The Elementary ProgramPinewoods Montessori, North Carolina

Pinewoods Montessori Middle Childhood Program:

Ages 6 to 12 Years Old

The Montessori Elementary program builds on the child’s learning in Primary, helping children perfect and extend their skills. The elementary program offers a comprehensive approach to education, integrating reading, math, geometry, science, history, geography, biology, Spanish, music, art, and physical education.

Lower Elementary

6 – 9 Years Old

In this mixed-age classroom an interdisciplinary curriculum stresses connections between different study areas. The teacher uses “Great Lessons,” which lay out a general organization for knowledge, then invites the children to investigate details and relate them back to the whole. Impressionistic charts and evocative materials give a sense of the size and age of the observable universe, the steady progression of life on Earth, the variety of terrain and climates on our planet, and the saga of human evolution, invention, and civilization.

The classroom environment meets both the social and academic needs of the child. Social skills are taught and practiced and group learning encourages individual contributions, listening, and the ability to compromise.

Upper Elementary

9 – 12 Years Old

Children at this age become abstract thinkers and the curriculum responds to this developmental characteristic. Students are presented a challenging interdisciplinary curriculum with a key emphasis on project work that moves from the concrete to the abstract. Class trips include overnight experiences.

Upper Elementary students extend their studies and go out into the community to use what they have learned. This may come in the form of putting together a science fair project, interviewing a university professor, or planning a group trip to a local historical site. Community service rounds out their Upper Elementary Experience.

The Montessori Elementary program allows the child to continue the great strides in learning made in the Primary. This is a time for perfecting and extending the skills already begun. Reading, math, geometry, and science all bring the student to new understanding expressed through writing. History, geography, and biology are presented in ways that give meaning and appreciation to the great order of the universe. Children begin to explore humankind and themselves in the world and begin to develop respect for nature.

The Montessori elementary curriculum is interdisciplinary, allowing English, science, social studies, the arts, world language, writing, and math to converge in studies guided by the child’s own interests. Emphasis is placed on the connections between different areas of study, not on the mere presentation of isolated facts. Music, art, and physical education are an integral part of the week. The overall curriculum is an integrated and academically challenging program that meets the child’s changing developmental needs from year to year.

The Montessori Elementary course of study for the Elementary years fully integrates separate disciplines of the curriculum in an integrated thematic approach. This approach uses five Great Lessons as a framework for the child to gain a rich understanding of the physical universe, the world of nature, and the human experience. They introduce for study a scientific approach to investigating the interrelatedness of all things, and a complete understanding of the ecology of the natural world as humans know it. These lessons appeal to this age child by drawing on a wealth of previous sensorial experience and interrelating it an order that provokes the imagination. The previous knowledge of the child is brought together in a framework that provides a vision of the whole with all its component parts.

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