Resources for Parents
The Gudino family on Jazmin's graduation day.
First and foremost, being the parent of a Founders student means encouraging your child and helping him or her find the joy in all of the wonderful things they are learning. Please see below for more information about our curriculum and ways you can support your classical student at home, and click here to learn more about classical education.
"Almost three years at FCA and there has been every possible emotion, except one. Regret. Founders does a great job. Actually, it goes far beyond great. The kids learn, excel, and rise to the many challenges FCA presents. Three years in, we have a good routine now. My number one rule now? We guide our children. That is it. As parents, it's hard to step back and let the kids do it or figure it out. But, they should be doing it on their own! Thank you, FCA."
Mrs. Otto, four students at FCA Leander
The Barney Charter School Initiative
Founders Classical Academy of Leander is a member of Hillsdale College’s Barney Charter School Initiative. To learn more about the mission of the Barney Charter School Initiative, please visit the BSCI website: http://www.hillsdale.edu/outreach/charterschools.
Barney Charter School Initiative Seminars
If you would like to learn more about classical education, recordings from the Barney Charter School Initiative’s summer seminars are an excellent place to begin.
Online Course: A Proper Understanding of K-12 Education
This Hillsdale College online course outlines the traditional understanding of education and considers some essential elements of classical education in the K-12 setting.
All students can thrive in a classical school, but many students needs to improve their study habits before they can be successful. For every student, study skills must be learned and practiced. No one can understand a work of great literature or memorize the principal parts of a Latin verb without first making a concerted effort to build good study habits.
Study is Hard Work, by William Armstrong, is an excellent book on the subject of study habits. It contains specific advice about studying for every subject, taking notes, and organizing your time so that homework doesn't become overwhelming. We recommend it highly to students and parents in every grade. Here is an excerpt from the first page:
"How to study is one of the most important things you can learn while you are still young and your mind is still pliable. Learning how to study involves putting away the habits and ideas that have made study unpleasant and burdensome, and taking on habits and ideas that make study a really constructive and dedicated force aimed at the ultimate fulfillment of the talents that separate man from 'the beasts of the field.' The importance of learning how to study is not a seasonal topic that can be forgotten when you have finished school and college. Now the school lessons require study. After school you will spend the rest of your life study legal briefs, produce-purchase charts, building plans, business contracts, medical case histories, court decisions, how to improve one's service to God and community, and many, many other things. ...What you will have left of your education will be the ability to analyze and solve problems, whether these problems be on a draftsman's board or within the recesses of your own soul. If you have learned how to study, you stand a fair chance of escaping the world of half-truths and misapplication, and enjoying to a degree the fulfillment of your talents." (Armstrong 1-2)
The Core Knowledge Foundation
The Core Knowledge Sequence forms the backbone of our curriculum in Grades K-8, though we make additions and improvements to the curriculum in some subjects. You may find the website of the Core Knowledge Foundation informative.
Please take a look at these documents especially:
The Riggs Program
The Riggs program is the cornerstone of the curriculum in the early Grammar School years. Learning to read is the most important thing a child does in the first years of school. If you would like to help your child learn to read at home, please spend about 30 minutes each evening reading great literature to your child. Learning to love books, and reading books that tell wonderful stories, is an essential part of a young child’s education. Parents, please don’t be afraid to read books to your child, rather than with your child. Reading books that are above a child’s reading level often means hearing better stories, and more advanced books will also improve a child’s vocabulary. We will teach your children to read at school, and you can help them learn to love literature at home.
The book below will help you learn even more about the rules of English spelling:
The ABC’s and All Their Tricks: The Complete Reference Book of Phonics and Spelling, by Margaret M. Bishop
Click below to download the 71 Riggs phonogram cards so that you can practice writing and pronunciation at home. The link below will take you to a Dropbox file. If you click “Download,” you can open the file in Microsoft PowerPoint, where the sound will be enabled.
It is very important that students learn to pronounce the phonograms correctly. In class, we teach students to pay attention to the shapes their mouths make when they are saying the sounds. The videos below are an excellent way to learn the correct pronunciations by hearing and seeing.
Our mathematics curriculum aims to teach the students two important skills that are often overlooked by the standard methods in math instruction:
1. To reason through math problems rather than merely memorize procedures for solving them.
2. To perform basic calculations in their heads, without pencil and paper and without a calculator.
Parents can help at home by practicing math facts with their students. There are a number of websites and games available to help with memorization of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with numbers 1-12. Here's one:
A free website for math facts practice.
Learn more about Singapore math and our school's approach to math placement.
In 6th grade, students begin the formal study of Latin. Their work with Latin and Greek root words earlier in grammar school helps to prepare them.
The key to success in Latin is diligence and regular study. Memorization of Latin grammar and vocabulary is much easier for a student who is studying a little bit every night rather than letting things pile up until the night before a quiz or test and then trying to memorize it all in one go.
- The Wheelock's Latin website is full of resources to help with the study of Latin at home, and for parents who are new to Latin but would still like to help their children. For example, here is an introduction to Latin pronunciation.
- Use this site to create Latin quizzes that are tied to each chapter in Wheelock.
Parents and students may find the following books helpful:
English Grammar for Students of Latin, 3rd ed., by Norma Goldman.
A student handbook for Latin and English Grammar, by Peter Corrigan and Robert Mondi.
Looking for a quick and easy way to review the parts of speech, or even more complicated grammar topics like sentence diagramming? English Grammar Revolution by Elizabeth O’Brien is a great place to begin. The website is full of helpful exercises and videos.
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