1st — 5th Grade

Grammar School

Building the Foundation of Knowledge

Grammar school at GCA exists to build a foundation of knowledge across and through the curriculum, since subjects should not be learned in isolation, but are instead a part of one another. Bible is taught systematically through the Old and New Testaments. History—especially the recognition of God’s providence and sovereign hand throughout time—is taught chronologically. Science is taught with the goal of engaging student curiosity. Math is presented logically and with an eye toward concept mastery, regular review, and growth.

Literature is presented through classic works, and through it, students grow in their knowledge of reading, writing, and spelling. Latin instruction is used for both the development of students’ English skills, as well as a tool to help students develop habits of systematic thinking. Music, art, drama, and physical education complement and enrich the curriculum.

Course of Study

building the foundation of knowledge

The following is the planned Course of Study for the Lower School for the academic year. Variations may be made depending on class size and student needs.


1st grade:  Desiring God Ministries curriculum

2nd through 5th grade: Study of the major events in the Bible using Classical Academic Press and Veritas Press.


Classics and other significant literature selections comprise the students’ reading materials for 1st – 5th grades.


Shurley English along with other sources are utilized to strengthen a student’s ability to write effectively.


Spelling lists are the foundation for vocabulary instruction. Words from other subjects such as science, Latin, and literature are also included on the lists.


Focused instructive in cursive begins in Kindergarten and continues through 1st and 2nd grade.  The rationale behind teaching cursive handwriting in addition to manuscript handwriting is as follows:

  • To help the students learn better letter recognition and usage by being able to read manuscript, book face, and cursive lettering

  • To aid the students in word flow and directionality in writing

  • To minimize the reversal/confusion of written letters

  • To set the students on a path to beautiful penmanship


The study of God’s providential and sovereign hand throughout history is fundamental to classical education. At GCA, history is taught chronologically and in repeating cycles.

1st grade:  South Carolina History – Teacher-created units introduce children to the Revolutionary War, Independence/Statehood, Civil War and present day. On any given day, you may find students learning about life in the colonies, re-enacting the Battle of Cowpens, or making colonial friendship pillowcases!

2nd through 5th grade:  Veritas Press History and supplemental materials summarizing key historical events. Students enrich their understanding of each event through projects, primary source readings and illustrations, games, art projects, theatrical scripts, maps, and more. By the time students complete the five-year cycle they will have memorized 160 key events in history from Creation to Modern America.


1st through 5th grade:  Rod and Staff


Greenville Classical Academy believes that Latin is highly beneficial to our students for three fundamental reasons.

  • Latin teaches English. Studying Latin leads to a deeper, more thorough understanding of our own language, and this study will  equip students with the ability to think and write with greater clarity and effectiveness.

  • Because of the nature of the language, Latin teaches critical thinking. We do not want our graduates to declare that they “learned to study in college.” Instead, we want our students to learn how to learn at a young age so they are able to maximize the advantages a higher education provides.

  • Latin enhances a student’s ability to learn other languages. We do not know what opportunities await our graduates, but we aim to broaden those opportunities by enhancing their ability to learn additional foreign languages.

 3rd grade:  Song School Latin – Classical Academic Press

Song School Latin is a gentle and delightful introduction to Latin. Each weekly lesson is peppered with songs, illustrations, hand-writing practice, stories and activities for easy mastery and memorization.

 4th & 5th Grades: Latin For Children series – Classical Academic Press

Students will learn 350+ common Latin words, understand many English derivatives, conjugate six tenses of verbs, use 1st-5th declension nouns, and perform simple translations.


1st through 5th grade: ACSI Purposeful Design

From the publisher, “Engage students in investigating, observing, and thinking about the created world. Weave the wonders of creation and a biblical worldview into your science instruction. Highlight God’s design throughout His creation. Purposeful Design Science allows you to accomplish these objectives with its colorful pages, hands-on experiments, shared ideas, and highly interactive lessons.”

Related Arts

Music appreciation and art history are integrated throughout the curriculum. As a part of our history curriculum, students are exposed to the great artists of the past. In addition, students have formal classes in music, art and drama. 

All students in 1st – 5th grades have scheduled daily recess times and formal instruction in Physical Education once a week.

Parent Testimonial

When we joined the GCA “family” in 2016, it was the very first time our daughter had been away from home. Like any parents entering this new season, we were nervous, excited and blown away that this day had gotten here so fast! Her teachers have been so welcoming, friendly, and understanding throughout the entire time. They are seasoned educators and just phenomenal with the kids! Both our daughter and now our son have learned so much from their teaching. We are just so so grateful for the entire GCA community!

Joshua & Jessica