Around six years of age, the child undergoes a transformation, one characterized by a social and moral awareness and a reasoning, imaginative mind. The question he asks addresses his urge to be intellectually independent, “How do I think for myself?” The Elementary program is designed to meet these needs.
Montessori elementary classrooms are fundamentally different from traditional elementary classrooms. A peek into the classroom will show children actively working on many different things. Students are free to move freely about the classroom and choose (within limits) their activities. The teachers in the room are guides not the focal point or lecturer. Teachers work with small groups and walk throughout the classroom giving guidance when needed. Because Montessori recognizes that all children work at different levels and are at different places, students can be challenged to move along quickly if they are able. It is not unusual in the Montessori classroom to have a first grade student working independently on third grade level work. It is our belief that the secret to maintaining a child’s interest and motivation is to keep them challenged. There is great personal satisfaction that happens when a student successfully completes a challenging piece of work and it further encourages him to strive to the next level. Conversely, students needing a little more time to master a task or lesson are given this flexibility freely and without shame. Being able to work one-on-one with teachers allows him to quickly and thoroughly grasp the task at hand.
Nine Building Blocks of Elementary Curriculum
Language – an immersion into the history, grammar, etymology, and spelling of language including the experience of poetry, prose, drama, dialogue, discussion, debate, and research in both oral and written forms.
Geography – a study that begins with the big picture to the local, exploring volcanoes, the work of water, wind and air, and the basic physical properties of matter that have shaped the world we inhabit.
History – a study of the timeline of life, integrating natural and human history and focusing on the unique attributes of different cultures and the universality of all.
Biology – a curriculum that builds on the fascination children have for plants and animals to emphasize and understanding plant and animal behavior and physiology.
Music – an introduction to reading and writing music, accompanied by beautiful singing exercises every day.
Cosmic Education – a curriculum developed by Dr. Montessori to introduce the child to his or her place and responsibility in society.
Mathematics – a sequence of lessons leading to an understanding of abstract mathematical operations, incorporating the structure of the decimal system, the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, and other key concepts.
Physical Education – skill building to develop consciousness and control of movement, enhance personal confidence, and teach teamwork. Flexibility and strength training are a part of the weekly schedule as well as nutrition education.
Art – an important form of self-expression and part of the daily life of the class, using media like watercolors, chalks, pastels, clay, colored pencil, collage.