Students are placed by age into grade-level classrooms (K- Middle School) of 22 students or less.
Classes are taught by excellent, creative and certified (currently or previously) teachers.
Each week, students cover topics in Science and History/Social Studies (please see Scope and Sequence). Often art is integrated into subjects being covered. We place a special emphasis on cooperative and hands-on learning. We do not test, assess, or assign homework, except in our middle school program, where we have increased accountability.
Students also participate in two, half-hour specials: Reader's Theater and PE.
Social opportunities are valued as much as academic.
HCA hosts a Reader's theater performance, seasonal parties, Field Day and Yearbook Day. Students bring their own lunch and eat in the classroom.
Kindergarteners must be 5 years old by September 1st of the school year in which they are enrolling.
Parents are primarily given the day "off", however help is always welcome and often needed with special activities such as a picture day, party days, Field Day, etc.
Tuesdays, 9am to 3pm
Between Labor Day and Memorial Day
7700 W 75th St
Overland Park, KS 66204
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What curriculum do you follow?
About 20 years ago, we purchased Veritas Press Curriculum. Through the years our teachers have adjusted that curriculum to add projects, make the material more their own, and to help it fit into our once-a-week format. We still tend to follow VP as our scope and sequence (which is listed in our enrollment booklet.) We do not continue to purchase set materials, nor require our grades K-6 students to purchase any books or curriculum materials for their HCA day. We also have no expectation as to what curriculum you choose to follow at home. For our middle school grades, 7th and 8th, there will be books and other curriculum materials that need to be purchased, and used at home as well. Curriculum at HCA is taught from a Biblical and God's World perspective. We do not have a Bible curriculum, but each teacher includes prayer and devotions as part of their day.
Q2. What subjects are covered in the classroom?
We cover Science and History/Social Studies in the classroom. These subjects allow for great classroom projects and interactive/group learning. They also do not have to be coordinated with what is taught at home or taught in a set sequence. (You can learn about the Civil War one year and Medieval Times the next). They lend themselves well to unit studies, and other disciplines can be easily incorporated. With History and Science, students are able to retain much of the information covered in class, from one week to the next, even if not touched on at home.
Q3. Who are your teachers?
Our teachers are incredible and make the program the success it is. All are teachers by experience and giftedness, love teaching and providing a positive classroom experience. Some have and are homeschooling their own children, and all, although they love teaching, have found their niche doing so part-time and not everyday. Each year your child will experience different teaching styles and personalities, and learn in a different setting.
Q4. How many children are in a classroom?
20 is the maximum number in Kindergarten, and 22 is the maximum in all other grades.
Q5. What Specials are offered and how did you arrive at those?
We offer Physical Education (PE) and Reader's Theater (RT). Both classes lend themselves well to group activities, allow movement, cooperation, and interaction, and like our academic subjects, units can be taught in varying order. Each class is 30 minutes in length and typically students have one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
PE is taught by units that go over skills, scoring, and terminology of different sports, and then students play those games in a format conducive to age and being in an indoor gym (primary volleyball is played with beach balls, soccer is played with softer balls, etc.)
Reader's Theater is not reading and not theater, though elements of both are involved. The better definition is story extensions and they read stories, do craft projects, discuss alternative endings and beginnings, practice speaking in front of their peers, and once a semester practice to perform a short play or program for parents.
Q6. Have you ever considered Spanish, Art, or Music as specials?
The quick answer is no, but it is never that simple. We have considered each but decided we could not do them well:
At one point years ago, we lost our music teacher and chose to offer Reader's Theater instead. This has been a much better fit for the reasons mentioned in the above question. We also found that for Music, we could either teach music appreciation, notes, voice, scale, etc., or practice extensively for a performance. With our time constraints we could not do both, and to do either was a challenge.
Art (or crafts) is incorporated into so much of what is done in the classroom, but to teach Art weekly in 30 minutes, would not allow much time in the way of set up, instruction, and clean up, let alone doing art. Planning for multiple ages and abilities would be difficult, and art projects are usually individual endeavors. Plus to use mediums other than chalk, charcoal, or pencil, creates the need for weekly storage and drying time for a couple hundred projects.
Foreign Language is a very sequential topic, and difficult to learn in any real way in only 30 min. per week. Some students come in speaking a language fluently while others may know none, and we have many students enroll at semester or not until, let's say 3rd grade, and they would have missed foundational material covered in years/semesters prior. Like English, any foreign language is best learned with those at your level, and daily would be best, but certainly more than once a week.
Q7. Can my 4-yr old enroll in Kindergarten?
No. We have learned that this policy is best in the long run if enforced. Our day is so social and interactive that enrolling by age/grade always works best. Starting early does not benefit the child and keeps them the youngest in consecutive years. (Many with summer birthdays wait to enroll their child in K after they turn 6 years old.)
Q8. What if we are covering a different grade level of curriculum at home? Do I enroll differently?
No. As mentioned above, our day works best for students enrolled with their peers. We recognize that many of our students are working above grade-level in some areas and below in others. It is a huge benefit of homeschooling to be able to adjust curriculum individually. Our classrooms are geared to accommodate a variety of abilities and we hope to foster friendships, classroom learning, and peer interaction as much as possible. We do not test, assess, or assign homework so that the grade-level of work is less of a focus than doing the work together.
Q9. How will I know what is being covered in class?
At our Back-to-School afternoon, or when you enroll, teachers hand out an overview of what will be covered that year. And each week, teachers either email or send home a weekly newsletter telling you specifically what happened in class that day, reminders of student of the week, dates to remember, etc.
Q10. What is required of me (the parent) on this day?
We cannot function without volunteers. Mostly, parents are given the day off, but we need volunteers to help with and organize classroom parties, yearbook, participate in Anonymous Blessings (a wonderful teacher appreciation program), come in for big project days for individual classrooms, and man stations for Field Day. We try to infringe on your day off as little as possible.