STEM Middle School at Living Science Academy

Hands-On Learning

Mrs. D says, “Middle schoolers need to do, not just sit and listen.” The STEM middle school program at Living Science Academy incorporates doing into every class with dissections, cake modeling of topographic maps, designing and building a “gizmo” demonstrating simple machines, constructing “creatures” from bones found in owl pellet dissections, all kinds of models, plus a host of laboratory and at-home experiments that engage and delight students as they learn.

Hybrid Homeschooling in Middle School

In our experience, most students in our homeschool hybrid middle school classes need a fair amount of parental involvement in order to fulfill their potential and gain the skills they need for high school and beyond. Major science projects give students opportunities to learn some of the time and task management they need for high school. Parents can encourage the development of these skills by ensuring that students start early, make a plan, and follow the plan to finish on schedule without undue stress.

Fishing | STEM Middle School | Homeschool Hybrid Middle School Classes | Living Science Academy
STEM Middle School | Homeschool Hybrid Middle School Classes | Living Science Academy

An Integrated Approach

In addition to in-class STEM activities, students reinforce learning, improve their writing skills, and practice following directions as they produce summaries of each week’s material at home. They commit foundational science concepts to memory through effective (and often hilarious) mnemonics. Students also gain in stamina and communication skills as they work on meaningful long-term learning projects both individually and in groups.

On presentation days, students dress in their “business best” and share their findings with an affirming audience of Servant Leaders, peers, and parents. Consistent, early experience in presenting in a nurturing, encouraging environment lays the foundation for poise and confidence in high school and beyond.

Class Options

We offer all core classes for grades 6, 7, and 8, including language arts, math, history, and even middle school Spanish. Students who opt for our STEM middle school program take science, math, technology and engineering classes. Our middle school teachers genuinely love this age group and are committed to helping them grow and gain the skills they need for the next level while enjoying this special transitional period of childhood. All classes meet once a week, and teachers assign a week’s worth of assignments, which students complete at home under parental supervision.

 

A note about math…

One unique offering that spans middle and high school is our two-year Algebra 1 class. Students who are academically ready complete Algebra 1 over two school years in either grades 7-8 or 8-9. The slower pace enables younger students to excel and builds a high level of competence and confidence in those who might otherwise struggle. Many of our students credit this foundation with their success in higher math classes later on.

A Typical Middle School Schedule at Living Science

(6th grade, for example)

Tuesday
8:30-10:00
6th Grade Math
6th Grade Math
10:15-11:45
6th Grade Tech and Engineering
6th Grade Tech and Engineering
11:45-12:15
Lunch
Lunch
12:15-2:30
Introduction to Science
Introduction to Science
2:45-4:15
English Language Arts
English Language Arts
8:30-10:00
6th Grade Math
10:15-11:45
6th Grade Tech and Engineering
11:45-12:15
Lunch
12:15-2:30
Introduction to Science
2:45-4:15
English Language Arts
Wednesday
2:15-3:45
6-7th Grade History
6-7th Grade History
2:15-3:45
6-7th Grade History

Middle School Expedition

In many ways, the middle school Expedition is the heart of the Living Science school year. Sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade “explorers” travel to St. Simon’s Island to do “science on the beach.” We might make a beach model of the ecozones, study principles of flight by making and flying tetrahedral kites, seine (and weigh and measure our ocean catch), make and test rockets, dissect sea creatures such as perch, starfish, and squid, study the barnacles on a dock with a microscope–or any number of hands-on STEM-friendly activities. The trip usually includes a special surprise day trip to a nearby attraction.

Each explorer is assigned to a team, led by 2-4 servant leaders, offering opportunities for small group interaction, devotionals, mentoring, and instruction. Those servant leaders pray for their teams by name for months as they prepare to lead. During the week, the explorers really get to know their leaders, and those mentoring relationships continue through future school years.

Science Experiments | STEM Middle School | Homeschool Hybrid Middle School Classes | Living Science Academy
Living Sound | STEM Middle School | Homeschool Hybrid Middle School Classes | Living Science Academy

Every evening, we worship with Living Sound, our student-led worship team, and the Servant Leader team performs an hour of drama and science teaching designed to reinforce learning and especially to show our middle schoolers the glories of God’s creation and His plan for our redemption. Families with younger children often accompany us on Expedition as “hangers-on,” participating in the evening activities and anticipating their turn.

Learn more by watching the following videos

Psalm 145:4

One generation will declare your works to the next and will proclaim your mighty acts.