LOWER ELEMENTARY
1st - 3rd grades

All in a day’s work

Your child will start their Lower Elementary journey by independently applying all the self-navigation skills they learned in Early Childhood. Equipped with a Daily Work Plan, they will build personal accountability and time management skills. A three-hour work cycle provides the long period needed to cover a broader range of lessons and take deeper dives into their studies. Without the steady delays of sitting in homeroom, changing classes, and teaching paced to the whole group, your child can stay focused on what matters most. With daily instructional time maximized, homework isn't necessary. We believe there is more value to spending time with family, contributing to the home routine, and relaxing with unstructured downtime.


“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future… Let us treat them with all the kindness which we would wish to help to develop in them.” - Maria Montessori

 

No "Cult of Speed"

Speaking of being relaxed, we know your child learns best when they are and at ease. The emphasis is always on the quality of the learning process, so your child takes pride in doing their best work. There is no need to rush or apply pressure with an unnecessary sense of urgency because it merely drives down performance. Their teacher takes the time to provide each student with undivided attention where they model being wholly present in the moment. In keeping with a student-centered environment, the rhythm of the day is calibrated to the speed of childhood.

 

Free to "be"

The Lower Elementary classroom is a vibrant, diverse community where your child will take on new roles, exchange opinions and ideas, and form deeper friendships. At this age, your child has a strong drive for social connection. Being free to collaborate with peers, move about the classroom, and self-direct their activity nurtures socialization skills. It is counterproductive to restrict their movement, confine them to desks and silence their voices. Connecting to the classroom community is a big part of your child's self-discovery process, and, at Lamplighter, your child is free to be themselves.
 

The power of "yet"

The Montessori setting values classroom community and constructive dialogue, so your child's social-emotional maturity is nurtured. The Lower Elementary curriculum builds on this foundation by encouraging a growth mindset. Your child will be figuring out a lot of things for the first time, and it's important to give them the tools to build perseverance, tenacity, and resilience. Learning to add "yet" to their thinking leaves room for improvement, "I can't write in cursive…..yet" or "I can't' play the guitar...yet." The Big Life Journal's growth mindset curriculum cultivates a repertoire of positive thinking strategies with a comprehensive set of self-reflective writing prompts. 

 


Mastery of fundamental skills

There are benchmarks for learning that guide the way to mastering fundamental skills. The highly-trained Montessori Lower Elementary knows how to carefully, methodically, and patiently sequence lessons with hands-on materials that prepare your child to think abstractly by first showing them the physical form. When they square and cube numbers, they take a number, such as 5, and use counting beads to make five sets of 5 to form a square. These concrete visualizations of learning concepts equip your child to grasp the next lesson, and the next, so they form an accurate and intricate framework that provides the context for drawing connections with new knowledge.

Forming big ideas

Your child learns best through experiential inquiry and discovery. Simply put, surround them with learning opportunities, and they will exceed expectations. The scope and sequence of the robust Montessori curriculum provides the minimum, while your child explores the maximum. Throughout the three-year cycle, the goal is to scaffold your child's development from independence in behavior to freedom in thought. Instead of providing the right answers, the teacher will ask your child the right questions to inspire them to find the answers for themselves. By establishing trust in their ability, your child will become increasingly engaged in their learning process and emerge as independent thinkers with big ideas.
 

Taking a "deep dive"

Now that your child can read, write, and articulate ideas, they are encouraged to explore particular interest topics that capture their imagination. They will undertake challenging research assignments, often collaborating with peers, where they creatively demonstrate their integration of knowledge from across the curriculum. By practicing how to acquire and organize new information, they gain the study skills needed to take on more complex projects in Upper Elementary.

 

Seeing the big picture

The Elementary curriculum awakens your child's imagination, curiosity, and admiration for human creativity and innovation through the presentation of the "Great Lessons." These impressionistic and scientific stories provide the "big picture" of the origin of the Universe, Life, Humans, Language, and Numbers. They provide a framework for future learning. Your child will gain a well-rounded understanding by grasping the "why" as much as the "what." While traditional programs isolate concepts by separating the subjects, your child will begin to identify the interconnectedness of knowledge and humanity.
 

Great Lessons

Specific studies

Coming of the Universe and the Earth

Astronomy, meteorology, chemistry, physics, geology, geography

Coming of Life

Biology, botany, ecology, evolution of life, zoology

Coming of Human Beings

History, culture, social studies, scientific discoveries and inventions

Communication in Signs

Reading, writing, linguistics, language structures, literature

The Story of Numbers

Mathematics, origin of numbers, systems of numbers, geometry