Children in the middle grades are starting to think and act more on their own. Our academic program for grades 6–8 reflects this growing independence by challenging students with more sophisticated concepts and new levels of critical thinking. They’re also given opportunities to branch out from their homeroom teacher through interaction with certain content-specific instructors.
For each grade in Middle School, the K¹² online curriculum includes courses in the four core subjects—language arts, math, science, and social studies. Music, art, and five world language options are also central to the program.
Just like in Lower School, each course is flexibly paced, allowing students to move at the speed that best suits their needs. And nearly all courses continue to be complemented by hands-on materials you’d find in a traditional classroom. But the Middle School curriculum asks students to examine topics more in-depth compared to courses in Lower School.
Examples of More In-depth Topics
- English: Literary analysis and interpretation, grammar and composition, genre exploration, oral communication skills, and vocabulary expansion
- Math: More computational and problem-solving skills in geometry, algebra, probability, and statistics
- Science: Full-year courses in earth, physical, and life science, each available at a standard or an advanced level
- Social studies: Expansive surveys of American and world history from prehistoric to modern times
- World languages: The focus turns from exposure to developing competency in Spanish, French, German, Latin, and now also Chinese
- Music: Exploration of famous composers and their works, combined with more advanced concepts in rhythm, harmony, and form
- Art: Studies of great works of art, and the artists and cultures behind them, throughout American and world history
Download a list of courses (PDF) that includes Middle School curriculum.
Download a full International Academy catalog (PDF) that includes course descriptions for all grades K–12.
Additionally, any student seeking enrichment in Middle School is welcome to participate in the K¹² Advanced Learner Program.
How Teachers, Parents, and Students Work Together
As in Lower School, parents (or another designated Learning Coach) continue to work closely with their students to facilitate progress through the daily lessons. And each online course provides suggested lesson plans for the week, which you can easily adjust to accommodate your child’s pace or abilities. But you can expect to spend less time supporting his or her education—approximately 2 to 4 hours per day, compared to 4 to 6 hours in Lower School.
That’s because students are exposed to more content-specific teachers in grades 6–8. Several of our Middle School instructors possess deep expertise in one or two dedicated subjects. Their advanced knowledge base helps ensure that students master the more complex ideas presented in the core subjects—like algebra, literary analysis, world history, and physical science. This approach also helps prepare students for the challenges of Upper School.
Additionally, our Middle School teachers make more use of live "ClassConnect" sessions as a way to engage with multiple students simultaneously. Through these online meetings, teachers lead students through direct instruction and host interactive presentations. Throughout the week, they also share online "study hall" hours with other teachers in their same subject area, which students can attend to receive help with a specific concept.
Middle School Sample Lessons
Try It Out: The best way to understand the K¹² program is to try it out! Take a look at some lessons that our Middle School students experience.