Our Tuesday middle school unit studies offer deeper academic content while still providing hands-on activities and encouraging children to connect with nature. In the Fall semester, students will explore Middle School Math, Science, and English Language Arts. In the Spring Semester, they will explore Middle School Math, Social Studies/History, and English Language Arts. Units covered in full-day programs drive a full academic curriculum for the year. There are no tests or homework. All coursework is completed in class and given to parents as a master record at the end of the year. Novels shared in coursework are read aloud in class and each student receives a copy of the book to follow along.
We use Unit Studies to guide lesson work and to interconnect curricula for a deeper understanding of the topics. There are 16 unit weeks. Children will keep a master record of all their work that they get to take home at the end of the year. Instructors will email weekly class summaries that explain what your child learned — these summaries are great resources to document your homeschooling progress.
- STEAM (including math and art)
- Mindfulness (art, play, thinking)
- Nature Play and Movement Activities
Learners in the eighth grade who participate in our Capstone Extension for the Middle School Enrichment Program can also receive credit towards high school for Science, English, and/or Social Studies.
What is a Capstone Extension?
Also called, culminating project, the capstone project is a multi-dimensional process that serves as a culminating academic demonstration of subject matter mastery. In addition to classroom work, Capstone Extension students will work on assignments in Google Classroom at home to develop portfolio examples for credit. This work will be assessed by the instructors and will be a collaboration with students and their families.
Environmental Science – Fall
This unit will guide students through increasing awareness of environmental challenges and related climate change. Students will look at the environment through the wide lens of what is happening to our planet, why it is happening, how it is impacting how we live, work, and play, and what options we have to do something about it. Students will learn the scientific skill of creating accurate scientific models and descriptions as well as working through a lab. They will explore the carbon cycle, deforestation, climate vs weather, greenhouse gasses, oceanic changes, flooding and ice melt, storms, and endangerment to biodiversity. This class will utilize videos, class discussions, and hands-on lab activities.
Social Justice – Spring
This unit will give students the opportunity to learn about and discuss the social world around them. Students will take time to examine their personal views and how they fit into this diverse world. Students will consider topics such as religion, race, economic background, physical abilities, mental health, age, and gender. Care has been taken to use the authentic voices of advocates, representatives, and champions of each social inequity. We will use Ted Talks, class discussions, literature, art, and other hands-on activities to explore these topics.
Literature and Writing – Full Year
Fall – The fall unit will introduce students to different ways a person can write to inform or entertain. Students will explore memoirs, speeches, written communications, and storytelling. Students will be exposed to mentor texts showing them what good writing can look like and time to practice writing the current genre. Some students may not complete written assignments in full. Alternatively, some students may really enjoy writing and will complete multiple pieces of writing.
Spring – Students will explore the elements of literature such as characterization, plot structure, conflict, and themes while reading the novel The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden. Students will be guided through the novel with enriching discussions and periodic literature activities designed to enhance their comprehension and knowledge of common literary elements all while strengthening their listening and speaking skills.
Mindful Minutes/Gratitude Circles ( All Year)
Beginning in our middle school program, learners start and end each class reflecting on their lives and exploring ways to move through the teen years better equipped to handle the day-to-day challenges. In our opening Mindful Minutes, scenarios about friends, family, and school pressures are discussed in broad terms and, if learners wish to share, with more specific examples. Stressors are identified and discussions about how to navigate such situations are discussed as a group. This is presented in a non-threatening “this works for me, what works for you or someone you know” format. Learners are encouraged to participate but are not required to share. At the end of each class, we close by sharing a thought of gratitude. Learners share something they enjoyed about the day or something they are thankful for in their lives. This practice reminds us to live in the present and look for the little things that make us happy.
PAST COURSE Reading and Writing Critically (ELA) Fall 2022 and Spring 2023
Learners will work to become smart digital citizens. We will learn to consider things like emotional triggers in our communities, who is able to access the information, how information is accessed and shared, how to determine if a source is credible, and what are the motives and potential biases of the authors. Understanding these factors will help us be savvier in sifting through the information that can inundate us daily. Learners can use these skills to create a small public-facing research project on a topic of interest to them. They can choose to give a talk (think mini TedTalk), create an infographic or pamphlet, or possibly a mini-podcast or vlog/blog-type post. We will also enjoy a novel together (Fish in a Tree). We will read not only for enjoyment but also to discuss the development of characters, plot lines, and other literary elements that pop up along the way. This year-long class is packed with valuable information explored in a fun way.
PAST COURSE Middle School Physics Fall 2022
Force and Motion are what it’s all about this semester! We will be introduced to Mr. Issac Newton and all his laws with a healthy dose of engineering. This class is chock full of labs that require us to run, jump, race, throw and build things. Topics will include learning about different types of forces, speed, momentum, friction, and inertia among other things. Real-life connections are made along the way answering the age-old question, “Why do we have to learn this?” All these projects and so much more are covered in this semester-long lab science course.
PAST COURSE Social Studies: Music, Art, and Me Spring 2023
This course is a light-hearted look at music and its impact on humans. Throughout history music has been used as a soundtrack, to communicate, tell stories, and express emotions and ideas. We will take a look at different genres of music and how it relates to things like emotion, history, and culture. Various art techniques are also blended into this course to foster self-expression and complement the mood of the music. Learners will be exposed to musical terms and concepts and have the opportunity to apply them to the music as they go. This Spring Semester course is a fun way to explore topics in a way that appeals to so many people on a personal level.