The Senior Elementary program, for children ages 9-12, flows naturally from the Junior Elementary. The Junior program has prepared the children with the basic skills of reading, writing and math. The Senior class develops, these skills and integrates them into the daily work. It is during these three years that children evolve from learning with concrete materials to learning abstractly. The senior environment is rich with manipulative materials and hands-on activities, however, the transition to more abstract paper work is accomplished in this classroom. Children extend their boundaries of understanding once again and admire the wonders of the world from a different point of view. Independence and personal responsibility are high on the list of goals for the Seniors. The children learn how to evaluate themselves in the academic, social and emotional areas. This prepares them for presenting their self-evaluations to their parents and teachers at conference time, twice a year. Positive work habits are continually reinforced. Time management strategies are learned as children organize and prioritize their assignments to complete them by their due dates.
The Senior program focuses intently on academic skills. Reading comprehension, grammar and especially writing are expanded and refined. Daily math incorporates basic operations with whole numbers, fractions and decimals along with the studies of measurement, geometry and beginning algebra concepts. The cultural subjects, and particularly the sciences, are emphasized. We are blessed with a diverse and natural outdoor environment and use our Eco-Learning Lab for extended studies in the biological sciences. The children learn to work in groups and have extensive experiences with research projects and class presentations. Music, art, drama, physical education, health and kitchen science are also integrated into the curriculum.
The sixth level is considered a transition year. The children learn to work from text books in both history and math. Test taking strategies are also taught, as well as experiences with a grading system. This prepares the children for a more traditional approach to learning, which they will experience after leaving the Senior class. Social skills are also highly emphasized in this classroom. The children develop the skills needed to make and maintain friendships, practice resolving conflicts, come to understand the value of community service and learn how to be an active and contributing member of a community.