Now accepting applications for the 2021-22 academic year. Serving grades pre-k through 9.

High-Level Academics Prepare the Adolescent to Lead and Succeed

Our schedule includes two math tracks using a Common Core-correlated Singapore Math-based program with an option for Regents Algebra. In addition, we extend the work with hands-on materials for solidifying abstract concepts such as integers and algebra. Our science program uses Project-Based Inquiry Science in a two-year rotation of Earth Science and Living Environment.

Additional subjects include an exploration of history and social studies using the framework of a two-year Big History course, Hero’s Journey (based on the work of Joseph Campbell), permaculture, music, Spanish, and language arts taught by award-winning author, Kelly Adams (aka K.L. Going.) Students also select electives that match their individual interests.

The sophisticated work we do at Homestead Junior High prepares students for college course offerings through our partnership with SUNY Sullivan. At this age, we focus on refining students’ ability to express themselves through the fine arts, the written and spoken word, and digital content. Embracing the cognitive development of the adolescent mind, our integrative, collaborative, and project-based curriculum prepares students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century.

Our Junior High Fosters Development of the Whole Person: Creativity, Leadership, Collaboration, and Service

Integrated Curriculum

Connections across subjects are regularly made and discussed, and whenever possible, subjects are integrated under the theme of a common project or area of study.

  • Language Arts offers an opportunity to make deeper literary connections to the studies of different historical periods in Big History. For instance, while students are studying early civilizations, they are examining world mythology in Language.

 

  • Big History explores the cosmic story that is fundamental to the Montessori approach. Everything that we do and teach at the Homestead is in the context of the cosmic story that situates this brief moment in history in the vast unfolding of a wildly creative universe. Students, through study and discussion, learn to see the patterns in history that have shaped the world that we have inherited. By understanding what has shaped our cultural perception, students learn that they have the power to help tell a new story.

 

  • Project-based Science allows students to investigate and learn as scientists do: by observing, designing, and carrying out experiments, building and using models, and constructing scientific explanations. Thematic studies engage students in real-world issues, asking them to grapple with difficult questions.

 

  • Permaculture begins in 6th grade where students embark on a three-year course in permaculture through which they learn how to closely observe nature while experimenting with techniques that move beyond sustainability to not only the healing of our planet, but to an understanding of our relationship to it. Students apply and deepen their knowledge of permaculture principles by designing and implementing on-campus, hands-on projects.

 

  • Global Literacy & Utopia Project complements their study of Big History and Permaculture. Global Literacy explores issues such as population, poverty, resource scarcity and allocation, inequality, and economic and political systems. Students also research and discuss topics in culture and ethics, including “race,” language, religion, age, and gender. They study and discuss the current and historical basis for these differences that keep us from finding greater equality and harmony as a species, as well as trends, approaches, scientific understandings, and technologies that are helping us move beyond these differences. The Utopia Project offers students an opportunity to research and envision a world that applies more intelligent design and empathy to the fulfillment of basic human needs. Among the many topics explored, students research urban density, sprawl, resiliency, and community design.  They then debate possible solutions to help cities become better adapted to humans and nature.

Service

Annually, our students oversee a book swap and two clothing swaps, which always have a student-created educational focus on waste reduction. In years past, students have taught about waste-free lunches, reusable water bottles, buying in bulk, and they have even raised funds for solar panels on campus. Homestead Junior High runs a chapter of the Earth Guardians, a youth-led environmental group.

Electives

We offer an elective program that not only develops skills in a particular area, but sets the groundwork for the micro-business project. Each year, students participate in multiple electives. Elective offerings have included songwriting, ceramics, printmaking, meditation, sewing, jewelry making, advanced fiber arts, martial arts, screenwriting, fiction writing, nutrition/food preparation, and organic farming. Electives are taught by experts in the field.

Micro-business

Students design a business concept and product(s), create a prototype, track production and material costs in a spreadsheet, price the product based on cost analysis, receive feedback from a panel of retail store owners, refine their product and pricing, and then sell the product to the school community. Students also create a brochure which educates the public on their design and material choice, as well as on the cause they have chosen to support with 70% of their profits. In the first three years of the program, junior high schoolers raised over $10,000 for a variety of local and global not-for-profit organizations ranging from advocacy groups to environmental causes.

Makerspace

The Homestead Hurleyville Campus offers a state of the art makerspace complete with 3D print lab, laser cutter, cnc router, a digital media lab, an audio visual lab, a ceramics studio, and a large woodworking shop.