Elementary

The Country Village Montessori School Elementary experience begins as the child moves into the second plane of development starting around age six. The elementary years are commonly referred to as the ages between 6 – 12 and 1st through 6th grades. This is a time of profound cognitive shifts.  Though a relatively stable period of development, it is a time where foundations of higher order thinking and learning take place, root, and grow. Many have called this stage of development as the age of reason.

The hallmark of the second stage is the development and use of Imagination. Here, a child begins to have a sense of time; past and present and glimpse the future. Questions of Why? Where? How? and to what Purpose? begin to enter their thinking and replace the “what’s that?” questions of the first stage of development. It is also a time from moving from concrete to abstract and to start to develop a deep sense of morality and justice.

Physically, the child looses their rounded baby look and begins to lean out with new teeth and new healthy vigor. With good sleep and nutrition, they’re healthier and can resist many illnesses. They need room to run and varied activities to satisfy their larger bodies.

Socially and psychologically the child is moving from the family into a new independence. The interactions between the class form a new set of providing practice in social rules of grace and courtesy and acceptable and applicable language etc: While conforming to the expectation set in the class there is much more trying on of new social roles and occasionally they can be tough and untidy as opposed to when in the Children’s House. This growing extroversions and turning outward from the family can be unsettling to some which is why we have to be unwavering when presenting pro-social points of views and intolerant of any bullying or bad behavior. They are learning from the modeling we do of confronting problems, moral dilemmas and fairness.

They are ambitious to the point of braggadocio at times but are compassionate and seek heroes. We are called to put in front of them people from the past and present that embody the character traits we applaud. We can also point out, when appropriate those that have failed us.

To teach to this child then, call forth from us a guide that must inspire and lead, planting seeds and telling stories to awaken that imagination so ready to be used. The use of impressionistic lessons and storytelling: the narrative that frames all our teaching becomes all important.

Because they are dealing with large concepts, repetition occurs with in a three-year cycle as a way to elaborate and amplify the concepts which take on deeper meaning and learning each year. Following then, are the key elements of the oft-referred to “Cosmic Curriculum” of the Elementary years.