The Elementary Child
Children ready for the Elementary classroom turn outward, ready for new horizons of research and discovery. They are full of questions and ready to be inspired by stories, lessons, and materials and to see answers through reason and imagination. Their questions drive their work, so that each endeavor develops new understanding and raises new questions. At this stage, children seek to further develop skills, gain confidence, confirm their own value, and recognize the value of others. As maturity of spirit and mind develop, children become young women and men ready to contribute their share to the world.
Development of social skills is also important in a Montessori environment. Children are encouraged to recognize people, including themselves, as unique and special individuals. They are directed toward humor that is not humiliating to others, but rather uplifting for all. Students are expected to develop and adhere to a solid social code of ethics, and to evaluate and accept the consequences of their own actions. Acceptance of differences fosters respect for others.
The values that inform the Elementary program are consistent with the Montessori ideal. Omni teaches even its youngest children to initiate activities, set goals, organize time, complete projects, and recognize individual strengths and weaknesses, so that they might learn self-direction. Teachers encourage students to work to the best of their abilities to develop determination. Children are allowed to struggle with difficult work, recognizing and enjoying the rewards such struggle brings - and learning persistence. Teachers require students to evaluate information and seek out different opinions and facts before making decisions, helping them develop logic. A high value is placed on imagination and originality, as well as on enthusiasm for knowledge that leads to love of learning. Omni helps children integrate the emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and physical, so that they may achieve balance. Positive self-esteem and resilience develop from the intrinsic joy experienced through meaningful work - motivating children to seek new challenges and persevere more effectively than outside rewards.