Students learn five core subjects, have a daily Bible lesson, and we have electives during three Intensive Weeks.  To provide a superior education, we search for the best educational resources that do not conflict with Christian beliefs.  Our teachers further enhance these resources by adapting them to our Targeted Learning educational philosophy.

Core Subject Materials and General Topics:

English

Textbook resources include Holt McDougal Literature.  Students study vocabulary from the Latin and Greek roots and continually improve their mastery of grammar.  They read and act out Shakespeare’s plays (Julius Caesar and MacBeth) and read literature such as My Side of the Mountain.  Each student is required to read two books each quarter that are not assigned for school work and give oral reports on them.  Students improve their reading comprehension by deconstructing each book’s plot.  They improve their writing skills through activities such as writing and continually revising their drafts of short stories.

History/Social Studies

Textbook resources are The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child and The American Journey.  Students demonstrate their mastery of history by giving oral narrations of what they have read and discuss its meaning and context.  Activities to make history come alive include re-enactment of the first Greek Olympics, building Assyrian siege towers out of Legos, and training in the way that the young Spartan warriors did.  Additional readings that give more context to events in history include In Search of Honor, which follows a young man’s quest for justice and truth during the violence of the French Revolution, and Behind Enemy Lines, a true story of adventure and survival behind enemy lines during World War II.

Spanish

Textbook resources are Realidades, a series that integrates Spanish grammar, vocabulary, culture, and communication.  Students gain mastery through online practice exercises using Quizlet.com.  Projects include student-created videos of an international weather report and describing the activities they like and dislike in Spanish. Students have oral and written components for each test.  The oral components include speaking Bible verses and the Iron Academy Honor Code in Spanish.

Science

Textbook resources are from Apologia.  The goal of our science curriculum is for students to master using scientific tools to understand God’s creation.  Topics include environmental science, earth science, astronomy, chemistry, botany, biology, and anatomy.  Projects have included constructing a hydroponics garden and conducting experiments to separate mixtures with different densities.curriculums.

Math

Textbook resources are from Saxon Math.  This method of math instruction enhances deeper learning of math concepts by constantly reviewing previously learned material along with new material.  Our goal with math instruction is not to teach students to plug numbers into equations but to be able to use deductive reasoning and analytical thinking skills to solve problems from a well-grounded foundation in math principles.  A consumer finance project to make math relevant to everyday life has the students maintain a checkbook register with regular entries for paychecks and bills to pay.  The students find an average salary for a chosen career, subtract a percentage for taxes from their gross pay, calculate a percentage of income to put into a savings account, and learn the financial concepts of debits and credits.

Bible

The focus of Middle School Bible is learning to tell the stories of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  How many are there? 270!  We use curriculum from bibletelling.org.  It is a set of materials for facilitating dialog around Bible stories. It “introduces and enables dialog skills in conducting interactive Bible classes” the students love.  Students learn how to tell stories in public, how to speak convincingly, and how to discuss the deep meaning of God’s word.  We have found no MS Bible programming more engaging or well-suited to the MS mind.  

Intensive Weeks

After we conclude the 1st and 3rd quarters, we have one week of instruction in a single elective subject.  We invite experts in these fields to be our guest teachers for the week.  Our current electives include robotics, art history, orienteering, photography, and speed reading and keyboarding.