, we can start to write about different topics in our journals. During numbers, we study math concepts such as the numbers from 0–100, counting coins, telling basic time, and simple addition and subtraction. We use manipulatives during many classes to help us understand math. Our social studies units are community helpers, America—our great country, and children of the world. For science, we study the five senses, weather, seasons, seeds, animals, and the seashore. We enjoy our special classes of music, art, physical education, and library. Kindergarten is a fun place to learn about God and His amazing world.

First and Second Grades

Written by Mrs. Julie Vander Meer, 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. As our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, we learn how to keep them healthy and safe. We study and practice good manners, also. In social studies we spend the school year learning about our culture, the government, economics, and the history of our country. A whole year is spent on studying the lives of famous Americans. In physical education we do muscular 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 memorize important scripture texts. Besides this, we emphasize our personal responsibilities and relationships to God.

Third Grade

Written by Mrs. Julie Vander Meer, teacher

In third grade language we focus on developing the students’ skills in not only writing good sentences but also identifying the parts of a sentence. We learn about the different types of sentences and identifying nouns, verbs, helping verbs, adjectives and adverbs. We also practice using correct punctuation and capitalization in our sentences.

In our writing we practice cursive letters and copy passages to help us become neater in our writing. We also have creative writing projects at least once a month that helps us apply our language skills, and it is also an opportunity to use our imaginations.

In math we work a lot on multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, place value, and basic algebra concepts. We practice our math facts with several different types of games and use many manipulatives because they are so important for a student to learn.

In spelling the students are given a list of words that are tested on at the end of each week. The goal for spelling is for each student to apply it to their daily work.

In reading we read not only from readers but also from well-known chapter books that gives the student practical experience. We focus on developing comprehension, critical thinking, identifying main ideas, and looking for the details in our stories.

We also use hands on actives, centers, and have extra activities available to the students to keep them not only challenged but also gives them another opportunity to enhance the curriculum and develop our skills.

Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Grades

Written by Jolene Westendorp, teacher

Reading for each grade consists of four novels each year. Each quarter has a certain theme, genre, or author that the books follow. Themes, genres, and authors include acceptance/bullying, historical fiction, adventure, and C.S. Lewis. The 4th, 5th, and 6th graders read a book that fits their grade level and fits the theme or genre of the semester. The books have been picked and approved by the teacher and education committee. Students work weekly on vocabulary words, literary elements, comprehension questions, and questions that dig a little deeper into the theme connecting to our Reformed worldview.

Writing takes place in every subject, but also is focused on specifically for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and content. Students practice penmanship weekly and enhance their cursive writing, as well as journal about certain topics pertaining to the current subject topics.

Math consists of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, place value, graphing, measurements, fractions, ratios and percent’s, geometry, and pre-algebra. Tests are done per chapter to check for understanding. Worksheets are completed daily to practice taught concepts.

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 periods and events, God has been leading His people, and still is today.

Science is also on three year rotation: systems, changes, and choices. Students study an overview of 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 a God 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 as well. 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 or bi-weekly memory verses are given that coincide with the lessons.

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

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Junior High School

Written by Miss Billie Snieder, teacher

In the 7th and 8th grade vocabulary, spelling, and grammar classroom we are working on building our knowledge of words and their meanings. Through the use of vocabulary and spelling lessons, activities, flash cards, games, and quizzes, students learn new words in order to better understand, describe, and explain the world around them. It is not enough to simply know these words, we must also learn to use them correctly through grammar and composition. The tools learned in this class will aid students in sharing their stories, ideas and requests with precision, an ability which will enable them to better serve God.

In our literature class we are enhancing both our reading and writing skills by examining common stories at the very heart of our world. As we work our way through our literature anthology, Of Places, we are examining the many people, places, situations, and events we encounter. We only live one life, but by reading about other’s experiences we can understand various perspectives. As we learn from different stories this year, we will be applying a critical eye to match what they say against God’s word (the ultimate story). We must also be able to write about what we have read in order to effectively share with others the truth we know. God called us to take care of all that He has created, and we cannot effectively do that if we do not understand the world around us. In earth and space science we are taking a close look at God’s creation and our calling as Christians to learn everything we can about the world we live in. As we examine the earth and its surrounding space through experiments, research, activities, and more, we see the creative power of a God who perfectly created the world in order.

Junior High School Church History

Written by Mr. Dave Vander Meer, 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 & High School History

Written by Mr. Dave Vander Meer, 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.

Junior High & High School Math

Written by Mrs. Lynelle Schreuder, teacher

The junior high math curriculum is aimed at preparing students with the skills they need to continue on in high school math classes such algebra and geometry. The curriculum includes activities that introduce concepts such as variables, equations, and the coordinate plane as well as strengthens students’ critical thinking skills.

Our high school math curriculum includes classes such as algebra I and II, geometry and precalculus. Accounting I and II and business math are also offered. This curriculum gives students a broad base in mathematics that prepares them for the future. Critical thinking skills as well as practical math applications are emphasized.

High School

Written by Miss Billie Snieder, teacher

In Bible we are studying the Old Testament and the kingdom of God. We are exploring and studying the story of God’s people, how God establishes His kingdom, and looking at the promises of God to protect and establish his covenant people. Looking in depth at the Old Testament we see how the prophecies, people, and events point towards Christ and the New Testament. Most importantly, we look at how it applies to our own Christian walk and worldview.

The creative writing and speech classes focus on growing a multitude of skills to help us tell our stories in various forms: poems, essays, short stories, dramas, journals, and more. Not only will we look at different styles of writing and how to best present our information, but how to do it well by working on the basics of composition.

The independent novel study is another chance to study the various stories and adventures of others, learning how to empathize with those around us. However, it is also important to examine the authors and characters in the light of God’s word, so we must practice critical thinking skills as we read and discuss several classic novels.

American literature and composition focuses on the stories of Americans, from the first settlers to modern authors, including journals, poetry, short stories, dramas, fiction and nonfiction writing. Students will learn how to apply critical thinking to what they have read, looking not only at what was written, but how it was written, and the author. As we wrestle with interpreting and analyzing what we have read, we must also continue to improve our writing skills by studying the basics of composition. This class allows students to learn about the many diverse and valuable cultures around the country, all without leaving Michigan.

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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, ukulele, piano and chimes. Middle elementary students are introduced to symphony instruments and various composers of classics. Every year the school presents at least four programs that include music (a Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter 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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