The Montessori Philosophy
for Lower Elementary
6, 7, 8, and 9 year olds
In the Lower Elementary program, students learn and develop skills they will use throughout their academic and professional lives. In addition to the standard academics of reading, writing, math, science, and geography, the students learn to work with others, collaborate to find solutions, and work within their classroom community to establish an environment that is respectful and peaceful for all its members. True to Montessori, the Lower Elementary program has a three hour uninterrupted work cycle in the morning allowing children to delve into their work for extensive periods of time without breaking their concentration.
The Montessori curriculum is designed so that each child is allowed to progress at a rate that encourages mastery of a subject, while allowing further exploration of a child's special interests. Each day, the students create their schedule of the day which includes works such as math, spelling, language arts, science, and cultural activities. In addition, students may include activities based on lessons they have received or materials they need to complete. The flexibility in a school day allows the students to complete their schedule in any order. At any time you may see students working individually at a table or rug, working with other students on a project, attending a lesson given by a teacher, or helping another student with an activity. The students are free to move about the classroom to ask questions, get materials and supplies, or just check in with a friend, encouraging freedom within limits and promoting independence.
The Language curriculum includes reading, phonics, literature, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, word study, and writing and is integrated throughout the classroom. Once a Lower Elementary student can read fluently, the entire classroom is available to them. The Montessori Math curriculum, along with the unique Montessori math materials, provides a concrete foundation of math concepts and and operations. Through the use of the Montessori math materials the students understand how numbers are manipulated through the various operations of math and then apply this understanding as they progress to working without the materials, mastering concepts abstractly.
The Cultural curriculum, which encompasses biology, botany, zoology, geography, history, earth science, life and physical science and ecology, is a rich part of every Montessori classroom. It is within this curriculum that students are introduced to the Five Great Lessons:The Creation of the Universe, The Time Line of Life, The Time Line of Humans, The History of Language, and The History of Math. Through these lessons, the students begin to understand how the world is connected and how came to exist as we know it today over millions of years. Group discussions, individual interests, and research are all fostered through the Cultural curriculum and its many lessons that span the entirety of the Lower Elementary years.