The call to bring students into a personal understanding of what it means to embrace a Biblical worldview is at the core of our program. In order to fulfill this call, students need to know what the Word says, who the Word is and how the Word impacts our understanding of the world. We accomplish this by using three specific strategies.
1. Biblical Integration
At CCS, it is essential that what is being taught by the teacher is integrated with truth from God’s word. God commands us to love Him not only with all our heart and soul, but also with our mind. In order to do this the mind must be transformed. Students must learn how to think critically and discern how to live according to a biblical worldview. Christian teachers help the students to understand the world through the lens of Scripture. This happens through biblically integrating the curriculum. The goal of biblical integration is to weave the biblical objective or truth into the academic content and make it meaningful for the students. The teacher plans lessons and activities and helps the students recognize how these facts reveal specific worldview components about God, Creation, Mankind, Moral Order and Purpose.
2. Character Accountability
A standard that is not held accountable is merely a suggestion. In an effort to hold students to the biblical standard, each teacher is required to implement a character tracking system that measures character growth in the character traits that CCS has championed. Character infractions and growth points are documented on the parents’ website to enable parents to follow the character accountability system for their child(ren). In order for this system to be effective, teachers will relate all character issues in a redemptive way. The goal is to reach the heart, not only to conform behavior.
3. Discipleship Training and Use of Curriculum
Beginning in kindergarten, students are taught basic Bible knowledge through using the Biblical Choices curriculum. This curriculum along with specific Bible memory lays a strong foundation of knowledge by giving the students an overview of the Old and New Testament and challenging them to live Biblically. The teacher’s responsibility is to take this and teach redemptively so the information brings transformation. Once students enter middle school, a more rigorous discipleship track is followed that equips students for spiritual ministry, discerning truth, sharing truth, living purely and discovering spiritual gifts. A three year discipleship plan is used throughout the middle school years to help students make practical application as they form their biblical worldview.
The use of language is fundamental to every culture. Students at CCS are challenged to grow in their ability to read, write and share verbally with their teachers and peers.
The ability to read is fundamental to an understanding of Scripture as well as virtually every other subject. While the primary goal of reading instruction is to develop comprehension, oral fluency is also important. Reading ability must include not only literal understanding, but the ability to interpret figures of speech and implied meanings. Instruction should include a diverse array of approaches which are utilized with sensitivity to the individual learning styles of each student. Basic language skills in phonics, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, reading comprehension, and critical thinking begin in kindergarten and are built upon each year. A thorough program of phonics instruction should be a core component of every child's language program since most children learn well through phonics and 80% of the language is phonetic. The learning of sight words is essential for those words which are not phonetic. Whole language and language experience approaches should be used to develop an appreciation for the importance of language and the pleasure to be found in language fluency.
The ability to write well is critical in order to communicate the teachings of the Word of God to the church and the world. Writing instruction should include not only the mechanics of spelling, punctuation and capitalization but also the elements of grammar, style and the use of figures which makes writing powerful and effective.
Public speaking occurs everyday as students learn to report their findings to the class, bring in items from home and explain why they are important, (show and tell) and recite memorized scripture and a variety of poems and passages learned throughout their experience at CCS. In middle school students take a speech class that instructs them in presentation techniques and a wide range of delivery themes. Students must learn to be comfortable in front of their peers if they are to truly impact those around them.
4. Second Language
Knowledge of a second language is valuable both for deepening one’s understanding of English and for the purpose of world evangelism. In the Great Commission, Jesus instructed the disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel to everyone. In order to fulfill this call, the church has always encouraged missionaries to learn the languages of those to whom they will minister. At the higher levels this will involve not only the ability to speak and understand the spoken word, but also to read it and write it, and in some cases to translate the Bible into another language. Regardless of life call and vocation, each student will benefit from the knowledge of a second language. Since CCS targets Mexico as an 8th grade outreach, Spanish will be offered each year beginning in kindergarten.
Science, Math, Social Science, and Physical Education
It is our goal at Cornerstone Christian School to provide the students a place where they gain knowledge of the universe, man’s place in it and God’s wisdom and perspective on man and human history. The students will be challenged to build a relationship with Jesus Christ and to live their lives committed to following a Biblical worldview. This will be intentionally taught in the science, math and social science content areas.
God's order and design are revealed through his creation. Science is the study of the elements which make up God's creation and the laws and principles which govern its development. Creationism is fundamental to all scientific study. The universe displays design because it has a Designer. It has not evolved over billions of years (though this theory should be thoroughly investigated).
The fundamental problems in the field of science are not related to limits in the ever?expanding knowledge base, but to the wise application of scientific discoveries. No additional amount of research can remedy this situation. A proper understanding of science (God's natural revelation) can only be had in conjunction with an understanding of the Bible (God's special revelation). Only the Word of God can guide scientists in their application of their discoveries.
All areas of scientific investigation (biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, etc.) are legitimate for Christians. Students should be exposed to the basic concepts in all these major fields while in elementary and middle school. In addition, students should have a clear understanding of the scientific process and the skills to independently investigate and solve scientific problems.
God is creator and the findings of science do not conflict with the Bible. Science will hold great intrigue for students as teacher and student study the wonders of God’s creation from a Biblical worldview.
An ability to manipulate and interpret numbers is essential for effective participation in a democratic society and as a member of the work force. The ultimate goal of mathematics instruction is the ability to solve problems in every day life. However, it should be recognized that problem solving ability is dependent upon a fluency with numbers as well as conceptual understanding. Numerical fluency is primarily developed by drill in the basic facts.
Students must be comfortable with mathematical symbols common to our society such as graphs, tables, and charts. Students should be skilled in calculations with whole numbers, percentages, ratios, decimals, and fractions. They should be familiar with geometric figures and their relationships. They should be skilled in the use of English and metric measurements for length, area, volume, mass, capacity, time, and temperature. They should understand the nature of our currency system and the common calculations made with money such as interest, discounts, etc.
Mathematics and its related fields of study are further evidence that God is one of regularity, predictability and absolute truth. Students can marvel at the wisdom of the Godhead revealed in mathematical truth.
3. Social Science
God has given Christians the responsibility of evangelizing the world. In order to effectively communicate with others, we must understand their cultures and backgrounds. Social science explores the interrelationships between individuals, groups of people, and their relationship to the environment. It focuses on how people organize themselves economically, politically and socially. The study of history and geography are foundational to the social sciences. Every student should understand the interplay of these two as well as the specific history of their own country and province in order to contribute effectively as citizens.
In addition to an understanding of the past, students should also become aware of the forces at work in contemporary society such as government and the media. They should be equipped with a Biblical worldview which will enable them to critically evaluate the trends and values of the modern world. They need to understand the implications of being "salt and light" in a dark and fallen world. Each student should come to appreciate the value of democracy as a form of government and their responsibility to influence government toward Christian values.
Social science is the study of God’s story regarding mankind from creation to the second coming of Christ. This study helps students learn the history of people and societies sharing our interdependent world. Understanding the system of government as it relates to citizenship allows students the opportunity to compare what it means to be a citizen in the world and also a citizen of God’s kingdom. Through the filter of a Biblical worldview, students develop a better concept of how to live and work in a global community and define their role in God’s unfolding story.
When God created mankind initially, He said that it was very good. He confirmed this view by taking on human flesh and dying on the cross. The human body is the means through which we express love and kindness to the rest of the world. While much evil is done through the body, this does not negate its essential value and goodness.
Through physical education, students learn both how their bodies function and how to take care of them. They are encouraged to consider themselves as stewards of their own bodies which are the temples of the Holy Spirit. They are challenged to make healthy lifestyle choices and develop themselves in both strength and skill.
While caring for one’s body is important, excessive concern for the body is not healthy. Competitive sports are most valuable not because they improve the body’s strength and skill so much as because they provide opportunities for character development. Under the pressures of competition, Students learn to respond with grace to both victory and defeat. Life lessons and the fruit of the Spirit (e.g. patience, self-control) are learned on the sports court daily.
In response to Acts 1:8, we give students multiple experiences reaching their world with the love of Christ. Beginning in elementary school, each class reaches out to our community once a quarter. Projects include raking leaves, Christmas caroling, Operation Christmas Child participation, making food and a myriad of other ideas. Once students enter into middle school, outreaches are held the last week of April. Sixth graders work all day meeting a need in our community on Friday and then on Monday they take a day long field trip to Washington D.C. in hopes of sharing a “goody” bag with a homeless person. In seventh grade, the students travel to an urban area to work in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter for an extended week-end. In eighth grade, students fly to Mexico and work alongside a small mission church in a poor district of Mexico City. Each experience gives the students an opportunity for God to reach their heart and spoil them for Kingdom advancement for the rest of their lives.
Through His creation, God displays His nature. That creation reveals beauty, order, and action. God has further confirmed His interest in the fine arts by its frequent occurrence in Scripture. An understanding and appreciation of art, music and drama helps students to better understand and appreciate God’s nature. The fine arts all touch the emotional side of man’s nature in ways which other subjects do not. Through practice in the fine arts, students develop self-control, perseverance, and attention to detail. Developing skills in these subjects, then, provides Students with additional tools for communicating to others God’s character and love for mankind.