The Avalon School Middle School: Grades 6-8
Middle School life marks an increase in the opportunities to test their intellectual powers through algebra, expository and creative writing and speaking, as well as deeper forays into Ancient, European and American history. Organized sports and frequent field trips allow boys to retain the adventurous dimension of the early years and provide increased opportunities for the peer friendships so valued by the developing adolescent.
“For a friend with an understanding heart is worth no less than a brother”
--The Odyssey, Homer, Book 8, ln. 585-6
We have adopted the Ignatius Press series for our religion program in grades one through eight. Its authentic teaching and beautiful artwork present wonderfully the richness of the Catholic faith. In all things, but especially through our religion program, we hope to form boys into men who will make a more human, more vital society.
Following Christ, Ignatius Press
St. John Bosco, F. A. Forbes
Augustine Came to Kent, Barbara Willard
The Life of Christ, Ignatius Press
Cure of Ars, Francis Trochu
Fr. Marquette and the Great Rivers, August Derleth
Our Life in the Church, Ignatius Press
Students are taught the basic prayers, the various articles of the Apostle’s Creed, major stories from the Old and New Testaments, and lives of selected saints.
The Avalon School has adopted the Saxon Mathematics series for our math program. The classes consist of short lectures followed by students working on sample problems. The books are rigorous and there is little "fluff." The learning is incremental with continual review. There is frequent cumulative testing. There is also an emphasis on correcting mistakes, a key area where much learning can take place. The classes will be supplemented with math puzzles, mental math, and topics from the history of math. Saxon books are especially suited for students to advance above grade level and we will do our best to accommodate such cases.
Texts: Saxon Mathematics 87, Algebra 1/2, Algebra I
In Avalon's Middle School years, students finish their study of American History shortly after the reconstruction period. In the seventh and eighth grades, students expand their historical scope, focusing on geography and Ancient History.
Continued Study of American History
A History of US, Oxford University Press, Bks 6 & 7
(Civil War and Reconstruction)
Geography, American and World
Ancient History (emphasis on Greece and Rome)
Daily physical education for students in grades K-8 allows them to test their physical limits and to test each other. The Avalon School exposes boys to the regular passel of sports that are commonly played, helping them to develop the skills necessary to compete capably, and encouraging the boys to use their imagination and innate competitiveness to develop games of their own.
Science is a hands-on subject. In the Middle School years, Avalon students take Earth, Life, and Physical Science, in preparation for the more demanding science curriculum in the Upper School.
The reading, memorization and recitation of great poetry is an essential part of the Avalon curriculum and experience and comprises a part of the English literature course offerings. Each grade memorizes and recites a number of poems throughout the year. In addition, the competitive recitation of poetry by House representatives is a staple of festival day celebrations. Poet Laureate Contests are held for the Lower and Middle schools each spring.
Professor John Senior wrote, "Western tradition, taking all that was best of the Greco-Roman world into itself has given us the thousand good books as a preparation for the great ones and for all studies in the arts and sciences, without which such studies are inhumane." Students will build upon their reading and writing skills formed in the Lower School to write and argue more complex ideas and essays.
Gods, Heroes, and Men of Ancient Greece, W. H. D. Rouse
The Princess Bride, William Goldman
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
Tales from Shakespeare, Charles and Mary Lamb
The Iliad, Homer
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
A Separate Peace, John Knowles
Call of the Wild, Jack London
MacBeth, William Shakespeare
The Odyssey, Homer
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Killer Angels, Michael Shaara
Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare
Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare
Animal Farm, George Orwell
Art is taught one class period per week in grades 3 – 8. Students learn elements of drawing, from basic three-dimensional shapes to more challenging assignments such as the use of perspective, drawing the human person, etc. Projects include learning about and coloringheraldic shields, understanding the color wheel, and color relationships. Students also will seeand study various great works of art.