Curriculum Overview

We focus our course of study on the subjects that form a foundation for all future education:

  • Reading is essential to all academic pursuits as it is the means of individual access to all subjects and to the sum of all human knowledge
  • Composition is necessary to clear, precise thinking in any subject because properly presenting ideas in writing requires and promotes intellectual inquiry and exactness
  • Math is the science of measurement, which makes the vast universe comprehensible and begins with arithmetic, which is like literacy in relation to numbers
  • History is the study of human action and its causes and effects; its study reveals principles applicable to all periods, including ours
  • Logic is the process of classifying abstractions without contradictions; we teach students that new ideas should integrate with, not contradict, the other ideas they have learned, and when they don’t, to find out why

Mastery of these disciplines strengthens a student in all other subjects.

We consider a study of science, speech, literature, geography, music, art, and physical education to be imperative to a well-rounded academic education. We also teach phonics, sentence diagramming, and penmanship—tried and true practices that other schools often neglect. As Challenger students gain an early and thorough mastery of Challenger’s curriculum, they are well prepared for advanced studies and learning at an accelerated pace.

We don’t teach concepts in isolation in any subject—topics or skills mentioned in specific grades are learned and reinforced at multiple levels and across subjects. Likewise, projects and events like Science Fair, Young Author, and Speech Festival span multiple grades (kindergarten–8th) and annually provide students with growth opportunities in the skills the activities promote. See detailed grade-level descriptions for each subject via the curriculum page.

Unlike charter or other public schools that are funded by taxes and thus bound by government mandates on education, we have the freedom to do what is right for our students and use proven, effective curriculum and methods to teach and challenge them.

For example, we teach students to base their thinking on observable facts and to honestly evaluate and then integrate or reject new ideas as they discover them but not to allow contradictions. This is a key component of our effective teaching and helps students learn to think for themselves. We sometimes introduce errors in the lessons to teach the students the essential responsibility to evaluate and validate all that they choose to accept as truth. Our purpose is to promote intellectual independence instead of obedience and learning by rote.

Watch our founder, Barbara Baker, teaching and gently guiding a class of preschoolers.

Of equal importance to our academic instruction is behavior management. The first cannot succeed without the second. We teach our students to manage themselves, in part, by not shielding them from the consequences of their bad actions nor from the steps required for proper and just resolution. As students develop more control over their emotions, social interactions, and mental focus, their academics and behavior generally improve. As students learn to respect themselves, classmates, teachers, and their shared purpose for being at Challenger, they all enjoy a more positive, focused, and productive educational experience.

The best way to see the efficacy of Challenger School’s curriculum is by coming in for a tour and experiencing the excitement, focus, fun, and achievement for yourself.

Of equal importance to our academic instruction is behavior management.

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