Middle School

Middle School Academics

Students in grades 6-8 are in the Dialectic Stage of a Classical Education.  As their ability to think abstractly develops, these students benefit from the Socratic Method utilized in the classroom and the rich Liberal Arts curriculum offered at Veritas Christian Academy.

Advanced Studies

Logic I - 8th Grade
This course introduces basic Aristotelian deductive reasoning.  The first quarter covers three mental acts - simple apprehension, judgment, and deductive inference and their corresponding verbal expressions - a term, a proposition, and a syllogism.  Propositions are analyzed through opposition and equivalence and categorical syllogisms are tested for validity.  The second quarter covers hypothetical syllogisms, polysyllogisms, sorites, enthymemes, epicheirema, and oblique syllogisms.

English

Literature and Composition I - Grade 6
This course consists of four components: literature, composition, spelling, and vocabulary.  The literature component is built around selected books read by the class as a whole.  These books are then studied for comprehension, plot development, characterization, themes, and literary techniques.  Students are also required to read daily from a personal reader and to complete quarterly book projects.  Composition assignments build on class literature discussions and also require the application of the literary and grammatical devices studied in class.  Students are trained in the basic writing process (outline, rough draft, editing, and final draft) and practice its application regularly.  Language mechanics are taught on a daily basis.  Spelling and vocabulary alternate weekly to develop further students’ basic skills in these areas.

Grammar 6 - Grade 6


This course meets twice weekly to provide the opportunity for an intensive study of the basics of grammar.  After a review of the eight parts of speech, the course focuses on diagramming sentences that include linking and action verbs, prepositional phrases, direct objects, indirect objects, predicate nominatives, appositives, and nouns of direct address.  Students also learn how to identify, write, and punctuate varying sentence structures (simple, compound, and complex).  All of these concepts are reinforced using hands-on activities and games.

Literature and Composition II - Grade 7
This course consists of four components: literature, composition, grammar, and vocabulary.  The literature portion of the course provides an overview of American literature in order to complement the students’ study of American history.  Major works studied as a class include April Morning, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Hiding Place, and selected works of Edgar Allen Poe.  Class activities and discussion move beyond simple plot analysis to personification, irony, satire, symbolism, the metaphysical vs. the physical, and historical context.  In addition, students complete a quarterly book project after reading a text selected from an approved list.  Students are introduced to the formal writing process, with particular emphasis on creating an outline and writing a sound thesis statement.  Students review language mechanics through practice exercises three days a week.  Grammar consists of a review of all concepts covered in sixth grade, including linking and action verb complements.  New concepts covered are infinitives and infinitive phrases, gerunds and gerund phrases, and noun clauses.  Vocabulary is studied bi-weekly to continue to build student skills in this area.

Literature and Composition III - Grade 8
This course consists of four components: literature, composition, grammar, and vocabulary.  The literature portion of the course is built around challenging literary selections, including The Iliad and The Odyssey, which are studied as a class.  Class activities and discussion explore complex themes, symbolism, worldview, cultural context, and the work in comparison to other texts.  In addition, students complete a quarterly book project after reading a text selected from an approved list.  Writing assignments require the student to create a sound, thoroughly supported thesis statement and apply all steps of the writing process with increasing independence.  Students review language mechanics and sentence classification.  New grammar concepts covered in this course include infinitive and gerund phrases used as nouns, adjectives, and adverbs; participial phrases and their correct usage; subject-verb agreement; and pronouns and antecedents.  Vocabulary is studied bi-weekly to continue to build student skills in this area.

Foreign Language

Latin I - Grade 6
Building upon the foundational tools provided to students in the elementary Latin program, this first full academic year of Latin gives the pupil mastery over all five declensions of nouns, both declensions of adjectives, and all tenses of verbs (active voice only) from all four conjugations.  The student continues acquiring vocabulary at a rate geared toward retention rather than exposure.  The grammar-translation method of instruction is used rather than some of the modern reading methods.  The student finishes the year able to translate long passages of simplified Latin and to analyze the total grammar contained within the translation.

Latin II - Grade 7
The student’s knowledge of basic grammar is expanded in this course with a thorough study of the passive voice, the subjunctive and imperative moods, several ablative constructions, direct and indirect questions, adverbial and adjectival dependent clauses, and various pronouns.  Extensive review of Latin I is incorporated throughout the year to prevent the loss of previously learned material.

Latin III - Grade 8
This course completes the basic grammar of Latin by covering verb forms (gerunds, infinitives, and participles), accusatives with infinitives, comparison of adjectives and adverbs, deponent verbs, and irregular verbs.  The students do extensive readings in Caesar’s De Bello Gallico.  Vocabulary is learned with greater independence and rapidity as the students gear up for High School Latin III, a course that will include a wider range of Latin readings.

History

American History - Grades 6 & 7
American History is designed to develop each student's historical timeline from Native American culture through Reconstruction in the sixth grade and from Reconstruction to the present day in the seventh grade and better his or her understanding of specific American figures, movements, and events.  This course promotes critical thinking and a thorough understanding of cause and effect through frequent in-class projects and writing assignments.  An understanding of the geographical, cultural, philosophical, and economic foundations of the American Constitutional system and the debates concerning it motivates students to explore the causes for historical events and their part in shaping the future.

World Civilizations - Grade 8
The aim of this survey course is to expose students to the geographic, cultural, social, economic, and religious composition of the world’s major civilizations.  The ultimate goal is that students, through an understanding of where and how people live, will recognize the supremacy and sovereignty of God in His world.  Through the use of a textbook, primary documents, music, visual aids, and film, students are made aware of various people groups, their characteristics and also of the challenges facing nations around the globe.  The nature of the course encourages students to engage in conversation about current events and to be made aware of the contributions of different people groups.  An emphasis is placed on critical thinking through writing and discussion.

Mathematics

Math - Grade 6 
This course is intended to provide students with skills necessary to prepare for success in 6th grade math. The curriculum provides full coverage of the basic skill of mathematics. Students will master fractions, decimals, percent and basic statistics.The course also emphasizes problem-solving skills and algebraic thinking.

Pre-Algebra - Grades 7 and 8
This course has been designed to give students practice with advanced arithmetic, introductory geometry, and introductory abstract algebra.  Daily teaching sessions present relatively simple new concepts and lengthy assignments that are predominantly review exercises are the substance of the proven instructional method of Saxon Math.  The Pre-Algebra class emphasizes a mastery of fractions, percents, and word problems.

Honors Algebra I - Grade 8
Algebra I is a course in which the abstract becomes real, where symbols take the place of numbers, and the process of thinking becomes as important as the answer.  Algebra I accomplishes this by working with mathematical expressions that have no determinable value or equation but whose sole purpose is to train the mind.  Once basic skills have been developed, the student discovers that life can be represented in symbols, and solutions can be found by manipulating equations by employing clearly stated rules.  The processes learned in this course prepare a student for Geometry or Algebra II and opens up a whole new way to look at the world.

Science

Life Science - Grade 6
This general survey course is designed to expose the student to various topics related to Life Science. The students begin the year looking at soil and plants, progress to the human body, and take a brief look at physical science that includes chemistry and physics. The second semester focuses on a Christian's faith as it relates to science and creation, the classification of living things beginning with microscopic life forms, and a close look at insects and other arthropods. Order and Reality introduces the student to the scientific method and offers many opportunities to observe, experiment, analyze, and draw conclusions from various small experiments related to topics being taught throughout the year.  During this time the students conduct a major science project which is intended to provide instruction in thoughtfully choosing an appropriate topic, carrying out a scientific experiment which provides constructive data, and justifying a meaningful and sensible conclusion.

Earth Science - Grade 7
This general survey course covers all of the major areas of earth science.  The study of the celestial sphere includes topics such as the motion of the planets, sun, moon, stars, and space exploration.  Students focus on meterology and oceanography as they examine the delicate balance between our atmosphere and the seas.  In examining the lithosphere, students take a close look at the structure of the earth, which includes volcanos, earthquakes, rocks, minerals, and fossils.  Students are also introduced to the fundamentals of physics as they learn to describe motion, energy, sound waves, lights waves, magnets, and electricity.  Many hands-on activities throughout the year promote greater understanding of these new and challenging concepts.  In addition, thought provoking "What do you think?" and "What would happen if . . . " questions are introduced more often at this level as students are challenged to think for themselves, develop greater analytical skills, and learn how to discuss their ideas logically.

Physical Science - Grade 8
The purpose of this course is to give the student a beginning knowledge of physical science, to offer insight into the means by which scientific knowledge is acquired, and to build basic laboratory skills.  Physical Science covers fundamental topics including volume and mass, conservation of mass, characteristic properties, separation techniques, compounds and elements, atomic models, and molecules and elements. The course also develops reasoning and realistic problem-solving skills through problem-based lectures and laboratories.

Theology

Christian Studies - Grade 6
This course is designed to introduce middle school students to basic theological terms and concepts, instruct them in handling conflict biblically, direct them in the course and journey of the Christian faith, and reveal to them how to study scripture.  Ken Sande’s The Young Peacemaker, John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, and Kay Arthur’s How to Study Your Bible for Kids are used as course material as well as teacher supplements and outside resources.

Old Testament Survey - Grade 7
Beginning with creation and ending with the prophets, this course is intended to provide the student a full understanding of Old Testament stories that capture snapshots of redemption.  The general flow is to reveal the concepts of creation, fall, and redemption throughout the Old Testament and to point to the fulfillment of all redemptive hope in Christ.  The text used in this course is the Old Testament.

New Testament Survey - Grade 8
Cultural characteristics of the first century world are studied as they relate to New Testament historical context.  Theological concepts relating to the incarnation and resurrection of Christ are highlighted as well as the importance of the missionary endeavors of Peter and Paul.  The text used in this course is the New Testament.

Fine Arts

Music Appreciation - Grade 7
In Music Appreciation, students are introduced to great composers and classic works.  The lives of music's greats are studied and their compositions are analyzed through the lens of their place in history.  Students learn to identify music masterpieces and to appreciate the true beauty of pieces from each period of history inlcuding the Baroque, Classic, Romantic, and Modern periods.

Art Appreciation - Grade 7
In Art Appreciation, students are introduced to great artists and their classic works.  The lives of art's greats are studied and their masterpieces are analyzed through the lens of their place in history.  Students learn to identify artists' unique characteristics and to appreciate the true beauty of pieces from each period of history inlcuding the Baroque, Classic, Romantic, and Modern periods.

Theater Appreciation - Grade 8
Eighth grade Theater Appreciation helps students to develop a critical eye for theater through an understanding of the artistic skills required for production and through basic knowledge of the history of theater and Western civilization.  Students are exposed to many theater productions throughout the year.

Physical Education 
 
Grades 6, 7, and 8
The physical education program at Veritas Christian Academy is designed to help fulfill the overall mission of the school by addressing body, mind, and spirit. Participation promotes development of fundamental movements skills, rhythmical skills, lifelong physical fitness awareness, muscle endurance, and flexibility.

Program emphasis is directed in three areas.  In grades 6-8, classes will incorporate motor skills, body control, body development, hand-eye coordination, cardiovascular improvement, and competition.  The curriculum also includes specific skill development for individual sports.  These sports would include, but not be limited to, volleyball, soccer, basketball, and softball.