Thursday, September 22, 2011

Showcasing a truly unique high school program: the Montessori curriculum of The Abba's Orchard Erdkinder

Many of you know I teach at the nearby The Abba’s Orchard school. In case you’re wondering why I haven’t been posting much lately, we just had a manic two weeks of getting the requirements in for the first trimester PSTC’s.

What we do differently in the PSTC’s (Parent Student Teacher Conferences) is that the Erdkinder (Montessori high school) student comes in business attire with a prepared PowerPoint presentation and presents to the parents what he or she has done this past trimester. The kid will also have to own up to any poor scores that were earned, or proudly report to mom and dad that all is well.



Other than finish the grades for my two classes (English Literature and Humanities), I was also tasked to do the short video clip that highlights the goings on of the Erdkinder program throughout the first trimester. This is my first time doing so, and even though it’s not that great, I’m a bit proud of myself.

Well, I have the video below, so enjoy. You’ll see that AOS’s program is quite unique, and I will explain some of what goes on in the next few paragraphs.



Note: many thanks goes out to http://www.danosongs.com for the free royalty-free music used in the vid.

Allow me to give some short explanations on some of the unique areas of the video.

The Chores: The Erdkinder program has a strong work component. Every morning, children have to rotate between working in the organic farm (AOS is a farm school), in the boot shed, in the classroom, and in the kitchen (where the kids have to budget, market, cook, and serve the lunch meals for the whole high school community).

Morning Socratic Devotions: After chores, the seniors of the Erdkinder program lead the younger ones in short Bible study/devotions. Can you imagine the discipleship, here? Students leading fellow students in walking the Godly path.

Business Plan Pres. and Occupations Projects. One of the hallmarks of the school is that it presents a micro-economy that simulates the adult world. Students form agricultural businesses and manage them throughout the year (with company names like Pabo-rito, Turkeylicious, Angry Birds, and Chicks To Go, among others). The first big step they have to hurdle is to make and present a business plan presentation in front of their investors (also known as their parents). Impress them enough to get their funds, then off they go to load their animals and then take care of them until slaughter (they also have to convince the parent community to buy their products)

The students find real-life application of academics (English for business letters, math for feed conversion ratio, lots of stuff for science), and it gives the teens a strong sense of belonging and purpose.

The Abba's Orchard La Granja farm campus is only 10-15 minutes away from Xavier Estates. You can read about some more articles I made of the Erdkinder program here, here, and here.

My kids are now in their preschool and elementary programs, and they are also great. In fact, feel free to avail of their free trial. It won’t hurt, and you’ll likely be glad you did. Just send me an email or a comment.

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