Elementary Program (1st through 5th grade)
Our curriculum plan follows the Montessori Method of Elementary Education, high academic standards, the development of artistic and creative talents and stresses an individualized education program. The curriculum encourages the student’s concentration, self-esteem, research skills, curiosity, self-direction, active rather than passive learning and social and emotional development. Montessori education encourages cooperative rather than competitive learning.
Each class follows a weekly schedule for each of two terms during the year. During the morning period, the focus is on core subjects: reading, writing, language arts, math, geometry, spelling, grammar, penmanship and critical thinking skills, the basic skills which all children need to master during their elementary years. During the afternoons, they will focus on the cultural and artistic curriculum, encouraging curiosity about the world and artistic expression. The Integrated Studies include cultural and physical geography, history, physical science, zoology, botany, environmental studies, computers, music, Spanish, drama, art, woodshop and physical education. These classes are typically taught as group lessons by either a cultural subject specialist or by their teacher. Our facility contains a library, a computer lab, an art room, a music room, a teaching kitchen, a science lab, a theater/dance studio, a woodworking shop in addition to our eight classrooms. Many of the classrooms overlook the lake and playgrounds. At a nearby community park, there are facilities for ball sports and a variety of physical education activities. Field trips and guest speakers also enliven the educational experience.
As the child matures, activities are introduced to allow the child to acquire skills that all students will eventually need to succeed in academic life. The introduction of small assignments such as studying for a spelling test, and working up to more involved projects as in book reports and research projects, prepare the child for what they will encounter when they reach middle school, high school and college. In the upper grades, we intensify our focus on time management and accountability. If a student doesn’t complete their work goals during the school day, they are required to take the work home to complete it and turn it in the next day.
Our elementary classes have a maximum of 20 students. These classes span two grades and the students most often stay with the same teacher for a two year period. During many of the group lessons the class is divided into two or more groups to facilitate study of the cultural and artistic subjects. This lowers the adult to student ratio from 1:20 to 1:10 or 1:7.
In the middle of the day there is a yard and lunch rotation allowing the students to relax, play outside and eat their lunch in their classrooms. Daycare is available from 6:30-8:30am and from 3:30-6:00pm. A variety of indoor activities and games as well as playground time and snack is included. Afterschool extra-curricular activities such as gymnastics, ballet, ceramics, science, Spanish and French, guitar, chess club and Tae Kwon Do are offered on a sign-up basis for an additional cost.