Pathways is a comprehensive elementary reading program with integrated language arts. This approach allows students to follow a variety of avenues to become readers, writers, and learners. Organized around broad themes and a scope and sequence of skills, Pathways uses award-winning trade books that children want to read to deliver the skills that they need.
The program is based upon the belief that students should not only learn how to read, but also acquire the desire to read, write, and learn. Pathways provides all students with the opportunity to become passionate learners, readers, and writers and the curriculum includes components and activities that address ten key principles:
Nine cross-curricular themes provide the framework for the Pathways program:
As students move from one stage of development to the next, Pathways literature features heroes who overcome insurmountable odds. Stories feature all types of heroes who face challenges ranging from the physical to defending beliefs to social injustices. Students are led to recognize God’s power and love in these stories as well as in their own lives.
My World and Others
Students experience how people live in different cultures and political settings. They gain insight from historical and contemporary perspectives about how people live in different geographical regions and how culture affects human lives. Students will celebrate not only the differences among cultures, but also the many similarities that make up God’s family.
Selections in this theme stress the interrelationship between people and their environment. The literature deals with the survival of people in nature and the exploration of God’s world. Students also study ways to appreciate and protect the environment. People of faith believe in a coming earth made new; however, as good stewards commissioned in the Garden of Eden, we still have a responsibility to care for God’s creation.
Personal Feelings and Growth
The literature for this theme stresses personal issues and struggles as students move from one stage of development to another. The early literature focuses on students’ growing knowledge of themselves and their potential. The literature for the middle and upper grades explores an individual’s personal feelings and growth, change, peer pressure, and family relationships. Students experience a character’s feelings of sadness, loss, anger, happiness, and life. Character development is essential to the spiritual journey.
Friends and Family
This theme includes literature about interrelationships among family members and friends. In the early grades, students explore roles and relationships within families. In the middle and upper grades, the content broadens to interpersonal relationships with friends and struggles with peer- and self-acceptance. Also emphasized is God’s unconditional love for us, even when human relationships are disappointing.
Students learn about God’s creation through literature. Each level has a specific life-science focus. Knowledge about the animal world is gained through informational reading as well as stories. Through the study of "God’s Second Book," students are brought to a closer relationship with Him.
This theme encourages students to grow spiritually and to foster a personal relationship with Jesus by seeking God’s plan for their lives. The many Christ-like attributes described in the stories will exemplify what being a Christian truly means. Included are stories of how God has led our church from a handful of youth with zeal to know His will, to a worldwide church with a membership of over a million people. Also included are stories of how God leads in the affairs of those who trust His guidance.
Students explore history through literature. In the early grades, students investigate personal, local, and colonial history. In the middle grades, the literature focuses on early pioneer life. Upper grade students explore some of the major conflicts and cultural events in American and world history. Students are led to see God’s hand in the affairs of humans.
Social Issues and Culture
Readers explore relationships among different groups over issues of prejudice, physical and mental disabilities, cultural differences, immigration, poverty, hunger, and relationships between old and young people. They experience how characters learn to accept others with special needs and people from different cultural backgrounds. Students are made aware of humans’ need for God.