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Early Elementary for ages 6 to 9, Upper Elementary for ages 9 to 12
The elementary program offers a continuum built on the preschool experience. The environment reflects a new stage of development and offers the following:
- Integration of the arts, science, geography, history and language that evokes the native imagination and abstraction of the elementary child.
- The use of timelines, pictures, charts and other visual aids to provide a linguistic and visual overview of the first principles of each discipline.
- Presentation of knowledge as a part of a large scale narrative that unfolds the origins of the earth, life, human communities and modern history, always in the context of the wholeness of life.
- Emphasis on open-ended research and in-depth study using primary and secondary sources.
- Montessori-trained guides who are “enlightened generalists” (guides who are able to integrate the teaching of all subjects, not as isolated disciplines, but as a part of a whole intellectual tradition).
- “Going out” to make use of community resources beyond the four walls of the classroom.
Presentation of the formal scientific language of zoology, botany, anthropology, geography, geology, etc., exposing the child to accurate, organized information and respecting the child’s intelligence and interests.
Language - Grammar and Writing
Children are encouraged to pursue reading, to write creatively, to interpret drama and to improve their reading skills.
Language studies are built upon the solid foundation begun in the primary class. Early in the curriculum, students delve into the structure of our language. They incorporate fundamental work in reading and spelling with the function of words. Building upon their understanding of how words function, they deconstruct sentences using Montessori’s materials for sentence analysis. These early studies of how our language is constructed lead into systematic writing exercises.
Language - Literature
Language is a vital part of the elementary classroom, for this is the time at which children feel the need to express themselves and their understanding of the world around them. Our language curriculum frees the child to experience language as immediate and vital. Studies of literature include the Junior Great Books program, individual reading assignments, stories that are read aloud to the class daily, and small-group studies of poetry.
Integrated arithmetic, algebra and geometry into a system where each illuminates the other called “psycho-mathematics.” The child begins with concrete learning materials to understand basic concepts (computations, place value, square roots) and is then capable of exploring mathematics more abstractly as his or her interests and abilities develop.
Children study the seed for artistic expression throughout history and are encouraged to express themselves with a variety of media. The students frequently incorporate art techniques in their expression of what they are learning in language and the sciences.
Presented as a language with the children creating rhythmic and melodic patterns to accompany songs on our Orff xylophones and other instruments. Music theory is taught using attractive materials and games.
Patterned as closely as possible after the native language experience: first oral with rhymes and songs then writing, reading and grammar.
Classes include basic exercises and a variety of sports: swimming, golf, tennis, rope jumping and basketball.