Our Montessori Elementary program offers an unparalleled opportunity for the ongoing development of your child who has been nurtured in our Primary program. S/He is entering a new period in his/her life; this imaginative, social, creative child needs a planned environment and expansive course of study to support his burgeoning independence and potential. The Montessori Elementary program, for children between the ages of six and twelve, is designed to meet the needs of your child in this phase of development. This experience will shape not only his/her knowledge and skills, but also his/her attitude about learning for the rest of his/her life.
Our Elementary Community
Blue Ridge Montessori Elementary program is organized into two three-year cycles: E1, also known as Lower Elementary for first through third grades, and E2 or Upper Elementary for fourth through sixth grades. As in the Primary community, multi-age groupings offer lasting benefits by creating a family-like setting. By working closely with children for a period of three or more years, teachers know each child’s learning style, strengths, interests, and capabilities. Teachers can then offer more effective lessons for meeting each child’s individual needs. Children form lasting friendships as they and their teachers develop a strong sense of community.
The classroom teachers are both instructors and guides in support of the program’s academic and developmental goals. The teachers provide lessons that are appropriate for each child’s progress and development.
Learning to become independent thinkers and self-directed are two developmental goals of the Elementary program. We strive to understand and then challenge each child according to his or her developmental needs and capabilities. Children learn to become responsible for their own learning as they make daily decisions and choices in our child-centered classrooms. Becoming mindful of the consequences of ones choices is an essential habit for success in life.
“The elementary child has reached a new level of development. Before he was interested in things: working with his hands, learning their names. Now he is interested mainly in the how and why…the problem of cause and effect.”
Dr. Maria Montessori
In the Classroom
The Elementary community is an exciting place of learning because the children are active participants. At this age, children enjoy learning with others. You are likely to see children working together to parse sentences, reduce fractions, or research life in Colonial America. Learning to collaborate is an important part of the learning process.
The elementary child’s learning activities both within the classroom and also in libraries, museums, and other sites that contain the information they seek as they satisfy their hunger for knowledge and understanding.
Experimental learning takes place in the classroom in a variety of formats as the children explore anthropology, biology, botany, chemistry, earth science, economics, geography, history, language, literature, mathematics, psychology, sociology, technology, and more.
The Great Lessons (Cosmic Education)
Topics from these subjects are presented to the Elementary children in an impressionistic, scientific, ecological, holistic, and integrated format known as The Great Lessons.
The intent of the Great Lessons is to give a “cosmic” perspective of the Earth and humanity’s place within it. The five Great Lessons concern how the world came to be, the development of life on Earth, the story of humankind, the development of language and writing, and the development of mathematics.
Follow-up lessons, stories, individual studies, research, and projects occur during the entire six years of the Elementary program. Elementary children respond well to the classroom stories told about the history of the universe and humanity. These stories further ignite the children’s interest in the details of science, math, social science, and language. The stories further emphasize the connections between the different areas of study.
Our curriculum includes lessons in spelling, mathematics, grammar, sentence analysis, creative and expository writing and research skills. Our students also study the worlds of science and technology. They read and discuss literature, history, world geography, economics, anthropology, and the organization of human societies. Many areas of study are open-ended, allowing each child to continue pursuing related ideas and interests.
Lessons build on past learning and respond to the children’s expanding knowledge and growing conceptual understanding. As children become more able to reason abstractly, they naturally become independent thinkers. By first using concrete learning materials, children develop both a strong foundation and a deep understanding of concepts, ideas, and skills.
For example, children use the classroom materials in a scientific investigation to describe to describe patterns and define relationships. As they collect information and interpret data, they begin to develop an understanding of independent and dependent variables. When they later study algebra, they will extend their earlier science experiences into multivariate graphing and linear equations. These experiences further extend into casual and statistical reasoning as they research and study a myriad of topics such as health, nutrition, political decisions, and social issues.
During the elementary school years can learn without the hands-on materials because they now understand the abstract ideas the materials represent. Abstract ideas should not merely be told; for lasting learning, ideas must be discovered. Academic rules and laws are points of arrival rather than starting points.
Although the scope of the Elementary curriculum is vast, it is organized as a spiral curriculum. Students are repeatedly exposed to many subjects that are integrated and connected. With each repetition, children make new discoveries and see connections more clearly. This process enables conceptual formation and deeper understanding rather than memorizing facts that are quickly forgotten. The integrated curriculum also promotes the development of life-long learning habits such as persistence, problem solving, communication, time-management, and self-reliance.
Summer Adventure Camps
Each Summer BRMS offers summer six camp sessions. Each camp session consists of a one-week program that is based upon a chosen curriculum theme. These themes are implemented using the Montessori Method and are in conjunction with our normal Montessori environment. Enrollment for our Summer Adventure Camp begins in March and ends in May or when all spaces are filled.
Extra-Curricular Activities and Clubs (1st through 6th graders)
Archery, Quest (STEAM), Drama, School Paper, Yearbook, and Literary Club are just a few of the clubs that have been started here at BRMS. Clubs can be started by students, teachers, or parents. Clubs are typically held once a week after-school from 3:00 – 4:00pm.
Specials (K-6th grade)
As part of our Elementary curriculum we offer additional weekly classes in Music, Spanish, Art, and Physical Education.
Schedule and Tuition
View the most recent Elementary schedule and tuition list.