7th & 8th Grades


The Middle School years are a time of transition.  Anchor provides challenging Middle School courses, which continue our interactive, Classical approach to learning but challenge students to begin thinking at a deeper level and owning their learning.  These 7th & 8th grade years will prepare our students for the rigors and responsibilities that await them in the High School years and beyond.


Registration for the 2023-24 school year will start May 1st for current families and May 15th for new families

Check back on March 15th for an updated course listing for the 2023-24 school year!

To go directly to a course description, click on the course names below.

For easy viewing, click here for a Printable Middle/High School Schedule

For information on tuition and fees, click: HERE!

*In addition to the course and material fees listed below, each family will be invoiced for annual registration, building, and administrative fees* 

Middle School Core Classes
2023/24 Classes
Classes offered on Rotation
American History

General Science
World Geography
7th-9th IEW

Middle School Composition

Foundations of Math


Physical Science

Life Science


Middle School Electives


2023/24 Elective Courses
Elective Courses offered on Rotation
Studio Art
Creative Writing
Inductive Bible Study
Life of Christ 
American Sign Language 1 (ASL)
ASL: American Sign Language 2

TUTOR:  Brenda Gibbs

REQUIRED TEXTS: Master books: Wonders of the Human Body Link to text

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./30 weeks

CLASS TIME:  Thursday 1:00-2:30



COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class will explore several systems of the human body. The skeletal system's function and the muscular system's basics make up the musculoskeletal system. We then move to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to study the body's circulation and breathing. Finally, we look at the Nervous system to include the central and peripheral systems, which encompass the brain and spinal cord.  

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TUTOR:  Jennifer Orie

REQUIRED TEXT: Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science 3rd Edition Student Text

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./30 weeks

CLASS TIME:  Tuesdays 10:30-12:00



GRADE LEVEL: 7th-8th Grades

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course is an actual general science course covering a wide range of branches of science. We will cover the history of science, scientific analysis, astronomy, geology, paleontology, meteorology, oceanography, chemistry, physics, life science (molecular biology, microbiology, immunology, botany, zoology, genetics), marine science, and environmental science. Classes will consist of short lectures and lots of hands-on activities. Students will learn how to design and conduct experiments and write lab reports correctly. Homework will consist of textbook reading, comprehension questions, completing lab reports, and take-home quizzes.    

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TUTOR:  Jessica Kruse 

CLASS LENGTH:  90 minutes twice a week

CLASS TIMES:  Tuesday 2:30-3:30; Thursday 9:00-10:00


HOMEWORK LEVEL:  Students must complete homework at least three days a week outside of Anchor's class time.

PRE-REQUISITE:  Students should be working at a 6th-7th grade level. If you are unsure if your student is ready, please email Caroline Allie at [email protected].com

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class will focus on your students' skills to prepare for Pre-Algebra. Two to three new skills will be taught each week, and the tutor will work closely with students to ensure comprehension of new information.   Students must complete assignments outside of class to keep up with the pace of the course. During class time, students will be working independently and in groups and instructed to maximize involvement and understanding. Topics reviewed and reinforced will include:  positive & negative numbers, combining terms, equation & inequality solving, graphing, linear equations, and beginning geometry.

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TUTOR:  Jessica Kruse 

CLASS LENGTH:  60 on Tuesdays and 90 minutes on Thursdays

CLASS TIMES:   Tuesdays 1:00-2:00 (60 min) and Thursdays from 1:00-2:30 (90 min)


HOMEWORK LEVEL:  Assignments on Monday, Wednesday, Friday

PRE-REQUISITE:  Students should be working on at least 6th-grade math. If you are unsure if your student is ready, please email Caroline Allie at [email protected]

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class will focus on your students' skills to prepare for Pre-Algebra. The tutor introduces two to three new skills each week and work closely with students to ensure comprehension of new information.   Students must complete assignments outside of class to keep up with the pace of the course. During class time, students will be working independently and in groups and instructed to maximize involvement and understanding. Topics reviewed and reinforced will include Whole numbers, rational numbers, integers, positive & negative numbers, combining terms, inequalities, ratios, area, and volume. You can find outlines here: 6th Grade Outline, 7th Grade Outline. The class will use a variety of these 2 curricula.

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TUTOR:  Cathy Backhaus

PREREQUISITE: Because this level of IEW moves at a more rapid pace, it is recommended that a student who is new to IEW be able to write an organized paragraph with a clear topic sentence and complete body sentences before enrolling in this course. If there is uncertainty about the placement of a 7th grader in an IEW class, it would be beneficial to speak with Mrs. Backhaus before registering. 

REQUIRED TEXT & MATERIALS:  IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing) Modern World History-Based Writing Lessons, Second Edition, November 2020 by Lori Verstegen  (Student Book Only)  Please note that this is a revised edition. ISBN: 978-1-62341-331-6

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./32 weeks

CLASS TIME:  Tuesdays 9:00-10:30


HOMEWORK LEVEL:  Approximately 30-45 minutes daily; varies from student to student.

GRADE LEVEL: 7th-9th Grades

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This class will develop composition, grammar, and vocabulary skills while students write about Modern World history. Incrementally, instruction will cover all the IEW models of structure and elements of style, including grammar rules, vocabulary, and stylistic techniques. We will be writing narrative stories, poetry, research papers, critiques, formal five-paragraph essays with proper formatting, and summarizing references. Daily journal entries to provide practice of written expression will be assigned every other week throughout the year. Also, we will complete weekly FIX-IT Grammar editing worksheets, which will boost the students’ general ability to communicate through the written word.

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TUTOR:  Brenda Gibbs and Olivia Allie

REQUIRED TEXTS: will be provided

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./30 weeks

CLASS TIME:  Tuesdays 10:30-12:00




Students will discover the importance of decision-making, discipline, and creativity from a Biblical worldview as it relates to life and writing through thoughtful and lively class discussions, strategic group activities, and weekly written assignments. In addition, persuasive writing through a lens of charity and redemption will be discussed throughout the year.

Students will learn to apply the basic step-by-step process for writing essays and practice skills taught in class by writing essays from the rudimentary to more advanced by years end. This fruitful process of writing excellence may be applied across curriculum.

Students are expected to read assigned selections of fables, fairy tales, short stories and novels for understanding, discussion, and assignments. Students are expected to contribute, thoughtfully and compassionately, to class discussions, activities, and assignments.

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TUTOR: Becky Van Rees- [email protected]


1.) A History of U.S.: Liberty for All 1820 – 1860 by Joy Hakim 
2.) A History of U.S.: War, Terrible War 1855 – 1865 by Joy Hakim 
3.) A History of U.S.: Reconstructing America 1865 – 1890 by Hakim 
4.) A History of U.S.: An Age of Extremes 1880 – 1917 by Joy Hakim

CLASS LENGTH: 90 mins. /30 weeks

CLASS TIME: Tuesday 9:00-10:30


HOMEWORK LEVEL: Moderate to heavy

COURSE DESCRIPTION: U.S. History Part 2: Students in this course will investigate the political and cultural forces that made America…America. Using the Socratic approach, we will explore U.S. history from the antebellum period to World War I. Students will learn to look deeper into text and examine history for themselves through close reading, contextualizing, and collaboration. Students will demonstrate their understanding through rich oral discussions, writing, independent research, historical simulations, blog posts, and digital projects. Expectations include daily readings of historical texts and class participation and being prepared weekly to engage in all class discussions and activities. 
To deepen their understanding of this time in our great nation, students will explore many questions, including the following:  
•    Did Manifest Destiny bring greater progress and freedoms to the prairies? 
•    How might the United States have been affected if transportation and communication systems had not followed closely on the heels of the pioneers? 
•    Would war have resulted even if the North stopped advocating for abolition? 
•    Do individuals shape history, or are individuals shaped by the times in which they live? 
•    What advantages and disadvantages did the Union and the Confederacy each possess at the start of the Civil War? 
•    What factors helped push immigrants out of Europe and Asia and pulled them toward the United States? 
•    How did the muckrakers prove the saying, "The pen is mightier than the sword."? 
•    Did the progressive movement die with the opening shots of World War 1? 

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TUTOR:  Lauren Steakley

TEXT: Geomatters: a Trail Guide to World Geography

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./30 weeks

GRADE LEVEL: 7th-8th Grades

CLASS TIME:  Tuesday 9:00-10:30



COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course, students will explore World Geography by learning the features and traits of all seven continents and identifying important geographical terms. In addition, they will learn how to read and create maps through mapping activities and atlas usage, with reinforcement through drills, assignments, and projects. Independent research will be required weekly.

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TUTOR: Logan Chambers

REQUIRED TEXTS: TBD by the instructor

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./17 weeks

CLASS TIME:  Thursdays 1:00-2:30



GRADE LEVEL: 7th-12th

COURSE DESCRIPTION: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV) If this verse is true, what does that say about how we Christians should know, interact, and understand the Bible? In this course, we will be asking and answering those questions. The goal is not only that the students who take this course will learn how to study and use scripture in their daily lives but also that they fall in love with God’s word and understand who they are and who God made them be. We will do this by analyzing the truth revealed through the Bible. 

This is a basic Inductive Bible study course where we will study and discuss Biblical translations and interpretations and the historical context of the text—the different literary forms throughout the Bible. Also, How to apply scripture to our cultural context right now.

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TUTOR:  Logan Chambers


CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./17 weeks Spring semester

CLASS TIME:  Thursday 9:00-10:30



GRADE LEVEL: 7th-12th Grades

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Whether you claim to be a Christian or not, the Life and ministry of Jesus completely changed the world. When we look in the bible, we have four different accounts of Jesus’ life: the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Do all four of these accounts tell the same story? Why was Jesus seen as radical during his lifetime? Did he claim to be the incarnation of God? What was the core of his message, and why did it impact history and still today? These are some of the questions we will explore in the Life of Christ. We will look at Jesus’ life from a historical and philosophical perspective to see what we can learn about the man who changed the planet.  

We will discuss the themes of each Gospel writer. For example, why do Matthew, Mark, and Luke seem more closely connected than the book of John? Next, we will look into the parables and the sermon on the mount to get the core of some of Jesus’ teachings, how they applied to his immediate audience, and what they mean for us today. Finally, we will look into his trial, death, and resurrection from a cultural standpoint to see if this one man was who he claimed to be. 

TUTOR: Gayla Kingston


CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins. /17 weeks

CLASS TIME:  FALL or SPRING Thursday's 1:00-2:30


GRADE LEVEL: 8th–12th Grade


PREREQUISITE: Students should be proficient writers and have experience in structured essay writing.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  In this one-semester course, students will have the opportunity to unleash their imaginations and spark their creativity through their writing. Completing writing assignments such as short stories, blog posts, and poetry will allow students to fully develop their creativity and give them different outlets to express themselves. Students will not just be writing; they will expand their vocabulary, learn pre-writing strategies, and use story elements such as plot, character development, and conflict to create amazing, creative writing pieces. Students will be required to come to class fully prepared, complete all assigned work, and be ready to participate fully.

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TUTOR:  Olivia Allie
REQUIRED MATERIALS: Monthly Creative Cloud (student discount) Subscription

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./17 weeks

CLASS TIME:  Tuesdays 1:00-2:30, Thursdays 2:30-4:00 (Separate Classes)
COURSE FEE:  $140      MATERIALS FEE:  $20/month Creative Cloud Subscription (Total $60)


GRADE LEVEL: 8th-12th

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Students will learn the basics of graphic design: line, shape, space etc., and how it comes together to create a finished product. Also learning how to use programs created for graphic design. In addition, students will learn terms commonly used in graphic design like foreground, background, focal point, and more. Homework includes creating artwork based on that week's lesson (lines, shapes, etc.) and bigger projects incorporating multiple concepts learned throughout the course. 

MS/HS MUSIC THEORY              

TUTOR: Tracey Ernst

REQUIRED TEXTS: link provided to print at home. price included

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./17 weeks

CLASS TIME:  Thursdays 10:30-12:00


HOMEWORK LEVEL: light to moderate

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Music theory is the building block for any musician who wants to compose and write their songs,
work with other musicians in performing ensembles or understand their music better. Students will
gain an understanding of the components of music (staff notation, rhythmic notation, harmonic &
melodic intervals, chord structure, key signatures, meter, form, dynamics, tempo) both visually and
aurally, through a variety of drills and games. The course may contain some written assignments to be
completed outside of class. No prior musical experience is necessary. To musically challenge students, the instructor will use an individualized approach. A $20 fee covers the cost of course materials. (I own the curriculum, manipulatives, apps, etc.… but the workbooks need to be printed )

TUTOR: Liesl Schiavone

TEXT: Playbook

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./16 weeks

CLASS TIME:  Thursday 10:30-12:00 (Spring)


GRADE LEVEL: 7th-12th


COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will teach beginning and intermediate acting skills, improvisation, and the elements involved in putting on a theatrical production from beginning to end. Students will audition and be assigned roles to prepare for their final performance throughout the semester. Students must memorize lines and stage directions and contribute artistically to the production. Material fees will cover script, performance fees, a recording fee, and set costs. Students will be responsible for their costumes.

TUTOR: Angela Somers

REQUIRED TEXT:  Provided by the tutor

CLASS LENGTH:  45 mins Tuesday and Thursday

GRADE LEVEL: 7th–12th Grades

CLASS TIME:  Tuesdays 3:15-4:00, Thursdays 9:45-10:30



COURSE DESCRIPTION: Part 2 of our ASL class offered in 2021-22, the students will continue to learn new signs and become proficient in using American Sign Language to communicate with others. The course's primary focus is to introduce students to American Sign Language. In addition to learning ASL, students will be exposed to the fundamental aspects of the Deaf community.  

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TUTOR:  Robin Shultz

REQUIRED MATERIALS:  Comfortable clothing and sneakers

CLASS LENGTH:  40 mins

CLASS TIME: Tuesday 1:00-1:45 and 1:45-2:30

COURSE FEE:  $85/semester

GRADE LEVEL: 7th-12th Grades

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This class will be 40 minutes of high-energy and fun-filled activity, starting with a dynamic warm-up, a series of exercises, and ending with games. By making exercise fun, students get excited to move around. Moving around results in becoming physically stronger and more energetic. It's a great first step on the road to cultivating a lifetime of health and fitness!

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TUTOR: Laura Thompson

REQUIRED MATERIALS: The tutor will send a supply list via email.

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./17 weeks Spring semester

CLASS TIME:  Thursdays: 9:00- 10:30 or 10:30-12:00



GRADE LEVEL: 7th-12th Grades

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class will take fine art learning to the next level and lead the students to create artwork that reflects themselves or that conveys a message. Sketchbooks will log techniques that will ultimately make a wonderful reference book. Students will have a deeper exploration of the creative process with drawing, painting, wood-burning, and clay tools.
 *Students will be asked to purchase a specific journal for the class that is not included in the fee*                                          

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