Heritage Christian Academy is here to support you, as homeschoolers, on your educational journey. Below are just a few unique opportunities that our students and families gain by enrolling at HCA.
A Charlotte Mason Community
Homeschooling is a labor of love and there is nothing more beautiful and encouraging than when families are able to share in this journey together. Heritage provides an outlet for resources, training, encouragement and community.
In addition, parents are given the opportunity to drop their students off for the school day, allowing for a much-needed margin in the midst of hectic weeks and homeschooling demands. This aspect of our schooling model allows parents to recharge and rest in the middle of the week, knowing that your children are able to converse with their peers on academic subjects in a classroom setting and receive instruction from teachers who have extensive training in the Charlotte Mason method.
Most of all though, our families are able to build relationships centered on Christ and on a genuine love for education and building up not only one another, but the Body of Christ through discipling and training our children.
Literature Based Education
The Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling employs the use of "living books" - those texts that have rich and beautiful language and that have stood the test of time. These books will be written by an author who is an expert in their field and who has a passion for their topic. These rich and inspiring texts are the food that the mind needs for it's nourishment.
“Once more, we know that there is a storehouse of thought wherein we may find all the great ideas that have moved the world. We are above all things anxious to give the child the key to this storehouse. The education of the day, it is said, does not produce reading people. We are determined that the children shall love books, therefore we do not interpose ourselves between the book and the child. We read him his Tanglewood Tales, and when he is a little older his Plutarch, not trying to break up or water down, but leaving the child’s mind to deal with the matter as it can.” (Parents and Children, pg. 232)
“In literature, we have definite ends in view, both for our own children and for the world through them. We wish the children to grow up to find joy and refreshment in the taste, the flavour of a book. We do not mean by a book any printed matter in a binding, but a work possessing certain literary qualities able to bring that sensible delight to the reader which belongs to a literary word fitly spoken. (Parents and Children, pgs. 262-63)
Missions Based Discipleship
Our desire at Heritage is not just to provide an excellent academic experience for your family. We believe, as Miss Mason said, that each child is a born person, and with that knowledge comes the understanding that each child has
unique gifts, strengths and callings.
Students in Forms 3-6 (grades 7-12) will be able to experience discipleship training courses, where they'll be challenged to grow and defend their own faith, all while learning how to go and make disciples of all Nations, as Jesus challenged in Matthew 28:19.
Field Trips and Adventures
HCA is also thrilled to offer multiple field trip opportunities to our students throughout the school year. There will be at least one field trip offered per term (minimum of 3 field trips per year), as well as multiple special guests (both human and animal!) that will visit HCA and visit with our students. Because we are located on the campus of Bethel University, we have a readily accessible wealth of educational opportunities! HCA Students are able to visit on-site art museums, orchestra performances, musicals, plays and more.
The exploration of nature is a hallmark of the Charlotte Mason method, and is an integral component to our student's day at HCA. The bulk of their academic classes are completed in the mornings, to allow for as much time as possible outside, learning to observe and record nature, becoming familiar with the local plants, birds and insects, and recording their findings in their nature journal. From a very young age, this teaches students how to slow down, observe, hypothesize, and record their observations; all necessary skills for advanced Science study in later years. Optional nature walks on non-class days will be available periodically throughout each term at local parks and preserves. We place immense value on our nature time, knowing that children need ample time outdoors, exploring and learning in the most organic way possible.
“We were all meant to be naturalists, each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things.” (Vol. 1, p. 61)
“Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.” (Vol. 1, p. 42)
Liberal Arts Education
We know full well that in the midst of homeschooling, some of the "extras" get pushed to the side in exchange for getting through the "necessities". However, the riches of a Charlotte Mason feast are an indispensable part of her method, and they build life-long enjoyment in our children. At HCA we want to make it easier for you to get to the "extras", and we offer rotating subjects per term, such as Shakespeare, Artist and Composer Studies, Poetry, Latin, Recitation, extensive Nature Studies, Watercolor and Brush Drawing lessons, and more. For a full list of the classes that we offer, please visit our Lower and Upper Forms informational pages.
HCA offers a Cottage School for the siblings of older HCA students, as well as the children of faculty. It's a unique opportunity to enroll your children, ages 3-5, in a program based on imagination, experience and enjoyment. Students in our Cottage School will plant a small garden and spend large portions of their day outside, they'll learn folk songs and poetry, and experience some of the best in children's literature.
HCA offers a selection of afternoon occupations, in addition to our commitment to nature studies and outdoor hours. Handicrafts - Miss Mason's description of such activities as cooking, wood working, knitting and fiber works, knot tying, and more- were daily occupations that all students participated in, from first grade until graduation. Afternoons take on a more relaxed format as students are offered a broad range of handicraft experiences to add to their educational feast.
“The claims of the schoolroom should not be allowed to encroach on the child’s right to long hours daily for exercise and investigation.” (Vol. 1, p. 177)