The Elementary Program

Around the ages of 6 and 7 years old, your child’s make-up changes. Three major events unfold :

1.  His once absorbent mind now becomes a reasoning faculty that is propelled by a marvelous ability to imagine.   His questions of “What?” in his younger years are now supplanted by his questions of “Why?” and “How?”

"We are confronted with a considerable development of consciousness that has already taken place, but now that consciousness is thrown outwards with a special direction, intelligence being extroverted,

and there is an unusual demand on the part of the child to know the reasons for things."

Imagination and reason fuel classroom experience through the Montessori materials and the carefully selected reference books. The trained teacher delivers measured information just enough to ignite exploration that invites your child to conduct researches even outside the confines of the school.  At one time, you may have accompanied or driven for him and his classmates to a going-out activity. And you knew in the end, he was learning infinitely more.

"The secret of good teaching is to regard the child’s intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination.

Our aim therefore is not merely to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to tough his imagination as to enthuse him to his inmost core."

2.  Your child also begins to be morally aware.  He innately develops a sense of what is right and what is wrong, of what is fair and what is not, and he seeks to understand it more and practice it in his community.   He reports what he sees as injustice and inquires of the adult’s judgment.  He looks for models of integrity.

"A second side of education at this age concerns the child’s exploration of the moral field, discrimination between good and evil. He no longer is receptive, absorbing impressions with ease, but wants to understand for himself, not content with accepting mere facts.

As moral activity develops he wants to use his own judgment, which often will be quite different from that of his teacher's."

3.  She also becomes a social being, leaves her solitary shell and begins to explore relationships among her peers.  These interactions tend to be more than casual.  They are organized with a sense of purpose and direction.

"Yet a third interesting fact to be observed in the child of six is his need to associate himself with others, not merely for the sake of company, but in some sort of organized activity.

He likes to mix with others in a group wherein each has a different status.  A leader is chosen, and is obeyed, and a strong group is formed.

This is a natural tendency through which mankind becomes organized."

Because your child is developing his social consciousness, his leadership and human organization skills emerge naturally in a multi-age grouping that is characteristic of a Montessori environment.


>  The Cosmic Education