At age six, the Montessori idea gets exciting. Children are ready to ask “why” about profound ideas/subjects, and our goal is to use the Montessori approach of individual, self-paced work to encourage their imagination and curiosity, not stifle them with sitting and just listening.
We teach all the usual subjects you expect in the first to fourth grade. However, the Montessori idea of self-paced allows practice in clear thinking, doing their research, expressing themselves both verbally and written, and going from exploring a subject to practical application. They can progress as quickly, or as slowly, as needed.
With 6-12 year-olds in this environment, we watch children become focused, excited, and very involved in their hands-on projects. We watch them develop inquiring minds and questioning natures. We watch them look past “pat” answers and reach for understanding and reasoning. We watch them figure out how interconnected and interdependent the world is, which bolsters their respect for their environment and for all life itself.
In Language Arts, we work on actual reading skills, teaching phonics, as well as introducing them to grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure. We work on writing skills, literature, poetry, and compositions.
We work on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, fractions, geometry, beginning algebra, square roots, cubing, working them all into problem-solving and story problems. Math-related life skills, such as telling time, working with money, and balancing a checkbook, are some of the lessons that they will study.
We work in the sciences, botany, zoology, history, functional geography, social studies, computers, art, drama, and movement. We round them out with separate additional classes in music (Suzuki’s voice), art instruction, gymnastics and piano lessons.
Besides the life skills woven into the math lessons, we work on ironing, sewing a button, quilting, crocheting, knitting, grocery shopping, etc.
We work on manners and respecting each other’s space every day in all classes. We work on “please,” “thank you,” “no, thank you,” “you’re welcome,” etc.