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Bold. Distinctive. Biblical.
A Principle-Approach K-12 Christian School in Lancaster County, PA


There are clear distinctions that only a Principle Approach® school offers. This philosophy of education finds its very core in the Word of God. Ours is not simply a cursory nod at the Bible or a rote recitation of biblical directives. Rather, our approach involves a dynamic search for and application of biblical truth as it relates to this life and beyond.

Using this historic, biblical method of education that helped forge our nation, Dayspring Christian Academy offers a refreshing answer to families who seriously desire to launch their education in a program that is academically rigorous in a loving, nurturing environment. Three and five-day programs are available.

In the Principle Approach kindergarten at Dayspring, seeds of learning are sown in each distinct subject. Children expand their God-given love of learning through the Principle Approach method of education, which was used during the colonial and founding periods in America. Children begin to learn the rudiments of the subjects like science, history, and geography. They view God as the author of every subject with a purpose and plan for each in our modern world. They begin to record their learning in their own hand and even begin to reason from the Bible in every subject area. This intentional method of teaching and learning teaches students to think and reason, not just regurgitate facts.

Purpose of the Kindergarten Program
  • To fortify the love for God that is being taught at home.
  • To instill a love for the special gift of learning that God has given to each of us.
  • To assist parents in training their child in Christian manners and habits.
  • To begin the process of fitting the child for usefulness in his/her future.

At Dayspring Christian Academy, two levels of kindergarten are offered to the Lancaster, PA community: Developmental Kindergarten (ages 4 and 5) and Academic Kindergarten (ages 5 and 6). Both Kindergartens are 3-day programs, however, parents may supplement these 3-day programs by enrolling in our I.D.E.A.! program to create a full, 5-day Kindergarten schedule.

Developmental Kindergarten: 3-Day Program
Dr. Shelly Hilton, Developmental Kindergarten Teacher

Dr. Shelly Hilton, Developmental Kindergarten Teacher

This level is developmentally appropriate for the child who is 4 years old or just turned 5 at the start of the school year. The program is activity-oriented while introducing the structure and rigors of a formal classroom setting. As a first step into scholarship, the student notebook is introduced and students begin formal steps toward reading through the Sound Sensible® program. Seeds of scholarship are sown in every academic subject in an inspirational manner. Students develop early math skills, learn a Bible verse for each letter of the alphabet, and delve into literature as they study the life of Beatrix Potter. They explore music, art, the environment around them, and learn to experience the wonder of creation. Highlights of Developmental Kindergarten include:


  • Students begin phonemes and short vowel sounds. (Many students are reading by the end of the year!)
  • A science unit on farm animals with a trip to Long’s Park.
  • Classical literature focus is on the life and works of Beatrix Potter and a study of Mother Goose rhymes including a dress-up day of characters.
  • Memorizing a verse from the Bible representing each letter of the alphabet.
  • The use of art and drama to enhance studies in the rudiments of every subject, including the biblical foundation of each.
  • Technology is brought directly into the classroom curriculum.
  • In physical education, we incorporate an action-based learning program that prepares the brain for input using challenge, feedback, and physical activity through stations.
Academic Kindergarten: 3-Day Program
Mrs. Donna Osborne, Academic Kindergarten Teacher

Mrs. Donna Osborne, Academic Kindergarten Teacher

This level is appropriate for those students who are 5 years old through early 6 years of age developmentally at the start of the school year. The program is still activity-oriented, but more emphasis is placed on paper-and-pencil activities and structured seat work. The student notebook is expanded and built upon as a tool for scholarship. Students expand their phonetic awareness and segmentation in preparation for beginning to read; many children learn to read before completing academic kindergarten. Additionally, the seeds of scholarship are sown in every academic subject to inspire a love of learning and appreciation for God’s hand in all we do. Highlights of Academic Kindergarten include:

  • Classical literature focuses on studying A.A. Milne’s literary classic and children’s favorite, Winnie the Pooh.
  • The Writing Road to Reading© literacy program is introduced at this level.
  • Students expand their phonetic awareness and segmentation in preparation for beginning to read.
  • The student notebook is expanded and built upon as a tool for scholarship.
  • A science unit about mammals and reptiles with a trip to ZooAmerica in Hershey, PA.
  • A strong, character-building emphasis by learning the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5).
  • An exciting look at the five senses.
  • Additional science focus on the solar system.
  • Technology programs bring the use of technology directly into the classroom curriculum.
  • Bible/Character: Fruit of the Spirit, God’s Principle of Individuality, and the examination of internal vs. external.
  • Key field studies include visits to Zoo America, The North Museum, Long’s Park, Lancaster County Park, Kitchen Kettle Village, and Cherry Hill Orchard.
I.D.E.A.! (Supplemental Kindergarten to create a 5-day Kindergarten program)

I.D.E.A. is Dayspring Christian Academy’s supplemental Kindergarten for 4 and 5 year olds. I.D.E.A. stands for Inspire. Discover. Explore. Achieve. Access to the I.D.E.A. program is included in our Kindergarten application. The guide behind the I.D.E.A program encompasses the following attributes:


  • To offer a community style of learning where children are able to share their ideas while also learning to listen to their neighbor.
  • To offer student a time where they can seek to apply biblical principles from direct Bible reading to their lives.
  • To offer planned brain breaks throughout the day to allow student to refresh their emotional and intellectual think tanks.


  • To expand the student’s knowledge in the areas of science and history and put into practice all they have learned through the use of STEM, collaborative group projects, history character studies, as well as other creative avenues.


  • To give students an opportunity to explore their God-given creative abilities through art, drama, and music.
  • To allow students to learn how to be good stewards of the world God has given us by exploring and learning about our National Parks as Jr. Rangers.


  • To allow students to capitalize on language, spelling, and math skills already learned and to further their individual abilities in these foundational skills.

Dr. Shelly Hilton is our I.D.E.A. teacher. Class size cap is 16.

Dayspring Christian Academy students have the chance to express themselves in art class in kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Ready To Apply? Access the online application or view 2019-20 tuition information