First-Sixth Grades

In recent years there has been a strong trend, in public and private education, to teach only Common Core Standards. El Rancho School believes that a blend of academics which includes Common Core Standards, and the humanities is necessary for a complete education. Geography and history are an integral part of the curricula. Our music and art classes bring joy and creative expression into our students’ lives and often have an energizing effect on their approach to other subjects. Intramural sports are fun, develop team-building skills and promote sportsmanship. At El Rancho School students enjoy the benefits of a balanced education.

Reading and writing:

Reading and writing are the most important subjects taught in school. Therefore, the heaviest emphasis is placed on these subjects. The phonics method of instruction is used.

Each classroom has at least three levels of reading instruction. Reading groups meet at least 4 times per week. In kindergarten and first grade, each child reads their story to the teacher before it goes home to be read to the parent that night. The next day the child reads the story again to the teacher and then gets a new story to read.

By utilizing the parent as a second teacher, the child quickly develops fluency and speed. It also sends a powerful message: my mom and dad think my reading is so important that they make time to listen to me read every day!



Math computation, procedures and problem-solving are important life skills. Direct teaching lessons are supplemented with computer games, partner games, card games and dozens of other fun methods to develop mastery of math concepts. It also helps make math more fun!

Social Studies and Science:

Social studies and science are taught each week. Field trips link units of study to site visits and aid understanding and long-term memory.

Science Lab:

A complete science lab, with six instrument-quality microscopes, allow teachers to make science more exciting by doing experiments! Using technology to broaden student understanding of concepts make lessons more interesting.


Penmanship must be taught properly and carefully monitored in the elementary school years because adults write the way they learned in elementary school. El Rancho teachers work individually with students to help them develop proper penmanship. They do not accept papers which demonstrate poor effort and/or sloppy work. Thus, students develop the habit of writing carefully.


Art lessons are incorporated into the El Rancho School curricula. They include instruction in drawing and painting, decorative art, and art appreciation. Since creativity is linked to feelings, recorded music often accompanies art lessons.

Computer Literacy:

All classrooms have state-of-the-art computers in the classroom. Students develop skills with their teacher and apply them in their own assignments. Students are taught keyboarding skills, formatting documents in Microsoft Word and Excel, how to navigate using a variety of operating systems Windows 8, and how to conduct research for a report. Students in third through fifth grade use their classroom computers to access information through the internet via DSL lines. El Rancho students have been submitting poems and tall tales to the Scholastic Network for publication for years. It’s been thrilling for our students to get E-mail from kids all around the world, complimenting them on their poems or stories. In addition, the teachers use a 46″ teaching monitor, and students can also use their tablets and laptops.
Spanish, Physical Education, and Music are taught once or twice by specialized teachers.

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