Academics are one aspect of the whole development of each child. The Montessori curriculum is well-noted for robust academics and strong outcomes. The Montessori curriculum presents academics not as isolated disciplines but as inter-related areas of study. An interdisciplinary focus creates awareness, curiosity and a more global aspect for students, making learning exciting and challenging.
In the Montessori elementary classroom mathematics materials are concrete representations of abstract concepts that demonstrate what takes place in a given mathematical process. Mathematics in the Montessori environment is an integration of arithmetic, algebra and geometry into a system where each illuminate the other. Concrete learning materials help to establish the spatial aspects of basic concepts such as computations in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division until the child is able to explore them more abstractly later on.
Because language serves as a foundation for much of what the child learns in all other areas, reading, writing, and oral expression are emphasized. Elementary students build on their past foundation of sound, phonics, writing and grammar, and come to feel an instinctive sense of language.
In the elementary classroom language activities give keys to our language and the child undertakes the study of words, their origins, spelling and grammatical function. Reading and writing continue and are an integral part of the entire curriculum. They are strengthened through the development of research skills, composition, exploration of poetry and drama and keeping a journal of daily work.
History, geography and the sciences are greatly enhanced by the presentation of the "Great Lessons." These lessons are dramatic presentations giving the history of the universe and the world, as well as the evolution of plants, animals and humans on the earth.
Children are involved in many ways in understanding the cosmic story of the beginnings of the universe, the formation of stars, planets, the sun and the earth. They learn the story of the origins of man and all things. The human being represents both a culmination and a point of departure. Time lines, charts and basic research cards of human needs and the advancement of civilizations help the child in independent study. Here is the opportunity for special studies in geology, biology, geography and history.
The model of "Cosmic Education" and the "Great Lessons" creates an integrated curriculum of history, biology, geography, geology and the story of the development of language and mathematics.
Going out is an integral part of the Montessori elementary experience. The children extend the classroom into the larger community in which we live by following up on an interest or research project, by arranging a visit to a museum, library, pet store or other site that can provide them with the information they need. Going out can involve a small group of children accompanied by a staff person or in some cases, a parent volunteer. The whole class also may take field trips to local museums, drama productions, factories and agencies to learn about the community.