Village Montessori Middle School prepares young adults for a life time of accomplishments
The primary focus of Village Montessori Middle School is to help guide the early adolescent towards becoming a strong, secure, confident 15 year old ready to shine forth into the world.
Young adolescence is a developmental stage where the habits and values that will characterize one’s entire adult life are being formed. This stage is, as Montessori says, the birth of the adult into society.
In order to become intellectually curious and self-reliant Middle School students must develop a strong academic foundation and critical thinking skills. The academic program is a classical liberal arts curriculum, adapted to the modern world, which emphasizes in – depth study within the daily context of Montessori tenets and values.
Middle School Montessori Curriculum
Maria Montessori’s model for middle school education during early adolescent years (12-15 years old) emphasizes the need for meaningful work and social relationships in a land-based program to supplement, and often provide the basis of, an academic program. These components of the curriculum require a set of experiences that challenge students to grow in a relatively safe environment.
The safety is provided by being a part of a very tightly knit learning community where students are held accountable to each other, and teachers guide with the proper strength, compassion, and awareness to handle this delicate age group.
We believe that the right approach is for thoughtful adults to cultivate and oversee an intimate learning community that overcomes insularity by integration into a broader community.
The challenges are offered in the form of engaging in meaningful work on campus and exploring the region in a wide variety of learning experiences.
The size of our middle school program allows us to be highly mobile and assimilate easily into a wide variety of surroundings, creating powerful occasions for engagement with the community.
Service is an integral part of the curriculum, as students will expand their horizons of awareness, understanding, and compassion by locating their own service opportunities in the community and volunteering at these institutions on a regular basis.
In order to gain a taste of economic independence, as a key goal of the AMI Montessori adolescent vision, students will run a small business from the school, perhaps selling eggs, providing drive-thru coffee service to the parents at Village Montessori School, or taking on a major fund raising project as their economic activity.
Our middle school campus also provides numerous opportunities for projects, such as building greenhouses, compost bins, fences, and trails, as well as taking care of the chickens.
Breaking up the academic day with projects, service, outings, and work outside of students’ previous range of experiences creates important occasions for personal growth and might spark an interest that turns into a passion or even a vocation.
The middle school curriculum features uncompromising academic standards, while maintaining the core Montessori program principle that freely chosen work is always going to be the most valuable. Students will have as much freedom in their academics as they can handle.
A Montessori teacher’s role at this stage is to set up structures within individual academic areas that encourage meaningful exploration and provide appropriate challenges, and students will do skill development work in reading, writing, math, and logic every day to develop habits of intellectual and academic excellence.
Middle school students will research, experiment, write essays, give presentations, peer teach, develop superb critical thinking skills, learn how to write computer programs and create webpages, engage in creative expression, and gain the skills required for excellence in high school and on standardized tests.
Every student will be invited and challenged to their fullest capacity, and some students will be doing college level work in areas of particular interest and talent by graduation.
In addition to academics, service work, food preparation is woven deeply into the web of everyday life. Starting with choosing the meals that we will prepare for lunch on a rotating basis, students will learn how to develop a food budget, read a recipe, double it, and prepare lunch for the group.
This opportunity to plan, budget, cook, serve, and break bread with their peers is an experience that teaches students how to care for themselves and create community through the fundamental cultural activity of eating.
Additionally, these practices provide important learning opportunities regarding the sense of taste, nutrition, and how our food choices are connected to a myriad of environmental, social, and economic issues.
Cultivating our own garden allows students a first-hand experience of how the issues regarding the health of humans, animals, plants, soil, water, and air are really one, big interconnected web that must be understood and addressed within this deeper sense of interdependence.
Village Montessori School
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