Middle School

Middle School (5th-8th Grades)
The second phase of classical education, the logic stage, is a time when students begin to think more analytically. Veritas Christian Academy’s Middle School builds on the basics learned in Lower School, allowing students to develop independence of thought and critical analysis through a rigorous academic program. In partnership with parents, the Middle School focuses on developing self-directed learners. Students will learn to accept personal responsibility for learning, view problems as challenges, organize their time, and develop a higher level of curiosity. At Veritas, we are interested not only in students' academic success but in their spiritual formation.
 
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FIFTH GRADE

Biblical Studies
This course provides an overview of the early Old Testament through a study of the lives of the main individual characters in the Old Testament. These characters include Abraham, Noah, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Samson, Ruth, and many other Biblical characters who followed God. The lessons mostly focus on the choices God’s people made, God’s grace and correction that followed, and how the Old Testament books fit into the greater Biblical narrative. Additionally, students learn about our responsibility to make the right choices and live in obedience to His word.

Computer
Students begin with a review of computer basics including software, operating systems, hardware, storage devices, and peripherals. The fifth grade students sharpen their keyboarding skills using TypingMaster Pro software and build upon their word processing skills by creating tables, multi-page documents with headers and footers, and advanced graphics. Safety and ethics is emphasized as students examine and compare a variety of advanced search tools and techniques to acquire information electronically, and are taught to evaluate and cite web sites. Major milestones in the history of computers will be tracked, enabling students to view an abacus, typewriter, punched card, and a 5” floppy disk. Students will collect and organize data into spreadsheets, create and enhance charts, insert their chart into Word, and write a paragraph interpreting their findings. Students will also plan, design, create and present a slide show using Microsoft PowerPoint, learn to manipulate pictures using Microsoft Picture Manager and Microsoft Paint, and create a video using Photo Story 3. Finally, students will be introduced to desktop publishing and will create a simple flyer using Microsoft Publisher. Throughout the school year, students will utilize productivity tools on projects which emphasize research and evaluation, analysis, problem solving, writing, presentation skills, and creativity. Projects will also integrate with other curriculum areas such as Bible, history, or art.

Geography
This course will require you to think critically as you learn about people, culture, economy, government, and the physical aspects of the regions of the world. We will learn about both ancient and modern civilizations as we cover both physical and human geography.

English
This daily course develops students’ reading skills and vocabulary through a traditional exploration of genres: novel, short story, drama, and poetry. Our solid Mosdos anthology textbook will be supplemented by outside works and supplementary handouts, particularly Pre-AP materials from Laying the Foundation, Inc. In addition to literary study, we will incorporate an ongoing spelling and vocabulary study words by phonetic pattern. Students will read one or two outside works of their choice per quarter in the Accelerated Reader program.

Our main focus is learning more guidelines of English grammar in order to read, write, and speak more effectively. We will start with parts of speech and move on to phrases, parts of the sentence, clauses, kinds of sentences, and punctuation rules, moving as far as we can without leaving anyone behind. We will work through a grammar workbook but enhance it with creative writing, syntax analysis, and editing competitions. We will also organize, revise, and edit paragraphs and poems.

History
Geography is the study of the Earth and its people. This course will emphasize the study of the five themes of geography (location, place, regions, movement and human-environment interaction) and focus on the six essential elements of geography to help students understand the relationships among people, places, and environments. This course will focus on physical aspects of the Earth, and the study of worldwide cultures.
 
Latin
In Latin, students will discover that it is very easy to retain the vocabulary and grammar formation. Preparation for future studies will be accomplished through conversational text, memorization of vocabulary through chanting and singing, and translations of Latin prose, poetry, and Scripture. Students will experience that Latin is relevant, beneficial, and fun. They will contribute to keeping this modern day language from the past alive.

Mathematics
The focus of this course will be to develop an understanding of mathematical reasoning and to connect mathematical concepts to real-world application. The topics include integers, decimals, fractions, measurement, ratio, geometry, patterns, and algebraic thinking.
 
Science
This course is an introduction to many of the advanced sciences including chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, and geology. Units consist of hands-on activities and labs reinforced with the science textbook, handouts, technology, and United Streaming. Topics introduced consist of cell structure, photosynthesis, Newton’s Laws, forces, motion and energy, electricity, magnetism, physical and chemical changes, periodic table, bodies in space, and scientific measurement.

Visual Arts
Students will produce two and three dimensional artwork in a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, fiber arts, clay, printmaking and sculpture. We will explore both traditional art making techniques and principles as well as contemporary modes of visual communication. In addition to hands-on art making, students will learn about art history as it relates to their history curriculum. We will use our critical thinking skills to assess and appreciate art from many different disciples and genres. Elements of technology, math, science, and music will also be infused into the learning environment.
 
Curriculum Enrichment
  • Accelerated Math
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Band/Choir
  • Cultural Expeditions Program: Texas History Trip - San Antonio, Austin, and Fredericksburg
  • Competitions: Art, Creative Writing, Math, Speech, Spelling and Science
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
  • International Thespian Society (ITS)
  • Advisory
  • Mobile Laptop Cart
  • Local Field Trips: Theatre Productions, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Menil Collection, etc.
  • National Elementary Honor Society (NHS)
  • Physical Education
  • Science Fair
  • Student Council
 

SIXTH GRADE

Biblical Studies
This course covers the Old Testament books and stories from Kings to Malachi. In the study of the Old Testament, the students will learn that God has revealed himself through His Word, and that His desire is to have a relationship with every person. This can only be possible through the sacrificial blood of His Son Jesus, who bridged the gap between God and man.

Computer
The sixth grade students sharpen their keyboarding skills using TypingMaster Pro software and build upon their word processing skills by creating tables, multi-page documents with headers , footers, footnotes, and objects. Safety and ethics is emphasized as students examine and compare a variety of advanced search tools and techniques to acquire information electronically, and are taught to evaluate and cite web sites. Students will create a greeting card using Microsoft Publisher templates and a timeline from a blank publication. An introduction to Microsoft Picture Manager will expose students to digital graphics while learning to adjust brightness and contrast, remove red eye, crop, and compress images. Also, students will utilize Windows Media Player, Windows Movie Maker, and Audacity to become familiar with digital audio and video file types and sizes, learn how to edit audio, create video and cite sources. Audio and Video files will be inserted into Microsoft PowerPoint. Finally, students will collect and organize data into spreadsheets, calculate using statistical measures, create and enhance charts, insert their chart into Word, and write a paragraph interpreting their findings.

English
This daily course develops students’ reading skills and vocabulary through a traditional exploration of genres: novel, short story, drama, and poetry. Our solid Mosdos anthology textbook will be supplemented by outside works and supplementary handouts, particularly Pre-AP materials from Laying the Foundation, Inc. In addition to literary study, we will incorporate a structured SAT-level vocabulary program based on Latin roots. Students will read one or two outside works of their choice per quarter in the Accelerated Reader program.

6th grade grammar builds upon knowledge previously learned and emphasizes applying the skills necessary to understand the nine parts of speech, constructs of a sentence, careful placement of words in a sentence as they pertain to meaning, and new and varied roles of the parts of speech in a sentence. Students write paragraphs, journal entries, essays, and complete research in the class. Vocabulary is also included in this course. Students will learn vocabulary words that derive from classical roots. Students will study definitions, derivatives, origins, and analogous relationships of words as well as begin to use these words in their own speech and writing. 

History
This course will begin with the history of the early river valley civilizations such as ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and China. With a great emphasis in the study of the political, economic, social, and cultural developments of these civilizations. Other topics include the Israelite Kingdom, the classical Greek Civilization, the Rise of the Roman Republic to the downfall of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Rise of Christianity, the Islamic Civilization, African Civilizations, Imperial China, Medieval Europe, Renaissance and Reformation, and end with the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment time period.

Mathematics (normal mathematics track)
Emphasis in this class is upon teaching students how to think and how to learn while equipping them with skills and tools find the best solutions. The focus is on rational numbers and their operations followed by equations and functions, geometry, square roots, and probability.
 
Pre-Algebra (advanced mathematics track)
The course maintains a balance between mathematical concepts and procedures. Students will learn to identify and use geometrical shapes and equations.  The textbook provides a variety of exercises ranging from basic exercises that will help students develop and practice skills to challenging exercises that involve logical reasoning and problem solving.  In 7th grade, students are taught how to think mathematically and work with variables to solve problems and our students soon realize that success in mathematics is not simply learning, rehearsing, and memorizing procedures that somehow lead to the "right answer", but they see that the math they learn in school is highly correlated with the math they encounter in everyday life.  With Bible integration, the aim is to help students see mathematics as part of the truth and order that God has built into reality.
 
Science
Students study Earth Science in 6th Grade. Content includes: Geology, The Dynamic Earth, Water and Water Systems, Meteorology, The Environment, and Astronomy. Students will develop science process skills, critical thinking skills, and scientific reasoning skills. Science process skills, such as observing, classifying, inferring, and experimenting provide a framework in which ideas can be conceptualized, tested, and evaluated.

Spanish*
Students will be engaged in learning the Spanish language through theatre. We will be using Avancemos! 1A. A magnificent textbook that teaches the language by immersing students in various Spanish speaking cultures. Students will develop more fluency and comprehension of the language by performing and creating their own genre-specific pieces using material covered during class. This will help them expand their vocabulary. Students will learn as they listen, collaborate in groups, do independent research, and present their findings to their peers.
 
During this first year of Spanish students will be learning about the present tense of regular, irregular, and stem-changing verbs.  Students will learn 320 vocabulary words throughout the year in addition to the grammar lessons.

Visual Arts
Students will produce two and three dimensional artwork in a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, fiber arts, clay, printmaking and sculpture. We will explore both traditional art making techniques and principles as well as contemporary modes of visual communication. In addition to hands-on art making, students will learn about art history as it relates to their history curriculum. We will use our critical thinking skills to assess and appreciate art from many different disciples and genres. Elements of technology, math, science, and music will also be infused into the learning environment.
 
Curriculum Enrichment
  • Accelerated Math
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Band/Choir
  • Cultural Expeditions Program: Washington, D.C. Trip
  • Competitions: Art, Creative Writing, Math, Speech, Spelling and Science
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
  • History Fair
  • International Thespian Society (ITS)
  • Advisory
  • Mobile Laptop Cart
  • Local Field Trips: Theatre Productions, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Menil Collection, etc.
  • National Junior Honor Society (NHS)
  • Physical Education
  • Student Council
 

SEVENTH GRADE

Biblical Studies
This Bible course will take us on a journey thru the life of Christ thru the Gospel of Matthew. Our 7th graders will understand how all four Gospels revolve around the story of redemption through Jesus Christ. Throughout this course, our 7th grade students will recognize that Jesus’s love for them has no limit and he seeks to have a personal relationship with each one of us.The students will also study the Acts of the Apostles and the life of the disciples and will conclude that the influence Jesus has on the lives of people, throughout the ages, has never been surpassed; no other great leader has inspired so many positive changes in the lives of his followers and those who allow him to transform their lives will experience fulfillment and joy as they follow His teachings.

Computer
In the seventh grade technology class, students utilize productivity tools throughout the school year such as Word, Excel, Publisher, and PowerPoint on projects which emphasize research and evaluation, analysis, problem solving, writing, presentation skills, and creativity. Periodically, student projects will integrate with other curriculum areas such as Bible, history, or art. Students will have several opportunities for self-teaching and collaboration on new software and web tools, with the emphasis on solving problems on their own. The use of software Help features is encouraged to obtain assistance in using software. The seventh grade students will strive for keyboarding speed and accuracy using TypingMaster Pro software. Safety and ethics is emphasized as students examine and compare a variety of advanced search tools and techniques to acquire information electronically, and become proficient at evaluating and citing web sites. Web 2.0 tools will also be reviewed and utilized on projects. The students will be introduced to digital graphics, audio, and video using tools such as Picture Manager, Movie Maker, GIMP, and Windows Media Player. The students will also have the opportunity to replace parts on a CPU and will use the basic computer skills which they have learned to trouble-shoot workstation problems on campus.

English
The seventh grade English program focuses on helping students develop strong reading, writing, grammar, and speaking skills. Students in this course strengthen their working knowledge of literary elements and devices; discuss Biblical, historical, and thematic connections to classic literary works; acquire more advanced vocabulary and grammar skills; and integrate an appreciation for classical authors with personal creativity as share their own ideas and pieces.
 
Seventh graders read several full works, including The Phantom Tollbooth, Animal Farm, and The Taming of the Shrew, as well as at least 50 AR points of independent reading. They write several short, analytical essays, a 1,000-word scientific research paper with bibliography, and a 1600 to 3000-word short story or screenplay. And, in the spring, outside on the Green when the weather allows, they act out and discuss The Taming of the Shrew, scene by scene. By the end of the course, students will have completed half of a two-year grammar program and memorized over 200 vocabulary words and their Greek and Latin roots.
 
History
This course surveys the American journey from the first Americans, on to the age of exploration, Colonial America, on to the growth of the Thirteen Colonies and the establishment of a new nation through the American Revolution. The course will also focus on the Federalist, Jefferson, Jackson Eras, the age of reform and conclude with the history of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Pre-Algebra (normal mathematics track)
The course maintains a balance between mathematical concepts and procedures. Students will learn to identify and use geometrical shapes and equations.  The textbook provides a variety of exercises ranging from basic exercises that will help students develop and practice skills to challenging exercises that involve logical reasoning and problem solving.  In 7th grade, students are taught how to think mathematically and work with variables to solve problems and students soon realize that success in mathematics is not simply learning, rehearsing, and memorizing procedures that somehow lead to the "right answer", but they see that the math they learn in school is highly correlated with the math they encounter in everyday life.  With Bible integration, the aim is to help students see mathematics as part of the truth and order that God has built into reality.

Algebra 1 (advanced mathematics track)*
In Algebra 1, students begin by reviewing basic algebraic concepts and properties of integers. This is followed by units on graphing equations, polynomials, radical and rational expressions, quadratic equations, and probability and data analysis.

Science
Students study Biology in 7th Grade. Content includes: Life, Viruses, Bacteria, Protoctists, and Fungi, Plants, Animals, The Human Body, Genetics and Heredity, and Ecology. Students will develop science process skills, critical thinking skills, and scientific reasoning skills. Science process skills, such as observing, classifying, inferring, and experimenting provide a framework in which ideas can be conceptualized, tested, and evaluated.

Spanish*
Students will be engaged in learning the Spanish language through theatre. We will be using Avancemos! 1B. A magnificent textbook that teaches the language by immersing students in various Spanish speaking cultures. Students will develop more fluency and comprehension of the language by performing and creating their own genre-specific pieces using material covered during class. This will help them expand their vocabulary. Students will learn as they listen, collaborate in groups, do independent research, and present their findings to their peers.
 
During the second year of Spanish students will be learning about the preterite tense of regular, irregular, and stem-changing verbs. Students will also be introduced to affirmative and negative words, pronouns after prepositions, present progressive and demonstrative adjectives. Students will learn an additional 320 vocabulary words.

Visual Arts
Students will produce two and three dimensional artwork in a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, fiber arts, clay, printmaking and sculpture. We will explore both traditional art making techniques and principles as well as contemporary modes of visual communication. In addition to hands-on art making, students will learn about art history as it relates to their history curriculum. We will use our critical thinking skills to assess and appreciate art from many different disciples and genres. Elements of technology, math, science, and music will also be infused into the learning environment.
 
Curriculum Enrichment
  • Accelerated Math
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Band/Choir
  • Cultural Expeditions Program: New York/Boston Trip
  • Competitions: Art, Creative Writing, Math, Speech, Spelling and Science
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
  • International Thespian Society (ITS)
  • Advisory
  • Mobile Laptop Cart
  • Local Field Trips: Theatre Productions, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Menil Collection, etc.
  • National Junior Honor Society (NHS)
  • Physical Education
  • Science Fair
  • Student Council
 

EIGHTH GRADE

Algebra 1 (normal mathematics track)*
In Algebra 1, the students will begin by reviewing basic algebraic concepts and properties of integers. This is followed by units on graphing equations, polynomials, radical and rational expressions, quadratic equations, and probability and data analysis.

Geometry (advanced mathematics track)*
In Geometry students will have a chance to develop their reasoning skills and problem solving strategies. The students will learn to analyze geometric relationships in two and three dimensions and to make connections to algebra, probability, trigonometry, and discrete math.

Biblical Studies
As many belief systems are competing for the attention of teens, we believe it is vital to incorporate Apologetics and worldview content into the 8th grade Bible curriculum. This Bible course helps provide our students with a strong Christian worldview foundation, based on the infallible Word of God. Apologetics helps demonstrate to our students that our Christianity is credible, reasonable and relevant. The Bible says that we're to always be ready to give a "defense" (an apologia) to people who ask us about the hope we have as Christians. Thus, our students will be equipped to answer questions as to why and what they believe in and will be able to defend their faith. They will also learn through the lessons, in this course, that Jesus cannot be equated with any person or power, for He is the supreme ruler of time and eternity, heaven and earth, humans and angels and will come to realize that this King of Kings is to be given His rightful place as King of their lives.

Computer
In the eighth grade technology class, students will utilize productivity tools throughout the school year such as Word, Excel, Access, Publisher, and PowerPoint on projects which emphasize research and evaluation, analysis, problem solving, writing, presentation skills, and creativity. Periodically, student projects will integrate with other curriculum areas such as Bible, history, or art. Given a project, students will usually be required to choose the appropriate software for that project. Students will compare their choices and ascertain the ease of each application, listing pros and cons. Students will have several opportunities for self-teaching and collaboration on new software and web tools, with the emphasis on solving problems on their own. The use of software Help features is encouraged to obtain assistance in using software. Web 2.0 tools will be utilized on several projects. The students will be create projects involving digital audio, digital graphics and video, and animation using tools such as Picture Manager, Movie Maker, Photo Story 3, GIMP, Windows Media Player, and MonkeyJam. The students will also have the opportunity to replace parts on a CPU and to create their own virtual laptop. Students will use the basic computer skills which they have learned to trouble-shoot workstation problems on campus. The eighth grade students will also strive for keyboarding speed and accuracy using TypingMaster Pro software.

Drama
William Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, "Though this be madness, yet there is method in't." The eighth grade theater arts program is an intense study of necessary skills needed to understand the theater and what is expected of actors. This study incorporates five minute brainstorming drills to stimulate thought about setting the stage. Students will engage in acting exercises from warming up their voice to determining the appropriate lighting for a production. A study of theater history will tie in their years of elementary study in history and literature to help understand the theater. Students will keep a drama spiral for stage notes and character sketches. Students will use their biblical knowledge to present skits during chapel with a final message for each.

English
The eighth grade English program helps students pursue the skills needed for high school success, whether they choose on-level or Advanced Placement classes. Students in this course master a working knowledge of literary elements and devices, grammar rules, fiction and essay writing, and discussion skills. They continue to discuss Biblical, historical, and thematic connections to classic literary works; acquire more advanced vocabulary, including many terms from the legal and medical professions; and analyze what classical authors do in order to develop their own creative writing.
 
The Pre-Advanced Placement 8th grade English class offers an allusion series, advanced syntax practice, and more demanding reading and writing requirements for students wishing to take on an extra challenge. This is our first year piloting this course.
 
All eighth graders read several full works, including The Call of the Wild or Treasure Island, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Oedipus Rex, as well as at least 50 AR points of independent reading. They write analytical and personal essays, a 1,300-word historical research paper with in-text citations and an annotated bibliography, and a 1600 to 3000-word short story or screenplay. They practice the Socratic Seminar and participate in a mock trial using textual evidence. In the spring, they act out and discuss A Midsummer Night’s Dream, scene by scene. By the end of the course, students have also completed their last two years of grammar study and memorized 200+ more vocabulary words and their Greek and Latin roots. These students enter high school more than prepared.
History
Students in grade eight study major turning points that shaped the modern world, from the late eighteenth century through the present, including the cause and course of the two world wars. They develop an understanding of the historical roots of current world issues and relate them to their historical, geographic, political, economic, and cultural contexts. The course will cover 5 Units, key topics include Unit 1 Connecting Hemispheres, Unit 2 Absolutism, Unit 3 Industrialization, Unit 4 World Wars, Unit 5 perspectives on the present.

Logic
In Logic, students are introduced to formal elements of deductive logic. Students learn about statements and their relationships, syllogisms and validity, arguments in normal English, and informal fallacies. Students also work with truth tables and cover the translation and analysis of arguments into propositions. The primary concern of the student will be to determine the validity of those arguments and the importance of defining terms. Logic helps bridge the gap between simply memorizing or blindly accepting information and the greater challenge of critical analysis and clarity in oral presentation of one’s thoughts. Specifically, this course is about how to think critically by exploring the components of arguments--issues, conclusions, reasons, evidence, assumptions, language, and how to spot fallacies, manipulations, and obstacles to critical thinking and how to present those findings.

Science*
IPC is a laboratory course designed to give students hands-on practical experiences and background in the structure of matter, atoms, the periodic table, acids, bases, and solutions, and chemical reactions (basic chemistry principles). Applications related to everyday occurrences will assist students in becoming a more scientifically aware citizenry.

Spanish*
Students will be engaged in learning the Spanish language through theatre. We will be using Avancemos! 2. A magnificent textbook that teaches the language by immersing students in various Spanish speaking cultures. Students will develop more fluency and comprehension of the language by performing, writing and creating their own genre-specific pieces using material covered during class while expanding their vocabulary. Grammar will be a very important component in this class as students are expected to write and express themselves at a higher level. Students will learn as they listen, collaborate in groups, do independent research, and present their findings to their peers.
 
During the third year of Spanish students will be learning about the imperfect tense, more verbs with irregular preterite stems, pronoun placement with commands, the subjunctive, superlatives, and the future tense. Students will learn an additional 560 vocabulary words. By the time students graduate 8th grade they will have learned 1200 vocabulary words in addition to grammar.

Visual Arts
Students will produce two and three dimensional artwork in a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, fiber arts, clay, printmaking and sculpture. We will explore both traditional art making techniques and principles as well as contemporary modes of visual communication. In addition to hands-on art making, students will learn about art history as it relates to their history curriculum. We will use our critical thinking skills to assess and appreciate art from many different disciples and genres. Elements of technology, math, science, and music will also be infused into the learning environment.
 
Curriculum Enrichment
  • Accelerated Math
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Band/Choir
  • Art/Journalism
  • Cultural Expeditions Program: London/Oxford Trip
  • Academic Competitions: Art, Creative Writing, Math, Speech, Spelling and Science
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
  • History Fair
  • International Thespian Society (ITS)
  • Advisory
  • Mobile Laptop Cart
  • Local Field Trips: Theatre Productions, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Menil Collection, etc.
  • National Junior Honor Society (NHS)
  • Physical Education
  • Student Council
 
*High School Level Course - high school credits are given to students and are transferable upon graduation.