By teaching the building blocks of English, students are given the tools to truly make sense of the language, and to gain mastery of it. Our spelling program encourages reading fluency by combining phonics, the parts of speech and spelling. Beginning with oral retelling, sentence dictation, and story telling, children learn to write proper sentences, and eventually to write a simple essay. Students also regularly practice memory work and recitation. Elementary students are taught and use cursive handwriting.
Our Lady of the Wayside uses the Saxon Math program, which thoroughly teaches the grammar of math. This program encourages mental math and memorization of math facts, improving logic and memory. Games and manipulatives are used to enrich learning. In the younger years, use of calculators is avoided.
Students from Kindergarten through Grade 12 learn Latin at Wayside – and for good reason! Latin is not only the mother language of French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian; it is also the root of countless English words. Younger children learn simple vocabulary words through stories, songs, games and drawing. In later grades, students use Latin grammar, read classical texts, and converse in Latin.
Through a spiral approach to the great eras (Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Modern) students discover the timeline of the past. By revisiting these eras, primarily through stories they build an increasingly complex understanding of the events, figures and literature upon which our current world rests.
Hands on discovery of living specimens, nature journaling and experimentation expose the students to the natural wonders of our region and the science of biology. Older students are introduced to the basic concepts of physics and chemistry, the historical evolution of each, as well as the Scientific Method.
Through stories, puzzles, chants and maps, students learn the seven continents, the oceans, the countries and the major landforms of the world, eventually learning to map the world by heart. Geography and culture are often studied in association with the history and literature of an era being studied, so as to bring unity to a student’s learning.
Instruction in the Catholic Faith takes place at each grade level. Its aim is to give a systematic and complete formation in Christian Doctrine that promotes the dynamic living of the Catholic Faith in its fullness. A rich sacramental life, daily prayer, lives of the Saints, celebration of the liturgical calendar and our virtue program help make this instruction tangible and real. A Catholic vision of the human person and the world as well as cross-curricular learning make faith learning something that is not only added as a formal class but something that permeates the learning and the lives of students.
The study of music holds a very prominent and special place at Our Lady of the Wayside. We have a school-wide choir, which sings Sacred Music in 2, 3 and 4 part harmony.
Our Lady of the Wayside’s art classes look to the great masters of the past. By studying their lives and the times they lived in, students gain a better appreciation of their works; moreover, students study and mimic their techniques and style. Drawing and sketching skills are also practiced in their other subjects.