Four Square is a Christian community that meets on Wednesdays for twelve weeks per semester in Byron Center, MI. Parents can drop off their students and are not required to volunteer, but we welcome and encourage families to join us for hymn-sing chapel at 8:45am. Beginning at 9am, each student rotates through six classes taught in a unique environment integrating the effective Finland model, Charlotte Mason principles, and movement-based learning. Parents will gain community, accountability, feedback and support while preserving the home education experience for their family. Students will have lessons in a variety of content including Geography, Grammar + Composition, History, Literature, Science, Copywork or Dictation and Recitation.
Finland is world-renowned for their successful students. They counterintuitively school for shorter days and give less homework. They are efficient with their class time and maintain high academic standards for students. They do not put an emphasis on student testing results, rather, on each student gaining a full understanding of the concepts and content.
Lessons are 15-45 minutes in duration and are directly followed with a 5-15 minute movement break. Physical activity and play have been confirmed to aid students in better processing information and reinforcing learning.
Four Square Academic implements this effective model as a framework for lessons on Wednesdays.
Charlotte Mason was a classical English educator at the turn of the twentieth century. She wrote volumes of material and trained educators in her unique educational philosophy, a philosophy so rich that we continue to pursue it in our modern day classroom. Her motto for students was
"I am, I can, I ought, I will."
The Charlotte Mason approach to education emphasizes oral narration as a means for students to demonstrate comprehension in the early years, while making a smooth transition into written narration in later grades. Living literature, copywork, hands-on learning, character development and nature study are some of the highlights of the Charlotte Mason approach that are integrated into the lessons at Four Square Academic.
Students thrive when they experience purposeful movement during learning. Based on researched methods of integrating movement into the classroom, students are engaged in activities that activate memorization and enhance understanding. Four Square Academic provides a variety of opportunities for students to sit, stand, jump, clap, walk, etc during lessons.
In a high-tech world, Four Square Academic is a resting place where students rely on classic learning tools such as physical books, physical maps, pencils, paper, etc instead of engaging heavily with technology. There is some integration of technology as a helpful tool, but it is minimal to avoid it becoming a hindrance or distraction.
Four Square Academic is designed to complement Four Square Enrichment or stand on its own, based on parent preferences.