( Ages 6 - 12 years )
8:30 - 9:00 Arrival Time
9:00 - 12:00 Morning Work Period
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 Outdoor Recess
2:00 - 3:00 Afternoon Work
3:00 - 3:30 Dismissal
Montessori Elementary Environment
The Montessori elementary environment balances the child’s
developing imagination and powers of abstraction with concrete,
hands-on materials. Each material is given in a structured sequence to lead children towards independent discovery and understanding.
Like the Montessori primary class, the Montessori elementary class is also a multi-age class with children from 6 to 12 years old. Our elementary children will remain in the same classroom with the same group of children and teachers during their elementary years to build a strong and stable community.
Within the classroom children are given lessons and are free to practice and refine the skills of each lesson at their own pace. They are guided in to manage their time and to meet the responsibility of working in a broad curriculum. Children cannot choose only to work in the subjects they find most interesting. The teacher encourages children to find connections in the work and helps them to see interest throughout.
Dr. Montessori’s vision for this age included an element of the elementary program called ‘Going Out.’ Already, our children are used to visiting the local library to find information. Over time, the Going Out program will grow to allow children to go on self-directed, adult supervised trips for information and ideas necessary to their schoolwork. Children are led to greater social autonomy as well as connection with the world outside the classroom, through Going Out trips.
Montessori Elementary Curriculum
As the children pass from Primary to Elementary there are profound changes to their bodies and to their minds. The child wants to explore the world through imagination and experience, to learn what is right and wrong and to evaluate meaningful roles in society. An elementary child has a thirst to know how things have come to be, the history of the universe, the world, humans, and why they behave the way they do. For this age, Dr. Montessori said, “We are to give the child the cosmos”.
Cosmic education is integral to the methodology of the elementary classroom. It relies on first giving a vision of the structure of an idea in its totality such as ‘life on Earth’ or ‘written language’ and then giving many connected lessons that create knowledge and experience of the parts of the whole. This education is more meaningful to the elementary child because of how it builds upon itself. Story and idea, narrative and concept, intellectual curiosity and academic skills are woven into a comprehensive fabric that by its very nature will stay with the child long after handwriting and memorization skills are mastered. And those skills, far from seeming pedestrian or dull will be valued because they are understood in their context. The long term goals for students immersed in this practice include informed and mature self-direction, enlightened curiosity, emotional well-being based on an understanding of how the world has come to its present state, confidence in an ability to contribute to the world positively and the initiative to do so.
The elementary curriculum is built around the five Great Lessons given at the beginning of each year:
The Story of the Universe explores the formation of the stars, the sun and the earth.
The Coming of Life introduces the children to the idea that life has not always existed on our planet, and that its coming signaled a new balance on the earth.
The Coming of Humans emphasizes the coming of humanity to the earth as a thinking, loving, working form of life.
The Story of Communication in Signs presents language as a part of history, investigates the various milestones that served to create the Roman alphabet.
The Story of Numerals introduces the child to the history connected with our numerals.
The Great Lessons are connected stories that span the enormous historical frames of time and space. From this core of story framework emanate the details of the disciplines: science, mathematics, social studies and language. The story provides an overview, stimulates the imagination and provides holistic lessons. The children then study the subjects in detail: biology, chemistry, geology, geography, physics, history, art and music. Because of the unifying thread of the Great Lessons, no subject is studied in isolation from the others. Throughout all subjects, the Montessori teacher has the opportunity to instill in her students a sense of being connected to all things in the universe.