Elementary: A “Cosmic” Approach to Learning
In our elementary program, children gain a deep understanding of the hows and whys of the world through a discovery-based approach to learning. Our classes are divided into lower elementary (ages 6 to 9) and upper elementary (ages 9 to 12) groups.
The joy of discovery
Elementary students connect subjects together in a meaningful or “cosmic” way and they explore the interrelationships that exist among all of the math, language and cultural subjects. (See the Five Great Lessons.)
Our experienced Montessori elementary teachers are passionate inspiring students to explore and fulfill their potential through a discovery-based approach to learning. Lessons are personalized and given at each student’s pace and capitalizing on the student’s particular areas of interest. Hands-on materials are used to clarify abstract ideas and independent work is encouraged. Students often work in small groups or with mentors to help them learn to work cooperatively to develop strong social skills.
The Montessori elementary curriculum is divided into six subject areas: math, language, history, geography, biology and geometry. Using concrete, semi-concrete and abstract materials, the students are giving individual and small group lessons in each subject area. Follow-up work is done independently with careful teacher guidance. Teachers conduct daily assessments of each child and plan lessons accordingly.
Based on our 38 years of experience, students who complete our elementary program are extremely well-prepared to be successful in whatever future educational setting they choose.
All of the aspects of the elementary community are designed to support the strong social needs of the students. They develop collaborative skills, self-confidence, leadership skills and compassion through their group work. Our teachers are also skilled guides in helping the children to work through conflict, helping them to solve their own issues in a kind and compassionate way.
Weekly classes led by Sky Kershner, director of the Kanawha Pastoral Counseling Center, and the Rev. Ron English, help students develop communication and interpersonal skills that support positive personal, academic and social relationships and inspire them to become compassionate and socially conscious citizens of our school, community and planet.
Twice weekly classes led by native Spanish speaker Maria Kershner-Leon help students develop second language skills and broaden their cultural awareness.
Off Campus Learning
“Education is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment.” Dr. Maria Montessori
Off campus learning is a major component of the Montessori approach to education. Children at all levels enrich their academic lessons through multi-sensorial learning experiences off campus, including field trips and other interactive activities. These include an annual three-day session at The Mountain Institute at Spruce Knob for advanced students.