Early Grades

Raphael Academy student smiles at his desk

1st–4th grade

Early Grades

Early Grades Overview

In Raphael Academy’s Early Grades classroom, the foundations of reading, writing, and math are taught within a context of rich storytelling, form drawing, and with the aid of various manipulatives and Curative movement exercises.

Exploring New Subjects

Under the teacher’s guidance, students create their individual Main Lesson books for each subject. For example, history is taught through the rich storytelling of multicultural folk and fairy tales, saints and fables, Old Testament, and other creation stories. Beginning in the 1st grade, all four math processes are explored followed by the times tables 1–12, place value, and mental math as students progress through 2nd and 3rd grades. Fourth grade math continues on exploring fractions and geometric form drawing.

Typical science Main Lesson blocks focus on observation and discovery of the natural environment such as observing the plant and animal kingdoms, cycles of the year, and learning about farming and gardening, all of which lead to the study of zoology in grade four. Language Arts begins with the alphabet, handwriting skills, and phonetics in grade one, moves into simple sentences and reading short books in grade two, and continues to build throughout grades three and four to include basic grammar, spelling, verb tenses, and short paragraphs.

A Day as an Early Grades Student

A typical day begins with movement, rhythm, and recitation followed by form drawing, Main Lesson, snack and recess. Students then move onto Ability Group instruction, which focuses on each child’s individualized level of reading and math. After lunch and outdoor play, students engage in Handwork, Music, Movement, Art, and Watercolor painting.

Curriculum Overview

Early Grades students are introduced to age appropriate curricula and progress through subject matters as they demonstrate a firm grasp of each academic concept. Visit our Curriculum Overview to read more about our Early Grades curriculum.


Interested in applying to Raphael Academy? Learn more about our rolling admissions process.

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