Eucalyptus Classroom, Ages 6-8
At around age six, a change occurs in the child that gives us a key to the elementary years. The child develops the mental power to visualize and explore. We call this the ability to abstract. This new ability opens vast new arenas for learning. The elementary child is able to learn about anything that can be held in the intellect, including the entire world and the universe. Accordingly, Montessori provides the elementary-age child with large and noble themes.
Science and History lessons are presented in a group, and are followed by individual research. Topics include the history of our universe, the timeline of life on earth, and global geography.
All work is individualized according to the child. Challenges offered are easy to attain, yet compelling enough to engage the child toward deeper interest.
Reading, developed phonetically, advances steadily through a guided progression of spelling, writing, dictation, and workshops. Grammar materials use symbols and visual patterns to help children discover parts of speech.
Mathematics moves from the concrete towards abstraction through daily practice with the advanced Montessori Materials. These materials define the early areas of geometry, algebra and calculus.
Students also learn how to follow a work plan and schedule their time. Spelling, handwriting, creative writing, and physical education are also added to the core curriculum.
Sequoia Classroom, Ages 9-11
The Sequoia classroom, for children ages nine to twelve, builds on the Lower Elementary experience. This is an exciting time for students as the curriculum becomes increasingly sophisticated and challenging, yet still allows them to refine basic skills and learn how to manage their time.
Students become more independent and proficient as they begin in-depth research and study for individual and group projects. In Sequoia, students work increasingly in the abstract. Montessori materials are still available, and new subjects such as advanced science, creative writing, economics, literature and Latin are added to the core curriculum.
There is also a new emphasis on responsibility and interacting with the larger community. Students plan their own field trips (“Going Outs”) to further their individual research in a topic of their choosing. Students also plan and operate their own money-making ventures to raise funds for a big trip or activity at the end of the year. Like all of the students at BCMS, Sequoia students enjoy lots of outdoor time on our beautiful campus and in our gardens.