Discovery of Learning ®
Our Junior High Program is designed for students 5th through 8th grade. These upper primary grades offer a more structured approach to help each student attend to their deepening level of educational understanding. Even at this level, we still recognize that children develop at their own pace and in their own learning style. Our goal is to help each child maintain a love for learning, as well as prepare them with the skills needed to be successful in High School whether they go into a traditional setting or continue natural learning through homeschooling. By utilizing a mix of teacher guided, child led and differentiated instruction we have created a respectful environment . The Jr. High Program allows children to delve deeply into each subject or concept independently and in groups, and providing hands-on projects and games, your child can feel inspired to be an independent and creative thinker.
Our schedule is designed to offer opportunities for:
In our Jr. High classroom you will find children engaged in a multitude of activities and community building. Our teachers strive to weave child-directed and teacher-guided lessons and activities that provide struture as subjects are brought to life.
Children enjoy their arrival time on campus with free exploration. This gives them the opportunity to connect with peers, get their creative ideas flowing and interact and strengthen their rapport with their teacher. The environment is intentionally enriched and teacher's create a daily Intrigue Table to spark new interests. This open ended time allows teachers to identify areas of interest for students and guides future activities and lessons.
Children and teacher come together to discuss classroom events and topics of interest. This is a safe space to share ideas, reflect, brainstorm and question without judgement. Teachers often use this time to introduce new ideas and topics that may be engaged in during the day as well.
Our approach to math is one in which the teachers both guide and work alongside the young learners as they explore math concepts. The teachers cater to the children’s needs and curiosities by helping them navigate through math concepts via real-world, hands-on, innovative, or traditional activities such as cooking recipes, field observation, kinetic/dynamic games, and standard calculations. The spectrum of mathematical concepts that our discoverers approach is based on their desire for exploration and teachers’ observation of their needs. Part of the focus of our approach is to develop critical thinking skills, strengthen cognitive processes through math, strengthen our learners’ abilities to perform basic, and when applicable, advanced mathematical functions, and to help our learners gain the confidence to take on higher math problems. A spectrum of concepts might include measurements, graphing, plotting, geometry, long division, percentages, multi-step word problems, algebra, and data collection, organization, and analysis.
Our approach to English is one in which teachers expose children to the various modes of language arts through independent and group reading, and encourage them to go more in-depth with the ones they want to explore. Teachers use real-world, hands-on, and traditional activities to foster student learning. In terms of reading content, teachers cover a spectrum that includes non-fiction, expository texts, fiction, and poetry. Also, the spectrum of writing practices might include several genres such as essay, journal, report, summary, poetry, narrative, and other visual expressions. Moreover, a spectrum of concepts children explore might include theme, authorship, structure, grammar, rhetoric, and annotation. Our goal is to develop critical thinking skills, strengthen writing skills, raise rhetorical awareness, and help our discoverers explore aspects of language arts they are curious about.
Science: Students are introduced to monthly science units covering a variety of life and physical sciences including, Astronomy, Chemistry, the Human Body, Ecology, Physics, Marine Biology, Forces of Nature and Electronics. Teachers engage the students in a variety of activities, with the guidance of "Supercharged Science" curriculum, to help build their knowledge of the science and participate in experiments utilizing components of that science.
Social Studies: DOL has crafted a World Studies curriculum. Students will learn the geography, climate, culture and basic civics of each country. The students will participate in group discussions, helping build comprehension and critical thinking skills. Teachers implement extension activities to help solidify concepts introduced each week and provide opportunities to make history hands-on. Children will be encouraged to engage in long-term projects that will allow them to delve deeply into the subject, build critical thinking skills as they learn, create, comprehend, and reflect on a topic. Children will work side-by-side with peers, building friendships and deepening their understanding of team work and collaboration.
Electives: Students are introduced to 2-3 elective subjects per week, depending on the number of days they attend campus. Each Elective course runs for 8 weeks, allowing children to explore the subject with more depth. Subjects are then rotated in 8 week sessions. These classes can be taken as part of our full day program or enrolled in as an Electives only option.