Students are given the unique opportunity to prepare an environment for themselves. The land-based Montessori middle school gives adolescents what they need most — the space from which they are invited to create their own identity. They now use the “freedom through discipline” that they have learned through all the other Montessori levels to begin to understand themselves. With the land as their classroom they begin to ask the questions of themselves, “What can I do? What are my strengths? What is my place in adult society?”
Here, in addition to their regular academic subjects, they are given many choices: Shall I plant a garden? Shall I raise livestock? Shall I bake bread? Prepare dinners? Write? Dance? Design interiors? Manage a store or a food market? With adult encouragement and guidance and aided by the knowledge they’ve learned in their academic classes, they are allowed to choose many different activities during this time of self-exploration.
No matter what a student’s skill level, academic level, or achievement level they, along with their peers and their teachers, learn the ability and the right to share their talents, their enthusiasm, and their compassion with the world. When this occurs, the goal of valorization has been achieved.
During a period of rapid physical growth students utilize newly developing intellectual abilities to predict, and create social needs and construct themselves as responsible individuals who participate as contributing members of society.
Our Creative Expressions . . .
We believe that adolescence is a time of heightened interest in creative endeavors of all types. Through those changes the student needs to experience the creative world in a variety of ways that offer choice and freedom. Our creative expressions have included drawing, pottery, African drumming, glass-fusion, woodworking, music, drama, creative writing, fiber arts, gourmet cooking, and sewing.
Our Physical Expressions . . .
We believe the adolescent needs to experience movement in a physical, creative, and cooperative way. Their bodies are changing rapidly so in order to help them with this transition our focus is on core strength, coordination, balance and flexibility. The individual and team physical expression activities as well as health curriculum will provide the foundation for lifelong healthy habits.