The Ivy School’s elementary and middle school programs for children ages 6 through 14 include the following elements:
All children work at their own pace in accord with their individual ability. Gifted children perform at their own accelerated pace. Children who need more time are given what they need to progress confidently. No child must slow down or speed up to keep pace with any group.
Teachers “follow the child”. Montessori guides adapt the curriculum to the interest and aptitudes of individual child rather than impose the same curriculum to all children regardless of their interests and aptitudes.
Ages are combined within the same classroom. Older children have an opportunity to teach and lead their younger classmates, and younger children have the opportunity to model themselves after the older children.
Concrete, hands-on materials. Children are naturally adept at navigating their physical environment, especially when the materials surrounding them are sized correctly for them. Children learn abstract concepts from interacting with physical materials, such as phonetic spelling with the Moveable Alphabet and geography with a World Puzzle Map.
While researching and discovering the answers to many of life’s big questions, the student will continue to build on the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic that were introduced in the primary communities. Different from a traditional school setting where a curriculum guides the daily lessons, it is the student who plans his or her day within the curriculum, under the guidance of the teacher and, with a list of goals and activities, all based on the student’s individual ability level.
Included in a student’s daily work are:
- Language arts (reading, grammar, spelling, creative writing)
- Advanced math (algebraic concepts, square root, base systems other than 10)
- Botany and Zoology
These lessons are learned with concrete, hands-on materials that have a structured sequence to help lead the school-aged child to discover and understand new information. Through local cultural and civic organizations, as well as in-depth study areas, our students’ learning is rounded out with “specials” designed to extend their learning beyond the basic academics.
These specials include:
- Foreign language study (Spanish)
- Music activities
- Integrated art (and art studies)
- Physical education
- Field trips
- Community service project
- Drama – Class festivals where they relate to the history curriculum
- Summer enrichment programs
- Computer education
Every year, students in grades 3, 4, 5 and 7 will take the Oaks test, which is a state required test to measure how students are performing on state standards.
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