“I milked a cow at school today.” It’s not something student parents hear every day, but it’s pretty common for our MTCS families. These meaningful moments don’t just happen on field trips, they are strategically part of our MTCS curriculum.
Take our annual Agriculture Day, for example. We coordinate this event with the Tennessee Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. Our students enjoy the experiential, hands-on activities of learning about soil, crops, animals, bees and farm life. They get to make their own butter, and they even milk a faux wooden cow! At the end of the day, students can trace the pathway of how food gets from the farmer’s field to our table. They walk away gaining a newfound appreciation for the hard work involved in agriculture.
As our students grow, they are challenged to not only experience the world around them, but to also learn how to lead it. To illustrate this leadership, they are assigned with creating a chapel experience for their peers. Not only does this enhance their confidence in public speaking and presentation, but it exercises their creative muscle. They are encouraged to craft something unique to share Jesus’ love through skits, singing, reciting scripture, prayer, etc. This exercise provides them with a better foundation for personal learning as they progress through their educational careers.
Important Bible and historic figures come to life when our 3rd and 4th graders present the Living Timeline. In this extensive project, we integrate several forms of learning. The students bring a Bible figure to life through their research, a written report, and a speech delivered before a backdrop they’ve designed. Students and family visitors meet each character and hear a one-minute speech about his or her life and achievements.
One of our 5th graders’ favorite highlights is our week-long 5th Grade Boot Camp. This event is an intensive, experiential study of World War II that jumps straight out of the history books and spills into the classroom. They start out the week camping out in tents and being awakened by a drill sergeant. Dressed in fatigues, the students work through their studies in classrooms mimicking front-line encampments. Probably the most memorable, emotionally rewarding part of the week is their direct contact with veterans, who share their stories of faith on the battlefield. We find our students coming away with a new appreciation for our patriots’ sacrifices. The boot camp ends with a dinner honoring local veterans, and the 5th graders receive special dog tags commemorating this special week.
Middle Tennessee Christian School’s non-traditional, whole-child curriculum engages the child - and sometimes the whole family - in meaningful educational experiences that extend beyond classical education instruction, well beyond the walls of the classroom. We are focused on preparing our students to be good citizens, actively serving the community, as well as actively serving the Kingdom. Our elementary experience is different, as are our kids as a result.
Luke 2:52 summarizes our learning philosophy: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”