A Love of Learning (6 – 9 years)
“I benefited from the Montessori education which in some ways gives the students a lot more freedom to do things at their own pace, to discover… Some of the credit for the willingness to go on your own interests, you can tie that back to that Montessori education.” — Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, a Montessori child
The Format Mirrors Your Child’s Developmental Needs
Your elementary-age child has a strong drive for social connection. She is starting to develop deeper friendships and a connection to the community around her. Why then, would we want her to learn in rows of desks, confined to a chair, while the teacher lectures the class as a group? Instead, we embrace your child’s natural need for social exploration by giving lessons in small groups and encouraging children to work with a variety of others on follow up projects and research into subjects of intense interest. In a Montessori elementary program, children help children before adults help children, resulting in teamwork, independence and a true learning community.
Engagement is Essential
Real learning occurs when children are engaged – not when the teacher makes a blanket assignment. Curiosity is championed in our Lower Elementary program, and your child is encouraged to explore concepts to a level of detail only limited by his imagination.
Learning in Context for Deeper Understanding
Unlike in a conventional program with a separate time of the day for each subject, your child will gain a much deeper understanding of concepts by learning in context. The starting point for all courses of study are the “Great Lessons;” these impressionistic and scientific stories give your child the “big picture” of astronomy, Earth science, geography, physics, biology, history, anthropology, cultural and social studies, language, math, music and art. Meaningful learning happens when children understand the “why” as much as the “what” – and are inspired to learn even more on their own.
Achieving the State of “Flow”
Think about how you do your best work. Is it when you are interrupted by others or when you work to an external time table? Probably not. Why, then, is it any different for your child? Our class day consists of long, open ended work periods that respect your child’s curiosity and concentration. She may choose to form or join a group to work with concepts introduced in a lesson. And, because she is free to move around the classroom, it’s not uncommon for ideas to spread; children are stimulated not just by the lessons they receive, but by each other.
Learning as its Own Reward
We have high expectations for your child, and believe that rewards and punishments appeal to the lowest levels of her intellect. Given a sticker, she will do her best for a few minutes. Given experiences that help her to believe in herself and her abilities, she will do her very best for a lifetime.