FAQ

FAQ's:

What ages do you teach?

LIFT Foundations: Our combined elementary and middle school group is currently accepting advanced 5-year-olds through 13-year-olds (in a "grade" setting, that is roughly K-8th grade). 

LIFT Pre-K Sibling Group: Our Pre-K groups accepts potty-trained siblings from LIFT families.  This group experiments and explores the world around them through hands-on science and art, literature, and nature exploration.  As they become ready, phonics or math is available if desired.

LIFT Core Elementary: Our Elementary group for Math and Language Arts accepts ages 5 - 11 year olds  (in a "grade" setting, roughly K - 5th grade).

LIFT Core Intermediate: Our Intermediate group for Math and Language Arts accepts ages 9 - 11 as they become ready to transition from elementary to middle school.

LIFT-UP Core Middle School: Our Core middle school group accepts 11 - 13-year-olds (in a "grade" setting, roughly 6th - 8th grade). 

LIFT HIGH: High School group for ages 14 & up (in a "grade" setting, roughly 9th - 12th).

Each group is taught together rather than being separated into grades. The exceptions to this are phonics and writing, when students are grouped where they will make the most progress, and math, which is self-paced.

Think about it as a one-room schoolhouse concept. The activities planned will allow all ages to participate, but younger and/or less advanced students will have more basic assignments, while those who are more advanced will complete more advanced assignments. However, each group will study the same science/history at the same time.  An exception to this is that high school will have 2-3 levels of science going on but all will be on the same history rotation.

And speaking of ages, what if your child is advanced or struggling?  We still place them with their peers because that is better for their emotional well being, however, we assign work at their level.  Your advanced 8 year old will be able to progress without being subjected to middle school conversations and your struggling teen will not be placed with the 'little kids".  

Note: We may have a slightly different grouping, depending on enrolled students' needs.  For example, when there are quite a few 11 and 12 year olds, we could have an upper elementary/middle school group and let the 13 year olds join with an older group.  The beauty of having a schoolhouse is that we can meet the needs of students as individuals!

What is the student to teacher ratio?

LIFT Foundation and Core: A maximum of 6:1.

LIFT-UP: A maximum of 8:1

LIFT HIGH :  A maximum of 8:1

Our school is meant to remain a small community.  The plan is that each group have a small number of students to maintain our unique environment for learning.

What subjects are covered at LIFT?

LIFT Foundation units integrate many subjects into one topic. Though a particular unit or topic may be science-heavy and another history-heavy, over the course of a year a full range of subjects will be covered. In addition to science and history, these subjects include Bible, Character, Literature, Language Arts/Writing/Grammar (for mid-elementary - middle school), Practical Living, Critical Thinking, Music, Arts/Crafts, Drama/Speech, Geography, Social Studies, and Health/Safety. All you need to add is math, spelling, and phonics (if your child isn't yet reading and writing).

LIFT Core students will be immersed in math and literature as well as learning to read, spell, write, and more as they advance.  Varying electives such as PE, Spanish, art, music, and sign language are also part of their day.  

LIFT-UP Middle School options are Science, Math, and our World Cultures course which incorporates History, Geography, Grammar, Writing, Literature, Study Skills, Critical Thinking/Logic, Research and Presentation Skills.

LIFT HIGH: High School available options are Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math Lab, and/or a combined History/Geography/Literature/Writing and varying electives. Some of these are available year round and others are based on enrollment.  Science classes need a minimum of 3 students, Math Lab is available by appointment to individual students.  We also have the option of participating in the Starting Points, a World View Studies course taught by Mark Woolsey.  This course is available to LIFT UP and LIFT HIGH students although it is separate from LIFT, it is held in the same building.  This is a college prep course that covers all subjects other than Math and Science.

What topics/units are covered?

Over an eight-year "career," LIFT Foundation students will cover units such as Light, Weather, Senses, Systems of the Body, World Explorers, Sailing/Navigation, Kings & Queens/Middle Ages (including a Medieval Feast!), Solar System, Settlers/Colonists, American Revolution, U.S. Government/Electoral Process, Geology, Botany, Birds, Animals, Flight/Airplanes, States & Regions of the U.S., Olympics, Great Feats & Expeditions, Inventors & Inventions, American Frontier, Texas History, Electricity, Industrial Revolution, Africa, Russia, and more!  

LIFT Core subjects teach all you would expect for for elementary through middle school in math and language arts.  As students learn to read on their own, literature and writing become a larger part of their education. Additionally, literature is used as a basis for spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and even some science, history, geography, story-telling, music, and art.

LIFT-UP student's middle school "career" has a 3-year cycle for science and history which includes, but is not limited to,  study of world cultures, history, geography, literature, writing, grammar, earth science and physical science. We also have math lab where we focus on preparing for or starting upper math.

LIFT HIGH:

LIFT HIGH students will be able to participate in the typical courses for high school.  Biology, Chemistry, Algebra, etc will be available as well Math Lab, History & Geography, Literature & Writing, Speech, Government, Art, Music, PE, Drama, and other electives spread over 4 years as appropriate for each student.  


How do you incorporate different subjects into one topic?

LIFT Foundations

Instead of isolated subjects, kids become wholly immersed in a theme. It’s meaningful, because all the subjects fit together. For example, In the Senses unit, children learn, among other things, about the eye and the ear.  They may learn from literature that the eye is the window to the heart (philosophy), do many science experiments like dissecting a cow’s eyeball (science), read poetry and idioms related to the eye (language/literature), and use eyes to sketch and paint (art/crafts).  The teacher or an older child reads aloud biographies of Helen Keller and Louis Braille (reading/history). Older children write reports on the causes of blindness (health/safety and writing) and create a large ear "model" which the younger children crawl through. All students practice sign language and punch up Braille messages.

LIFT Elementary Core

While Math and Phonics skills build upon themselves rather than being part of unit, we do relate concepts to the "real" world and personal experience wherever connections can logically be made. For example, with a younger student snack may include cutting our food into "fractions" to go with fractions math lesson.  An older student may have a "store" and keep track of sales and purchases to cement the use of all their arithmetic skills such as adding and subtracting, multiplying and dividing, fractions, decimals, and percents.  Reading aloud from literature and tying in history, science, art, and music is also a way we relate our schoolwork to the world around us.

LIFT-UP Middle School Core

In middle school, we continue our model of using themes for science and history to keep studies relevant to students.  As an example, when we study a country (geography, history)', students will read and analyze the biography of a citizen of that country (language, literature, writing), study their religions and government (worldview, civics) make food (practical skills), complete projects (art/music/presentation skills), and study their climate (science). While we learn Spanish, we also learn about the culture of countries whose primary language is Spanish with art, music, food, and stories from the culture.  During Math Lab, we incorporate math with its use in everyday life (practical skills), learn tricks with numbers (logic/critical thinking), and find math in other subjects such as architecture, drawing, and science.

LIFT HIGH:

We continue to incorporate writing, research, presentations, projects, and literature with our chronological history course.  Science and math will be specialized as typical for high school.  Our interactive style will remain the same, although we will use a variety of media, textbooks, labs forms, short lectures, discussions and more to practice skills for those that may go on to college.  We will also build up stamina with longer reading assignments in addition to our usual hands-on and project based methods so students have some experience with reading that style of writing. 

Is there homework?

LIFT:

Foundations:

Because we desire to take much of the planning and teaching time off of homeschooling parents, we don't require much to be done at home between class days. However, each week there will be an at-home reading, research, or activity assignment (depending upon the age of the student) that will enhance both your child's experience and the experience of the group. We will also post on our website or email each week's outline of what was covered during the day so that you will be able to discuss the topic with your child.

Core:

We do the bulk of our lessons in class but there is some practice to be done at home. 

Before Chapter books/Math Level A-B:    Depending on the phonics curriculum you use, homework may include reading, being read to,  filling out a short worksheet, playing a game, or even singing a song.  Expect to spend around 15 - 20 minutes per day, maybe at bedtime or after a meal, a couple of days per week playing math card games or listening to them read their leveled reader.  Just as important is for them to be read to!  We will suggest books or audiobooks for you to use during the year as well.  Our math card games are similar to war, concentration, or fish. 

Chapter Books/Math level C-E:  Again, depending on language arts curriculum choice, older students will have longer reading assignments, some pages of language arts to complete at home and, while still using math games for practice, they may also have a worksheet or review sheet to complete  in between our in class lessons.  Expect to spend more time on homework, about 30 - 60 minutes per week, depending on reading level and speed.  

Advanced Students: Since students can progress at their pace within their age group, some elementary aged students may be completing middle school level work.  It is at the parents' discretion if you would like them to have middle school amounts of homework.  In other words, just because your 9 year old is reading at a middle or high school level doesn't mean they need to have 2 hours of homework but if they are ready for that, we can make it happen!

LIFT-UP Core:

Middle school students will have some homework every week. At a minimum, there will be reading, writing, grammar, and research projects assigned and completion would take 1-2 hours 2-3 days per week.   

If participating in math, they will have homework if you have chosen the style of curricula that provides worksheets. Those choosing the Lab Only option will not have homework for math unless you choose to use online games and activities from our Homework page.   

Those choosing the Optional Literature Packs, will also have another 2-3 hours per week of homework to complete reading assignments and accompanying worksheets.

These are estimates as some students may take longer if they tend to take more time with reading, need help with math, or get really into their research!  We help them with planning their time and teach them how to use their agenda or other methods to keep track of assignments.

LIFT HIGH:

High school homework will likely be 1 - 3 hours per subject, per week, in addition to our class time. Since we are still in the planning stages, this is an estimate, but expect to spend 3 hours per day 3 days per week outside of class time to complete homework if enrolled in all of our subjects.  Of course, each student is different so some may finish more quickly and others may take longer.  We will help them plan their time to take advantage of Study Group and Math Lab time at LIFT as well as learning how to gauge the amount of time needed at home to complete homework. Each student has an agenda or other method for keeping track of and planning time for school work.  

How about tests and grades?

In LIFT Foundations, we focus on instilling in your children a love of learning rather than just an acquisition of facts common to the "tell and regurgitate" method used in traditional classrooms. We want education to be a part of their lives as they open their brains to new ideas and make lifelong connections. To this end, we do not give tests nor do we assign grades; however, we will provide oral evaluations to parents concerning areas where their children may need further focus or practice. Children are given opportunities to show their knowledge and understanding of a topic through activities such as oral reports, dramatization, writing, and student-led projects.

Rather than testing or grades, LIFT Core classes have regular reviews to check understanding and retention.  Our small groups and teacher to student ratio allows personal observations and interactions to take the place of traditional methods.  We do provide oral evaluations to parents concerning areas where their child may need further focus or practice when needed or requested.

LIFT-UP Core:

We use discussion, review games, and review sheets to monitor student's progress rather than tests. The small student to teacher ratio allows us to see how much a student has retained and whether or not they are understanding concepts.  That being said, kids this age do like to know how they are doing so we offer opportunities for them to be challenged either in a written form or in the form of competitive games.  For example, to review science vocabulary, we might use index cards with words and definitions to challenge each other in concentration or form teams and compete to see which team knows the most correct answers from our history unit.  We do sometimes use tests in grammar and math to see how much students are retaining and so they can see their progress.

LIFT HIGH:

We will continue to use review games and discussion time to evaluate student's retention and understanding in class but will also use quizzes and tests in some subjects such as science and math.  Presentations, essays, and reports are graded for the benefit of the student in receiving feedback to make improvements.  Report cards or transcript help available upon request.


Do I need to purchase any books or supplies?

LIFT does not have required supply lists or curriculum lists.  Our goal is to provide a service to support your homeschool.  With that in mind, we collect fees and complete purchases rather than requiring you to purchase a list of items, curriculum, literature, or presentation materials.  Once we collect fees and start the semester, no additional fees or purchases will be asked of you, with the exception of Core math and reading students as those subjects are self-paced and students may complete more than one level per semester or year.


LIFT Foundation:  Your supply fee includes basic school supplies (paper, pencils, markers, index cards, glue sticks, etc.) along with most supplies for activities, projects, and dissections. We also use paper towels and kleenex as well as a few cleaning supplies that are also factored into the supply fee. When presentations require poster board or stand up boards, we provide these although students may need to print or draw pictures at home.  We also provide snack and a drinking fountain is available for water. Often, common recyclable items such as cans and boxes are needed. When we need multiples of these types of items, we will ask for your recycling donations. We may also ask for donations (or loans) of costumes for our drama activities. Costume items need not be fancy or expensive; we are simply looking for items that might be in a child's dress-up box: shirts (large or adult-size), skirts, bathrobes, belts, scarves, hats, large remnants of fabric, etc. With our own kids, we used our old clothing or purchased pieces cheaply from secondhand shops. No book or curriculum purchases are required. If we wish for each child to have the same book to read from, we will include that in the supply fee; otherwise, we use books from our home and public library. Any at-home work we assign can be completed by using library books, the internet, and/or your child's creativity!

LIFT Core:  Your supply & book fee includes basic school supplies (paper, pencils, markers, index cards, glue sticks, etc.) along with shared curricula & supplies, such as math manipulative sets, educational building sets, videos, reference materials, memberships, PE equipment, Art Class supplies , literature used in class and related project materials.

LIFT-UP: Your supply fee includes basic school supplies such as binders, dividers, pencils, paper, and index cards, along with most supplies for dissections, experiments, projects, and activities.  Students take turns bringing snack to share and they are welcome to bring extra for themselves anytime.   We may ask for donations from your recycling bin such as 2-ltr bottles or shoebox if a project calls for these.  We also have occasional activities that may require costume supplies that you can either gather around the house or find in a thrift shop. Books that we use regularly for history, language arts, and science are provided although library books or internet may be needed for research assignments.  Although we provide a Math Lab that includes manipulatives, games, and tutoring, a math curriculum is not provided within the supply fee.  If you would like to purchase the math curriculum that we recommend, please let us know upon registering so we can give you placement and pricing information.  Study Group has a small supply fee to provide internet, research materials, and some supplies not provided in regular classes.

LIFT HIGH:

Supply and book fees will cover most things and anything outside of that will be communicated in advance.  We will continue to provide basic supplies such as binders, notebook paper, and pencils. You may need to purchase materials for projects at your discretion as well as anything additional for optional electives.  The supply fee will be significantly higher than lower levels as the lab materials and books are more costly, however, we will continue to keep our costs reasonable while still providing quality learning experiences for your student.

NOTE:  We respect copyrights and only share or copy materials that are allowed under  copyright. 


Can you tell me about the "assessments"?

This is a relaxed, informal assessment which can save us weeks of trial and error during the semester. Assessments will be scheduled at registration and will be held during the summer months before school begins. No diagnoses or testing is done, we are simply confirming that certain areas of study and types of materials are necessary and a good fit.  In elementary, we are mainly looking for reading and math experience and use games and time to "show-off" or share about their main interests so it is also helps new students get comfortable  prior to starting classes. In middle school, we are looking for math experience, writing and grammar experience, and learning style. In high school, it's more or less an interview about what helps them learn best, what they've already done and how we can help make sure their transcript is ready for future plans. We can make this as informal and stress free as needed, most kids enjoy talking about themselves and are comfortable in our kid-friendly setting.   

Note: Many parents are looking for a place to bring their child with special needs or situations.  While we are willing to look into each situation on an individual basis, our setting is for independent learners so those requiring a helper will be responsible for the cost of providing one. LIFT has the final decision in determining whether child requires a helper and approval of the helper chosen. Special needs students may also require specialized curriculum, materials, and tutoring not covered within our scope and sequence and would be the parents’ responsibility to provide.  We reserve the right to refuse a student that cannot be provided for within our resources as we want the best situation for all of our students.

What days do you meet?

LIFT:
Our Foundations group meets on Wednesdays.
They also have the option of attending on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays for Core classes,  Homework Helpers, Spanish, and/or Math Class or Math Lab.

Our Core elementary group meets on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays.

LIFT-UP:
Middle School meets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.


LIFT HIGH:
High school attendance is 1, 2, or 3 days per week and is available on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Amount of time in the building depends on courses taken and amount of time student prefers to be at the building.  A minimum of once per week, with a scheduled weekly check-in is an option, as is using our Lab and Study Hall with resources every day we are open.

How many days a week do you meet?

LIFT Foundation classes are held once per week, on Wednesdays.

LIFT Core classes are held thrice per week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. You have the option of attending 2 or 3 days per week.

LIFT UP classes are held thrice per week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays with the option of 2 or 3 days per week.

LIFT HIGH is available 3 days per week, with a minimum of 1 day per week but offers flexibility for your specific needs.

What is a sample daily schedule for each group?

Elementary Core Daily Routine
Middle School Core Daily Routine
High School Core
Suggested Routine
Elementary & Middle School Foundations
Wednesdays
High School A la Carte
Morning:
Math
Phonics/Spelling
Literature & Grammar
Lessons & Concept Reinforcement Activities
Morning:
Math
Creative Expression
Writing
Grammar
Lessons & Concept Reinforcement Activities
Morning:
Math for 60-90 Min

Science or History Reading
Morning:
Leveled Groups for:
Writing
Grammar


A: Choose the day you will be at the building for accountability check in.
Afternoon:
Critical Thinking
Dictionary Skills
Language and Logic Games
Morning or Afternoon:
Language Arts Games & Activities
Science Labs

Afternoon:
Rotate through History, Literature, Writing, and Science Assignments each day

Lunch
Science Video
Recess
PE
B: Join the group for Science or History on a specific day of the week.
Afternoon Additional Rotation:
Science
Sign Language
Art
Afternoon Rotation:
World Cultures Projects
World Geography
Science Labs
At Home:
Complete further research, memorization, reading, writing, or projects as needed.
Afternoon Rotation:
Hands-on Activities
Discovery Learning
Group Activities
Cooperative Projects
Presentations
C: Math takes place every morning for 60-90 minutes





While this is not an exhaustive list of our activities, it gives you an idea of how we plan our days to include lessons for multiple subjects with multiple approaches to each subject area.

MORE ABOUT FOUNDATIONS:

coming soon!

MORE ABOUT CORE ELEMENTARY:

coming soon!


MORE ABOUT CORE MIDDLE SCHOOL:

In our LIFT UP Core group, middle school students master math concepts, interact with the world through in science lab, expand their horizons studying world cultures, and learn to effectively share their voice and individual understanding through writing and presentations. Subjects we cover in depth are Math, Science, World Cultures, and Language Arts. To bring relevance to our learning process, we incorporate our writing, literature, grammar, art projects, research, and presentations into our World Cultures study.  Writing is practiced in multiple ways, with a new assignment each week.  Our Science is lab-based with optional literature packs to read and take notes on at home.  Students can bring their own math if you have a curricula that you are already using successfully or you may choose to use our curricula with us.  Either way, your student will have someone to help them if they have a question and they will have access to our reinforcement materials and activities, such as Fact of the Day, card games, and skills practice.   In addition, we also have many education games and activities for geography and language arts so students can master their studies in engaging and memorable ways.  We also teach students how to use their planner and individual study skills to maintain ownership and responsibility over their studies, preparing them for high school and beyond.


MORE ABOUT CORE HIGH SCHOOL:

coming soon!



Ready for us to LIFT you up?  Have further questions?  Would like to schedule a visit?
Please call/text 817-994-7147 or email us at lifthomeschooltx@gmail.com.