Frequently Asked Questions
What are school hours and where is the school located?
MCA meets on Monday and Thursday. The MCA campus opens for drop off at 7:50. Classes end at 3:30 pm.
MCA classes are held at Silver Springs Baptist Church, located at 29820 Dobbin-Huffsmith Rd. Magnolia, TX 77354.
What do classes look like?
Our Monday and Thursday school days are meant to be a time of meaningful reinforcement and assessment. This could mean a hands-on activity that reinforces what was learned at home, or a lecture, discussion, debate, skit, or writing assignment. These are all used to reinforce or add depth to the learning that was done at home. There may be quizzes or testing during class time as well. The four learning styles are implemented into each class period to appeal to all styles of learning.
The pace and format of the on-campus classroom time is tailored to each grade level. Class time combines listening with movement and activities to keep students engaged and learning. Classroom activities can include the following: direct instruction from the teacher, discussing lessons or recent reading, making student presentations, students working example problems on the whiteboard, singing songs, reading groups, working on projects, repeating chants and mnemonics, students reciting their memory work, participating in a question-and-answer time, praying, writing, taking tests and assessments, playing learning games, working with math manipulative pieces, and completing assignments under the guidance of the teacher.
Other things that happen on school days influence the community we are trying to build. This may look different on different days, but if you visited MCA you might see baby chicks in a classroom, or Elvis up on stage as we study the 1950’s. It could mean an Egyptian Feast with crawl-though tunnels or mummified chickens, a Roaring Twenties Thanksgiving Feast, a Renaissance art studio, or a Teddy Roosevelt museum. It could be a guest speaker lecturing on the Cold War, or a group of high school students having a Fireman’s Breakfast in support of the book they just finished.
The most important thing to note is that we are building a community. This is something that is important to us at MCA – we are very intentionally trying to create a learning community, focused around a Christian world view, and the study of the classics. A learning community is a bit more than a school. We are aiming to be a place where families help each other to educate and train their kids, where relationship-building is encouraged, where learning is more cooperative than competitive, and where we build more than just knowledge – we build community, and have fun together.
Our staff works very hard to put together lesson plans that are challenging, and meaningful, and creative in ways that allow the students to experience these subjects with all of their senses. This passionate team that is our staff is committed to helping your students learn, and to help build community.
How is MCA’s curriculum organized?
MCA curriculum is organized into 4 historical segments:
- Year 1: Ancient World through the fall of Rome
- Year 2: Middle Ages through the New World
- Year 3: American Colonies through the Civil War
- Year 4: Civil War to present
At MCA, most of the curriculum follows this core. History, composition, fine arts, geography and literature is organized around the chronological history of the world. Students in all grades study the same slice of history, and the reading and assignments will reflect that time period. Students will study curriculum appropriate for their grade level. For example, younger students may read a grade-school level book about the famous people of Rome, while the high school students will be reading the actual works of Roman authors like Cicero.
The cycle repeats after four years, and each time the students’ understanding of the material, the context, and the importance of the history and literature will deepen. By studying history in a consistent, broad flow, and studying literature as it appears in that flow, both history and literature really come alive. The great classical works of literature make much more sense when they are seen in the context of the historical era that created them. And history makes more sense when it is seen through the eyes of the writers of the great classics. Learning in one area, such as history, is reinforced by learning in literature.
Another advantage of this system is that all of the students, no matter what grade, are studying the same time period in their classes. If your family has kids in multiple levels, they will all be looking at the same historical era, and some of the same works of literature, at age-appropriate levels. This way, families are all on the “same page” of history. Projects and celebration days (like the Roman feast or the 1950’s Sock Hop) can be shared by everyone from Kindergarten through high school.
What is the role of the parent when teaching at home?
Parents assume the role of “co-teacher” for the younger grades. The on-campus teacher introduces new concepts in class, and prepares detailed plans and a checklist for each subject that parents use at home with their student. In the older grades, as students begin to work more independently, parents transition to the role of course monitor. We do not expect parents to master and teach the more advanced material in the upper grades. MCA provides extensive course material and resources for the advanced subjects, and the lessons are taught by the on-campus MCA teachers.
What is the amount of time spent at home on MCA assignments?
The amount of time spent on lessons at home on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday (satellite days) varies and depends on many factors, including family size, student age and maturity, learning style and speed, and family dynamics. For the satellite day work load, we provide the following as a rough estimate:
Kindergarten: 1.0 to 2.0 hours per satellite day
Lower Grammar: 1.5 to 3.0 hours per satellite day
Middle Grammar: 2.5 to to 4.0 hours per satellite day
Upper Grammar: 4.0 to 6.0 hours per satellite day
Dialectic students: 5.0 to 6.0 hours per satellite day
It is important to remember that there is no evening homework assigned. Most families complete the at-home assignments during the daytime, eliminating late nights and opening up time for families to spend time together.
However, exactly when a student completes the assignments is up to the family. If a family has other commitments during the daytime hours of a satellite day, then they may choose to work around these time frames. Each assignment does have a due date on which the student will turn in the assignment at MCA to the teacher who assigned the work.
Does each grade have one teacher that teaches all subjects or do the kids rotate between teachers?
Teachers teach what they are passionate and trained or certified to teach. No teacher teaches all subjects at MCA. Different teachers rotate into the younger classrooms to teach their subjects. Older students rotate around the building.
All MCA teachers receive instruction in classical teaching methods, both during the summer and during the school year. The majority of our teachers come to MCA with some experience in Classical instruction, content, and methods. All teachers must agree with the MCA Statement of Faith and the MCA Core Values and Philosophy of Education.
What exactly is meant by “parental involvement” at MCA?
The primary way that parents are involved is facilitating student’s at-home learning on the satellite days. We also expect parents to be available for volunteer opportunities. We require one parent per student per year to volunteer at a MCA event. These events may include field trips, Chick-fil-A lunch days, Christmas parties, or serving as “Room Parent.” We welcome and encourage the involvement of our parents!
What is the cost of books?
Books are not included in the cost of tuition. At MCA, the teaching teams attempt to keep the cost of books as low as possible. Often, one book can be shared between family members. The cost of books varies by grade. Also, some books and resources are purchased once and then used for several years, so the first year cost will be higher than subsequent years. The cost of books can range between $300 and $600 per student. For families with multiple children, some books and resources can be reused with their younger children.
What is the cost of tuition?
Tuition is $3,000-3,300 per year. This does not include application, supply and facility fees.