Classes are organized as a progressive series of mixed age groups for a three-year period in Casa and Elementary, and two-year periods in the Adolescent Program (AP). Generally, a child remains in the same classroom, with the same teacher during this period. This gives the teacher a chance to develop a stronger relationship with the child, and a better understanding of each child’s personality and learning ability.
Casa (Primary or Children's House)
This level responds to the developmental needs of children between the ages of two and a half to six plus (2.5 - 6+) years. Through work done in the prepared environment, children develop independence, concentration, coordination and work habits necessary for later learning.
Around the time of their fifth birthday, when they are ready for group work in an extended work cycle, children are recommended by their teachers to continue on the day for another three-hour session in the afternoon. They also stay for lunch with their classmates and teacher.
Lower Elementary (6 to 9 years old)
This is the program designed for children ages six to nine years old. This is the first sub-stage of the second plane of development, a theory of Maria Montessori that defines the psychological characteristics of the child in certain age groups. A child in the lower elementary exercises reasoning mind along with a powerful imagination. He is a social explorer who possesses intellectual curiosity. As he grows and develops, the child is thirsty for knowledge, and the classroom and guide are there to satisfy it! Don’t you wish you learned this way, too?
Upper Elementary (9 to 12 years old)
Montessori’s approach for Elementary education stresses on helping the children see, understand and live in the interconnectedness and interdependency of all creations. It may sound too challenging for children aged 6-12 years old but these are exactly what they, at this particular plane of development, really need to learn.
The second cycle of the Elementary years is marked by a significant mental growth, which is greatly manifested through the consolidation of their understanding of society, human solidarity, harmony and balance in the universe, and the innate responsibility that they carry on their shoulders. The development of will, imagination, mental prowess, freedom, responsibility and independence continues. The crystallization of their values and personality are more apparent and felt. They realize that works involving higher cognitive functions are what satisfy their thirst for knowledge. They begin to leave tangible materials behind and explore the universe using their minds as they jumpstart their life-long journey of conscious abstraction of knowledge.
They go out into the world and enjoy the variety of cultures and lushness of the cosmos supported by their great growth in physicality. Hearing stories of greatness and goodness and moral values, the children build their conscience – the inner compass of what is right and what is wrong. Guiding them in satisfying all these sensitivities and showing them that they are loved, respected and understood are the vital aspects of the MMCSFI’s Level 2 Curriculum.
The Adolescent Program AP (12 to 16 years old)
If a child in the second plane (Lower and Upper Elementary) explores the universe and builds their conscience, you can imagine a child in the third plane as one who has returned from their exploration, and now looks to adults to help them begin to learn about what it is like to be an active member of society. It is no wonder that Dr. Montessori calls adolescents “social newborns” -- they are new to the adult universe, and so they see everything as if they were newborns - with a fresh set of senses - all over again.
Taking into account the psychological characteristics of adolescents, teachers serve more as guides as these young adults find their place and purpose in society. The Montessori Adolescent Program does not only prepare students for college or university. Rather, the Montessori Adolescent Program prepares young adults for LIFE!
Optional programs for the children.