Redeemer Classical School uses several criteria to determine whether to accept a child’s application for our school. Since class sizes are limited, we give additional weight to applications with these characteristics, and in this order:
- Applicants whose families are members in good standing of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne.
- Applicants whose families are members in good standing at a sister Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregations.
- Siblings of students who are already enrolled.
We do not place students into a specific class based on age, but based on developmental readiness and academic preparation. Since traditional schooling is so weak, even in many schools “with a good reputation,” we are developing our own criteria for class placement, and using our own names for each class grouping rather than the modern “kindergarten, first grade, second grade,” and so on. This is common in high-quality international schooling.
The ages given for the forms below are approximations, not requirements. The basic milestones we expect students to master before entering a certain form are as follows. These are not comprehensive requirements, but general guidelines.
Form A (ages 6-7, rarely 5)
This is the entrance form, in which students will learn the basics of how to read and begin simple arithmetic, and spend a half-day in school at Redeemer. The earliest grades are key for setting children up to handle high intellectual and moral demands in teen and adult life. The most important skill a child develops in his first years of instruction is the ability to decode language through phonics. The next most important skill is the ability to memorize. Besides skills, crucial for learning is content: systematically exposing a child to the key knowledge that will build his mental life library.
We expect that most students ready to enter form A will be age six or seven, and five-year-old readiness will be rarer. To enter Form A, therefore, we require, among other things, that children:
- Be able to recognize at least 15 letters of the alphabet.
- Be able to count to at least 20.
- Be able to sit and attend to a lesson for at least 20 minutes.
- Enjoy coloring and other fine-motor activities such as lacing, playing piano, or building with Legos.
- Be able to sort by color and shape.
- Can work independently.
- Can draw circles, lines, and a few letters and numbers.
- Has memorized several simple songs, poems, and Bible verses.
- Is emotionally and socially ready to spend half a day independently for a full school year.
These are all items that children in a typical well-functioning home will learn through natural play and interaction with their parents, with no need to flashcard or drill. Redeemer Classical is not a remedial school and thus does not teach school readiness.
Form B (ages 6-9)
This half-day form is for children who have learned to read and perform some basic arithmetic at home but are not yet ready to spend a full day in academic pursuits. Children need an “on-ramp” to develop their ability to apply more effort to academics, and young children need many hours of unstructured play. This will help them in future academics better than early institutionalization. Extensive open play time is crucial for a child’s future emotional security, physical development, and academic enjoyment.
To enter Form B, we require that children:
- Be able to read. Extensive reading fluency is not required, but a basic ability to decode words using phonics is. In other words, they must be able to “sound it out” through a brief story.
- Recognize and be able to write all the letters of the alphabet, both capital and lowercase.
- Be able to write short words in print.
- Be able to match rhyming words.
- Be able to add and subtract within 20, without great difficulty or extensive counting on fingers.
- Be able to write numbers up to 100, and tell which number is bigger or smaller when comparing two up to 100.
- Recognize place value for ones, tens, and hundreds.
Form 1 (ages 7-9)
This is the form in which we begin full-day instruction. In this form, students will begin Latin, learn cursive, and begin fluency in the more complex of the four arithmetic operations (multiplication and division). This is when academics become more serious and absorbing, and a more significant pull on a child’s time and attention.
To enter Form 1, we expect students, among other things, to be able to:
- Take dictation and copy full sentences neatly.
- Know how to write in cursive.
- Correctly punctuate sentence endings, including interrogative, declarative, and exclamatory.
- Add and subtract thousands and fewer.
- Add and subtract mentally within 100 without difficulty.
- Be socially, emotionally, and intellectually ready to spend a full day on academic work.
- Be familiar with basic biblical stories (Adam and Eve, the Ten Commandments, Jesus’ birth, etc.)
- Display a knowledge of the major historical events and figures from American history.
Form 2 (ages 8-10)
- Be able to identify the basic eight parts of speech.
- Be able to diagram a simple sentence.
- Use correct punctuation and capitalization.
- Give a simple verbal and written narration for a classic children’s tale.
- Demonstrate a composition ability at Level A of the Institute for Excellence in Writing’s “Teaching Writing, Structure, and Style.
- Have been introduced to multiplication and division, and able to divide a multi-digit number by one divisor and multiply multi-digit numbers by two-digit numbers, both using the standard algorithms.
- Understand place value through millions.
- Know the multiplication tables through 15s.
- Be familiar with basic fractions and decimals.
- Understand area, perimeter, and volume.
- Be familiar with myths (Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, Egypt, Mesopotamia, etc.).
- Be able to demonstrate basic familiarity with beginning Latin vocabulary and grammar.
Form 3 (ages 9-11)
- Have completed Saxon 54 Math, Singapore Math 4A and 4B, or equivalent, and take Saxon’s math placement exam. Must be fully fluent in all four arithmetical operations and times tables.
- Be able to read and calculate using charts.
- Demonstrate ability to analyze and diagram compound sentences.
- Demonstrate a composition ability at Level B of the Institute for Excellence in Writing’s “Teaching Writing, Structure, and Style.”
- Have completed quality elementary-level ancient and medieval history courses, such as those from Story of The World or of Greenleaf Press’s Famous Men series.
- Be able to give an oral narration of a recently read classic children’s book.
- Be able to demonstrate basic familiarity with beginning-intermediate Latin vocabulary and grammar.
Form 4 (ages 10-13)
- Have completed Saxon 65 Math, Singapore Math 5A and 5B, or equivalent, and take Saxon’s math placement exam.
- Have completed quality elementary-level ancient, medieval, and Renaissance history courses, such as those from Story of The World or of Greenleaf Press’s Famous Men series.
- Demonstrate a composition ability at Level C of the Institute for Excellence in Writing’s “Teaching Writing, Structure, and Style.”
- Demonstrate ability to analyze and diagram complex sentences and understand the use of subordinate clauses.
- Be able to give a quality oral narration of a recently read classic children’s book, carefully laying out setting, plot, and resolution.
- Have read at least 15 works of classic literature appropriate to the student’s age at the time of reading. Examples can be found on Redeemer’s Boni Libri List.
- Be able to demonstrate familiarity with intermediate Latin vocabulary and grammar.
- Be able to sight-read simple Latin sentences.
Form 5 (ages 11-14)
- Have completed Saxon 87 Math, Singapore Math 6A and 6B, or equivalent pre-algebra course, and take Saxon’s math placement exam.
- Have completed high-quality history courses covering the history of the world from creation to the 20th century.
- Be able to give a quality oral narration of and commentary on a recently read piece of classic literature.
- Have read at least 20 works of classic literature appropriate to the student’s age at the time of reading. Examples can be found on Redeemer’s Boni Libri List.
- Demonstrate a mastery of English grammar, e.g. be able to define and diagram a compound-complex sentence, identify and properly use verbal phrases, list the five forms of a verb in English, etc.
- Be able to demonstrate an advanced understanding of Latin vocabulary and grammar.
- Be able to sight-read simple, short passages of classical Latin.
Redeemer Classical School will not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national or ethnic origin in its admission policies, grants scholarships, athletic, or other school-sponsored programs. We respect and love all people as bearers of God’s own precious image (Genesis 1:27).