Lower Elementary - Ages 6 Years to 9 Years
Following the Primary Program, children are enrolled in the Montessori elementary school program, which focuses on a child's growing awareness of the universe and the forces at work within it - a "Cosmic Education." Groups of children receive lessons and undertake follow-up work, allowing plenty of opportunity for each to exercise the increased interest in social interaction that typically develops at this age. The Montessori elementary school class structure and curriculum, then, responds to the characteristics of the age group.
There are two major developmental changes that mark this stage of development: the emergence of the reasoning mind and the interest in social organization and peer groups. The elementary child wants to know "how and why," using the imagination as a major tool to explore. With our "Cosmic Education" curriculum, we provide a variety of resources and materials to support the child's efforts to manipulate ideas and explore connections in concrete ways.
Upper Elementary - Ages 9 Years - 12 Years
Between the ages of 9-12, children move from concrete representation to abstract thinking as they seek to bring order to the various disconnected facts and ideas they encounter in the world. They are able to think hypothetically. Montessori believed it is also a time of great moral development. No longer merely concerned with right and wrong, good and bad, the Montessori upper elementary student now seeks to understand the motivation behind behavior. When confronted with moral issues, the upper elementary student seeks to imagine and develop possible solutions.
This age child is now ready to dive deeper into the hows and whys. In order to find out more they must Go Out into the world to see how the concepts learned in the classroom connect to the world in which they are a part. Through this exploration, both in the classroom and the world, the child sees the whole picture go together and not just individual parts.