Until the age of six, the child is guided by nature towards motor sensory experiences and independent activity, so that he can build within himself the reality of the world and of the society he lives in. Then suddenly begins a physical and psychological change compared to other periods, and the capacity for work and the power of memory are in oneness.
During this second chapter of her becoming, the prevalent tendencies of a child are for group activity, rather than for individual activity. Also, it is not what can be perceived materially by the senses which attracts a child, but rather, what is beyond this possibility that can be grasped only by the effort of imagination. Again, not the material fact itself, as in the previous period, but the causes, the reasons, and the effects of the fact that before left him indifferent now become fascinating.
Also, the child uses much energy searching for the truth and developing a value system.
One of the things which occupies him is what is ethical in life, what is good, just, or unjust.
Elementary curriculum covers mathematics, language, science, history and geography much broader than traditional schools.
Kids learn to set goals, manage time, projects and utilize resources and advanced Montessori materials to accomplish individual as well as group projects.
Children are provided the opportunity to read children’s classics, participate in performing arts, music and creative writing activities.
Foreign languages (Italian, Latin & Spanish), physical education, invited speakers and field trips round out the elementary curriculum.
The Great Lessons
The great lessons are five key areas of interconnected studies, traditionally presented to all elementary Montessori students in the form of inspiring stories. They include the stories of:
How the World Came to Be
Development of Life on Earth
Story of Humankind
Development of Language Writing
Development of Mathematics
Elementary students rarely use textbooks. The approach is largely based on library research.
Children gather information, prepare reports, share their acquired knowledge with fellow students, and assemble portfolios and handmade books on their own.
Children learn to use the reference materials from libraries, online and digital resources and they prepare for their oral presentations and written research reports.
Materials in the Classroom
A wealth and variety of both in-house, handmade and commercially produced Montessori materials are available in VMS classrooms.
Learning continues to be a hands-on, focused experience.
Students learn by trial, error and discovery.
Human Spirit and Character
Key to Montessori education success is the diligent and continuous quest of the educators for the development of the child’s self-esteem and independence.
Children are not only close friends at VMS, but they discover and embrace countless life lessons in social skills, courtesy and ethics.
Dr. Montessori noted that during elementary years, children are developing their senses of justice and moral reasoning. At VMS, we seek to go beyond simple life lessons to begin serious exploration of moral philosophy.
Skills and traits a child develops in a Montessori class last a lifetime and propel students to a successful transition throughout their educational journey.
The Montessori elementary program is usually offered in two separated prepared environments, the lower elementary and the upper elementary. The lower elementary welcomes children six to nine years of age. Our curriculum is not dictated by the adult, but by the universe and our life in the universe. Since it is impossible to bring the world into the classroom because most of it is inaccessible to the senses, we try to ignite the imagination of the children through a series of fascinating, stimulating stories, the great lessons.
In these, the vision of the world precedes the details and the child receives the keys that will open the world to his exploring mind and to his activity. These five lessons tell the stories of how the world came to be, how life developed, how language developed, and how mathematics developed. These lessons offer the children a sense of wonder, admiration, and perspective about their cosmic task. In Montessori, we call the process of learning cosmic education, through which children explore the interdependence of living things and especially humans. The children’s study of the universe in its globality and complexity lead to an education in which all the subjects are naturally related to one another, geography, science, language, math, and geometry.