Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other stuff (KSAOs)

Tots (0-3) Goal is learning through play.

·        Language development at very basic level

·        Homework level: none

Explorers (3-4, Pre-K) Goal is active learning and reinforcement of basic skills (e.g., name, colors, family members)

·        Ability to follow instruction

·        Ability to hold a pencil

·        Ability to sit still for short periods of time (e.g., 10-15 minutes quietly)

·        Interested in being read to

·        Has a beginning interest in letters and sounds

·        Homework level: none

Adventurers (4-5, K4-K5) Goal is enhancing basic skills to provide confidence for independent work

·        Ability to sit still for longer periods of time, listen and follow instruction

·        Knows letters and sounds

·        Learning to read (e.g.  Bob books, easy readers level 1, simple sight words)

·        Recognizes and understands numbers 1-20

·        Learning to count to 100

·        Minimal writing involved, mostly tracing

·        Homework level: minimal to none, completed with parental supervision

Creators (5-7, K-1st grade) Goal is transference of fundamental skills beyond basic categories

·        Preparing students to work independently (e.g. writing sentences)

·        Learning handwriting and basic writing construction

·        Able to write their name and copy words independently

·        Reads independently on at least a 1st grade level (e.g. Little Bear books, Henry and Mudge, Poppleton, Francis books, The Cat in the Hat, Frog and Toad, etc.)

·        Can recognize and understand numbers 1-100

·        Homework level: minor work outside of class as needed, parental assistance needed

Voyagers (6-8, 1st-3rd grade) Goal is to bridge the gap between Creators (beginning to read) and Philosophers (reading chapter books independently) and to help students begin to work independently.

·        Can write sentences independently

·        Reading independently on at least a 2nd grade level (e.g. Amelia Bedelia, Ready Freddy, Judy Moody, Junie B. Jones, Magic Tree House books, The Boxcar Children, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle)

·        Can write numbers 1-100 and perform simple addition/subtraction up to 20

·        Homework level: some homework required at discretion of instructor, parental involvement encouraged


Philosophers (7-9, 2nd – 4th grade) Goal is strengthening ability to work independently.

·        Ability to use critical thinking skills to solve problems

·        Beginner familiarity with basic computer skills (e.g., typing)

·        Can read chapter books independently on at least a 3rd grade reading level (e.g. Little House on the Prairie, A Cricket in Times Square, Charlotte’s Web, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, James and the Giant Peach, Bunnicula, Sarah Plain and Tall, Frindle, etc.)

·        Ability to write three or four sentences on a topic independently

·        Homework level: some homework required at discretion of instructor, parental involvement minimal

Inventors (8-11, 3rd – 6th grade) Goal is to bridge the developmental gap between philosophers and mentors to support Middle School age range

·        Ability to use critical thinking skills to solve abstract problems

·        Ability to complete homework assignments with minimal supervision

·        Able to read and comprehend chapter books on at least a 4th grade reading level (The Tale of Despereaux, Pippi Longstocking, Bud Not Buddy, Holes, Fablehaven, My Side of the Mountain, The Courage of Sarah Noble, The Black Cauldron, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler)

·        Able to write an organized paragraph

·        Moderate familiarity with computer (e.g. typing, internet)

·        Homework level: some outside prep or follow up work

Mentors (10-15, 5th – 9th grade) Goal is to enhance understanding of criteria within a particular domain.

·        Ability to read and comprehend novels on at least a 6th grade reading level (Chronicles of Narnia, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Treasure Island, Anne of Green Gables, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Little Women, The Dark is Rising, Incident at Hawk’s Hill, The Giver, Hatchet, The Cay, The Swiss Family Robinson)

·        Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic

·        Ability to be a ‘self starter’ and work independently

·        Strong working knowledge of standard curriculum beyond math/reading (e.g., history, science)

·        Homework level: regular weekly homework assignments to be completed before class

Scholars (13+, 8th grade and above) Goal is to earn high school credit through advanced classes

·        Able to read and comprehend novels on at least a 9th grade reading level (Shakespeare, The Scarlet Letter, Crime and Punishment, Animal Farm, 1984, Invisible Man, Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird)

·        Able to write a five paragraph essay

·        Ability to apply high level academic skills across curricula (e.g., reading, writing, outlining, note-taking, evaluating, analyzing, critiquing, etc.)

·        Familiarity with computer/basic computer skills

·        Ability to voice opinion/unique perspective

·        Homework level: high (preparation for class and follow up on learning activities)