There’s a whole lot going on inside the mind of the elementary child.
In the Montessori elementary environment, it is the whole child who is accepted and encouraged to reach her full potential and to explore her new powers—her imagination, her critical mind and her social development—so that she may continue to construct her self and discover a true love of learning.
At age 6 or 7, the child leaves the Children’s House with the same insatiable curiosity she has always had combined with an armory of new knowledge and skills, steadfast confidence, a powerful imagination, a burgeoning social self, the capacity for abstract thought and a mind that is beginning to reason. Between the ages of 6 and 12, the elementary child will refine her reading, writing and mathematical skills, and she will make new discoveries in the sciences and humanities.
The key disciplines of the elementary curriculum are geometry, mathematics, language, history, geography, music, art and science. You will not find a stationary, lecturing teacher at the head of the elementary classroom imposing an hourly work schedule on the children in her classroom—there is no “math at nine and English at ten” policy. Instead, the AMI-certified Guide and her Assistant are moving about the room, engaging with the children. Each child is free to choose his materials as well as where to work and for how long. The classroom is organized so that the materials are categorized by subject, but they are not separated. All materials are accessible, inviting and challenging. Every lesson, every school subject, is formally presented to each child by the Guide, and the Guide remains always present to assist the child as he delves into his particular interests. Daily conversations with each child, as well as monitored work journals, allow the Guide to follow and encourage the progress of each child in each subject. And most importantly, each child is invited to think critically and to follow his inherent interests and curiosities, all the while developing a life-long love of learning.
At Villa di Maria, we offer two levels of elementary education so that our children may remain a part of our community for as long as possible. The Lower Elementary classroom serves ages 6 through 9, and the Upper Elementary classroom serves ages 9 through 12.