The Montessori Elementary program offers individualized education. The teacher strives to meet the developmental needs and learning styles of each child. He or she is able to move through the curriculum at a pace matched to his or her unique interests and abilities. As concepts are mastered, new ones are introduced.
In the Montessori classroom elementary students balance freedom with responsibility. While children have required work that fulfills specific learning objectives, their input and planning is essential. They are taught to keep track of their work and are accountable for its completion. A study plan or journal is kept stating when work needs to be completed. As the child becomes more independent and responsible then even more freedom can be given allowing the student to determine when to work on each subject area and what it will take to master each concept.
The multi-age grouping provides opportunities for broad social development and enhanced learning. The younger child watches the older and is encouraged to progress while the older child gains leadership skills and reinforces his or her own learning by helping the younger.
In a Montessori Elementary class, children are presented with materials that teach concepts in a concrete manner before moving on to paper and pencil work. Learning extends beyond the classroom as well through field trips and “going out”. These excursions provide the students the opportunity to experience the inner workings of our society and environment, all designed to enhance their learning.
An important part of Montessori education is respect. The teacher has respect for his or her students. Students respect themselves and each other as well as their classroom, their environment, and their teachers. Children learn to solve problems and resolve conflicts in creative, constructive ways. They learn to respect the differences in others and to understand that those differences are what makes us strong as a community.
The Integrated Curriculum
In a Montessori classroom, one subject is not isolated or compartmentalized from another. For instance, if the class were studying Mexico they might learn to count in Spanish or prepare a Mexican meal. They might compute exchange rates, study maps of the country, and write reports on the history of Mexico. This integrated, thematic approach ties together the different disciplines and illustrates how all knowledge, all people are connected.
The Montessori Primary classroom truly gives children the opportunity to progress at their own pace in a classroom that is child-centered and designed to create in them a lifetime love of learning. The broad range of subjects including, but not limited to, language, mathematics, geometry, art, science, culture, geography, history, music, and movement affords every child the opportunity to explore his or her own interests as well as receiving an excellent academic base for later learning.
NOTE: Parents of children 6 years old and older will need to file a “competent private instruction” form with the school in their district. Please see the Jane Delleman, Educational Directress for more information.