Montessori on the Lake’s Middle School is a unique space for the adolescent child. It is an academic preparatory program for children in 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Our philosophy is to help students navigate three critical areas: academic, social and emotional growth. We want our students to be strong and independent when they leave us.The Middle School classroom is a true “transition” class. The students all work at the same pace with set deadlines, but there are opportunities for them to receive individual help when it is needed. The goal is for each child to succeed.
The teachers strive to impart an appreciation of reading, writing, math and science to the students. Many of our students go on to honors level English in high school, and those who have had Algebra I in the 8th grade may begin high school with Geometry. Our program maintains structure and benchmarks while also allowing for individuals who are more advanced to move ahead.
We have Study Hall after school, where teachers are available to help the students. Other topics taught in English include grammar, punctuation, Greek and Latin Roots, Vocabulary, Poetry (including the stress-syllable system), Literary Analysis, Spelling, Penmanship and much more. Science uses the Cornell Note system and continues to emphasize hands-on experiential learning through participating in experiments and labs where the class is broken up into small groups of 6-8 students.
We want the students to improve in five core areas: time management, organization of work, producing top quality work, study skills and test-taking skills. The goals for each child are supervised by the teacher so that they can be reached successfully.
The academic emphasis is balanced with a rich immersion into cultural studies. Spanish is taught daily, along with a weekly schedule including; Computers, Woodworking, Art, Instrumental Music, Choir and Physical Education. Drama is also an integral part of the program. The students all participate in a full-length production which may be Shakespeare or more modern plays. The students act or work as Stage Manager, lighting and sound, costuming or another position. Drama teaches teamwork and builds speaking confidence.
In addition, the Middle School takes two special trips each year. Early in the year, we take an overnight trip to Joshua Tree National Park, where we help each other pitch tents, hike, learn about homesteading and the Indian tribes who lived there. Towards the end of the year, the students participate in an extended 10 day trip to a destination we have studied during the year. If we studied Medieval Times, we may go to England, Croatia or Spain. If we studied ancient civilizations, we may go to Italy, Turkey, Greece or Egypt. If we studied the Americas, we may go to Washington D.C., New York, Alaska or Costa Rica. This trip is considered field study and there is no better way to learn about the pyramids of Giza than to stand before them.