Sometime after their sixth birthday, the child begins to exhibit physical, social, and intellectual changes signaling readiness to transition into the Lower Elementary class. The Montessori Elementary program builds upon the experiences gathered during the Primary years while growing to meet the changing development needs of the older child.
A series of five Great Lessons are stories that appeal to the imagination of the Elementary-age child while serving as a springboard into the vast curriculum of the Montessori Elementary program. The Creation of the Universe story leads to explorations into political, economic, and physical Geography. Through the Coming of Life story children begin delving into Life Science and the study of zoology, botany, and ecology. The Coming of Humans story introduces the subject of History following human culture and civilizations from the Paleolithic era through current events. Language is introduced by the story of Communication in Signs, as the children learn about literature, grammar, creative, and expository writing. Communication in Symbols leads the children into Mathematics and Geometry with the Montessori materials offering a deep and concrete understanding of abstract concepts.
"Cosmic Education" is the term Dr. Montessori used for the elementary curriculum, as the subjects in the Montessori Elementary classroom encompass the Universe and everything within. With the integration of art and music into the daily work of the classroom, the learning environment reflects the interrelatedness of all things, animate and inanimate, in the Universe.
Through hands-on work with the Montessori Materials, student-generated research projects, and “Going Out” experiences, the Elementary-aged child becomes as active member of her community and an increasingly global thinker.
The Elementary program consists of two classes.
Lower Elementary: Children enter when their Primary guide determines readiness, usually at 6 years old.
Upper Elementary: Children enter at 9 years old or after completing three years in Lower Elementary.