Ages 6 - 12 years

The elementary child has reached a new level of development. Before he was interested in things: working with his hands, learning their names. Now he is interested mainly in the how and why... the problem of cause and effect.
— Dr. Maria Montessori
Photo by sonya_m/iStock / Getty Images

The Montessori Elementary class is a stimulating, interesting place! Having spent many valuable years in the Children's House program, the six year old is excited and equipped to continue his journey. The intellectual development of the elementary child can accurately be defined as the passage to abstraction. The inquisitive six year old has entered a questioning period. He is constructing his mind, his intelligence, his will and his imagination. The elementary child wants to know everything about everything! He wants to know the when, where and how of everything. Learning at this stage must be relevant and respond to the child's need to understand his universe. The children are offered a rich and diverse curriculum with emphasis on developing skills, which will support and inspire lifelong learning. The classroom environment encourages both individual and small group exploration.

Times
School Day Program:  8:30 a.m - 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Full Day Program:  8:30 a.m - 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

For more information on our early morning program, click here.

Program Overview
The elementary child wants to know everything about everything! He wants to know the when, where and how of everything. Learning at this stage must be relevant and respond to the child's need to understand his universe. The children are offered a rich and diverse curriculum with emphasis on developing skills, which will support and inspire lifelong learning. The classroom environment encourages both individual and small group exploration.  

Children develop strong skills in reading, writing, mathematics, geometry, geography, history, biology, botany, and social studies through an integrated, core curriculum that begins with thought provoking and inspiring stories.

Like the Children's House, Montessori Elementary is based on a three-year cycle with multi-age groupings. Not only does this enhance social development but also learning opportunities. The youngest children are exposed to and inspired by the older children's activities and knowledge. The older children benefit, in turn, from teaching the younger ones. The older children also provide leadership and mentoring to their younger peers. Friendships that develop in this environment have depth and are generally long lasting. The Montessori Elementary environment provides and nurtures a profound sense of acceptance and belonging.

As with the Children's House, the Elementary child has the same teacher for the duration of the three-year cycle. This continuing relationship affords the teacher a luxury of having a special bond with each student, as well as intimate knowledge of each child's unique qualities. Such a teacher will know and respect the individual personalities of each child permitting her to help each one reach his or her natural potential.

Most students enter the Elementary Program from the HRIMS Children's House program (ages 3 - 6), though the school considers a small number of outside students each year who meet certain criteria.

Elementary Curriculum

The Great Lessons
These five Great Lessons (or Stories) are the foundation of the Montessori elementary curriculum and provide the framework for further study of the disciplines: science, mathematics, social studies and language.

The Great Lessons are intertwined stories that are presented as group lessons and are intended to inspire the child to seek more knowledge. After hearing each story the children are free to explore the subject in greater depth either individually or as part of a small group, through the use of timelines, charts, diagrams, and science experiments.

The Story of the Universe
Tells of the origins of the universe and our own planet, incorporating scientific experiments related to the properties of matter and leading to the future study of physics, chemistry, geology and astronomy.

The Coming of Life
Introduces the history of life on earth from the emergence of one-celled animals and plants to human beings.

The Coming of Humans
Explores the significance of the human beings on earth, their special abilities and how they differ from other life forms. The development of humans from their earliest times up until present day is presented.

The Story of Communication in Signs
Follows the development of writing from early primitive cultures through the ages, stressing the role of communication in society. The children explore the development of different alphabets, including the ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians.

The Story of Numerals
Traces the development of numerical systems including the Mayans, Sumerians and Babylonians.

Art, Music, Computers, Foreign Language and Physical Education
These subjects are integrated into the elementary curriculum and are natural extensions of the classroom work. HRIMS includes specialist teachers, such as a native speaking language teacher or a physical education teacher as part of the elementary environment.

Going Out
The children are given opportunities to expand their studies through visits to museums, libraries, nature centers, and other areas of interest. This experience is based on individual or small group interests and meets the needs of the children to explore a subject in greater depth. It may be as simple as going to the art museum to learn more about a particular artist or painting; a visit to the library for additional resources; or a face-to-face meeting with a local meteorologist to learn more about weather patterns. Whatever their nature, the children are active participants in the planning of all these excursions. Service and community projects also play a vital role in cultivating the child's desire to be an active, participating member of their community, while fostering the child's sense of social purpose and moral responsibility.


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