Academic

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Four Square Academic is a Christian community that meets on Wednesdays for twelve weeks per semester in Byron Center, MI. It is a drop-off program and parents are not required to volunteer. We welcome and encourage families to join us for hymn-sing chapel at 8:45am.

We offer a variety of classes designed to meet the different needs of preschool, elementary, middle, and high school students.

Beginning at 9am, first through eighth grade students rotate through five classes taught in a unique environment integrating the effective Finland model, Charlotte Mason’s principles, and movement-based learning. Parents will gain community, accountability, feedback, and support while preserving the home education experience for their student. Students will have lessons covering Geography, History, Literature, Science, Nature, and Grammar + Composition.

Four Square Academic is designed to complement Four Square Enrichment or stand on its own, based on parent preferences. If you are unable to join our in-person classes, we encourage you to check out Without Doors – a Bible, Geography, History, Literature, Enrichment, and Nature Study curriculum for 1st-8th grade inspired by Four Square Academic. 

Finland Model

Finland is world-renowned for their successful students. They counterintuitively school for shorter days and give less homework. They are efficient with class time and maintain high academic standards for students. Finnish schools do not put an emphasis on regularly testing students, rather, on each student gaining a full understanding of the concepts and content.

Lessons are 15-45 minutes and are followed with a 5-15 minute movement break. Physical activity and play have been confirmed to aid students in processing information and reinforcing lessons.

Four Square Academic implements this effective model as a framework for lessons on Wednesdays.

Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason was a classical English educational reformer at the turn of the twentieth century. She wrote volumes of material and trained educators in her unique educational philosophy, a philosophy so rich that we continue to pursue it today. Her motto for students was

"I am, I can, I ought, I will."

The Charlotte Mason method emphasizes oral narration to demonstrate comprehension in the early years, while making a smooth transition into written narration for older students. Living literature, copywork, hands-on learning, recitation, character development, habit training, and nature study are some of the highlights of the Charlotte Mason method that are integrated into the lessons at Four Square Academic.

Movement based learning

Students thrive when they experience purposeful movement during learning. We integrate movement-based activities that activate memorization and enhance understanding. Four Square Academic provides a variety of opportunities for students to sit, stand, jump, clap, walk, etc during lessons.

Four Square Academic offers a rest from our high-tech world. Students rely on classic learning tools such as physical books, physical maps, pencils, paper, etc instead of engaging heavily with technology. There is some integration of technology as a helpful tool, but it is minimal to avoid it becoming a hindrance or distraction.

Academic Classes
2024-2025

9am-2pm
$925/year

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*Preschool is 9am-noon* $625
Letters Letter of the Week + Storytime + Poetry 
Numbers Games + Songs
Nature Nature Walks + Nature Art + Object Study (Bugs, Rocks, Flowers, etc.)
Sensory Engaging the 5 Senses

History Bible Stories + Songs
Geography Introduction to Geography
Science Nature Walks + Nature Journaling + Object Study (Bugs, Rocks, Flowers, etc.) 
Literature Living Books + Nature Lore + Copywork 
Recitation Scripture + Poetry

History Early America 
Geography Native American Tribes, Colonial Regions, Westward Expansion & Oregon Trail 
Literature Living Books + Poetry Recitation
Spelling Copywork from Literature
Science Zoology 1: Birds & Insects + Nature Walks + Nature Lore + Nature Journaling

History Early America 
Geography Native American Tribes, Colonial Regions, Westward Expansion & Oregon Trail 
Literature Living Books + Poetry Recitation
Spelling Copywork from Literature
Science Zoology 1: Birds & Insects + Nature Walks + Nature Lore + Nature Journaling

History Early America
Geography Native American Tribes, Colonial Regions, Westward Expansion & Oregon Trail 
Literature Living Books + Poetry Recitation
Grammar & Spelling Introduction to Grammar + Copywork from Literature
Science Zoology 1: Birds & Insects + Nature Walks + Nature Lore + Nature Journaling

History Early America 
Geography Native American Tribes, Colonial Regions, Westward Expansion & Oregon Trail 
Literature Living Books + Poetry Recitation
Grammar, Composition & Spelling Grammar Lessons + Written Narration Prompts + Copywork from Literature
Science Zoology 1: Birds & Insects + Nature Walks + Nature Lore + Nature Journaling

History Early America 
Geography Native American Tribes, Colonial Regions, Westward Expansion & Oregon Trail 
Literature Living Books + Poetry Recitation
Grammar, Composition & Spelling Grammar Lessons + Written Narration Assignments/Feedback + Dictation from Literature
Science Zoology 1: Birds & Insects + Nature Walks + Nature Lore + Nature Journaling

History Early America 
Geography Native American Tribes, Colonial Regions, Westward Expansion & Oregon Trail 
Literature Living Books + Poetry Recitation
Grammar, Composition & Spelling Grammar Lessons + Written Narration Assignments/Feedback + Dictation from Literature
Science Zoology 1: Birds & Insects + Nature Lore + Nature Journaling

History Early America 
Geography Native American Tribes, Colonial Regions, Westward Expansion & Oregon Trail 
Literature Living Books + Poetry Recitation
Grammar, Composition & Spelling Grammar Lessons + Written Narration Assignments/Feedback + Dictation from Literature
Science Science in the Age of Reason, by Dr. Jay Wile + Nature Lore + Nature Journaling

History Early America 
Geography Native American Tribes, Colonial Regions, Westward Expansion & Oregon Trail 
Literature Living Books + Poetry Recitation + Commonplace Book
Grammar & Composition Grammar Lessons + Written Narration Assignments/Feedback
Science Science in the Age of Reason, by Dr. Jay Wile + Nature Lore + Nature Journaling

Wednesdays from Noon-2pm
5-6 year olds 
$500/year

Students will be outdoors in all weather and need high quality winter/rain gear. Students will be exploring God’s creation, hiking, identifying trees, looking at ecosystems, searching for critters, playing nature games, looking at the patterns of leaves and tree bark, finding animal tracks, and other hands-on nature activities. 

Your investment in Four Square Academic includes activities best experienced in community, support, feedback, and student accountability. Students will be given assignments to complete throughout the week in their homeschool setting. Four Square Academic will issue feedback for elementary and middle school, and formal grades for high school. Four Square is designed to be an extension of home education, preserving the parent as educator. The classes are designed to enhance, not replace, instruction at home. There is a required, non-refundable, non-transferable registration fee of $50 per student. The Preschool enrollment rate of $625/student includes 24 weeks of classes from 9am-noon. The K-8th grade enrollment rate of $925/student includes 24 weeks of classes from 9am-2pm.

All students are responsible for bringing classic school supplies and will need access to literature for follow-up reading at home.

Four Square Academic complies with Michigan law regarding home education, according to section 380.1561.

Academic Supply List
2024-2025

The supply list includes links to suggested literature and supplies. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra expense to you. The HSB, Inc. is our recommended resource for new/used literature.

Please have your student wear:
Four Square Apparel
Tennis Shoes

Please have your student bring:
Backpack
Water Bottle
Sack Lunch
Snack

Then Sings My Soul, by Robert J. Morgan
1. A Mighty Fortress is our God (1529)
2. Fairest Lord Jesus (1677)
3. All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name (1779)
4. O Worship the King (1833)
5. My Jesus, I Love Thee (1864)
6. This is My Father’s World (1901)

Semester 1: Phillis Wheatley
Semester 2: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Pencils
Pencil Box
24 Crayons
Safety Scissors
Glue Stick
Ziplock bag with extra pants, underwear, socks
Outdoor Gear (coat, boots, etc.)
Without Doors: Preschool (optional for at home) 

Pencils
Pencil Box
24 Crayons
Washable Markers
Basic Watercolor Set
Safety Scissors
3 Glue Sticks
Ziplock bag with extra pants, underwear, socks
Outdoor Gear (coat, boots, etc.)
Nature Journal (spiral or hardcover with watercolor paper)
Copywork Journal (wide lines for easy penmanship)
Seed Babies, by Margaret W. Morley
Old Mother West Wind, by Thornton Burgess
Without Doors: Kindergarten (optional for at home)

Pencils
Pencil Box
Basic Colored Pencil Set
Basic Watercolor Set
Scissors
Glue Stick
Nature Journal (spiral or hardcover with watercolor paper)
Copywork Journal (wide lines for easy penmanship)
Narration Notebook (lined and blank notebook)
North American Indians, by Marie and Douglas Gorsline (one per family)
Nature Anatomy, by Julia Rothman (one per family)
Pilgrim Stories, by Margaret Pumphrey (one per family)
Squanto, Friend of Pilgrims, by Clyde Robert Bulla (one per family)
The Burgess Animal Book for Children, by Thornton W. Burgess (one per family)
The Courage of Sarah Noble, by Alice Dagliesh
Tolliver’s Secret, by Esther Wood Brady (one per family)
Ben and Me, by Robert Lawson (one per family)
The Cabin Faced West, by Jean Fritz (one per family)
Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin, by Marguerite Henry (one per family)
A Nest for Celeste, by Henry Cole (one per family)
*See the History Living Picture Book List. 

Pencils
Pencil Box
Basic Colored Pencil Set
Basic Watercolor Set
Scissors
Glue Stick
Nature Journal (spiral or hardcover with watercolor paper)
Copywork Journal (wide lines for easy penmanship)
Narration Notebook (lined and blank notebook)
Then Sings My Soul, by Robert J. Morgan (one per family)
North American Indians, by Marie and Douglas Gorsline (one per family) 
Nature Anatomy, by Julia Rothman (one per family)
Pilgrim Stories, by Margaret Pumphrey (one per family)
The Burgess Animal Book for Children,
by Thornton W. Burgess (one per family)
Squanto, Friend of Pilgrims, by Clyde Robert Bulla (one per family)
The Courage of Sarah Noble, by Alice Dagliesh

Tolliver’s Secret, by Esther Wood Brady (one per family)
Ben and Me, by Robert Lawson (one per family)
The Cabin Faced West, by Jean Fritz (one per family)
Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin, by Marguerite Henry (one per family)
A Nest for Celeste, by Henry Cole (one per family)
*See the History Living Picture Book List. 

Pencils
Pencil Box
Basic Colored Pencil Set
Basic Watercolor Set
Basic Washable Marker Set
Scissors
Glue Stick
Notebook
Folder
Nature Journal (spiral or hardcover with watercolor paper)
Copywork Notebook (lined for clear penmanship)
Narration Notebook (lined and blank notebook)
Grammar Lessons: Part 1 and Part 2, by A Delectable Education
Then Sings My Soul, by Robert J. Morgan (one per family)
North American Indians, by Marie and Douglas Gorsline (one per family) 
American Indian Prayer Guide, by Danette Maloof (one per family)
Bound for Oregon, by Jean Van Leeuwen (one per family)
Home Geography, by C.C. Long (one per family)
Minn of the Mississippi, by Holling C. Holling (one per family)
Nature Anatomy, by Julia Rothman (one per family)
Pilgrim Stories, by Margaret Pumphrey (one per family)
Prairie Neighbors, by Edith M. Patch and Caroll Lane Fenton (one per family)
Squirrels and Other Fur-Bearers, by John Burroughs (one per family)
Squanto, Friend of Pilgrims, by Clyde Robert Bulla (one per family)
The Courage of Sarah Noble, by Alice Dagliesh

Tolliver’s Secret, by Esther Wood Brady (one per family)
Ben and Me, by Robert Lawson (one per family)
The Cabin Faced West, by Jean Fritz (one per family)
Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin, by Marguerite Henry (one per family)
A Nest for Celeste, by Henry Cole (one per family)
Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1, 2nd Edition (one per family)
*See the History Living Picture Book List. 

Pencils
Pencil Box
Basic Colored Pencil Set
Basic Watercolor Set
Basic Washable Marker Set
Scissors
Glue Stick
Notebook
Folder
Nature Journal (spiral or hardcover with watercolor paper)
Copywork Notebook (lined for clear penmanship)
Narration Notebook (lined and blank notebook)
Grammar Lessons: Part 1 and Part 2, by A Delectable Education
Then Sings My Soul, by Robert J. Morgan (one per family)
North American Indians, by Marie and Douglas Gorsline (one per family) 
American Indian Prayer Guide, by Danette Maloof (one per family)
Bound for Oregon, by Jean Van Leeuwen (one per family)
Home Geography, by C.C. Long (one per family)
Minn of the Mississippi, by Holling C. Holling (one per family)
Nature Anatomy, by Julia Rothman (one per family)
Pilgrim Stories, by Margaret Pumphrey (one per family)
Prairie Neighbors, by Edith M. Patch and Caroll Lane Fenton (one per family)
Squirrels and Other Fur-Bearers, by John Burroughs (one per family)
Squanto, Friend of Pilgrims, by Clyde Robert Bulla (one per family)
The Courage of Sarah Noble, by Alice Dagliesh

Tolliver’s Secret, by Esther Wood Brady (one per family)
Ben and Me, by Robert Lawson (one per family)
The Cabin Faced West, by Jean Fritz (one per family)
Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin, by Marguerite Henry (one per family)
A Nest for Celeste, by Henry Cole (one per family)
Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1, 2nd Edition (one per family)
*See the History Living Picture Book List. 

Pencils
Basic Colored Pencil Set
Basic Watercolor Set
Scissors
Glue Stick
Notebook
Folder
Nature Journal (spiral or hardcover with watercolor paper)
Copywork Notebook (lined for clear penmanship)
Narration Notebook (lined and blank notebook)
Grammar Lessons: Part 3 and Part 4, by A Delectable Education
Then Sings My Soul, by Robert J. Morgan (one per family)
North American Indians, by Marie and Douglas Gorsline (one per family) 
The Book of Centuries
American Indian Prayer Guide, by Danette Maloof (one per family)
A Child’s First Book of American History, by Earl Schenck Miers (one per family)
Bound for Oregon, by Jean Van Leeuwen (one per family)
Home Geography, by C.C. Long (one per family)
Minn of the Mississippi, by Holling C. Holling (one per family)
Nature Anatomy, by Julia Rothman (one per family)
Pilgrim Stories, by Margaret Pumphrey (one per family)
Prairie Neighbors, by Edith M. Patch and Caroll Lane Fenton (one per family)
Squirrels and Other Fur-Bearers, by John Burroughs (one per family)
Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison, by Lois Lenski (one per family) 
Tolliver’s Secret, by Esther Wood Brady (one per family)
The Sign of the Beaver, by Elizabeth George Speare (one per family)
Justin Morgan Had a Horse, by Marguerite Henry (one per family)
By the Great Horn Spoon, by Sid Fleischman (one per family)
Harriet Tubman: Freedombound, by Janet & Geoff Benge (one per family)

Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1, 2nd Edition (one per family)

Pencils
Basic Colored Pencil Set
Basic Watercolor Set
Scissors
Glue Stick
Notebook
Folder
Nature Journal (spiral or hardcover with watercolor paper)
Copywork Notebook (lined for clear penmanship)
Narration Notebook (lined and blank notebook)
Grammar Lessons: Part 3 and Part 4, by A Delectable Education
Then Sings My Soul, by Robert J. Morgan (one per family)
The Book of Centuries
North American Indians, by Marie and Douglas Gorsline (one per family) 
American Indian Prayer Guide, by Danette Maloof (one per family)
A Child’s First Book of American History, by Earl Schenck Miers (one per family)
Bound for Oregon, by Jean Van Leeuwen (one per family)
Home Geography, by C.C. Long (one per family)
Minn of the Mississippi, by Holling C. Holling (one per family)
Nature Anatomy, by Julia Rothman (one per family)
Pilgrim Stories, by Margaret Pumphrey (one per family)
Prairie Neighbors, by Edith M. Patch and Caroll Lane Fenton (one per family)
Squirrels and Other Fur-Bearers, by John Burroughs (one per family)
Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison, by Lois Lenski (one per family) 
Tolliver’s Secret, by Esther Wood Brady (one per family)
The Sign of the Beaver, by Elizabeth George Speare (one per family)
Justin Morgan Had a Horse,
by Marguerite Henry (one per family)
By the Great Horn Spoon, by Sid Fleischman (one per family)
Harriet Tubman: Freedombound, by Janet & Geoff Benge (one per family)

Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 1, 2nd Edition (one per family)

Pencils
Basic Colored Pencil Set
Basic Watercolor Set
Scissors
Glue Stick
Notebook
Folder
Nature Journal (spiral or hardcover with watercolor paper)
Copywork Notebook (lined for clear penmanship)
Narration Notebook (lined and blank notebook)
Then Sings My Soul, by Robert J. Morgan (one per family)
The Book of Centuries
North American Indians, by Marie and Douglas Gorsline (one per family) 
American Indian Prayer Guide, by Danette Maloof (one per family)
A Child’s First Book of American History, by Earl Schenck Miers (one per family)
Bound for Oregon, by Jean Van Leeuwen (one per family)
Home Geography, by C.C. Long (one per family)
Minn of the Mississippi, by Holling C. Holling (one per family)
Nature Anatomy, by Julia Rothman (one per family)
Pilgrim Stories, by Margaret Pumphrey (one per family)
Prairie Neighbors, by Edith M. Patch and Caroll Lane Fenton (one per family)
Squirrels and Other Fur-Bearers, by John Burroughs (one per family)
Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison, by Lois Lenski (one per family) 
Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes (one per family)
The Sign of the Beaver, by Elizabeth George Speare (one per family)
By the Great Horn Spoon, by Sid Fleischman (one per family)
Justin Morgan Had a Horse, by Marguerite Henry (one per family)
Harriet Tubman: Freedombound, by Janet & Geoff Benge (one per family)
Science in the Age of Reason, by Dr. Jay Wile (one per family)

Pencils
Basic Colored Pencil Set
Basic Watercolor Set
Scissors
Glue Stick
Nottebook
Folder
Nature Journal (spiral or hardcover with watercolor paper)
Commonplace Book (hardcover, lined for clear penmanship)
Narration Notebook (lined and blank notebook)
Then Sings My Soul, by Robert J. Morgan (one per family)
The Book of Centuries
North American Indians, by Marie and Douglas Gorsline (one per family) 
American Indian Prayer Guide, by Danette Maloof (one per family)
A Child’s First Book of American History, by Earl Schenck Miers (one per family)
Bound for Oregon, by Jean Van Leeuwen (one per family)
Home Geography, by C.C. Long (one per family)
Minn of the Mississippi, by Holling C. Holling (one per family)
Nature Anatomy, by Julia Rothman (one per family)
Pilgrim Stories, by Margaret Pumphrey (one per family)
Prairie Neighbors, by Edith M. Patch and Caroll Lane Fenton (one per family)
Squirrels and Other Fur-Bearers, by John Burroughs (one per family)
Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison, by Lois Lenski (one per family) 
Johnny Tremain, by Esther Forbes (one per family)
The Sign of the Beaver, by Elizabeth George Speare (one per family)
Fever 1793, by Laurie Halse Anderson (one per family)
By the Great Horn Spoon, by Sid Fleischman (one per family)
Harriet Tubman: Freedombound, by Janet & Geoff Benge (one per family)
Science in the Age of Reason, by Dr. Jay Wile (one per family)

ALL WEATHER
Backpack
Water Bottle 
Extra Clothes
Orienteering Compass

SUNSHINE
Sunscreen
Bug Repellent
Hat (to protect from sun)
Sunglasses

RAIN
Tuffo Rain Suit or Frog Togg (two-piece rain gear) 
Rain Boots
Bug Repellent

SNOW
Winter Jacket
Snow Pants
Winter Hat
2 Pairs of Gloves (waterproof)
Neck Gater
Waterproof Winter Boots
Wool Socks
Base Layers – Long Johns

Academic Calendar

2024-2025

Open House
August 19, 2024 10-11am


Classes
September 11, 18, 25
October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
November 6, 13, 20
December 4

January 22, 29
February 5, 12, 19
March 5, 12, 19, 26
April 16, 23, 30

*Snow Make-Up Dates  – March 5 + May 7


Poetry Celebration
April 30


High School Science Extra Classes
December 11 + May 7


High School Graduation Ceremony
May 9, 2025

Still have questions?