Elementary Program

Our Elementary classroom is a dynamic learning environment where a child’s education doesn’t just stop at the basics.  Our program goes well beyond, nurturing an elementary child’s natural curiosity about the world.  Critical thinking, independent research, and problem solving are regular, integral parts of our daily curriculum. 

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Children learn best when they love what they learn

 

Loving what you learn means understanding it. 

Montessori methods are very hands-on.  Our students can take a physical square of 5 and see how it can be repeated 5 times, until they hold an actual cube of 5 (53) in their hands.  They can roll out the Timeline of Life on Earth and see the vast spans of time that passed before our human ancestors evolved.  From learning basic arithmetic functions to understanding more complex concepts like the passage of time, we explore a subject from many different angles. 

This also means taking the time with each student to make sure they understand a concept before they go on to a more complex one.  Our instruction is highly individualized.  Children move on in a subject based on their actual understanding and mastery of it, not an arbitrary time table. 

 

Loving what you learn means being invigorated by it.

The world is an amazing, dynamic place.  Our teachers are enthusiastic students of the world and share their joy in discovery with the students.  We are story tellers and question askers.  We love to find out something we never knew before!  In Montessori we do not compartmentalize learning as standard classrooms do.  For example, what we are learning about in history ties in with what we are learning about in botany and zoology, and we see how the geography we’re discussing played a role as well in past events. 

Students at this age need more from their education than memorizing unconnected facts to regurgitate for a test.  Montessori goes well beyond that, offering students the kind of learning they naturally gravitate toward – how does this information integrate in the real world with that information?  When your learning is meaningful and interesting, the facts are far from dry and boring.  Our students love to learn and can’t imagine it any other way.

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Loving what you learn means being curious to find out more.

            Research, even at a young age, is a key component to a Montessori education.  Our students are encouraged to find the answers to questions, both those posed by the teacher, and those they come up with themselves.  We have many books, maps, and charts, etc. that can help them find the answers to their questions.  Teachers are great resources for ideas on where to look and how to start.  Our students learn that they are capable of finding answers to their questions.  They do not have to rely solely on the teacher to give them the answers.  They can wonder, and discover things on their own. 

The wonderful thing about research is that new answers often beget new questions!  The children’s curiosity about a subject grows as they learn more about it.  This is learning that lasts for a lifetime.  These are students who are learning to think for themselves.

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Loving what you learn means reaching a level of mastery that you can feel proud of.

            We encourage all of our students to work toward a real sense of accomplishment.  For some students mastering the basic material offers them plenty of challenges with which to test themselves.  For other students, moving into more complex materials will achieve that goal.  Because the class is so individualized, each student can move toward the level where they understand what they are working on but are also challenged and focused on it.  Elementary children thrive when they have a feeling of real accomplishment, when they can say ‘I did it!’ with satisfaction and pride. 

            Our class is a close community.  We support one another in our endeavors and cheer each other for our successes.  We don’t shy away from work that is hard.  We ask for help if we need it; we try it again if we need to; we start a step at a time.  One of our favorite classroom sayings is “Hard is good, hard is how you learn.”  When one of our class has achieved a goal that has been hard for them, their teachers and classmates share in their joy.

Please contact us by email or at our Elementary campus at 310/782-9634 if you would like more information, or to visit our class.  We would love to talk with you about Montessori Elementary.

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