Each spring our teachers and students embark on a nearly month long learning adventure called Focus Study. The objectives of this study are:
- to provide the opportunity for in depth study and research of a topic of interest
- to generate excitement and joy in learning
- to provide a forum for students to creatively share and celebrate their learning
- to integrate learning across as many subject areas as possible, including Bible and missions, and
- to build and enhance the sense of community within the school while also involving others.
Focus study topics have included Italy, the Middle Ages, Colonial America, the United Kingdom, China, Africa, Ancient Israel, the ocean, forest, energy, agriculture, nighttime, health and wellness. The first two weeks are usually devoted to classroom instruction, research, report writing, and project work. As much as possible, teachers integrate math and language arts with the science or social studies topic under consideration. Guest speakers, story tellers and musicians add to this instruction. Literature, art and music teachers coordinate their lessons with the focus topic as well. Parents, grandparents, local university professors, a variety of other professionals and missionaries home on furlough have all been called upon to share their expertise as guest lecturers, workshop leaders and chapel speakers.
The focus study culminates in Focus Week, when students participate in field trips, assemblies and an all school lunch known as “Focus Feast”. At sharing assemblies each class gives a presentation highlighting some of the things they learned during the study. Presentations include original songs, skits, poetry, short reports and Power Point presentations. The knowledge gained along with the inclusion of so many family and community members, the integration of Biblical truth and mission projects combine to make this study a rich and productive endeavor that greatly enhances the academic and spiritual growth of our students, while at the same time helping to foster a lifelong love of learning.
Note: Our Focus Study has been recognized as an Exemplary School Program in the Academic Enhancement category by the Association of Christian School International.