Is Montessori only for the preschool child or does it work for the elementary years and beyond?
A Montessori preschool education provides an exceptional beginning for children, but it does not stop there. Montessori philosophy and education is truly a way of life. A Montessori education constantly builds upon itself to change with the changing developmental needs of the child. As the elementary child gradually moves from the concrete learning pathways of preschool to the more abstract ones of the elementary, Montessori meets his needs each step of the way. Children move from learning through the “absorbent mind” towards learning consciously through active reasoning. At each developmental level, Montessori classrooms provide the specific materials, activities and framework for meeting the academic and social needs of the child as he ages, develops and grows in skills, attitudes and abilities.
The Montessori elementary program is a dynamic continuation of the Montessori approach at its best. The underlying principles of the Montessori Method are artfully at work in the elementary classroom as children satisfy their individualized learning needs and continue to fan the flame of imagination and inquiry. The elementary classroom is designed to meet the differing needs of the 6 to 9 year old in the lower elementary classroom and the 9-12 year old in the upper elementary classroom. Where the preprimary child learns by absorbing the richness of her environment, the elementary child has now discovered reason and wants to know not just the “what” and “where”, but the “why,” “when” and “how” of things. Basic skills, which have begun in the preprimary years, are expanded, refined, and polished to near perfection within the context of the cosmic "big picture."
The elementary child not only sees the relationships between things, he wants to build relationships and seeks the company of others. We nurture this natural drive by actively seeking to build a solid classroom community, which is owned and operated by the children themselves. Children are also encouraged to engage in the outside community and to learn from every type of experience they are afforded.