Mathematics & Science
As students transition out of the Elementary grades, they have a growing capacity for abstract thinking and analysis. Thus, the Middle School's algebra and geometry curriculum combines more traditional instruction - including text books, lectures, and lab work — with Montessori approaches such as manipulative materials, projects, and seminars. The core curriculum corresponds with the North Carolina Department of Education's Standard Course of Study.
The curriculum also follows an authentic Montessori approach in which math is not taught simply as an isolated discipline, but rather in the context of human history and culture. Classroom learning is integrated with the use of mathematics as part of the occupations, science, and other disciplines. Students use math to help maintain the farm, in the accounting of their micro-economy, and in multiple other practical situations.
The Middle School science curriculum provides a rigorous, integrated, and hands-on grounding in botany, biology, geology, zoology, chemistry and physics. The basis of students' scientific exploration is the natural environment of the land and farm itself — earth, soil, water, plant and animal life — and the work students perform there as part of the Occupations curriculum. Students study and apply science using their surroundings as a natural laboratory. They enhance findings with course work, research through textbooks and other printed resources, traditional experimentation, interviews with experts, and project-based research.
A student working in a six-week cycle in the organic gardening occupation, for example, might study botany as it relates to the plants in the garden or the chemistry of elements of the soil. Such work allows students to make connections between abstract scientific principles and our interdependence with these principles as human beings.