- Observation is the basis of science
- Nature becomes a laboratory
- Mistakes become learning opportunities
- Care, details, diligence, and planning are valued
Responsible participation is a prerequisite to good citizenship
Young people are expected to practically solve problems on the farm such as constructing a chicken coop (geometry), taking soil samples (earth science), raising produce and caring for animals (biology), writing a business plan and selling items at the Farmer’s Market (composition, economics), governing themselves by establishing their own rules (government), and studying the cultures of the world to understand the evolving community from a land-based one (history, literature, religion, art, music, drama).
Learning standards have been established by the NAMTA (North American Montessori Teachers Association) but may not conform to government school academic scope and sequence, particularly at the high school level. Each student will receive a checklist at the beginning of the year of these standards and will be tested either orally or by written test on these.
Non-graded. Similar to home-educated students, enrolled students will receive individual grades twice per year but will take a test at the beginning and end of the school year to meet Virginia statutes.
Universal. Cosmic education entails a unity of subject material as much as possible, but there will be lessons in core subjects each day: Monday – Catechesis/Theology/Philosophy, Tuesday – Math/Geometry, Wednesday – History/Geography, Thursday – Biology/Science, Friday – Latin/Language Arts.
Self-taught. There are no instructors per se, only Guides, as the students are expected to teach themselves in a prepared environment. Students will also have weekly meetings to review the happenings of the previous week and establish their own self-government.
- Year One (2011-2012): Man’d Ability to Discover himself and his relationship to God — Priestly role
- The Patriarchs and Ancient Mesopotamia
- Ancient Greece and Mythological religion
- Ancient Rome
- Middle Ages and Monasticism
- Ancient Japan
- World Wars
Year Two(2012-2013): Man’s Journey in Time and Place — Prophet
- Ancient Egypt
- Ancient Israel
- Martyrs and Fathers of the Church
- Light in Darkness: Dark Ages
- Renaissance and Reformation
- Discovering a New World
- French Revolution
Year Three(2014-2015): Man’s Role as King
- The Kings of Ancient Israel
- Preparation for the King: Ancient Rome
- Invasions and Conversions: Vikings and Norsemen
- Columbus and Cortez
- Native Americans
- Establishing a New Nation
Practical Life Projects. Students will pair up to select from the following options:
- ANIMAL STUDIES
- Cow, Steer & Calf study
- Hog study
- Chicken study
- FOOD PROCESSING & NUTRITION
- Kitchen Equipment study
- Consumer Practices
- Food Preservation
- Cider making
- ORCHARD & BERRY MANAGEMENT
- Bee study
- Insect study
- Woodlot Management
- VEGETABLE GARDENING
- Organic Gardening
- Native Plant study
- Herb study
- Seed saving
- PHYSICS OF MACHINES
- Farm Economy
- Water management
- Repair of Hoophouse damaged by winter storm
- Explore establishment of Museum of Machines
- Archives Work
Chores. Students are expected to participate in farm chores including:
- Cleaning barn
- Grinding wheat, baking bread
- Slaughtering chickens
- Baking everything
- Split, haul, and stack firewood
- Pick up manure for garden
- Repair, paint outbuildings
- Indoor cleaning
- Lunch preparation and cleanup
Recreation. Students will learn to develop on-the-farm entertainment to include corn hole game, hay bale slide, orienteering, zip line.
Verbal and Artistic Expression. This second year cannot be all things at once. As much as possible, students will dramatize, personify historical characters, visit botanical gardens and churches, conduct interviews, write journal or news articles, create salt maps and costumes, improvise music, and study architectural design as part of their pensa studies. Pensa studies are similar to unit studies on a particular subject.
Adolescents have a sensitive period for poetry at this time as they discover love in a new way. Nature provides a rich environment to compose poetry, and poets and poetry forms will be studied within the context of academic specialty area.
Future. Will the student be prepared for high school? From studies done at various Montessori Erdkinder schools, the answer is a resounding yes! Like home-educated students, Erdkinder students stand out and have the ability to practically solve problems.