Questions About Classes & Curriculum
Q: What curriculum is used at ROCK Academy?
A: Curriculum will be finalized in March, and will be available to view at a Campus Visit. Also, a yearly syllabus and literature lists are sent to registered families in July and August.
Note About Curriculum Used and Homework in the Exploratory Classes
Parents might wonder what curriculum we use at ROCK Academy in our younger classes. Because this is an age of exploration, there is no curriculum or homework. Parents are given a syllabus which tracks the themes and topics covered each week for the whole year in order to help plan trips to the library and follow along with older students.
Q: Who are the instructors?
A: ROCK Academy uses a mix of parent-tutors and hired experts to teach classes. Most of our teachers are parents who are vested in the program; who want their own children enrolled in a quality program. Some parents are teacher certified, and others simply have a contagious love of learning! When an expert is needed for a certain subject, qualified individuals who match the values and methods of ROCK Academy will be hired.
Parents of students enrolled at ROCK Academy who choose to tutor will also receive a tuition discount. For more information on open tutor positions, contact the Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Can we opt-out of a morning class?
A: No. ROCK is not a cafeteria-style program; it is all-inclusive. However, the afternoon classes are optional and are more of an elective format. Parents and children can choose which classes interest them.
ROCK Academy is designed specifically to build community and relationships; both for students and parents. By participating in all classes, students will have more opportunities to build trust and experience authentic discussions together.
Our experience shows that students who do not actively participate in the whole ROCK program - both physically and academically - not only miss out on those relationships, but also lower the level of classroom participation and academic achievement.
Q: How much homework can we expect each week?
A: Of course much of the answer depends on the student, their abilities, and their motivation! But here is a guesstimate of homework times:
Explorers (Preschool-2nd Grade)
Virtually none. At the most they will have to prepare a short oral presentation for class each week. (Show & Tell) Parents are given a syllabus with the weekly topics for science and history that allows you to supplement with reading materials at home, and the information is also included on the weekly Lesson Plans.
For example: It might be suggested to read about frogs and amphibians because the next week during science lab, the kids will talk about/act out/watch a video/see a model of a frog life cycle. (Or they might see a dissected frog!) You can easily find picture books at the library, use an encyclopedia resource, or go online if you so choose or you can follow along with the recommended curriculum.
Scholars (3rd-4th Grade)
Roughly 1 ½ - 2 hours per week. This will vary depending on how much help your child needs in writing and reading (for Language Arts) will determine how much time is needed.
Intermediate (5th-6th Grade)
As children move into the dialectic stage, homework expectations begin to change; more research helps foster self-discipline and curiosity to dig and learn. They begin to think and reason (aka "arguing" at home) and tutors will begin to challenge students to develop beyond one-word answers. Workload will increase slightly as they are introduced to lengthier assignments.
Middle School (7th-8th Grade)
You will see a change in these Dialectic years as we help prepare students for high school. The workload will gradually grow each year as the students’ skills and reasoning develops. Students at this age will be challenged to work to the best of their ability and to complete all assignments as given, and tutors will help you coach them on time-management skills. At this level, students will learn how and be asked to do more exploring and thinking beyond the pages of a text as part of their homework. You can expect approximately 5-7 hours of homework per week.
High School (9th Grade+)
At this age, students should plan on 1 hour of homework per day for each class they have. Afternoon electives might have lighter homework, but time should be allotted. It is recommended that a student spend 120-180 hours in a school year to count for 1 high school credit.
*A NOTE REGARDING HOMEWORK*
ROCK Academy is an academic program. Our tutors have found that students whose parents support them in getting their ROCK homework done each week are:
- Proud of their completed work
- Enjoy discussing their homework
- Are more involved in classroom activities rather than being bored in class
Q: I'm not sure which "grade" to enroll my child in. What do you suggest?
A: ROCK Academy lets you be the expert. We try to avoid using “grade levels” at ROCK as much as possible because kids develop academically at different times. For this reason, we mix ages in our classes. The area we find that ability matters most is in Language Arts. To accommodate children as best we can, we offer multiple language arts levels for each "grade" or class. Parents are able to assess their child and choose which level best suits their child’s skills and abilities.
Sometimes we might need to make a change 1 month into the year or half-way through the year. Our goal is to provide the best environment for your child where they will be challenged and feel successful at the same time.
Q: How do I know which level class to register for?
A: All Language Arts classes take place during the same time period, thereby allowing children to attend the class that best fits their writing level; all of the other subjects and class periods, student attend with other children their age or grade.
For example: A 5th grade student might be at a writing level appropriate for Writing & Rhetoric Level B. During that hour, that student will be in the Intermediate B class with a mix of students at the same writing level, but of various ages - possibly 10-12-years-old. For the rest of the morning, they attend class with all 5th & 6th grade students in order for those subjects can be taught at an age-appropriate level.
Since writing is a layered skill, students should have a fairly solid foundation to build upon, and then move on each year. These classes are NOT labeled by grade!!! Each Language Arts class will have a mix of ages because the classes are based on where they are at in this one skill.
Click these links to read about materials covered at each level to determine where you might place your child. If you have further questions, you can contact the Program Director, or schedule a visit to see the program and talk to one of our tutors.
- Intro to Language Arts
- This class is designed for 3rd or 4th Grade students who
- are not ready for Level A of Writing & Rhetoric; or
- have completed Level A or Writing & Rhetoric but are not ready for Level B
- This is a literature-based class focusing on the joy of reading while at the same time gently introducing and re-enforcing basic skills in Writing & Rhetoric (see description in link above)
- Orange Group (Level A)
- In general, your student should be enrolled in the Elementary A or Intermediate A class if your student
- is in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade; and/or
- has not previous experience with the Writing and Rhetoric curriculum
- click on the link for a description of what skills are developed in Level A
- Green Group (Level B)
- In general, your student should be enrolled in the Elementary B or Intermediate B or Middle School B class if your student
- is in 4th, 5th, or 6th grade; and/or
- has completed books 1 & 2 last year at ROCK Academy,
- has previous experience with the Writing and Rhetoric program
- has already learned the skills for books 1 & 2 found in the descriptions in the link above.
- Yellow Group (Level C)
- In general, your student should be enrolled in the Intermediate C or Middle School C or High School C class if your student
- was in the Yellow Group and completed books 3 & 4 last year at ROCK Academy,
- has previous experience with the Writing and Rhetoric program,
- has already learned the skills for books 3 & 4 found in the descriptions in the link above
- Blue Group (Level D)
- In general, your student should be enrolled in the Middle School D or High School D class if your student
- was in the Blue Group and completed books 5 & 6 last year at ROCK Academy,
- has previous experience with the Writing and Rhetoric program, or
- has already learned the skills for books 5 & 6 found in the description in the link above
- Red Group (Level E)
- In general, your student should be enrolled in the High School E class if your student
- was in the Red Group and completed books 7 & 8 last year at ROCK Academy,
- has previous experience with the Writing & Rhetoric program,
- has learned the skills for books 7 & 8 found in the descriptions on the link above.
Q: Do we have to follow ROCK in sequence, or can we jump in at Year 2, 3, or 4?
A: Absolutely! Jump in at any year.
Q: Do you have child care for my kids under 3 years?
A: YES! We want to include your whole family! A Nursery and Child Care service is available for parents with Infants to age 3-years who have children in other Exploratory and Academic classes.
For less than $10 per week, your child will be well cared for in a safe environment by loving individuals.
Q: Will the High School classes be appropriate for a high school transcript?
A: If a family follows the homework as assigned by the tutor, the classroom curriculum and workload do substantiate a high school credit.