The Value in a Montessori Elementary School Education

A Montessori education prepares your child to thrive with an exceptional curriculum that prepares them skillfully and meaningfully for our ever-changing world. When your child leaves their elementary school environment, they will be ready for opportunities and challenges awaiting them in high school, college, and life in general.

The Value in a Montessori Elementary School Education

Elementary education in the Montessori school is divided into two parts. Lower Elementary are students in grades 1 through 3. Upper Elementary are students in grade 4 through 6. All grades throughout the two parts are taught subjects in accordance with the Montessori ‘cosmic education’ principle. This principle means your child will be taught to make direct use of their knowledge. They are encouraged to pursue their own interests independently and in depth. Support is provided, so your child doesn’t spend time just memorizing material, but will use their knowledge in real life applications.

Grades 1 through 3

Students in the lower elementary grades begin cultural work to look at their universe from the beginning of time. Timelines are used to organize and explain the formation of the earth and origin of life. Your child will learn about plants and animals and along the way, learn the history of life forms.

Lower elementary students’ curriculum also includes math, language, and practical life studies. When your child learns math skills, they will also develop problem-solving skills and be able to use math skills in their daily lives. Language will give them an understanding and appreciation for reading and literature along with knowledge of all writing and grammar styles.

Practical life studies will prepare your child to perform a series of jobs necessary to their classroom community. They will be asked to take care of a class pet, clean up after a group setting, or prepare and serve a class snack. These studies will show the importance and necessity of group work within a community setting.

Grades 4 through 6

Upper elementary students continue work introduced in the lower elementary. They extend the study on cosmic education with courses on human history. Studies will also include following the sequence of earth science, physical science, and biology. Their math curriculum will provide them a strong foundation in plane figures, area, volume, and formulas along with an introduction to congruence, equivalence, and similarity concepts.

As an upper elementary student, your child will expand their knowledge of grammar, creative writing, and different writing styles. They will be exposed to an in-depth literature curriculum. There are also practical life studies included in the upper grades to help prepare your child for necessary everyday practices.

Enriched Social Development

The Montessori Elementary education provides students in both levels with a well-rounded educational experience. Teachers will incorporate art, music, different languages, and physical education into their time. Students are encouraged to discuss, and problem solve issues that arise among them and speak honestly while feeling safe and included. They are taught to deal with social and emotional issues with empathy and respect.

Montessori education is different from a traditional education, in that students are encouraged to learn at their own pace and work with their peers and older students alike to gain better understanding of the world around them.  At Montessori School of Flagstaff Switzer Mesa Campus, we offer a full elementary program for grades 1 through 6.  Our elementary program not only inspires academic excellence but also encourages each child’s curiosity, creativity, and imagination.  Contact us today to schedule a tour.

What Does a Montessori Child’s Day Look Like?

A Montessori classroom is completely different than a traditional school classroom. The basis for the Montessori educational approach focuses completely on the child. The classroom has many opportunities for self-directed learning activities, collaborative play, and the freedom to make individual choices.

As you bring your child to the Montessori classroom, you will immediately see the differences. The classroom environment is set up to draw the students’ attention to specific hands-on learning activities. By actively engaging in individual activities or small group activities, the classroom provides unique learning opportunities for your child throughout the entire day.

A Typical Day in the Montessori Classroom

The age of your child will determine the exact learning environment. The Montessori approach incorporates a mixed aged classroom. For example, a single classroom may have children as young as 2 ½ years to 6 years of age. The multi-age classroom allows for a family-like atmosphere which helps in the learning process. Learning leadership skills, older children will naturally mentor younger ones, teaching them valuable skills along the way.

Social Exchange

Upon arrival, each child receives greetings from the teacher. The social exchange builds vocabulary, self-awareness, and mutual respect. The teacher recognizes each child as an individual with unique learning interests. By engaging in respectful exchange, students learn to understand the environment. Eventually, children will understand and develop empathy and compassion for their peers.

Block Activities for Development

Students participate in numerous activities throughout the day. Teachers provide the prepared learning environment for specific block activities to build upon the students natural curiosities for optimal development. Learning areas will provide activities for full development of each student physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally.

As children develop different interests or they desire further exploration on a subject, teachers will add to the learning environment. Creating a continuous, hands-on learning environment allows children to participate in activities of interest in a self-directed manner. Encouraging children to go at their own pace enables maximum learning potential for each interested subject.

Being Flexible

The prepared learning environment provides specific time blocks for activities. By providing children the freedom to explore, the learning environment provides flexibility. As a way of self-discovery and exploration, your child may spend most of the day learning about one subject. By allowing for the freedom to choose, your child will gain a much deeper understanding of the subject. Over time, the curiosity may allow for further exploration into other areas of learning.

Imagination Activities

Along with the prepared intellectual learning environment, teachers prepare open-ended activities to increase imagination. By encouraging imagination, students learn self-expression and critical thinking skills to try new methods of play. Exploring imaginary ideas also increases vocabulary word use, maximizes social skills, and develops the basis for thinking outside of the box.

The Montessori approach seeks to develop each student to reach their own, individual maximum potential. If you would like further information on a typical day for a Montessori student, contact Day Star Montessori today to schedule a tour.  Parents and students are encouraged and welcomed to to spend a day in the classroom to see the Montessori difference firsthand.

The Difference of a Montessori Middle School Education

On a daily basis, parents make decisions affecting the welfare of their children. Finding the best learning environment for a child to grow and succeed is part of the daily decision. Montessori Middle School focuses on children as individuals. Unlike a traditional classroom, the student-centered learning style focuses on self-reliance and independence.

The Montessori Middle School Approach

The Montessori Middle School learning environment is different than a traditional classroom. By focusing on each child’s uniqueness, instructors encourage self-discovery and learning. Montessori wants children to grow in all areas of development, including physical, social, emotional and mental. Foregoing restrictions or conforming to standardized testing norms, students learn areas of interest without limitations.

  • Small Groups/Individual Learning: Students use a self-paced curriculum. Working in small groups or individually allows children to feel confident about their discoveries. Resulting in more questions, the open-ended activities inspire students to continue learning. If a child is uncertain about a subject, the small grouping allows for questions without worry.
  • Non-Grading Learning Environment: Montessori groups children in a multi-age learning environment. The unique grouping allows children to mentor younger ones and develop leadership skills. The multi-age environment helps children feel more at ease. Participating in this style of learning environment allows students not to receive standardized grades.
  • Social/Communication Skills: Along with fostering independence and leadership skills, the Montessori learning environment enhances social and communication skills. The small groupings allow children to ask questions and discuss topics with other students. Often, the discussions lead to further exploration and learning.
  • Work Centers: The design of the Montessori learning environment includes work centers. At each work center, students may learn about one subject. Without any time restrictions, students may focus on one subject or several in one day. Basing the subjects at different levels, students will continue to learn new aspects.
  • Learning Styles: The self-paced learning environment allows the students to pick areas of interest. As each child makes a choice, the learning environment is both unique and different. Encouraging students to learn about individual passions allows for areas of expertise.
  • Instilling Self-Confidence: Children who focus on areas of strengths gain self-confidence. The desire to continue learning will aid in higher education choices in the future.
  • Curiosity and Learning: Montessori encourages children natural curiosity for learning. As students develop skills for exploring subjects and data, the desire for learning increases. Students will be able to use research, study and exploration skills in high school and college courses.

Montessori Middle Schools focus on children as individuals to reach their highest potential. Learning without time restrictions enables children to focus on interests. Fostering natural curiosity, students will continue to learn and grow at their own pace.

As a concerned parent for your child’s middle school education, if you would like more information on the Montessori learning style, please contact the Montessori School of Flagstaff Cedar Campus today. The highly trained instructors will answer all your questions. Providing informative tours, you will be able to view first-hand the effects of a non-restrictive learning environment.