General Program Goals 9-12

Respect for each other, care of the environment, and a love of learning are the overall expectations. We provide a prepared environment, prepared teachers, and freedom in learning, balanced with responsibility.

Social and Academic Goals:

  • Each child will build community in a moral environment.
  • Each will gain understanding of his or her own strengths and challenges in an environment that values each member and is non-competitive.
  • Each will make an effort to do his/her own best work.
  • Each will be challenged/instructed to meet his or her level. The unique style of each child will be respected and accommodated as much as possible.
  • Each will be involved in his/her own education by taking responsibility for time and work, and by self-assessing and personal goal setting.
  • Not to memorize, but to explore and experiment with hands-on, experimental learning in all subject areas.
  • To develop each child’s academic and social skills to be prepared for life (and their next academic/social environment).

The following curriculum outline covers a three-year span and combines California State Guidelines with a Montessori program, which builds on the knowledge and skills of the previous years here at Growing Light Montessori School.

The Language Arts


  • Reads aloud fluently and accurately with appropriate pacing, intonation, and expression; uses word origins to determine meaning of unknown words; understands and explains the figurative and metaphorical use of words in context; can discern main ideas in a text, draw inferences, conclusions or generalizations; distinguishes facts and opinions in a text; notes instances o unsupported persuasion and propaganda; recognize the origins and meanings of frequently used foreign words.


  • A writer’s workshop approach with daily writing time with mini lessons and ongoing projects.
  • Strategies: focus, organization, point of view, create multi-paragraph compositions, central ideas, topic sentences and familiarity with computer terminology.
  • Skills: cursive, keyboarding, research skills, punctuation, capitalization and spelling.
  • Genres: writing narratives, responses to literature, research reports, summaries, persuasive compositions, poetry, journaling, etc.
  • Grammar: sentence structure and analysis, diagramming.

Listening and Speaking:

  • Comprehension: ask thoughtful questions, summarize major ideas; identify how usage reflect regions and cultures.
  • Organization and delivery: gives precise directions and instructions, presents effective introductions and conclusions, uses traditional structures for conveying information, emphasizes points, uses details, etc. to explain or clarify, delivers oral summaries, recites brief poems, dramatic dialogues, etc. using clear diction, tempo, volume, and phrasing.


  • Weekly literature groups will meet for discussion based on the Great Books Shared Inquiry model. Can idenitify structural features of literature – the characteristics of poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction; identify the main problem or conflict of the plot and how it is resolved; contrast the actions, motives, and appearances of characters in a work of fiction; understands that theme refers to the meaning or moral and can recognize themes, can describe the function and effect of imagery, metaphor, and symbolism; evaluate themeaning of archtetypical patters ans symbols; evaluate the author’s use of carious techniques used to influence the reader’s perspectives; can identify speaker and recognize the first and third-person narrative.


  • Children are working more and more abstractly, but concepts are presented with visual/inesthetic manipulatives to aid in understand.
  • The decanomial, powers of numbers, multiples and factors, LCM and GCF, divisibility (rules), squaring — binomial and trinomial, algebra — (introduction to variables using letters in place of numbers), fractions, decimals and percents, rounding and estimation skills, negative numbers, formulas, equation manipulation, parentheses and order of operations, coordinate grids, statistics, data analysis and probability, mathematical reasoning and communication of ideas, evaluate the reasonableness of a solution, develop generalizations and extend them to other circumstances, ratios and proportions.


  • Emphasis on hands-on manipulatives and exploration and especially group discussions. Children discover properties and their mathematical expressions and are not simply given the equations.
  • Basic concepts, study of lines, angles, regions, circles, polygons, triangles, quadrilaterals, nomenclature, properties, measurements, equality, congruence, similarity, equivalence, relationship between figures, Pythagorean theorem, perimeter, area, and volume studies, use of a protractor.


3-year rotation of the following three topics, each encompassing a year’s study. Individual and cooperative groups, literature, textbooks, biographies.

  • Year 1: Ancient Civilizations – Ancient man, Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, Ancient India, Ancient Japan, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Modern Man.
  • Year 2: American History – Geography, Early Man, Native Americans, age of exploration, colonization, southern colonies, New England colonies, Middle colonies, crisis with England, the movement West, settling the far west, Southern society, the industrial north, civil war, modern America, the wars, the US today.
  • Year 3: California History – Native Americans, the Spanish arrive, the Californios, settlers from the East, the Gold Rush, California becomes a state, a changing California, California grows up, California’s government and laws.



  • The 6 major kingdoms of life (archaea, eubaceria, protista, fungi, plant and animal) the life cycles, internal parts and functions, and how each satisfies its needs: the time line of life, classification and research reports, care of classroom plants and animals.

Physics & Chemistry:

  • Taught with experiements, model building, exploration of the importance of each, and research topics.
  • Buoyancy, gravity, inertia, simple machines, magnetism, electricity the electromagnetic spectrum, matter (its properties and states), measurements, mixtures, elements, compounds, energy, chemical reactions, photosynthesis.


  • Planet Earth – atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, volcanoes, landforms, latitude and longitude, political geography – world temperature regions, precipitation regions, climate regions, vegetation regions, prevailing winds, ocean currents, economic geography and the imaginary island project.

Other Subjects

Conflict Resolution Skills:

  • Children lear skills for life in listening and speaking their truth so they may be fully understood, working towards fairness, building tolerance, compassion, problem solving and develop communication skills for both one-on-one and in large group settings. The children develop confidence in their abilities as an individual and a leader in forming peaceful resolutions for all.

Test Taking Skills:

  • How to follow directions, fill out forms, and perform will in a timed setting.


  • A continuation of our current program. Individual skill building and strengthening, endurance, self achieving activities and exercises, team spirit and sportsmanship, rules, guidelines, attention and awareness to “fair” and equal standards. Seasonal rotation of ball games and sport activities using the field for outdoors and the gum for indoor education and physical activities.


  • A continuation of our current program offering Spanish levels 1,2, and 3. Children are placed according to their ability to speak and understand.


  • Art is an inclusive part of each academic area from refining penmanship skills to painting geometric shapes. Art is an active process in learning. Free art as a form of self expression and creativity is provided daily. The children also explore the use of many mediums and styles of art materials, as well as study the history of art, artistic styles, and artists themselves.


  • Singing, musical instruments, introduction to notation, resource teacher or staff. Music history is tied in to the cultural curriculum. Music appreciation and musical expression are integrated into the daily routine. our elective and after school classes provide musical instruction of voice, rhythm, dance, and instruments.

Sex Education:

  • Begins with students in the 6th grade and older. Body awareness, care, understanding, and respect are the guidelines to this outline.