Welcome to the Junior Class! We’re glad to have you! We hope that the following information will help you understand the workings and procedures of the Junior classrooms.
The Junior Elementary program is a natural continuation of the Montessori foundation that was laid in our Pre-Primary communities. As a result of our multi-age classrooms, you will notice that children are able to engage in work at varied academic levels. Our environments allow for individual children to challenge themselves by setting and ultimately reaching their goals with careful guidance from the classroom teachers. The Montessori philosophy allows children the time they need to internalize concepts before moving on to greater complexity, while strengthening their areas of mastery —it supports and engages the young minds placed in our care.
The child from age 6 to age 9 is naturally curious. Our classrooms encourage active, engaged learning by harnessing the child’s natural curiosity through the use of stories, interactive presentations, and hands-on exploration. We support their inquisitive nature with the broad curriculum and philosophy set forth by Dr. Maria Montessori. Our authentic Montessori environments demand that the children have protected, uninterrupted blocks of time for their work. This encourages each child to make choices and engage in deeper levels of concentration and focus.
Respect and responsibility are hallmarks of a Montessori education. A great benefit of our Junior environments is that the children bond into a community where individual opinion is valued and personal responsibility is expected. Children are growing up and beginning to look outside themselves to find their place in a community of learners. Children have the opportunity to advocate for themselves, to take responsibility for their role in conflicts and successes, to actively listen, and to successfully resolve their issues with the guided support of the adults in their environment. Our Junior classrooms invest in the children’s “character education.” Children are treated fairly and with respect by their teacher, and they are expected to treat each other and their environment with the same level of respect they are shown.
This respectful relationship between the teachers and the children helps them to learn to organize and plan their work so that they might take advantage of the entire breadth of the Montessori curriculum. The children keep careful track of their work. This is the stage where we plant the seeds of organization and time management. As the children are able, they are given greater freedom coupled with greater responsibility.
In our environments children are encouraged to take risks, and mistakes are thought of as opportunities for focused growth. Learning processes that set the children up for success are valued more than achieving specific scores. Our hope is that all children work to satisfy their academic, social, and emotional needs, and that they become competent judges of their growth and understanding. The curriculum offers a wide range of subjects that extend well into higher levels of knowledge and perception. We follow the interests and abilities of each child with the goal of nurturing self-directed, enthusiastic learners!
As an authentic Montessori elementary school, Children’s Meeting House introduces children to the broad areas of study through the use of Dr. Montessori’s five “Great Stories.” The Great Stories introduce five key areas of interconnected studies in the form of inspiring and dramatic stories. These lessons include the story of 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. These stories provide the foundation for further studies of the history of the universe, the Earth, and early man. The Junior Elementary curriculum takes off from these initial lessons and refers back to the Great Stories throughout its three-year cycle.
The children continue to take in the curriculum through the use of Montessori’s wonderful physical materials. These materials are beautiful, engaging, and the keys to exploring and synthesizing important concepts in math, geometry, language, botany, zoology, geography, history, music, and art.