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.

Beginning at 9am, 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 a variety of content including Geography, History, Literature, Science, 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 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 educator 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 in our modern day classroom. Her motto for students was

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

The Charlotte Mason approach to education 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 approach 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
2023-2024

9am-2pm
$875/year

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*Preschool is 9am-noon*
Literature Poetry + Storytime
Nature Nature Walks + Sensory Activities
Numbers Numbers 1-20
Letters Letter Names and Sounds

Geography Introduction to Geography
History Bible Stories
Literature Living Books + Nature Lore + Introduction to Copywork
Recitation Scripture + Poetry
Nature Nature Walks + Nature Journaling

Geography World + Missionary Study
History Modern World
Literature Living Books + Nature Lore
Spelling Copywork from Literature
Recitation Scripture + Poetry
Science Mammals around the World 
Nature Study Nature Walks + Nature Journaling

Geography World + Missionary Study
History Modern World 
Literature Living Books + Nature Lore
Spelling Copywork from Literature
Recitation Scripture + Poetry
Science Mammals around the World
Nature Study Nature Walks + Nature Journaling

Geography World + Missionary Study
History Modern World
Literature Living Books+ Nature Lore
Spelling Copywork from Literature
Grammar Introduction to Grammar
Recitation Scripture + Poetry
Science Mammals around the World
Nature Study Nature Walks + Nature Journaling

Geography World + Missionary Study
History Modern World
Literature Living Books + Nature Lore
Spelling Copywork from Literature
Grammar & Composition Grammar Lessons + Written Narration Prompts
Recitation Scripture + Poetry
Science Mammals around the World
Nature Study Nature Walks + Nature Journaling

Geography World + Missionary Study
History Modern World
Literature Living Books + Nature Lore
Recitation Scripture+ Poetry
Grammar & Composition Grammar Lessons + Written Narration Assignments/Feedback
Spelling Dictation from Literature
Science Mammals around the World
Nature Study Nature Walks + Nature Journaling

Geography World + Missionary Study
History Modern World
Literature Living Books + Nature Lore
Recitation Scripture+ Poetry
Grammar & Composition Grammar Lessons + Written Narration Assignments/Feedback
Spelling Dictation from Literature
Science Mammals around the World
Nature Study Nature Walks + Nature Journaling

Geography World + Missionary Study
History Modern World
Literature Living Books + Nature Lore + Commonplace Book
Grammar & Composition Grammar Lessons + Written Narration Assignments/Feedback
Recitation Scripture + Poetry
Science Earth Science + Great Inventors and their Inventions

Geography World + Missionary Study
History Modern World
Literature Living Books + Nature Lore + Commonplace Book
Grammar & Composition Grammar Lessons + Written Narration Assignments/Feedback
Recitation Scripture + Poetry
Science Earth Science + Great Inventors and their Inventions

Classes are a la carte. We have a social hall and volunteer opportunities between classes. If your student would like to participate in all Wednesday morning classes, the price is discounted to $600.



9-10am

[Option 1]
American Literature taught by Josh Greer $250
Literature discussion of The King’s Fifth, by Scott O’Dell, Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, and The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway. Includes corresponding poet study and recitation. 

[Option 2]
British Literature (10th-12th) taught by Ruth Brand $250
Literature discussion of Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens, and The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis. Includes corresponding poet study and recitation. 

[Option 3]
New Testament History (11th-12th) taught by Pastor Dave Geroux $250
An in-depth journey into the history and theology of the New Testament. We will trace its movements in four stages – starting in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and into the ends of the earth. 



10-11am

[Option 1]
American History taught by Matt Troast $250
American History Overview and Discussion 

[Option 2]
Modern World History taught by TBD $250
Renaissance through Modern World History Overview and Discussion 

[Option 3]
Creative Writing (10th-12th) taught by Ruth Brand $250
Students will engage in creative writing workshops. Weekly assignments will include a poetry, fiction, advertising, skits, blogs, journaling, and more

[Option 4]
Advanced Writing (11th-12th) taught by Josh Greer $250
Students will be assigned a variety of writing projects including Essays, Analytical Writing (Pilgrim’s Progress), a Cover Letter, a Business Plan, Creative Writing, and Research Writing. 



11am-Noon

[Option 1]
Grammar & Composition taught by Suzanne Erdmann $250
Grammar Lessons and Written Narration Assignments

[Option 2]
Research Writing (10th-12th) taught by Josh Greer $250
Students will study research papers and learn proper formatting to apply to their own research writing. 

[Option 3]
Modern World Literature (10th-12th) taught by Ruth Brand $250 
Literature discussion of Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, Night, by Elie Wiesel, and Russian short stories. Includes a corresponding poet study and recitation.

[Option 4]
Physics (10th-12th) taught by Kristen Cnossen 11-12:30pm $350 
Physics: The Study of Matter & Energy from a Christian Worldview
, by Dr. Dennis Englin



Lunch 12-12:30pm



12:30-2:00pm

[Option 1]
Anatomy & Physiology 
taught by Cristi Lin $350
Wonders of the Human Body 1,
by Dr. Tommy Mitchell
Wonders of the Human Body 2, by Dr. Tommy Mitchell

[Option 2]
Biology
taught by Kalyn DeYoung $350
Biology: The Study of Life from a Christian Worldview, by Dr. Dennis Englin $350

[Option 3]
Chemistry (10th-12th) 
taught by Kristen Cnossen $350
Discovering Design with Chemistry, by Dr. Jay Wile 

[Option 4]
Woodshop 1 (10th-12th) taught by David Gruber $350
Introduction to tools, cabinetry, joints, assembly, etc. Students will learn skills and build projects. 

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 (not grades until middle and high school), as it 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 $550/student includes 24 weeks of classes from 9am-noon. The K-8th grade enrollment rate of $875/student includes 24 weeks of classes from 9am-2pm.

High School classes are a la carte. High School classes are graded. The enrollment rate of $250/class includes 24 weeks of 1 hour classes. The enrollment rate of $350/class for Anatomy & Physiology, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics includes 28 weeks of 1.5 hour lab classes. 

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

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)

A Child’s Book of Poems, by Gyo Fujikawa
Semester 1: William Blake
Semester 2: Christina Rosetti

Pencils
Pencil Box
24 Crayons
Safety Scissors
Glue Stick
Ziplock bag with extra pants, underwear, socks
Outdoor Gear (coat, boots, etc.)

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, unlined sketchbook with watercolor paper)
Copywork Journal (wide lines for easy penmanship)
Now We are Six, by A.A. Milne
A Child’s Book of Poems, by Gyo Fujikawa
Seed Babies, by Margaret W. Morley
Old Mother West Wind, by Thornton Burgess

Pencils
Pencil Box
Basic Colored Pencil Set
Basic Watercolor Set
Scissors
Glue Stick
Nature Journal (hardcover, spiral, unlined, watercolor sketchbook)
Copywork Journal (wide lines for easy penmanship)
Narration Notebook (lined and blank notebook)
Globe (one per family)
Laminated World Map (one per family)
Usborne Children’s Picture Atlas (one per family)
Hero Tales, by Dave and Neta Jackson (one per family)
Wildlife Anatomy, by Julia Rothman (one per family) 
National Geographic Wild Animal Atlas (one per family)
The Bee People, by Margaret Warner Morley (one per family)
A Child’s Book of Poems, by Gyo Fujikawa (one per family)
Louis Braille,
by Margaret Davidson (one per family)
Shadrach, by Meindert DeJong (one per family)
Little Pear, by Eleanor Frances Lattimore (one per family)
Rickshaw Girl, by Mitali Perkins (one per family)

Pencils
Pencil Box
Basic Colored Pencil Set
Basic Watercolor Set
Scissors
Glue Stick
Nature Journal (hardcover, spiral, unlined, watercolor sketchbook)
Copywork Journal (wide lines for easy penmanship)
Narration Notebook (lined and blank notebook)
Globe (one per family)
Laminated World Map (one per family)
Usborne Children’s Picture Atlas (one per family)
Hero Tales, by Dave and Neta Jackson (one per family)
Wildlife Anatomy, by Julia Rothman (one per family) 
National Geographic Wild Animal Atlas (one per family)
The Bee People, by Margaret Warner Morley (one per family)
A Child’s Book of Poems, by Gyo Fujikawa (one per family)
Louis Braille,
by Margaret Davidson (one per family)
Shadrach, by Meindert DeJong (one per family)
Little Pear, by Eleanor Frances Lattimore (one per family)
Rickshaw Girl, by Mitali Perkins (one per family)

Pencils
Pencil Box
Basic Colored Pencil Set
Basic Watercolor Set
Scissors
Glue Stick
Nature Journal (hardcover, spiral, unlined, watercolor sketchbook)
Copywork/Dictation Journal (hardcover, lined for clear penmanship)
Narration Notebook (lined and blank notebook)
Globe (one per family)
Laminated World Map (one per family)
Children’s Atlas of God’s World, by Craig Froman (one per family)
Hero Tales, by Dave and Neta Jackson (one per family)
Wildlife Anatomy, by Julia Rothman (one per family)
Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 3 Textbook (one per family)
The Bee People,
by Margaret Warner Morley (one per family)
A Child’s Book of Poems, by Gyo Fujikawa (one per family)
Louis Braille,
by Margaret Davidson (one per family)
Shadrach, by Meindert DeJong (one per family)
Little Pear, by Eleanor Frances Lattimore (one per family)
Rickshaw Girl, by Mitali Perkins (one per family)

Pencils
Pencil Box
Basic Colored Pencil Set
Basic Watercolor Set
Scissors
Glue Stick
Nature Journal (hardcover, spiral, unlined, watercolor sketchbook)
Copywork/Dictation Journal (hardcover, lined for clear penmanship)
Narration Notebook (lined and blank notebook)
Globe (one per family)
Laminated World Map (one per family)
Children’s Atlas of God’s World, by Craig Froman (one per family)
Hero Tales, by Dave and Neta Jackson (one per family)
Wildlife Anatomy, by Julia Rothman (one per family)
Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 3 Textbook (one per family)
The Bee People,
by Margaret Warner Morley (one per family)
A Child’s Book of Poems, by Gyo Fujikawa (one per family)
Louis Braille,
by Margaret Davidson (one per family)
Shadrach, by Meindert DeJong (one per family)
Little Pear, by Eleanor Frances Lattimore (one per family)
Rickshaw Girl, by Mitali Perkins (one per family)

Pencils
Basic Colored Pencil Set
Basic Watercolor Set
Scissors
Glue Stick
Nature Journal (spiral, hardcover notebook with watercolor paper)
Copywork/Dictation Journal (hardcover, lined for clear penmanship)
Narration Notebook (lined and blank notebook)
Globe (one per family)
Laminated World Map (one per family)
Children’s Atlas of God’s World, by Craig Froman (one per family)
Hero Tales, by Dave and Neta Jackson (one per family)
The Book of Centuries
A Child’s History of the World, by V.M. Hillyer (one per family)
The Bible Smuggler, by Louise A. Vernon (one per family)
Star of Light, by Patricia St. John (one per family)
The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis (one per family)
Snow Treasure, by Marie McSwigan (one per family)
Wildlife Anatomy,
by Julia Rothman (one per family)
The Natural History Story Book, by Ethel Talbot (one per family)
Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 3 Textbook (one per family)

Pencils
Basic Colored Pencil Set
Basic Watercolor Set
Scissors
Glue Stick
Nature Journal (spiral, hardcover notebook with watercolor paper)
Copywork/Dictation Journal (hardcover, lined for clear penmanship)
Narration Notebook (lined and blank notebook)
Globe (one per family)
Laminated World Map (one per family)
Children’s Atlas of God’s World, by Craig Froman (one per family)
Hero Tales, by Dave and Neta Jackson (one per family)
The Book of Centuries
A Child’s History of the World, by V.M. Hillyer (one per family)
The Bible Smuggler, by Louise A. Vernon (one per family)
Star of Light, by Patricia St. John (one per family)
The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis (one per family)
Snow Treasure, by Marie McSwigan (one per family)
Wildlife Anatomy,
by Julia Rothman (one per family)
The Natural History Story Book, by Ethel Talbot (one per family)
Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 3 Textbook (one per family)

Pencils
Basic Colored Pencil Set
Basic Watercolor Set
Scissors
Glue Stick
Nature Journal (spiral, hardcover notebook with watercolor paper)
Commonplace Book (hardcover, lined for clear penmanship)
Narration Notebook (lined and blank notebook)
Globe (one per family)
Laminated World Map (one per family)
Hero Tales, by Dave and Neta Jackson (one per family)
The Book of Centuries
A Child’s History of the World, by V.M. Hillyer (one per family)
The Bible Smuggler, by Louise A. Vernon (one per family)
Star of Light, by Patricia St. John (one per family)
The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis (one per family)
The House of Sixty Fathers, by Meindert DeJong (one per family)
The Natural History Story Book, by Ethel Talbot (one per family)
Apologia Earth Science Textbook (one per family)
Great Inventors and their Inventions, by Frank P. Bachman (one per family)

Pencils
Basic Colored Pencil Set
Basic Watercolor Set
Scissors
Glue Stick
Nature Journal (spiral, hardcover notebook with watercolor paper)
Commonplace Book (hardcover, lined for clear penmanship)
Narration Notebook (lined and blank notebook)
Globe (one per family)
Laminated World Map (one per family)
Hero Tales, by Dave and Neta Jackson (one per family)
The Book of Centuries
A Child’s History of the World, by V.M. Hillyer (one per family)
The Bible Smuggler, by Louise A. Vernon (one per family)
Star of Light, by Patricia St. John (one per family)
The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis (one per family)
The House of Sixty Fathers, by Meindert DeJong (one per family)
The Natural History Story Book, by Ethel Talbot (one per family)
Apologia Earth Science Textbook (one per family)
Great Inventors and their Inventions, by Frank P. Bachman (one per family)

Masterbooks Biology Set, by Dr. Dennis Englin 
Lab Notebook (composition notebook used solely for lab experiments)
Lined notebook and folder (for taking notes and keeping assignments organized)
3X5 Notecards (for vocabulary words)
Notecard Organizer (for vocabulary words)
Black Pen, Pencil with Eraser

Discovering Design with Chemistry, by Dr. Jay Wile
Answer Key and Tests for Discovering Design with Chemistry
Lab Notebook (composition notebook used solely for lab experiments)
Lined notebook and folder (for taking notes and keeping assignments organized)
Black Pen, Pencil with Eraser
Lab Goggles
Calculator (does not need to be graphing)

Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan (Alan Vermilye edition)
Notebook

The King’s Fifth, by Scott O’Dell
Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain (unabridged)
Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott (unabridged)
The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway (unabridged)
Commonplace Book (hardcover, lined notebook)

Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare (unabridged)
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (unabridged)
Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens (unabridged)
The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis (unabridged)
Commonplace Book (hardcover, lined notebook)
*Optional: A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

Commonplace Book (hardcover, lined notebook)
Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes (translated by Burton Raffel) 
Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom
Night, by Elie Wiesel 

 

Hymn Study
Then Sings My Soul, by Robert J. Morgan

Poet Study
A Child’s Book of Poems, by Gyo Fujikawa

Nature Study
Nature Anatomy, by Julia Rothman
The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling
Smithsonian Natural History

World Geography
Passport to the World, by Craig Froman

Missionary Study
Cameron Townsend, by Janet and Geoff Benge
Amy Carmichael, by Janet and Geoff Benge 
Gladys Aylward, by Janet and Geoff Benge
David Livingstone, by Janet and Geoff Benge

Elementary Grammar
Simply Grammar, by Karen Andreola

Middle School Grammar
Simply Grammar, by Karen Andreola
Woe is I, Jr., by O’Conner

High School Grammar
The Elements of Style, by Strunk

Academic Calendar

2022-2023
2023-2024


Open House

Monday, August 22, 2022 from 10-11am



Classes
September 7, 14, 21, 28
October 5, 12, 19, 26
November 2, 9, 16, 30
January 25
February 1. 8, 15, 22
March 1, 15, 22, 29
April 12, 19, 26



Poetry Celebration and Ancient World Fair
April 26 from 2-3pm



High School Biology & Chemistry
May 3, 10, 17



High School Graduation Ceremony

May 11, 2023



Open House

August 21, 2023 10-11am 



Classes
September 6, 13, 20, 27
October 4, 11, 18, 25
November 1, 8, 15, 29
January 17, 24, 31
February 14, 21, 28
March 13, 20, 27
April 10, 17, 24



High School Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Physics
December 6, 13
May 1, 8 



World Fair & Poetry Celebration
April 24 @2pm



High School Graduation Ceremony

May 10 @ 7pm

Still have questions?