Freedom Mountain Academy: Academic Studies

Designed to involve and excite students, academics at Freedom Mountain Academy ensure that students receive full high school credit for their year with us. Classes in history, science, literature, grammar, etymology, business math, and creative writing, are augmented by exposure to and discussion of inspiring ideas which lead to a successful and harmonious relationship with the world around them. Classes are conducted in blocks from morning through early evening, with large breaks of time for chores, meals, socializing, music, studying, writing letters, or resting.

 

U.S. History

This course is comprised of an in-depth study of the economic and political foundations of
the United States. It is a year-long study of the history of human progress, an examination of the societal conditions that preceded and gave rise to the 19 civilizations prior to our current one, all of which arose before the liberating inventions of the steam and internal-combustion engines. Our study of the high morale and societal cooperation required to overcome the daunting toil and dangers confronting the pioneers of these civilizations provides deep insight into the challenges and dangers facing mankind today.

 

Literature

The FMA literature program includes: Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Antigone by Sophocles, Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, April Morning by Howard Fast, Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, and The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clasen. Students also listen to readings of Mila 18 by Leon Uris, The Last Capitalist by Robert Mirvish, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Home Place by Fred Gipson, and The Philadelphian by Richard Powell.

 

English Composition

Following a thorough review of grammar, including parts of speech, parts of sentence, syntax, and essay writing, students begin a course in creative writing that includes daily workshops, which culminate in a wide variety of exercises and other completed projects, including a memoir, that are shared and evaluated by both students and staff.

 

Etymology

Following the guidelines established in Word Clues by Amsel Greene, students participate in a comprehensive study of the Greek and Latin origins of English. This course provides an in-depth understanding of Greek and Latin roots, which leads to extensive vocabulary improvement.

 

Mathematics

Following an in-depth review of the principles of arithmetic and basic mathematical concepts, students begin a more comprehensive study of business math followingShaum’s Basic Business Math Outline. Areas studied include: ratio, proportion and percent, payroll, depreciation, interest and discount, buying, selling, insurance, and an introduction to statistics.

 

Science/Nutrition


The study of nutrition—the chemistry of human health—considers how the interactions of enzyme and vitamin catalysts with nerve and muscle function affect our ability to think and act with maximum clarity and energy. This study ties in with the organic gardening that is part of the afternoon work chores at FMA. Thus the students’ academic study relates directly to the methods used to grow many of the nourishing fruits and vegetables that make up a large part of the school diet. Moreover, extensive mountaineering work provides a fascinating laboratory for the ever-changing weather characteristics of the Appalachian Mountains. Basic principles of meteorology and geology studied in the classroom contribute significantly to the students’ ability to “read” the mountains and the approaching weather when we are in the field.

 

Physical Education/Outdoor Program

The wilderness adventure part of our curriculum is designed around different specific challenges that, when completed, result in each student’s becoming competent in search-and-rescue techniques. The first expedition begins on the third day of school and lasts for six days. Students spend five to seven days a month in the mountains, for a total of 50 days of training. The final challenge of FMA’s wilderness adventure program requires all students to complete a four-day expedition during which they build their own shelters and find their own food.

 

Kitchen Economics

During this course students plan and prepare nutritious meals, for 15-20 people, using many natural raw ingredients from the farm.