Selecting Core Classes (Math, Science, etc.)

Why does LOL offer multi-age classes such as 3/4 and 6/7?

Our core classes are called 3/4, 5/6 and so on because these classes should be taken for both grades. Multi-age classrooms create a family-type, cooperative atmosphere, allowing students to feel more confident, take more risks, explore more options and identify their own gifts. In multi-age classes, students have opportunities to participate as mentors/leaders to younger students as well as to receive encouragement/guidance from older students. In addition, there is a consistency that facilitates growth. Students don’t have to adapt to a new teacher and new expectations every year.

My child will be in 4th grade this fall and I see that there are two options—3/4 and 4/5—to choose from. What level classes should we select?

Either 3/4 or 4/5 classes will be fine. If your child is in a 3/4 class this year as a 3rd grader and doing well, then it would be best to choose a 3/4 class for the upcoming year so your child can participate in the class as a leader on a 4th grade level. There are many advantages to having multiple level classes; to fully benefit from the experience, the class should be taken for two years. If your child is working on a more advanced level and was not challenged sufficiently this year, then it may be best to sign up for the 4/5 level class.

Will the same topics/material be covered both years in the multi-age classroom?

No. Students in a multi-age core class for two years will not repeat topics. They will be revisiting concepts the second year, but at a more advanced level—enabling students to learn new skills and hone old ones. Language arts classes will not repeat books over the two-year cycle. Students in the math classes will be working at the level that best meets their ability. Science and history classes are on a topic rotation cycle as shown below. Our multi-age classes enable students to be challenged at their own level—through instruction and homework assignments that take into account their abilities and interests.

Core Class Topics:

Hands-On Science and Advanced Hands-on Science:

Topics for Hands-On Science and Advanced Hands-on Science classes are selected with reference to the Core Knowledge Sequence. The topics are rotated each year to give students in the program for several years an in-depth exposure to a variety of science topics, as well as opportunities to delve more deeply into more advanced concepts as they get older. Our topic rotation follows.

  1. Human Body Systems, Weather, Electricity & Magnetism, Animal Kingdom
  2. Chemistry, Earth Materials and Processes, Simple Machines/Newton's Laws, Insects
  3. Astronomy, Light & Sound, Microbiology (Bacteria, Protists, Fungi), Plants, Reptiles/Amphibians


History topics are on a four-year rotation. This rotation ensures that students enrolled in LOL on a long-term basis will cover a wide variety of historical periods as well as repeat topics— allowing students to delve more deeply into more advanced concepts as they get older. Our topic rotation follows.

  1. Early American History
  2. Modern World and American History
  3. Ancient World History
  4. Middle Ages and Renaissance History

High School Level Classes:

It is expected that the following high school level classes will be taken for multiple years: Literature and Writing 14+, Advanced Writing and Literature. Science and math classes are multi-age classes and meant to be taken for one year only. Please refer to the science and math sections on the website for the order and prerequisites for these classes.

History classes follow the rotation cycle outlined above. In addition, the following classes count as a credit for history/social sciences: American Government and Civics, Art History (1/2 credit), Big Ideas of Philosophy, Peace Jam Ambassadors, Psychology, and World Religions (1/2 credit).

Example of 4-year schedule of core classes:

Freshman year:

  • Literature and Writing 14+
  • Algebra I or Geometry (must have completed Algebra I to take Geometry)
  • 19th Century American History 14+
  • Intro. to Physical Science (can be taken in 8th grade year for those who have had Algebra I)
  • Sophomore Year:

  • Literature and Writing 14+
  • Geometry or Algebra II
  • 20th Century American and World History
  • Biology
  • Junior Year:

  • Literature and Writing 14+ or Advanced Literature and Writing
  • Algebra II or Pre-Calculus
  • Ancient World History
  • Chemistry
  • Senior Year:

  • Advanced Literature and Writing
  • Pre-Calculus or Calculus (or elective of main interest if not interested in a science or math related field)
  • Medieval & Renaissance Europe
  • Physics, Anatomy & Physiology, Marine Biology, Genetics, Intro. to Engineering Concepts