The Montessori Elementary Program
The elementary program offers a continuum built on the preschool experience. As in the preschool, the Montessori materials are a means to an end. They are intended to evoke imagination, to aid abstraction, to generate a world view about the human task and purpose. The child works within a philosophical system, asking questions about the origins of the universe, the nature of life, people, and their differences. On a factual basis, interdisciplinary studies combine geological, biological, and anthropological science in the study of natural history and world ecology. The environment reflects a new stage of development and offers the following:
- Integration of the arts, sciences, geography, history, and language evoking the natural imagination and abstraction of the elementary child.
- Presentation of knowledge as part of a large-scale narrative revealing the origins of the Earth, life, human communities, and modern history, alwaysin the context of the wholeness of life. Presentations of the formal scientific language of zoology, botany, anthropology, geography, geology, and more to expose the child to accurate, organized information and respect the child’s intelligence and interests.
- Connected narratives providing an inspiring overview as the organizing, integrating, “Great Lessons”. Great Lessons span the history of the universe from the big bang theory of the origin of the solar system, earth and life forms to the emergence of human culture and the rise of civilization. Aided by impressionistic charts and timelines, the child’s study of detail in reference to the Great Lessons leads to awe and respect for the totality of knowledge.
- The use of timelines, pictures, charts and other visual aids providing a linguistic and visual overview of the first principles of each discipline.
- A mathematics curriculum presented with concrete materials simultaneously revealing arithmetic, geometric, and algebraic correlations. This curriculum recognizes the child’s need for experience, for repetition, for various levels of concreteness, for going from concrete to symbol to abstraction. The emphasis is on making formulas and rules a point of arrival and discovery, not a point of departure.
- A language arts curriculum emphasizing creative writing, expository writing, interpretive reading and literature, research, grammar and sentence analysis, spelling based on etymology and usage and oral expression for sharing research, creative writing, and dramatic productions.