History & Civics

People live in the present. They plan for and worry about the future. History, however, is the study of the past. Given all the demands that press in from living in the present and anticipating what is yet to come, why bother with what has been? Given all the desirable and available branches of knowledge, why insist—as most American educational programs do—on a good bit of history? And why urge many students to study even more history than they are required despite history’s absence on high-stakes standardized testing?

We believe a cogent and ongoing study of history is necessary for the following reasons:
-To help us develop judgment in worldly affairs by understanding the past behavior of people and societies
History must serve as our laboratory, and the past must serve as our most vital evidence in the quest to figure out why people behave the way they do in societal settings. If decision makers do not consult history, they make decisions without all of the facts.

-To help us understand change and how the community, nation and world we live in came to be
Each person’s world view is shaped by individual experiences, as well as the experiences of the group to which he or she belongs. If we are ignorant of the contemporary and historical experiences of a variety of cultures, then we cannot hope to understand why people, communities or nations behave the way they do or make the decisions they make.

-To help us develop essential skills for good citizenship
Citizens are not born capable of ruling. They must be educated to rule wisely and justly. The cornerstone of democracy is the informed citizen, which we believe was the intention of our Founding Fathers- a government by the people, for the people.

To inspire us
History teaches us that a single individual with great convictions or a committed group can change the world.

To help us develop essential thinking skills
The study of history and civics promote:

  • Reading at the evaluation, synthesis, analysis and interpretation levels
  • Analytical thinking skills through writing
  • Analytical thinking

It is in history lessons that students learn skills ranging from reading a map to making an argument. Students learn how to assess the validity of evidence, evaluate conflicting points of view and apply facts to making decisions.

How does SJCA’s history and civics curriculum compare?

Kindergarten Social Studies Curriculum Comparison

SJCA History
Local Public School
​Social Studies
Identify Seven Continents.
American Flag
Pledge of Allegiance
Maps and Globes
Lessons we learn from our families
Christopher Columbus
Let’s get along with each other
Native Americans
North America
Exploring Seasons
Native Americans
North and South Poles
Your Neighborhood
Rural communities
Past and Present Presidents
4th of July
​Important landmarks
Holidays and Celebration
Mount Rushmore
South America.
Compare North and South America
Learn telephone number
Play telephone
White House
Locate more landmarks
Write letters
Statue of Liberty
Name the four Oceans
Difference between wants and needs
Review American History
Review the Continents
Review Map skills
Importance of Water
Earth Day