In Fall of 2018, Blooming Grove Montessori opened an Elementary program serving ages six to twelve. We are located on ten beautiful acres of land in East Madison shared with our ages 0-6 programs.
We strive to serve the natural unfolding of each child’s individual development while supporting their growth into a capable and creative person with reverence for the world and its people.
Miss Sara will be our lead Elementary teacher and is available to answer questions and pre-enroll children for the 2019-2020 School Year.
Philosophy of Elementary Programs
FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
Elementary children can handle enormous amounts of freedom when they are supported. “Individualized curriculum” and “self paced” are not just buzz words in Montessori environments. Since 1906, our method has been dedicated to radically examining the teacher’s role in education. Children can choose what to work on, who to work on it with, where to work on it, and how long to work on it. As adults, we guide them towards recognizing the responsibility that comes with this freedom through conversations and frequent conferences.
Elementary children are naturally engaged, passionate learners. We embrace this and seek to appeal to the elementary child through their powers of imagination and reasoning. Children’s passions and interests are our tools for engaging them in the classroom environment. The carefully designed Montessori materials support your child in making discoveries on their own, allowing for hands-on learning in all subjects. From the children’s first day, we week to put them in touch with their natural joy by showing them that it is welcome at school.
Elementary children are capable of balancing working in a group with their individual needs. Children of this age are naturally social and learn best when they have the opportunity to interact with their peers. During the morning and afternoon work cycle, the children learn with peers while talking and moving around. Children may also do independent work either alone or next to other children. Montessori guides are trained in facilitating this sort of learning and offer assistance and reminders if needed.
We open the study of all subjects through Five Great Stories at the start of the school year. These stories launch our study of Geography, Biology, History, Language, Math, and Geometry. These, along with Art and Music, are the backbone of our Montessori curriculum. We think of the curriculum not simply as standards and objectives to teach. Rather, the curriculum is the child’s introduction to the universe. It is designed to serve the elementary child’s particular developmental needs.
All subjects are taught primarily through the use of the Montessori materials. Children are given lessons, either independently or in small groups, during the morning and afternoon work cycles. They negotiate their independent follow up work after the lesson and are supported in meeting these goals. Their follow up work may be extended practice with the materials or may be an independent project inspired by the concept. The guide keeps thorough notes and records to keep track of the children’s independent learning while ensuring that they are progressing academically.
Learning extends beyond the classroom as well. Our beautiful ten acre campus provides us with wonderful opportunities for learning. We go outside unless it is below zero degrees– no bad weather, only bad clothing! Once a week, the children go on a nature hike with our school’s director of sustainability. We use things that we discover on our walks to help plan our science and history lessons. In addition to exploring our campus, we nurture the elementary child’s interest in the world through “going outs.” These are small, child-led field trips of two to five children. The children work together to plan a trip, decide how to get there, and arrange for a chaperone.
Children arrive and begin the day with a short outdoor time.
8:10-11:30 Morning Work Cycle
Children receive lessons from their guide and complete independent or group work of their choice. Once a week, we go on a nature hike with our school’s director of sustainability.
11:30-12:00 Outdoor Time
Children play outside on our beautiful campus. We generally play in the field next to our building but will sometimes venture to a different place on campus.
Lunch time is an event. The children set the table daily and are encouraged to view the time as “a restaurant in the classroom.” We begin with community announcements and a poem.
12:30-1:00 Reflection and Read Aloud
Children have a short quiet reading time followed by our daily read aloud.
1:00-3:30 Afternoon Work Cycle
Children receive lessons from their guide and complete independent or group work of their choice. Our day ends with caring for our classroom environment before departure.