Secondary School

The Facts:

We offer 1st – 5th grades (Ages 6 – 11)

Instruction 80% English | 20% Spanish

The primary school continues the Montessori curriculum of preschool, but adds Waldorf principles associated with outdoor and natural world engagement. Both curriculums allow children to learn at their own individual pace as they successfully navigate challenges that help develop proficiencies appropriate to their needs and development level. The philosophy centers on guided choices for learning activities during uninterrupted working periods. Peer learning plays a central role as children access a variety of learning materials — which are carefully arranged in a comfortable environment and are unique to our program.

 

Our teachers design classrooms to encourage maximum levels of choice and freedom within limits and while adhering to a comforting level of structure. Children make individual decisions within the environment to enhance their own learning and work with teachers when they want guidance or support.

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Academics

Practical Life

Practical Life activities prepare the child for all other areas of learning: exercises give children the opportunity to refine their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, hand strength, balance, concentration and ability to do things for themselves. Through the repetition of Practical Life activities, children develop practical skills that will serve them all their lives. Some of the Primary Practical Life exercises include Pouring, Lacing, Scooping, Flower Arranging, Food Preparation and Serving, and Table Washing.

Language

Language crosses all curriculum areas. The young child is introduced to the names of things, and sounds and letters, while the older child may be beginning to read. Language materials are often tactile, taking advantage of sensitivity to learning through touch. Writing is reinforced through the use of concrete materials, like the pre-cut letters of the Moveable Alphabet, that allow a child to express his/her knowledge without needing precise control of a pencil. Language Materials include Sandpaper Letters, Language Objects for initial sounds practice, word and picture Matching Cards, vocabulary building activities and Early Reader books.

Math

Concrete materials are used to introduce mathematical concepts. Children build their abstract mathematical reasoning skills on these early concrete experiences. They learn how a numeral represents an amount. They manipulate objects to see the physical operation of concepts like addition and subtraction. These exercises cater to children’s developing sense of order, sequence, one-to-one correspondence and directionality. Primary Math activities include Sandpaper Numerals, the Spindle Box for counting, Numerals and Counters, the Hundred Board, Bead Chains, and Golden Beads to introduce the decimal system.

Geography

The Geography curriculum begins with the two hemispheres of Earth and becomes more and more detailed as children learn about continents, and then countries. The very young child will use the wooden puzzle maps as puzzles, but the older child can use the pieces as a guide as he makes his/her own maps, labeled with his/her own handwriting when he/she is ready.

Spanish

Toddler and Primary children are exposed to the sounds and rhythms of the Spanish language through games, songs, and activities. Lessons initially include counting, colors, and basic vocabulary. Many of our students speak Spanish as a first language, so it is often heard on the playground or in small group play.

Art

The Primary classroom includes an ever-changing selection of art and creative activities for children. Fine motor practice, color work, and imagination all come into play in the Art area. Lessons on great artists, matching activities with fine art prints, collage and glue, cutting with scissors, hole punching, markers, crayons, paint and our own play-dough are all part of the Art curriculum.

Science and Nature

Children are introduced to many topics and learn to make predictions in their Science and Nature activities. The land and water work, introducing the concepts of Lake and Island, is closely connected to the Geography curriculum. Children learn about volcanoes, the layers of the Earth and the solar system. They go on nature walks, work in our school garden, and then research the leaves, seed or flowers they have found. They learn to classify things, predict the results of experiments and test their predictions. The Science and Nature curriculum is designed not only to help children discover facts, but to honor the sense of wonder they have about the world. Activities include Sink or Float, Living or Non-Living, Magnetic or Non-Magnetic, Land and Water Forms, the Structure of the Earth and Botany.

Peace Education

Peacemaking and conflict resolution are a daily part of our curriculum. The Peace Table is full of lovely, interesting and calming objects from around the world, like music boxes, smooth stones, or tiny flowers, for children to touch and hold. There may be a mirror, so children can see how they look when they experience different emotions, and books with peaceful messages. At the Peace Table teachers help children to be good listeners and forge mutually agreeable solutions to conflicts. It is also a place where children can choose to go to enjoy a peaceful moment alone. In our classrooms, children and adults take care to be gracious toward and courteous of one another. This area of the curriculum encourages respect for oneself, for other members of the community, for the living things in the classroom, and for the environment. Carrying things carefully, returning them to their place so others may use them, moving gracefully and carefully, using polite and respectful language, showing consideration to others, good table manners, properly introducing oneself, and interrupting politely are all part of the lessons in grace and courtesy.