The Elementary Curriculum
Between the ages of 6 and 12, there is an enormous change in the purpose of a child’s activity in the environment. The child has a new mind, a Reasoning Mind, and the tremendous power of the Imagination. They are full of questions such as “how” and “why”. In the Montessori Elementary, the child’s own questions provide the basis for exploration of the world. Because these questions are heeded and nurtured, the child really connects with knowledge. A Montessori Elementary education does not give the child a collection of trivial facts, but rather bestows a vision of inter-related knowledge and a love of learning.

The child of this age is also much more social and enjoys working with peers. The Elementary program fosters cooperation and collaborative skills amongst the children through small group-based lessons rather than individual lessons and demonstrations of grace and courtesy.

Cosmic Education
The approach to education envisioned by Maria Montessori for the elementary-aged child from 6-12 years is called Cosmic Education.

All lessons revolve around five Great Stories that take the child from the creation of the universe, the coming of life on earth and the birth of human beings to the evolution of language and numbers. This “big picture” of the Universe sets the stage for the child to embark on a never ending voyage of discovery. Key concepts in the various subject areas of math, language, science and social studies are then presented and explored as details within the context of this big picture.

Exploration in the Elementary class is aided by concrete, three-dimensional manipulative materials that introduce mathematics, geometry and algebra in a structured sequence, leading to discovery and understanding of abstract concepts. Symbols and visual patterns help teach grammar, structure and style of written language. The classroom is also equipped with a vast array of reference material to aid independent research. Children are also encouraged to set up experiments to find answers to their questions.

Field trips and “Going Out“ visits by small groups of children to museums, farms, factories, etc allow the child to seek answers beyond the limited environment of the classroom.

Cosmic education essentially follows the themes of progress and interdependency. The Great stories present not only the changes the earth has undergone since its beginnings but also the ways in which each new plant or animal affects all others. The stories inspire awe and wonder about the ecology of the natural world. They also build a sense of importance of making a contribution to the continuing stream of human progress. Thus Montessori elementary provides the foundations for life commitment.
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